Silly Screencasts

Rob Miles has been producing XNA screencasts for a while now for Thirteen 1 magazine. In fact he has now finished the first set. If you want to take a lok at these. along with the lab content, you can find them here:

If you want to hear Rob’s dulcet tones telling you all about getting started with C# and XNA then this is the place to go.

XNA Curriculum Materials

Rob Miles in the Very Silly Team is presently working on some curriculum materials so that anyone teaching programming can use XNA, C# and a bit of silliness to get the message across. The content is presently in production but will be available for limited review in a few weeks. It will be based on the book and will take the form of Powerpoint presentations and some structured practical work to go alongside.

We are starting a mailing list for anyone who wants to register an interest in the content to keep you informed of progress (note that this will be strictly used for this purpose and no other).

If you want to be kept informed of curriculum developments, send an email to and we will add you to the list.

Silly Surgery Open for Business

I've set up another area of the site. The Silly Surgery provides a place where you can drop broken programs for a crack team of software surgeons to take a look and get back to you.

The kind of problems that we are looking to solve are the ones that begnining programmers have when trying to learn to create code. Not ones with multi-threaded synchronisation across processor cores when trying to perform rendering using direct shader code injection (whatever that means).

We are not promising to fix everything, but we can try.

Simple Simon Part 2 Now Available

The second part of the Simple Simon game development is now available for download. This version of the game is not yet complete, but it does have the main game state machine present, along with the code that will produce the sequence that the player needs to copy.

There are also some questions that you can have a go at in the Simple Simon discussion forum. Take a look here.

Simple Simon Updated and XNA on Zune now here

I've responded to the posts in the Simple Simon discussion. I'll be putting the next stage of the game up in the next few days.

In the meantime, you might like to take a look at XNA 3.0. This is a sneak preview of the next version of XNA. It looks especially interesting because it lets you write games to run on your Zune. Expect to see a Zunified version of Bread and Cheese on these hallowed pages real soon....

Find out more here.

Making a Game Together

I'm trying something new. It will either work or it won't. Shaun is working on a Simon game in XNA. I've made a kind of start, and now I want everyone to chip in with comments and answers to questions that I've posed. (and ideas for other questions too). If I get a good response I'll make the next section of the game, and so on.

One good way to learn is to look at existing code and try to figure out how to make it do new stuff. So, with that in mind take a look at what I've done and move things on. There will be prizes too. Just not very big ones......

Enter the RSS Reader

I've been a bit busy lately on the latest silly program that I seem to have been spending quite a lot of time on of late. It is actually in use in our department at the moment, displaying messages on our "Big Plasma Display". Everyone seems to like it, although apparently the jokes get a bit tiresome after you have read them a few times. Or even just once.

Anyhoo, feel free to download and play with it (the link is on the left). If you like it let me know. I'm working on a better version with a clock and maybe even picture rendering and a different backdrop.

Creators Club Membership Up for Grabs

Whilst I was at GDC I picked up a free Creators Club membership at the XNA sessions. I think it is for four months, but you may be lucky. Anyhoo, I'll give it to the the person who comes up with the silliest game idea in the next couple of days. My decision is final (I consider myself an expert in silliness).

Remember that if you are a student on a course of study you can get a Creators Club membership for free via DreamSpark, but for anyone else out there, this might save a bit of cash. Put your idea as a comment on this post.

Universal Sound Effect

Not content with providing mugs and T shirts, the Very Silly Game franchise is now moving into game developer resources. Every now and the we will be posting items that you might want to include in your games.

Today you can download the only sound effect you will ever need. Created by accident in the Very Silly Games labs, this sound can be used for any purpose, from a stylish ring tone to game over, and just about everything in between.  Simply grab the bit that you want from this symphony of sound...

Gamepad Racer Lives

I now have a new hero, Jerry V (Gamertag: Xyjar). He has only gone and produced a stunning video of a Gamepad racer session, complete with rocking soundtrack.

The start of the race (I love the way he has used XNA books to prop up the table!)

For those of you who have no idea of what I'm talking about, Gamepad racer is a very silly Xbox 360 game where you just make the gamepads vibrate down a slope. You can find the source for the game here. You can find Jerry's video here.  Thanks for that, you've really made my day.