Dreamcast GameDev with KOS and Bash on Windows

Many years ago, an open-source Sega Dreamcast SDK known as KallistiOS (KOS) was created and is still being developed today. I used this SDK long ago to create a few emulators that were published, and a variety of unfinished games that were not…

KOS is easy to get up and running on a variety of platforms, but on Windows this always required setting up Cygwin. But, with the addition of the Linux Subsystem for Windows (LXSS) in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, one can now run Ubuntu and the Bash shell natively in Windows 10, and that means one can easily setup KOS, the SH4 toolchain and (almost) everything else required to develop and deploy apps to a Sega Dreamcast. Here’s how…

Requirements

  • A Sega Dreamcast capable of booting MIL-CDs…this is any machine manufactured prior to October 2000.
  • A Dreamcast Broadband Adapter (HIT-0300 or HIT-0400 both work)
  • The Dreamcast plugged into your network via Ethernet
  • The Linux Subsystem for Windows installed and configured …
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Game Developers: Get the Most Out of Windows 10

I had the opportunity to co-present a session at Build 2015 focusing on building games for Windows 10. Jaime Rodriguez and I spent an hour talking about the new Windows 10 features related to gaming, including Xbox Live, [email protected], the new GamePad API, windowing, and the various middlewares and engines like MonoGame and Marmalade that are supporting Windows 10 at present. If you care about games and are excited about Windows 10, have a look!

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Visual Studio Live! - Las Vegas 2015

It’s that time again…another Visual Studio Live!  I will be presenting 2 sessions at Visual Studio Live! in Las Vegas this March 16-20.  The conference is a full 5 day event and there’s still time to register.  For this event, I’ll be presenting:

W23 Building Games for Windows and Windows Phone Using Unity and Other Frameworks
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Time: 3:00pm – 4:15pm
Level: Introductory

There are a variety of platforms and frameworks which can be used to build games on both Windows and Windows Phone depending on the complexity of the game and the developer’s skill level. In this session, we will delve into the many options available to developers, including DirectX, Unity, MonoGame, and more!

VSH10 Building Your First Universal Application for Windows Phone and Windows Store
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Time: 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Level: Introductory

Universal Apps enable developers to build apps for Windows Store and Windows Phone simultaneously while …

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Visual Studio Live! - Orlando 2014

I will be presenting 3 sessions at Visual Studio Live! in Orlando this November 17-21.  The conference is a full 5 day event, and part of the Live! 360 conference, covering SharePoint, SQL Server, Modern Apps and more.  Plus, there’s still time to register and save $600 if you register before 10/15/14!  For this event, I’ll be presenting:

VSH03 Games Development with Unity and Other Frameworks for Windows and Windows Phone
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Time: 8:00am – 9:15pm
Level: Introductory

There are a variety of platforms and frameworks which can be used to build games on both Windows and Windows Phone depending on the complexity of the game and the developer’s skill level. In this session, we will delve into the many options available to developers, including DirectX, Unity, MonoGame, and more!

VSH08 Writing Asynchronous Code using .NET 4.5 and C# 5.0
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Time: 9:30am – 10:45pm
Level: Introductory

A variety of new features …

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Visual Studio Live! – Washington DC 2014

I will be presenting 2 sessions at Visual Studio Live! in Washington DC this October 6-9.  The conference is a full 4 day event and there’s still time to register and save $400 if you register before 9/10/14!  For this event, I’ll be presenting:

TH07 Building Your First Windows Phone 8.1 Application
Date: Thursday, October 9, 2014
Time: 9:30am – 10:45pm
Level: Introductory

Expand your mobile horizons with Windows Phone! Developing applications for the phone is quite similar to building XAML applications for other platforms. In this session, Brian will demonstrate the fundamentals of Windows Phone development while building a very simple application which covers all of the important points of the new platform’s architecture, including the developer tools, device emulator and touch input. We will also discuss what’s new with the Windows Phone 8.1 update and how you can use it to build better apps.

TH11 Building Games for Windows and Windows Phone
Date: Thursday, …

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Pinball 2000 Software Update with Windows 7 x64

pb2k

Warning: This is a pretty off-topic post about pinball, but maybe it’ll help someone searching for the information.

Backstory: My dad was a coin-op operator. I’m the son of a coin-op operator. As you might imagine, I have a just a tiny bit of love for video games and pinballs. When my dad passed away in 2008, I decided to keep my favorite pins from the route: Funhouse, Addams Family, Theatre of Magic, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Revenge from Mars.

After sitting in storage for a couple of years, the software update sitting on Revenge from Mars would no longer checksum properly. The game was running fine, but obviously something was wrong. After lots of other work on the machine, it was time to update the firmware again to version 1.5.

Finding the software and ROM images was easy. Everything is available at PlanetaryPinball.com. Anyone can just grab the Pinball 2000 Update Manager and the appropriate software update for the machine to be updated. However, …

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Kinect for Windows SDK is here!

image

Hooray!  I can finally talk about this!  As I've alluded to previously, I had a hand (one of many) in the managed portion of the SDK and what was originally shown at MIX. Since then the SDK has changed a bit but it's finally ready to go!

