Unity 

CastleSoft are excited to announce that we now develop solutions using the Unity 3D platform.

Unity is a flexible and powerful development platform for creating multiplatform 3D and 2D games and interactive experiences. It's a complete ecosystem for anyone who aims to build a business on creating high-end content and connecting to their most loyal and enthusiastic players and customers.

Unity supports over 21 platforms which include:

For more details on the Unity 3D platform click here.

Posted by Andrew Tierney Monday, May 4, 2015 11:32:00 PM

MonoGame 3.4 Released 

April 29, 2015 by Tom Spilman

This is the official MonoGame 3.4 release. This release comes in less than a month and a half since the last release, but it still has 300 commits from 16 contributors full of fixes and new features!

This is a particularly special release as it includes the first support for Windows 10 Universal Apps and was timed to coordinate with the Build 2015 conference going on right now! With the new Windows UAP platform support you will be able to build a single game package that will work on Windows desktops, tablets, phones, Xbox One, and even Raspberry Pi. Note to use this release you need to install the latest Windows 10 SDK which will be released later today.

Also work is still ongoing for the Linux installer. You should either work with the zipped binaries above or building from source code when developing from Linux.

This is a short summary of the major changes in this release:

  • Removed old XNA content pipeline extensions.
  • Added all missing PackedVector types.
  • Replacement of old SDL joystick path with OpenTK.
  • Added SamplerState.ComparisonFunction feature to DX and OGL platforms.
  • Fixed bug where content importers would not be autodetected on upper case file extensions.
  • Fixed compatibility with XNA sound effect XNBs.
  • Lots of reference doc improvements.
  • Added SamplerState.BorderColor feature to DX and OGL platforms.
  • Lots of improvements to the Mac, Linux and Windows versions of the Pipeline GUI tool.
  • Fixes for bad key mapping on Linux.
  • Support for texture arrays on DX platforms.
  • Fixed broken ModelMesh.Tag
  • VS templates will now only install if VS is detected on your system.
  • Added Color.MonoGameOrange.
  • Fixed Xact SoundBack loading bug on Android.
  • Added support for a bunch of missing render states to MGFX.
  • Added support for sRGB texture formats to DX and OGL platforms.
  • Added RasterizerState.DepthClipEnable support for DX and OGL platforms.
  • New support for the Windows 10 UAP plafform.
  • Fixed bug which caused the GamePad left thumbstick to not work correctly.
  • Preliminary base classed for future Joystick API.
  • Performance improvement on iOS by avoiding unnessasary GL context changes.
  • Fixed bug where MediaPlayer volume affected all sounds.
  • New XamarinStudio/MonoDevelop Addin for Mac.
  • New Mac installer packages.
Posted by Andrew Tierney Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:25:00 PM

Xamarin Passes 1 Million Developer Milestone 

Post By  of Xamarin
Today we announced that over 1 million unique developers have downloaded Xamarin since we started shipping C# for iOS and Android in July 2011. In addition to passing this major milestone, we are excited to announce some amazing new features that you can get today.

Xamarin reaches 1 million downloads

Xamarin.Forms for Windows

Xamarin.Forms for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1

This March, we released Xamarin.Forms for Windows and Windows Phone Preview with a very positive response from developers. Today, we are pleased to announce the general availability of support for these platforms, enabling developers to build and ship Xamarin.Forms apps targeting all of the major mobile platforms from a single code base. Xamarin.Forms for Windows and Windows.Phone will be available to install via NuGet later today.

Hanselman.Forms on All Devices

Availability of Private Previews of Xamarin.Forms for Windows 10 UAP

In addition to the stable release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, we’re also announcing the start of a private preview of Xamarin.Forms for the Windows 10 Universal App Platform, enabling developers that build apps for all Windows platforms to share even more code. This is a very early preview and we’ll be making the Xamarin.Forms for Windows 10 pre-release packages available to small batches of developers over the coming weeks. If you’re interested in joining our preview program, please sign up here.

New Visual Studio Features

Code Completion for Xamarin.Forms XAML

Declarative UI development in Visual Studio gets even more powerful with code completion for Xamarin.Forms. Now you can easily explore Xamarin.Forms user interface APIs, quickly build complex screens, and avoid typos and other common mistakes while creating UIs in XAML.

XamlCodeCompletion

Microsoft Visual C++ Debugger Integration

We’ve worked with the Visual C++ team at Microsoft to make it easy to reference and debug C++ libraries in Xamarin.Android apps. In the Visual Studio 2015 Release Candidate, you will now find a new option to pick which debugger you would like to use when running your Xamarin.Android apps from the project’s property window. Simply choose Microsoft and you will be able to debug through your native C++ library with all of the debug features you know and love, including expression evaluation, watch window, and auto window.

