XNA Games


2D Spotlight implementation (HLSL + C#)

By | Blog, Games, XNA Games | 3 Comments

Many people have been asking me how i implemented the spotlight inside my xbox game wages of war. See screenshot at top. Also thank for all your messages, this important site is really precious to me.

The red light on the left, and the spots on the wall are all the implementation of the spotlight.

I rely inside this post that you have implemented the system that i described inside my post 2D Lightning Continued.

Inside this tutorial a point light is created. Now you can use the following code to implement a spotlight class in the same manner as we did with the point light.
Basically they are almost the same, but this spotlight has some different properties to give to the Shader.

I updated the Lightning sample as that is easier (i hope) for you to understand what you have to implement to achieve this effect in your game.

The arrow keys control the angle of the spot light and up, down control the height of the spot.


Download link:

LightningSample - Spotlight Addon (1126)

WP7 Game – Delta-N Memory now available for Free

By | Blog, Games, WP7, XNA Games | 2 Comments

For my work i created a Memory game, named Delta-N Memory. This game is only available for the Windows Phone a.t.m.

Quoted: “Memory Game” is a classic game with a lot of different themes to play by yourself, with friends or with your family. You can choose the single player (Arcade Mode) or fight for the first place with the highest score in the Adventure Mode. The Delta-N Memory Game is specially developed and designed for Windows Phone 7.

Button Text

2D Lightning Continued

By | Blog, Featured, XNA Games | 33 Comments

A week ago i received a twitter message about the 2d lightning i posted. He asked me there if i could reproduce some normal mapping effect with correct lightning. I failed in doing so with the previous code i posted, so i picked it up and began coding once again om my lightning. The results where very pleasing for me and the person that asked for it :).

The results ended up like this:

The effect can off course better be viewed in motion, so i created a little movie for you as wel:

See it in HD on youtube

Source Code

Now it is time for some code, i will not discuss all the code that is required for this effect because at the bottom of the page you can also download the sample code that contains everything you saw in the movie.

First of all you will require a color map of your current scene and a normal map (in the sample we only use one texture for this)

Together with a light source these two images become the result you see below (this image has a low ambient light):

The color map and normal map texture will both be rendered to their own rendertarget. This will result into two different textures, one is your color image and one your normals. These two textures are provided to the shader effect as parameters to create a light map, such image you can see below. This is where all the magic happens :).

This lightning texture is then combined with the color map to produce the desired effect. I do it this way because i had some problems before rendering multiple lights, doing it this way i didn’t have any of those problems.

The variables or constants inside the shader effect file (MultiTarget.fx) can be tweaked to your desires. Especially the following line will adjust the specular highlight (or you can disable it this way):

Also the height of the light will have a huge impact on how the coloring will react. The default value of the height of the light will be around 100. Try to lower the number and see what it does :).

If you have any questions remaining, feel free to ask me :).

Update: I updated the sample application to work with xna 4.0. The lights are now working with a generic list; A specular strength variable is used; Shader is slightly modified.
LightningSample-XNA-4.0 (1721) (This requires XNA 4.0 installed)

Game Texture update

By | Blog, XNA Games | 4 Comments

I finally sat down and devoted some time into creating some new textures for the robot itself and the weapons that are currently in the game. It took me many tries on it, but i really like the end result i got right now :). See the pictures below of my new texture for the player’s robot or see them here chouprojects.com. Take a note though that i am not really a designer so i don’t have a keen eye for it hehe. Also you can see the beginning gun equipped by the bot in the screens below. I always liked a bit of big guns and they are all animated when fired… :P

Main texture. I figured that this color fitted as best into the game, so i labeled it “main”.
Yellow player

But as easy as it is, i can make variations from that one like the one’s below. I might put this in a feature so that the player can select the color he wishes to play with.
Blue Texture
Green Texture
Flower Power???
Pink, Purple

Let me know what you think about these new textures :).

Development Diary #02

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It will be a smaller update then the previous one’s, because i was quite busy with real life stuff. Most of my time went into designing a new design for our front garden, i must keep the misses happy ain’t i :).