The Kinect for Windows SDK is now available for download on the Microsoft Research site.  We have also launched several samples over at Coding4Fun that you can begin using immediately:

Coding4Fun Kinect Toolkit

You definitely want to download this one when you get started.  This toolkit contains a variety of extension methods and controls to make using the Kinect for Windows SDK even easier to use.  Some of my code appears in this one.  Smile

Kinect Mouse Cursor

This sample is entirely mine.  Kinect Mouse Cursor is a demo application that uses the Kinect for Windows SDK and its skeletal tracking features to allow a user to use their hands to control the Windows mouse cursor.  Use your right hand to move the …

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ThinkGearNET Library

mindset I have written and posted a new library that allows .NET developers to easily connect to and use the Neurosky MindSet headset from any .NET application.  You can find the source code and a binary of the library at CodePlex.  Usage is very simple and may seem familiar to those that have used my .NET Wiimote LIbrary; set a reference to the library and you can connect to a headset as follows:

private ThinkGearWrapper _thinkGearWrapper = new ThinkGearWrapper();
 
private void Connect()
{
    _thinkGearWrapper = new ThinkGearWrapper();
    
    // setup the event
    _thinkGearWrapper.ThinkGearChanged += _thinkGearWrapper_ThinkGearChanged;
    
    // connect to the device on the specified COM port at 57600 baud
    _thinkGearWrapper.Connect("COM4", 57600, true);
}
 
void _thinkGearWrapper_ThinkGearChanged(object sender, ThinkGearChangedEventArgs e)
{
    // write out one of the many properties
    Debug.WriteLine("Attention: " + e.ThinkGearState.Attention;
}

The …

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Windows 7 Launch Party in NYC

win_logo I had the extreme pleasure of being invited to and attending the Windows 7 Launch Party in New York City on October 22nd.  I went down to the city with fellow MVP Bill Pytlovany, author of the popular WinPatrol security software.  You can watch a video of the entire launch below or at the official Windows 7 press site.  Be sure to watch to the end to get a glimpse of some super-awesome hardware that takes advantage of all Windows 7 has to offer.

All in all, It was quite a day, from getting a picture with Steve Ballmer himself to meeting segment producer and occasional on-screen Late Show with David Letterman character Brian Teta who was amazed I recognized him.  Mr. Ballmer was just on his way out of the bathroom only 15 minutes before show-time when Bill and I accosted him and begged for a picture.  Frazzled though he was, he agreed and Bill snapped this...

Ballmer and I

There were plenty of awesome pieces of hardware to play with, including a ton of high-power and …

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Head Banger Is Now Available on Xbox LIVE Community Games

xboxboxart Several friends and I work together to write “indie” video games under the brand Ganksoft EntertainmentYou may recall that for Maker Faire 2007, we created a very simple rhythm-based music game (think Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution) using XNA called Head Banger.

With Microsoft’s official release of Xbox LIVE Community Games with the New Xbox Experience, we decided to blow the dust off of Head Banger, add a couple songs, integrate it bit more with Community Games and XNA 3.0 and release it.  It is now available for purchase for 200 Microsoft Points (or, as with all Arcade and Community games, there’s a free trial) straight from the Community Games section of the Games Marketplace on your Xbox 360.  It will be listed under New Releases for a little while, otherwise you can go to All Games and then the letter H to find it.  Additionally, you can view the official Marketplace page on the new web-based Xbox LIVE Marketplace site.

Please give the trial a go and …

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VSLive NY Sessions Posted

Thanks to everyone that attended my VSLive NY session.  I hope it was informative.  I have posted the slide-decks and source code for both of my sessions so you can tinker with the projects on your own.

Questions and comments welcome, as always.  Thanks!

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Coding4Fun Book News

Now that we have finished writing the book, we finally have an official title and chapter listing.  Someday we may even have a cover.

The title has morphed into Coding4Fun: 10 .NET Programming Projects for Wiimote, YouTube, World of Warcraft, and More and the final chapter listing (not necessarily in this order) is:

  • Alien Attack: Create a 2D clone of Space Invaders with XNA for the PC, Xbox 360, and Zune
  • LEGO Soldier: Create an action game using Popfly with a custom-built virtual LEGO character
  • World of Warcraft RSS Feed Reader: Use WoW's customizable interface to have feeds pop up while you're gaming
  • InnerTube: Download YouTube videos automatically and convert them to a file format for off-line viewing
  • PeerCast: Stream video files from any PC
  • TwitterVote: Create custom online polls on Twitter
  • WHSMail: Build a website with ASP.NET for Windows Home Server that lets you view the messages stored on a computer with Outlook
  • "Wiimote" …
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Wiimote and .NET

Update 3/17/07: A new version of the code and assembly is linked from the article below which fixes a bug with the calibration data.

My latest article has been posted on MSDN's Coding4Fun.  This time I have created a fully managed library to use a Nintendo Wiimote (and all current extensions) in C# or VB.NET.  You will find a description of what was done, source code for the fully managed library, a test application, and compiled libraries for you to start using immediately.