DebugCppAndroid

Enhanced WatchKit Support

Our iOS designer in Visual Studio is now fully enabled for editing Apple Watch storyboards. Drag interface controllers and UI controls onto the storyboard from the Visual Studio Toolbox and configure properties on the Properties pad and use control + drag to move buttons, tables, or interface controllers onto another interface controller to create segues.

watchdesigner-vs

iOS Binding Projects

When developing iOS projects in Visual Studio, you might encounter cases where you want to consume a third-party Objective-C library. In those situations, you can now use Xamarin.iOS Binding Projects in Visual Studio to create a C# binding that will allow you to consume the library in your Xamarin.iOS apps.

Get Started With Xamarin Today

Join over 1 million developers by downloading your free trial of Xamarin to build native iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows apps today. Then, head over to our developer portal where you’ll find samples, documentation, and upcoming events to help you get started with Xamarin.

Posted by Andrew Tierney Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:06:00 PM

Microsoft launches Visual Studio Code, cross-platform code editor for OS X, Linux and Windows 

At its Build 2015 developer conference, Microsoft has announced a new member of its Visual Studio family of products, a code editor called Visual Studio Code. It is a cross-platform, lightweight environment that developers can use to do basic tasks from any machine running Windows, a Linux distribution, or OS X.

This is a major milestone for Microsoft, and is the first time they have released a truly cross-platform code editor, that allows developers to use whatever operating system they wish to, and shows the company's growing commitment to supporting other platforms.

Visual Studio Code is not a fully featured IDE, but according to Microsoft's Scott Hanselman, a lot of developers on other platforms are perfectly fine with using even very simple tools such as Sublime Text. Now they have an official tool from Microsoft that is lightweight, but which works well for their basic needs, supports numerous programming languages out of the box, and is integrated with Visual Studio Online.

Some of the features included in the free Visual Studio Code are syntax highlighting, customizable keyboard bindings, bracket matching and snippets. The editor also supports working with Git out of the box, which will likely please a lot of developers out there.

The announcement of Visual Studio Code is a very welcome addition to the Visual Studio family, and another positive step for the Redmond giant, demonstrating its commitment to developers and its readiness to support them on any major platform they happen to use.

Posted by Andrew Tierney Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:58:00 AM

LOLLIPOP SUPPORT COMES TO THE XAMARIN ANDROID PLAYER 

By Miguel de Icaza

Waiting for an emulator to boot or deploy is one of the most frustrating things about Android development. We built the Xamarin Android Player to provide a high-performance, hassle-free Android simulator, and to make Android development smooth and pleasant.

Introducing Lollipop Support

Starting today, when you launch the Xamarin Android Player you will see a brand new device image for Android 5.1 Lollipop enabling you to test against all of the latest Lollipop APIs with Material Design.

Xamarin Android Player Lollipop

Help us improve

We released our first preview in October of last year and thousands of Xamarin developers have already used it to build and test Android apps. We’ve collected a lot of feedback, and the experience has already improved a lot.

But we’re not done! Our goal is to install the Xamarin Android Player by default with Xamarin, and to replace the stock Google Android emulator with it. And we need your help. Please download the Xamarin Android Player today and give it a try. Report any issues that you find so that we can keep improving.

To learn more about the Xamarin Android Player, be sure to read the fulldocumentation on how to get started.

Posted by Andrew Tierney Friday, April 24, 2015 10:15:00 AM

XAMARIN’S GOT GAME (DEVELOPMENT) 

By Victor Chelaru

If you’re new to game development, you may be wondering what framework is right for you. Luckily for C# and F# developers, Xamarin supports a wide range of powerful options like SceneKit and SpriteKit on iOS, as well as cross-platform frameworks including OpenTK, CocosSharp, and MonoGame.

For developers just getting started, we recently published several articles that provide an Introduction to Game Development with Xamarin based on CocosSharp and MonoGame.
 

Bastion

Bastion, the chart-topping iOS and Mac app, was built with MonoGame

If you’re not familiar withMonoGame, it’s a game development framework based on Microsoft’s XNA. As opposed to a full game engine, using MonoGame may require setup code to perform some simple tasks, as well as an understanding of computer graphics theory. MonoGame is a good choice if:

 

  • You’re familiar with the Microsoft XNA framework
  • You’re interested in 3D graphics, lighting, or shaders (custom code that is executed by the graphics card for advanced visual effects)
  • You’re extending or porting an existing XNA game to additional platforms
  • You’re interested in learning about graphics programming – MonoGame shares rendering concepts with other rendering APIs like DirectX and OpenGL

 

Angry Ninjas

Source for Angry Ninjas, a complete game written with CocosSharp, is available on GitHub

Alternatively, CocosSharp is a full game engine that provides classes and methods for performing the most common game development tasks. It’s the preferred approach if:

 

  • You’re interested in creating 2D games
  • You’re familiar with the native Cocos2D game engine
  • You’re looking for the shortest path to a working game

If you’d like to learn more about developing cross-platform 2D games with CocosSharp and Xamarin, check out the video below from Channel 9 and Xamarin Developer Evangelist James Montemagno:

Click here for the Video

 
If you’ve ever wanted to make games, either professionally or as a hobbyist, our game development guides are a great place to get started today.
Posted by Andrew Tierney Thursday, April 23, 2015 12:01:00 PM

Almost 20 Years.. 