I am just lucky that my girl supports me in this and provides some time for me to actually code and design my game. Enough chatting about that, on to the game. The main issue i was facing is that this project began as a simple test for me, just to see how tiling worked and to see if i would make some similar results. Once i got that properly working, the editor came to life. I just kept on adding new stuff to the editor that soon the design was just a mess. Now it was time to bring an engine to life, that i can use the code for both the editor and the game itself (a prototype game only exists then). After many line’s of code written and creating textures for everything i stood where i was a few weeks ago, and soon the game will be ready to be play for the public, even with special hardware from sites as yourgamingsetup.com.

Now it was time to add some actual game flow. I wanted that the game consist out of several missions that the player can play. Now these missions must support multiple maps (if i need them), to use teleporters or elevators or just plain doors, that will lead in to a different area. To support this kind of feature i needed to rewrite a lot inside the engine’s core, this took some time to get it in way i wanted it to be.

After the support of missions, cinematics (cut scene’s) came to life. Because let’s face it, a game without some story telling or some automatic gameplay (intro’s orso) isn’t much fun. As i am not really the greatest story teller, i just suck at it… I am trying to do my best. After some night’s of programming, i finally had my cinematic system the way i want it. This system provides me with all kinds of stuff that i can use to automate the world, or just show dialogs to the player. All the cinematics will be loaded from Content XML files when they are needed. This way its easy to add new features and to adjust settings inside the cinematics.

Here is a short video of this system:

See it in HD on youtube

WordPress problems

By | Blog, XNA Games | No Comments

I seem to be having some wordpress problems here. As i cannot post any long posts anymore. I tried to solve it with a .htaccess file as they say of the forum, but this didn’t do the trick for me :(.

I hope i can fix this soon…

Edit: It seems to my host doesn’t like some words that i used to make up my story. In this particular story i used the word “in to” without the space.

Development Diary #01

By | Blog, XNA Games | One Comment

Ok so i guess it is time for an update regarding my upcoming game called “Wages Of War” (working title).

Here is a video showing off my latest build of the game:

See it in HD on youtube

What is new since my latest video showing you how to create the lightning system i use.

[list bullet="arrow"]
  • The lightning system has been updated with some small tweaks to make is visually a bit better.
  • Some basic AI has been added.
    • For now only a Bot and a Turret
    • Navigation paths and a pathplanner
    • Steeringbehaviours for the Bot – Path Following, Wander and Obstacle Avoidance for now.
  • Some more components have been added, now game object can also consists of multiple body parts (see Player and Bot).
  • Many texture updates, i still need to make all graphics myself so ;-). Also depth maps and normals maps have been created for all the textures.
  • A few more weapons have been added. This includes the Flame thrower and a Beam weapon.
  • Many updates to the editor i use. (see below)
  • An inventory screen has been added to make it a bit easier for me to select weapons
  • There should be some more points… but i cant seem to remeber them right now.

In the new video you should be able to see most of the new points i discussed here. If you want to know anything in particular, just ask :).

The Editor

The editor i created for this game is helping me alot. This also includes fast testing many times of new things i implemented, but also i can make levels is no time. The only problem i am facing so far are the textures :P, because i am not that great of an artist in creating textures.

I am not going to explain in detail what the editor is all about or what its features are so far, because this editor will likely stay for private use only and thus not really user friendly :).

Here are some screenshots of the current build of the editor:

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2D (Deferred) Lighting

By | Blog, XNA Games | 36 Comments

2D Lighting Posts :

Last weekend i spended most of my time trying to create a lightning effect for my xna game that would support more then three lights at the same time (i had all lightning inside one shader, inside an array) and still support SM2.0. So i began building my own lightning system and the basics of it are now ready. This lightning system will first render four different types of textures:

  • The Color Map of the entire scene
  • The Depth Map of this scene (where needed)
  • The Normal Maps of all the objects inside the scene (where needed)
  • A combined effect that will become my Light Map.

Here are some examples of my current effect in action:

[Following up post effect]

Read more: 2D Lightning Continued

Now it is time for some code and let you try to achieve the same effect in your project and/or game.

