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Welcome to MDX info!



MDX info is a website created by some enthusiasts to provide information on Microsoft's Managed DirectX, branded as the game programming evolution.
To actually become an evolution, Managed DirectX needs some more momentum so we figured to contribute a bit to this by providing these resources for working with it.

Our aim for MDX info is to make it a one-stop resource for all things MDX.

Recent site updates and news   Last update: February 3 2010

About Managed DirectX
Recently several forum posts popped up from people starting new projects using Managed DirectX. To make sure we're not giving anyone the wrong idea with the resources on this site, Managed DirectX has been discontinued by Microsoft. Your alternatives are the XNA Framework and SlimDX, as detailed in the note to our MDX primer.

MDXInfo is maintained as a resource for these older MDX projects, which convey concepts and techniques that should carry over to XNA and/or SlimDX. Resources from us on XNA can be found on XNAInfo. The old central XNA tutorial site ZiggyWare unfortunately went down, a newer initiative can be found at Sgt Conker

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SlimDX September 2008 release
Promit announced the September 2008 release of SlimDX which adds support for Direct3D 9Ex and DirectSound, along with the regular maintenance. It also comes with a new sample framework and Asteroids game sample. And finally you're all cordially invited to go ahead and ask for features you'd like to see added to SlimDX, preferably by posting them to the announcement thread.

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Incredibly, an update!
Just thought I'd put this message here to let you all know XNAInfo is slowly becoming less devoid of content, so it might actually be worth checking out now. Also a very delayed notice that SlimDX is well out of beta with the late June update and that Mike's Journal is well filled with interesting SlimDX related stuff.

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SlimDX Official Launch
During the past three months various members of the GameDev community have been working on SlimDX, a replacement for the discontinued Managed DirectX API. Today it was announced it is officially going live with a dedicated homepage/wiki and the binaries to go with it. You can find more information on the release over in this GameDev thread.

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Managed DirectX User Interface library
We got a heads-up from AvengerDr that he's releasing his GUI library for Managed DirectX called Odyssey. We haven't had a chance to look into the source yet, but it looks like a very polished and complete interface library. AvengerDr seems to be considering to port it to the upcoming slimDX API, so give him some positive feedback if you'd like to see this port happen

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Update time!
Now that Managed DirectX is offically gone from the SDK as of August 2007, it's time for us to look around and determine where to go from here. Judging by the traffic stats, MDXInfo still serves its purpose of offering information on shaders and general game coding topics, so it'll stay up for as long as it's useful.

We'll also be providing a home for slimDX, a community effort to create a lean and mean managed wrapper around DirectX as a replacement for MDX.

Our XNA adventures have gotten a bit delayed and the community that sprang up around it already provides numerous excellent resources, but we're still looking to get some useful info onto XNAInfo. If anyone's still interested in helping out to get this going, just drop us a line. We're looking to fill in the few gaps where yet another XNA site might be of use, so we'll need to focus on advanced topics and detailed informational tutorials that aim to provide a deeper understanding of the API.

To wrap up this post, here's the link to the official MDX obituary notice.

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A pile of VB.NET samples
Nauful, known as Cade on the IRC chat, has contributed a number of interesting MDX samples in VB.NET. The samples include advanced indoor rendering, terrain rendering (also advanced ) and a sample on projected textures and shadow mapping. You can find them in the advanced and intermediate pages of our resources section.

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Various XNA resources
People already keeping track of XNA have probably already read this, but for anyone who's looking for more information on XNA these two links may be useful:

- Managed DirectX to XNA Framework Migration Guide

- Working with and creating XNA GameComponents


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Updated XInput library with event model & some general info
By request we've updated our XInput library with an event model, so you no longer have to poll the controller for its state (the event model can be disabled for manual polling). The extended wrapper is provided in a VS2005 solution since the event model is mainly targettted at applications, but it should also still work in .NET 1.1.

