Tag Archives: XNA

Iron Roads Goes to New Orleans

Iron Roads Progress 1/23/2012

Iron Roads Progress 1/23/2012


– Figured out how to drawn lines using sprites, Thank you to XNA wiki
– Rail links between cities drawn
– Added a bunch of cities: Springfield, Memphis, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans
– Cleaned up the map some, including better lakes around New Orleans: Lake Maurepus, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne

XNA SpriteFonts

While working on Iron Roads today, I tried to use the custom font Radius (a free font from Urban Fonts.)   I like how the letters look like curving tracks you might see on a draftsman’s drawing or surveying map.  It has potential for the Iron Roads logo.  Anyway, I ran into a tricky problem that stumped me for a long while.

Iron Roads with Radius Font

I followed the normal procedure as Microsoft describes in Drawing Text with a Sprite:

  1. Right-click your Content project in Solution Explorer, click Add, and then click New Item.
  2. In the Add New Item dialog box, click Sprite Font. You may find it convenient at this point to change the name of the new file from “SpriteFont1” to the friendly name of the font you intend to load (keeping the .spritefont file extension).  The friendly name identifies the font once it is installed on your computer, for example, “Courier New” or “Times New Roman.” When you reference the font in your code, you must use the friendly name you have assigned it. XNA Game Studio creates a new .spritefont file for your font and opens it.

At this point I had what I needed, but alas, it wouldn’t compile, complaining:

The font family “Radius” could not be found. Please ensure the requested font is installed, and is a TrueType or OpenType font.

Took me a long while to figure it out, but it’s actually quite simple. Install new fonts before starting up Visual Studio! So, all I had to do was shut VS2010 down and start her up again, an Voila! New beautiful font displaying in my game!!!

Iron Roads Title Screen Draft Peek

Please note, this is a concept piece, not art assets are my original and I don’t claim copyright to them.

Ludum Dare 21 – Conclusion

I didn’t finish. I just didn’t have my weekend clear.  You really need a clear weekend to finish Ludum Dare. The tech change in the middle didn’t help.

My main take away: Unity slowed me down. I’m too much of a programmer. When a game engine gets in the way, I can see all the different ways I would code myself out of the problem, but I can’t see any solutions in the engine’s context. Code is a powerful too, and I’m good at using it. Game engine’s are alien worlds with bizarre rules and un-explainable behavior.

So, I’m going to stop using game engines (or frameworks etc.) I’ll use non-game libraries and leave all the game programming to myself. Specifically, something like SDL, SFML or even XNA are good for me, but not stuff like Torque 2D or Unity. I think XNA is “library” enough not to be considered a game engine. It’s more like a toolbox. Oh, I think the caveat here is I want to make 2D games, not 3D.

I think there is a bigger principal at work here: KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid Game Engine’s are complicated systems built by lots of programmers.  They have multitudes of  audiences with different needs.  This all makes them hard to understand with lots of bells and whistles.  In order to accommodate all these different requirements, some feature are overly complex with lots of assumptions.  Those assumptions require rigidness to keep you out of the weeds that aren’t handle so well because of those assumptions.  So at the end of a Ludum Dare weekend, you look back and see all the time lost figuring the game engine’s nuances and gotrchas.  Then you pine for a chance to go back in time and just pounded out the code you needed.

Ludum Dare 21 – Update 2

Sick of fighting with Unity. Switching to XNA. And, I have a party to goto now, so I don’t expect too much of a game done by Sunday night. That’s the way Ludum Dare’s go!

The Start in XNA

The Start in XNA

Imagine if XNA ran on the Mac, iPhone, and Android! You CAN Make it Happen!

I’d like to encourage everyone to support this project, it’d be a wonderful and powerful tool for indies: ExEn: XNA for iPhone, Android and Silverlight