Before we begin we need to declare some variables that we will be using inside most of the code segments.


private RenderTarget2D _colorMapRenderTarget;
private RenderTarget2D _depthMapRenderTarget;
private RenderTarget2D _normalMapRenderTarget;
private RenderTarget2D _shadowMapRenderTarget;
private Texture2D _shadowMapTexture;
private Texture2D _colorMapTexture;
private Texture2D _normalMapTexture;
private Texture2D _depthMapTexture;

private VertexDeclaration _vertexDeclaration;
private VertexPositionTexture[] _vertices;

private Effect _lightEffect1;
private Effect _lightEffect2;

Before we can use any of these RenderTargets or Effects we must initialize or load them ofcourse. So before you do anything fancy with them, call the following initialization before you are going to render.


PresentationParameters pp = Globals.GraphicsDevice.PresentationParameters;
int width = pp.BackBufferWidth;
int height = pp.BackBufferHeight;
SurfaceFormat format = pp.BackBufferFormat;

_colorMapRenderTarget = new RenderTarget2D(graphicsDevice, width, height, 1, format);
_depthMapRenderTarget = new RenderTarget2D(graphicsDevice, width, height, 1, format);
_normalMapRenderTarget = new RenderTarget2D(graphicsDevice, width, height, 1, format);
_shadowMapRenderTarget = new RenderTarget2D(graphicsDevice, width, height, 1, format);

_lightEffect1 = Globals.ContentManager.Load<Effect>("ShadersLightningShadow");
_lightEffect2 = Globals.ContentManager.Load<Effect>("ShadersLightningCombined");

_vertices = new VertexPositionTexture[4];
_vertices[0] = new VertexPositionTexture(new Vector3(-1, 1, 0), new Vector2(0, 0));
_vertices[1] = new VertexPositionTexture(new Vector3(1, 1, 0), new Vector2(1, 0));
_vertices[2] = new VertexPositionTexture(new Vector3(-1, -1, 0), new Vector2(0, 1));
_vertices[3] = new VertexPositionTexture(new Vector3(1, -1, 0), new Vector2(1, 1));
_vertexDeclaration = new VertexDeclaration(Globals.GraphicsDevice, VertexPositionTexture.VertexElements);

Now that we have initialized and loaded the rendertargets and effect files, we can use them during our render process. The following steps will guide you through the rendering setup, altough i have my render setup like this you can always change this to your own needs. As long as you just get the three textures that are needed during the steps after this one.

ColorMap, DepthMap and NormalMap drawing:

// Set the render targets
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, _colorMapRenderTarget);

// Clear all render targets
graphicsDevice.Clear(ClearOptions.Target | ClearOptions.DepthBuffer, Color.Black, 1, 0);

// Draw your scene here

// Reset the render target
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, null);
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, _normalMapRenderTarget);

// Clear all render targets
graphicsDevice.Clear(ClearOptions.Target | ClearOptions.DepthBuffer, Color.Black, 1, 0);

// Draw all your normal maps here

graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, null);
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, _depthMapRenderTarget);

// Clear all render targets
graphicsDevice.Clear(ClearOptions.Target | ClearOptions.DepthBuffer, Color.Black, 1, 0);

// Draw all your depth maps here

// Deactive the rander targets to resolve them
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, null);

// Gather all the textures from the Rendertargets
_colorMapTexture = _colorMapRenderTarget.GetTexture();
_normalMapTexture = _normalMapRenderTarget.GetTexture();
_depthMapTexture = _depthMapRenderTarget.GetTexture();

Now you should have three textures containing the scene in color, normal and depth variants. Like these:

[pictureframe image="http://www.soolstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Lightning001.png" align="left" lightbox="true" title="" link="" width="300" height="224"] [pictureframe image="http://www.soolstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Lightning002.png" align="left" lightbox="true" title="" link="" width="300" height="224"] [pictureframe image="http://www.soolstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Lightning003.png" align="left" lightbox="true" title="" link="" width="300" height="224"]

With the normal and depth textures we will begin drawing our lightmap. Our lightmap render function will make use of the shadowmap render target and after the render the generated texture will be returned.