In completely unrelated news, you have probably all heard about XNA and deployment of managed code on the XBox360 (if not, go here now!). We'll continue our efforts to further the managed 'game programming evolution' by providing a similar site with XNA info on http://www.xnainfo.com. Since XNA isn't released just yet, the link just redirects you to MDXInfo, but we've got some nice things in the works!

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MDX Hotlabs part 3 released, building a Breakout clone
I have presented yet another hotlab at IT Intellect in Durban, South Africa. This hotlab was based around rebuilding an old classic called Breakout, check it out

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Sign of life and rigid body physics demo
It's been a while since the last update, but we're finally rounding up some nice new things for MDXInfo, like our very first VB.NET resource. This sample demonstrates how to implement general rigid body physics and various contructs such as joints, springs and liquids. The demo is implemented in 2D, but the concepts translate well to 3D environments.

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Some more information on XNA and a request for feedback from David Weller
If you visit the ZBuffer or GameDev regularly, you've probably already read about this but I thought I'd point it out anyway. DirectX communitity manager David Weller has posted a few hints regarding what will and will not be available on the XNA Framework platform. And he's asking for feedback from MDX developers and as ZMan put it "there's still time to make a difference".

In related news, we've been a bit busy over here lately so the updates have been slow. We do have some nice things in the works, so stay tuned

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MDX Hotlabs part 2 released, building a Tetris clone
From the latest session of Pieter's Managed DirectX Hotlabs series, we present this guide with source code to implement a Tetris clone. It comes with a presentation explaining how to translate various design issues to MDX and the full source code is provided. Enjoy

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Community forums and chat links added
As MDXInfo staff we frequent various forums and have been running the #mdxinfo IRC channel for some time now, so we thought we'd point out where you can reach us if you want to have your questions answered directly. You'll find various links to these forums on our new community page, as well as an IRC chat applet to join our IRC channel.

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MDX Hotlabs, new article archive structure and another chapter to our D3D10 series
Today we've restructured our article archive to make room for three great additions. First of all, some of you might have picked up the news that Pieter has started a series of MDX Hotlabs in Durban, SA. The slides and samples from these will be made available on MDXInfo, providing valuable information on working with MDX.

Next up we have adopted a very nice FAQ on Direct3D memory usage from MVP Simon O'Connor into our new game programming article section. Ralf Kornmann also checked in with his latest chapter on our Managed Direct3D10 series, clearing up the mysteries of D3D10 swap chain creation using our Managed D3D10 wrapper.

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Added sample on multiple lights in HLSL using deferred lighting
Deferred lighting is a technique for performing your lighting in screenspace, by rendering the required attributes such as position, normals and diffuse color to temporary buffers first. Once the scene is completely preprocessed like this, each light is rendered seperately, accumulating the results by using additive blending. This allows you to render a virtually unlimited amount of lights with no overdraw.

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Added a picking tutorial, intersecting a mesh with a mouse ray
Intersecting a mesh with a mouse ray, often referred to as picking, is a technique to select meshes in your 3D world by clicking your mouse. In this tutorial we'll take a look at a nice clean way to do this in MDX and what can be done with the information obtained from an intersection test. This tutorial comes with a port of the C++ picking sample from the SDK.

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Utility library for creating a video texture from your webcam
This utility library allows you to capture frames from your webcam to display these as a video texture in Managed DirectX. The library is designed to make this process as easy as possible, so a normal texture can be swapped out for a webcam video texture in about 5 lines of code.

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Source code for BrainBall released
BrainBall is a game we designed and implemented for the GameDev.net "Seeing Double" contest. We've used various techniques presented here on MDXInfo in the game, to show how these can be implemented in a complete game environment. An overview of these techniques and the complete source can be found in this article.

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Added a HLSL skinning sample
This sample created by Steve Lanuit extends the SimpleAnimation sample in the SDK to demonstrate how to perform mesh skinning in a HLSL shader. This sample was previously published on C# Home, but since it's such a useful sample we've put it up here as well.

