Wednesday, 27 July 2011

DirectX it is!

So the laptop and desktop I have available do not have HD graphics cards in them so I cannot run XNA. I can run Unity and Blender, but not XNA!! :(

So, back to DirectX and C++ it is then.

Happy coding!

Monday, 18 July 2011


So I managed to get an old computer up and running, then managed to stuff it up so I'm trying to recover it now. The amount of RAM in it isn't great, but it has a better graphics card than anything else I have available at the moment.

Anyway, while I was trying to salvage it I double-checked the sytem requirements for XNA 4.0 and the new 7.1 beta requires 3GB of RAM while the current 7.0 release requires 2GB RAM! This is more RAM than any of my old systems have, so I'm pretty gutted so I'll have to save my pennies for a RAM upgrade. :(

However, I did find that there is an XNA 4 ONLY download for Windows XP (so just XNA Game Studio, not the whole Windows Phone suite that XNA now comes bundled with) so I may give that a try once I've recovered my old system.

The laptop I'm using is running Windows 7 with only 1GB RAM so I can't use the above tools, however, I can use DirectX with Visual C++ Studio Express 2010 SP1 to do some development with. It's been a while since I programmed with DX (v8 was the last one I programmed for) so I'm going to go through my old C++/DX game programming books and lecture notes to refresh my memory, then go through the DX11 tutorials to update my knowledge. It'll take a but of time, but it'll be a lot of fun as I loved creating games with C++. I'm probably going to document what I learn for my own reference so I'll see if I can post them up here. I'm also planning on creating my own template for Visual Studio so I don't get too tired of typing the same code over and over (then probably doing a massive face palm for not setting up the appropriate reference files.....).

So, I do feel like there is some progress being made and some is much better than none! :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Technology fail!

So development (or any plans thereof) came to a screetching halt as the graphics card in my laptop died, leaving me with nothing to develop on. Yes, I came foul of the NVidia issue that effected the 8600M series (plus some others) cards. If you haven't heard of this, NVidia developed a series of chips where the pins (that connect the chip to the motherboard) come loose over time due to heat. This causes the display to either go strange, or just to go blank. I found one temporary fix on YouTube where you could blast a hairdryer directly on to the chip (I'm guessing this excessive heat must cause some kind of re-soldering to occur) for 2 minutes, this did not work for me (though I did find a tonne of fluff blocking the air from getting circulated properly, which is probably the cause of the laptop over-heating I was getting).

Anyway, that's it for now (literally) so I'll post an update when I get a new laptop.