private Texture2D GenerateShadowMap()
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, _shadowMapRenderTarget);
graphicsDevice.Clear(ClearOptions.Target | ClearOptions.DepthBuffer, Color.Black, 1, 0);

graphicsDevice.RenderState.AlphaBlendEnable = true;
graphicsDevice.RenderState.SourceBlend = Blend.One;
graphicsDevice.RenderState.DestinationBlend = Blend.One;

// For every light inside the current scene, you can optimize this
// list to only draw the lights that are visible a.t.m.
foreach (var light in LightCollection)
_lightEffect1.CurrentTechnique = _lightEffect1.Techniques["DeferredPointLight"];


foreach (var pass in _lightEffect1.CurrentTechnique.Passes)

// Draw the full screen Quad
graphicsDevice.VertexDeclaration = _vertexDeclaration;
graphicsDevice.DrawUserPrimitives(PrimitiveType.TriangleStrip, _vertices, 0, 2);


// Deactivate alpha blending...
graphicsDevice.RenderState.AlphaBlendEnable = false;
// Deactive the rander targets to resolve them
graphicsDevice.SetRenderTarget(0, null);

return _shadowMapRenderTarget.GetTexture();

The HLSL code required to render this is as following. Please note that this only supports Point lights at the moment, i am working on implementing more.


float screenWidth;
float screenHeight;

float lightStrength;
float lightRadius;
float3 lightPosition;
float3 lightColor;

Texture NormalMap;
sampler NormalMapSampler = sampler_state {
	texture = <NormalMap>;
	magfilter = LINEAR;
	minfilter = LINEAR;
	mipfilter = LINEAR;
	AddressU = mirror;
	AddressV = mirror;

Texture DepthMap;
sampler DepthMapSampler = sampler_state {
	texture = <DepthMap>;
	magfilter = LINEAR;
	minfilter = LINEAR;
	mipfilter = LINEAR;
	AddressU = mirror;
	AddressV = mirror;

struct VertexToPixel
	float4 Position : POSITION;
	float2 TexCoord : TEXCOORD0;

struct PixelToFrame
	float4 Color : COLOR0;

VertexToPixel VertexToPixelShader(float4 inPos: POSITION0, float2 texCoord: TEXCOORD0)
	VertexToPixel Output = (VertexToPixel)0;

	Output.Position = inPos;
	Output.TexCoord = texCoord;

	return Output;

PixelToFrame PointLightShader(VertexToPixel PSIn) : COLOR0
	PixelToFrame Output = (PixelToFrame)0;

	float3 normal = tex2D(NormalMapSampler, PSIn.TexCoord).rgb;
	normal = normal*2.0f-1.0f;
	normal = normalize(normal);

	float depth = tex2D(DepthMapSampler, PSIn.TexCoord);

	float3 pixelPosition;
	pixelPosition.x = screenWidth * PSIn.TexCoord.x;
	pixelPosition.y = screenHeight * PSIn.TexCoord.y;
	pixelPosition.z = depth;
	//pixelPosition.w = 1.0f;

	float3 shading;
	if (depth > 0)
		float3 lightDirection = lightPosition - pixelPosition;
		float distance = 1 / length(lightPosition - pixelPosition) * lightStrength;
		float amount = max(dot(normal + depth, normalize(distance)), 0);

                float coneAttenuation = saturate(1.0f - length(lightDirection) / lightRadius);

		shading = distance * amount * coneAttenuation * lightColor;

	Output.Color = float4(shading.r, shading.g, shading.b, 1.0f);
	return Output;

technique DeferredPointLight
    pass Pass1
	VertexShader = compile vs_2_0 VertexToPixelShader();
        PixelShader = compile ps_2_0 PointLightShader();

The result you get should be somewhat similar to the following image:

[pictureframe image="http://www.soolstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Lightning004.png" align="left" lightbox="true" title="" link="" width="300" height="224"]

Our next step involves in combining the Lightning map you just created with the Color Map from our first step. This process will be done through our second shader. This shader will only be a Pixel Shader because i had some problems rendering in inside a full screen quad. The whole image would become blurry and now with only the Pixel Shader in effect results in a clean outcome.