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Game Engine Toolset Development now available!
Game Engine Toolset Development (ISBN: 1592009638) provides you with a core set of skills and a comprehensive insight that will aid you in the development of game engine utilities, significantly reducing the time period associated with the construction phase of a project. The book starts off with topics regarding development methodologies and best practices, and then proceeds into advanced topics like swap chain management and MVC object model automation with CodeDom.

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Added a showcase about BrainBall, a puzzling racing game
BrainBall is a game we designed and implemented for the GameDev.net "Seeing Double" contest, a smaller game design contest where the main objective was to implement two simultaneous views of the game world in such a way that both views make up the gameplay together.

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Added a snippet on creating a mesh with multiple subsets
The original SDK documentation already shows how to create a mesh with a single subset, but for defining multiple subsets (or attribute ranges) some more work is needed. This little snippet shows how to programatically set up a simple cube with two subsets.

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Physics Sample using ODE
Now what is a game without physics? How cool are these physics demos. This sample shows how to use ODE.NET to accomplish simple phyiscs.

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Released volume texture tool with sources and demo
We've added a software tool designed for creating and editing volume textures a bit faster than with the DirectX Texture Tool. It supports batch adding images from a folder, AVI video or another volume texture directly to the volume texture you're working on, which makes things a whole lot easier... At least, we think it does

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Added C# game scripting library with ScriptEditorControl
Scripting is becoming more important in game development, so we created this scripting library for our Phoenix Engine. This library makes it a whole lot easier to integrate C# scripting into your games and other applications and it also contains a nifty control to edit scripts like in Visual Studio. And yes, it comes with source code

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Added hardware vertex morphing tutorial
Vertex morphing is a technique which allows for the deformation of a base mesh by using morph targets. This technique is commonly used for facial expressions and for describing transformations that are not easily described by bones. In this tutorial we explore an implementation of morphing that runs completely on the GPU.

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Small update and things to come
I've added two small sample projects that deal with timebased movement and creating a background gradient, so we've added a 'basic samples' section to reduce the clutter in our resources section. Other than that, I can only tell you to stay tuned for a volume texture tool and a tutorial on hardware vertex morphing next week

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Busy, busy, busy...
This seems to be the topic at hand for us editors at MDXInfo, Looks like running a community site has us both so busy that it seems we are slacking. Myself and Rim are busy with some article and content for MDXInfo (no, we haven't left the earth to go seek mdx people.). I am busy with an interop article and Rim is busy with a volume texture tool. Stay tuned for more updates from us.

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Added utility library for working with XInput
We've added a little utility library to work with XInput so you can play with your XBox360 controller for Windows without having to resort to using the current MDX2.0 beta release. It may also be useful for using the controller outside the DirectX assemblies, so here it is.

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Short downtime and looking for contributors
Today, February 2nd, we had a short downtime due to a problem at our provider, our apologies to any inconvenience this may have cost. Anyway, Pieter and me have been a bit too busy to make site updates as regular as we'd like, so if you have something interesting on MDX you'd like to share please click the link below to learn how.

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HDR sample and snippet on effecthandles
Both Pieter and me have been a bit busy with our own (game) projects, so we've republished two resources that already featured on GameDev. Mr. Haggag's HDR sample provides a step-by-step analysis of how to implement HDR rendering in MDX and our EffectHandleProxy allows you to drop in handles with a minimum of recoding.

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Various small updates and additions
We've added a few small updates to the site today, like the Google search box in the left menu and a little code snippet on setting up clipping planes in both the FFP and HLSL. We've also been featured on Tom Miller's blog, so thanks to whoever pointed us out and of course thanks for the entry itself

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Water rendering demo added to Water Tutorial
We just added a simple demo showcasing normal mapping and the normal mapped water, with the complete source code to go with it, as usual

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Simple shadow volume sample added
This sample project shows how to construct a shadow volume from a mesh for the ZPass shadow volume rendering technique. This approach is probably the simplest you can get, but it demonstrates the basics of the technique and it will even run on an ATI Radeon Mobility 9000. Check out GameDev for more information on shadow volumes.

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