As always, if you have questions, problems, feature requests, etc. please contact me and let me know.  If it's a question or comment that could benefit the masses, please create a new post over on the forum and I will reply there.

Head on over and check it out!

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The Vanishing Point

Well, the mystery is on its way to being revealed.  Head back over to www.vanishingpointgame.com to see the details.  As previously alluded to, the game is a series of puzzles that will earn you points toward a variety of prizes.  The grand prize now makes sense based on one of the previous clues:  something that less than 1000 people have ever seen, that being a trip to space!

So head over and register.  If you do, please enter my email address as your referring address which will earn me a few bonus points.  My address is <my first name>@brianpeek.com .  Thanks, and good luck!

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You Don't Know Jack

What is perhaps my favorite PC game of all time has been re-incarnated as a daily flash-based game.  Head over to www.youdontknowjack.com to play a new Dis or Dat question every day.  I wonder and hope if this means we'll be seeing a new Jack in the future...

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PS3 vs. Wii

As I have purchased every console at launch in the past 15 years on launch day, I picked up my PlayStation 3 on Friday and my Wii on Sunday.  Here are some quick thoughts on both.

Sony had a year to get right what Microsoft screwed up with the 360 at launch.  They fixed none of it, and in fact, made even more mistakes.  The PlayStation Store appears to be bolted on at best.  Want to download a demo that's 800MB?  Great.  Sit there and wait while the entire thing downloads because you can't do anything else.  (Note that the 360 botched this at launch as well, but rectified it.)  Care to interrupt your demo and resume later?  Sure.  Just don't expect the resume portion of that.  Want to buy the game of the demo you purchased?  Ok.  Go back out of the game, over to the store, add it to the cart, check out, and download the entire game again!  At the moment, there is no integrated online gaming like the 360 with …

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XNA Game Studio

I was really, really excited about the XNA Game Studio announcements the other day.  But, the more I learn, the less excited I become.  Read the FAQ for more information…

The basics:  When the first beta of XNA Game Studio Express is released in 2 weeks, it will allow for Windows-only development.  Sometime before the end of the year, we’ll see an updated version that allows Xbox 360 development on retail hardware for those willing to spend $99 to join the “club”.

That sounds really exciting.

But.

In Spring ‘07, we’ll see something known as XNA Game Studio Professional which is targetted at professional game developers to write approved titles using managed code for XBLA or commercial projects on a development Xbox 360.

So.

At the end of the day, after spending $99 to join the “club” that allows development on the 360, you’ll be able to run your own code on the 360, and that’s about it.  There is no …

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Random Tidbits #2

Edge Magazine - It’s sad that the only good gaming magazine left on the planet is published in the UK.  It seems with the currency exchange rate, it’s actually cheaper for me to buy a year’s worth of issues at Borders than it is to subscribe and have it delivered via mail.  Regardless, worth the $8 every month in my opinion.  Reminds me of the old Next Generation mag, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since they were affiliated back in the day.

PS3 - I’ll echo everyone else’s sentiments:  $599?  Suck it.  I’d like to think they won’t sell many and it will fail, but that probably won’t happen.

Wii - I personally can’t wait to try it out.  I fear the novelty will wear off quickly, but I’m a sucker for a crazy controller, as my closet filled with Guitar Heroes, Guitar Freaks, Samba De Amigo, and a host of other controllers proves.

Windows Vista 5381 - Even better than the last.  …

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Random tidbits....

Rather than create several hundred blog entries, here’s a compendium of what has been on my mind the past few days….

  • Tomb Raider: Legend - I finished playing all the way through this on the 360 a few minutes ago.  I enjoyed the story, but man, am I the only one that thinks this game has some serious control and camera issues?  I spent just as much time fighting with the grapple and the camera as I did the enemies and puzzles…
  • Windows Vista 5365 - It’s finally starting to suck less.  It’s moving quicker, the interface is falling together, and it’s just finally becoming useable.  However, 750MB of RAM used on startup with Aero Glass and no user apps running?  Please tell me that’s bloated because of debug code…It happily dual-boots with XP and runs nicely in both Virtual PC and VMWare for testing, which is nice.
  • GameFly.com - I joined GameFly for no reason about a month ago.  I cancelled before the trial …

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Odama

If you own a GameCube and haven’t picked up Odama yet, what are you waiting for?  I saw this game about a year ago and have been awaiting its arrival in the US ever since.

For those that don’t know, Odama is a game created by Yoot Saito and Vivarium, father of Seaman on the Dreamcast.  Oh, and if you haven’t played Seaman, go buy that now, too.  

Odama combines a pinball with some elements of real-time strategy and tosses in a microphone as an input for voice commands for good measure.

The gameplay itself is relatively simple.  Your ancient Japanese samurai warriors need to make their way from the front of the playfield to the back, through a gate, while opposing warriors attempt to stop you.  All the while you’re batting around this enormous ball (the Odama) like a giant pinball which runs over troops (both yours and the enemies) and kills them.  The ball also destroys buildings and other armaments in its path.  Add to that a …

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