The follow shader is just a simple shader that combines the two textures with each other.


float ambient;
float4 ambientColor;
float lightAmbient;

Texture ColorMap;
sampler ColorMapSampler = sampler_state {
	texture = <ColorMap>;
	magfilter = LINEAR;
	minfilter = LINEAR;
	mipfilter = LINEAR;
	AddressU = mirror;
	AddressV = mirror;

Texture ShadingMap;
sampler ShadingMapSampler = sampler_state {
	texture = <ShadingMap>;
	magfilter = LINEAR;
	minfilter = LINEAR;
	mipfilter = LINEAR;
	AddressU = mirror;
	AddressV = mirror;

float4 CombinedPixelShader(float4 color : COLOR0, float2 texCoords : TEXCOORD0) : COLOR0
	float4 color2 = tex2D(ColorMapSampler, texCoords);
	float4 shading = tex2D(ShadingMapSampler, texCoords);

	float4 finalColor = (color2 * ambientColor * ambient);

	finalColor += color2 * shading * lightAmbient;

	return finalColor;

technique DeferredCombined
    pass Pass1
        PixelShader = compile ps_2_0 CombinedPixelShader();

The actual drawing:

private void DrawCombinedMaps()
    _lightEffect2.CurrentTechnique = _lightEffect2.Techniques["DeferredCombined"];

    // This variable is used to boost to output of the light sources when they are combined
    // I found 4 a good value for my lights but you can also make this dynamic if you want

    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteBlendMode.None, SpriteSortMode.Immediate, SaveStateMode.None);
    foreach (var pass in _lightEffect2.CurrentTechnique.Passes)



You see that i draw the effect onto the scene just by using a spritebatch and drawing the color map onto the screen. This way i can just use the Pixel shader to draw the effect onto the screen, as i said before the full screen quad blurred my image and made it look bad. I guess there is a fix for this but i didn’t encounter it yet.

Now you should have the desired effect drawn onto your screen like in the images i posted at the beginning of this blog post. Please note that this is just the beginning and i am very sure that i can have some improvements here and stere, but i just wanted to share what i got right now with you all. If you encounter any difficulties applying this effect, please let me know and maybe we can find a solution for it :).

I hope you found this post usefull, until the next time :D.


I just finished up my SpotLight implementation. It currently looks like this:

[pictureframe image="http://www.soolstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Lightning009.png" align="left" lightbox="true" title="" link="" width="300" height="224"]

Game Object Component System

By | Blog, Featured, XNA Games | 10 Comments

Last time i updated with saying that i included a Game Object Component system. I have update this system, so that it uses interfaces instead of overriding virtual methods defined inside the GOComponent base class.

Here is a class diagram of my current state of the GO’s and GOC’s.

The Manager on the Top Left is optional, that is just a helper class to add new GO’s into the game and draw/update them when it is needed.

The following image show’s an object ingame, also don’t forget to visit here once you are done reading.

This object is made of several GOC’s that are attached to one GO. The following list is an overview of the type of GOC’s that are attached to this GO.

  • GOCOnHit – Makes my GO hittable
  • GOCPhysicsObject – Attaches a Physics Body/Geom to the GO
  • GOCTexture – Makes the GO visible for the player (Texture)
  • GOCHealth – Because its hittable, it will need a Health Pool :).

These four GOC’s make up most of my environment objects for now that can be destroyed by the player. All four derive from the GOComponent base class, but only some of them are implementing the Interfaces as you can see on the class diagram. Now when the object will be Hit by another Physics object, the Physics GOC’s will process the collision handler. If the collision is valid, a message will be broadcasted among all the GOC’s and they act according to that specific message. Here is another picture if i keep hammering it with my guns, it explodes when its health reaches zero:

All those green lines and dots around my GO’s come from the Farseer Physics debug viewer. Every Game Object that has a Physics Body attached to it can be debugged this way.

I can post some code if it is needed, but this code will mostly be focused on my needs inside the game. So if you do want to see some code, just post a reply and we will make it work :).