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Archive for July, 2007

At first there is just a hint of blue on the far horizon.  Then you see the faint outlines of a water planet.  After a few tantalizing minutes a small island appears, which quickly grows into a small continent.   All the while the 3D camera swoops and spins over this ever changing 3D world.

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Welcome to the Lunchgamer site.  This virtual world is created in WPF and deployed as an XBAP.

-Walt Ritscher

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All the classic games are getting the Silverlight treatment.  Now you can play hangman too.

Learn more and play the game.

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Silverlight Game: Khet

Synopsis: Egyptian-themed chess with lasers

It’s an Silverlight version of a board game called Khet, which combines classic (chess like) strategy with a fun twist that uses lasers and mirrors. Players alternate turns moving Egyptian-themed pieces having two, one or no mirrored surfaces. All four types of pieces (pharaoh, obelisk, pyramid and djed column) can either move one square forward, back, left, right, or diagonal, or can stay in the same square and rotate by a quarter twist.

Each turn ends by firing one of the lasers built into the board. The laser beam bounces from mirror to mirror; if the beam strikes a non-mirrored surface on any piece, it is immediately removed from play. Your objective is to fry your opponent’s pharaoh, while protecting yours from laser attack!

Learn more and play the game

Details

  • Registration required.
  • You can play against other players, not just the computer.
  • Game includes online chat window.
  • Upgrades available for small fee.
  • Original board game version available for $$.

Screenshots

screenshot

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Yet another WPF chart example

Did you know that there is no native support for charting in WPF?  It seems like a huge omission, yet I’ve not found it hard to create simple charts from the API.

If you are looking for ideas, Li Gao just published another WPF charting example.

 

So I went out to try something fun with WPF and see if we can create something similar to the charts you see on Google finance. …

Here is the results of this 4-hour adventure. I’ve created a WPF/XAML based 2D filled chart that supports dynamic zooming and panning, and track-ball of the current chart positions for time-series data.

 Updated:  Li Gao posted his source code.

-Walt Ritscher

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Eric Sink is a great technical writer.  He wrote a wonderful series about the business of software and authored a twenty-two part series describing how to market your software business. 

Today he starts a twelve part series chronicling his adventures with WPF 3D

 

WPF 3D doesn’t know how to draw lines.

Shocking as it may seem, WPF 3D considers triangles to be more fundamental than lines.  Everything in 3D is a triangle.  If you want to draw a line, you have to somehow do it by using triangles.

Actually, this is not all that shocking once you really think about it.  The problem with a line is that it’s too fundamental.  Geometrically speaking, a line has zero width.  If you asked WPF to draw a line, it would have nothing to draw.  A triangle is the simplest bit of geometry that actually has any surface area.

We think that drawing a line should be simple.  In 2D graphics, it is.  But in 3D graphics, where the picture on your screen is a 2D projection of a 3D world which uses a completely different coordinate system, it’s not.

But still, sometimes we want to draw something that we think of as a line.  Maybe we want a wireframe view of our 3D scene.  Maybe we just want to highlight the edges of a solid figure to make it easier to see.  In practical terms, we know intuitively what we want when we think of “a line”.  Usually, we just want it to be one pixel wide on the screen.

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Looks like Eric is off to a great start.  I’m looking forward to reading every post!

-Walt Ritscher

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Sometime this year I became the WPF/Silverlight game expert.  I’m not sure who came up with this idea, but it wasn’t me.  All I did was write a few articles suggesting that game development helps push platform adoption and mention a few games written in WPF/Silverlight.  Now I’m getting press releases about new games and email from game authors touting their latest masterpieces.  Let’s not forget my readers either.   Yes, I’m talking about you, the dedicated few who read my blog posts and send me email telling me about cool WPF applications and games.  I’ve got dozens of links to write about and it’s time to get started. 

You’re telling me you want me to be the WPF/Silverlight game guy?  So be it…

WPFWonderland companion site launched

Earlier this year I planned on creating a companion site for my blog.  I conceived it as a  place to stockpile WPF resources and tools, sample code, links to great WPF applications and so on.  Life intervened and the site never materialized.   Today the WpfWonderland.com site is active and the first announcement it that the game section of the site is open for your perusal.

http://www.wpfwonderland.com/games/gameshome.aspx

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I’ve got more games to add.  I’m also planning to add other non-game WPF/Silverlight content this summer. 

I’ll keep you posted on upcoming changes. 

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Using FTP from Vista

I’ve had some trouble connecting to a new FTP server today from my Vista computer.  Here’s are some steps to check if you are getting the “An Error Occurred opening that folder on the FTP server” error message.

  1. Ensure that Port 21 is open in your Vista Firewall.
  2. Check to see if you can connect to the server using active mode.
    1. Open command prompt
    2. Type ftp and press enter
    3. type open sitename.com and press enter
    4. Enter your name and password as prompted
    5. Type dir and press enter.  If you see the directory structure of the FTP server then you know that you can connect.
    6. Type close and press enter
    7. Type quit and press enter
  3. Change settings in IE 7 (I only tested this fix with IE7)
  4. Under the Advanced tab in IE Tools\Options
    1. Uncheck the  “Use Passive FTP (for firewall and DSL modem…) checkbox
    2. Check the “Enable FTP folder view (outside of Internet Explorer”  checkbox

Mapping FTP drives

I found this slightly non-intuitive too.  You have to map a drive to  the FTP server in order to preserve the settings of the server.

 

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Choose Tools\Map Network Drive menu
  3. Click the “Connect to a Web site that you can  use… ” link.
  4. Follow the instructions

 

 

-Walt Ritscher

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