Archive | September, 2007

Is SilverLight a new gaming platform?

Even though I’m not done I’ve decided to post my research so far onSilverLight. I’ve tried to find working examples for everything and cross-reference everything as much as I can. I apologize for the link happy post, but I want you to be able to get the info from the horse’s mouth and judge for yourself. First I’ll give you the executive summary. If you want more details follow the related link below.

Executive Summary

SilverLight allows you to deploy vector graphics and media rich applications through the browser unto Windows and Mac. Essentially it is a stripped down (currently 1 meg download for 1.0, 4 megs for 1.1) version of the .Net framework that runs in a browser (IE, Firefox, Safari and more planned.) It will allow games to switch to fullscreen mode, collect keyboard and mouse input, play videos and music seamlessly and save to a special sandbox area of the client.

The graphics are described in a new html like language called XAML which has a complex event system that allows the graphics to respond to changes in the game data. Think of a GUI layer that is responsible for itself, making changes to the way it looks based on user input and changes inside the game world.

One important thing to note is that search engines will be able to see the XAML. SilverLight should be viewed as a new API for the web. It isn’t just a way to embed games and videos on an html page. It will become a complete replacement for ASP.NET and HTML. Entire website will be made with XAML and run by SilverLight.

Is SilverLight a new gaming platform? Yes

User Experience

Blue Rose Games‘ Dr. Popper – Seemless Fullscreen Mode, look for button with arrow in the top right of the game frame

Terralever‘s Zero Gravity

  • Load bar while the game sets itself up
  • Video transition to game canvas
  • Seamless music , you can’t tell when the loop repeats and the sound FX are on queue
  • Website navigation – imagine gamers easily looking at online manual, jumping to order game, and popping into the community forums effortlessly.

Netika‘s GOA WinForms – Incredible clone of the Windows/Office look and controls. You just have to go see them to believe.

Infragistics‘ has a tech demo – rich user controls stepping beyond the current windows forms look

Technical

Tim Sneath’s post Introducing Microsoft Silverlight – “The first release that we’re shipping later this summer is about a megabyte in size, then we’re going to ship the next release, we’re calling it 1.1, is going to be about 3 to 4 megabytes in size.”

Scot Hanselman’s post Putting Mix, Silverlight, the CoreCLR and the DLR into context – “The Mac version of Silverlight is a Universal Binary and runs the same code and renders the XAML exactly the same on the Mac as it does on Windows.”

Steve C. Orr’s Introduction to SilverLight – “Silverlight’s team has a long term secret goal of keeping the download size under 5MB. Shhhh! Don’t tell anybody!”

Rafe Needleman ‘s What is Silverlight, really? – “search engines, like Google, can scan XAML”

Danny Thorpe , MIX07: Extending the Browser Programming Model with Silverlight – “Silverlight running in different browsers on the same machine will use the same isostorage area on the machine.”

The .NET Show: Silverlight (Transcript)

Misc

The Tater Salad Blog has the best firsthand account of using SilverLight to make games I’ve come across so far: Silverlight Game Development Post Mortem

Joel on Software recently wrote a post titled Strategy Letter VI although he doesn’t mention SilverLight and might not even be thinking about it I definitely think SilverLight could be the “second coming of Microsoft Windows.”

Microsoft is providing free streaming with up to 4 GB for SilverLight

Resources

How to compile using Visual Studio 2005 instead of Orcas

Silverlight Project Template for Visual Studio 2005

Chris Bowden’s List of SilverLight Games

List of 50 SilverLight Applications

Dave Relyea’s Blog : Silverlight 1.1 Alpha Layout System and Controls Framework