On the 26th May 2015, CastleSoft will have been a company for 20 years.

As we approach this date, we hope to deliver a few surprises and announcements !!!!

So watch this space, as we head towards the 20 year mark.

Posted by Andrew Tierney Tuesday, April 14, 2015 8:22:00 PM

Sync Fusion 2015 Vol1 released 

Syncfusion has released Essential Studio 2015 Volume 1

 

With a new Powerpoint Presentation control:

New File Explorer control:

New Xamarin.IOS datagrid

And lots lots more..

A great release from Syncfusion... 

Posted by Andrew Tierney Saturday, April 4, 2015 10:30:00 PM

“Silver” - Swift for .NET 

Silver is a free implementation of Apple's Swift programming language.

With Silver, you can use Swift to write code directly against the .NET, Java, Android and Cocoa APIs. And you can also share a lot of non-UI code between platforms.

Background

Built on over ten years of solid compiler knowledge and technology, Silver is a truly native Swift compiler for the .NET CLR, the Java/Android JVM and the Cocoa runtime.

Silver supports three platforms, but is decidedly not cross-platform, focusing on letting you leverage the Swift language natively for each individual platform, rather than encouraging mediocre cross-platform apps. With Silver, you can share your language and tool expertise, and you can share a lot of back-end business logic code – but you will use it to write apps targeted at each platform individually. Why? Because that's how great apps are made.

Development Environment

Silver is not just a compiler, but a complete toolchain and development environment for creating apps.

For developers working on Windows, Silver integrates deeply with the state-of-the-art Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 IDEs from Microsoft (included for free).

For developers on the Mac, Silver comes with Fire, our own development environment designed from the ground up for the Elements compiler and for light-weight, productive work on the Mac.

Docs

Dive into the Silver documentation at docs.elementscompiler.com/Silver.

 

 

Silver in Action

Help us Support Silver

RemObjects Silver is absolutely free of charge to use, both during the current beta period, and once we release the shipping version.

We're a small company. We have (and continue to) operated self-funded and self-financed for over ten years now, and we have no large backers nor millions of venture capital to finance product development, but we still do need to pay for salaries, rent, test hardware, infrastructure and many other things.

We've always relied on our product revenue for these costs, so making a major new product free is a big change and a big gamble for us. If you like Silver and believe in what we are doing with the product, we'd love for you to consider supporting its development with a small (or not-so-small) financial contribution.

 

Contribute: $9 $99 $499 $999 $4999  

 

Any level of contribution will earn you our eternal gratitude. Contributing $499 or more will give you private access to our weekly alpha/beta builds and allow you to be more closely involved with the product team for a year.

Contributing $999 or more will also give you premium email support for a year. Contributing $4999 or more will give you and your company direct access to a contact on the Elements product team via email and IM, and priority consideration for your bug reports and feature requests.

Posted by Andrew Tierney Wednesday, April 1, 2015 12:09:00 AM

MICROSOFT BAND SDK + XAMARIN 

 

Band-fans were happy to see Microsoft release their Java Android SDK for Microsoft Band a few weeks ago, and their Objective-C iOS SDK this week. Xamarin was then able to almost immediately release the Microsoft Band SDK component for iOS and Android, giving you the same functionality but entirely in C# for all three mobile platforms...

I decided to give it a try, converting my "magic eight ball" apps for Xamarin.Forms and Apple Watch to the Band. The idea is: you shake your wrist and the "prediction" appears on the Band!
 

It works because there is an Android app running on the paired phone, using the Band SDK. The app is tracking the Band's accelerometer, and using the readings to decide when you've shaken your wrist a couple of times.

When the shake-detection is triggered, the app picks a random number, pushes a new Tile onto the Band (if it doesn't already exist), and then sends a message for the tile with a random "prediction".

The Android app is simple, it contains only a Connect button to connect to the Band, and a Vibrate button to test the connection (plus a label that displays the "prediction" text that is sent to the Band).
 

The code for this Android sample is available on github, hopefully I'll get the iOS version running soon.

If you want to get more info about developing for the Band, check out Matt's detailed blogpost with code.
 


Finally, Microsoft built a quite detailed Android app that demonstrates all aspects of their SDK, and Matt did an amazing job of porting it to Xamarin - check that out too!
 
  
Posted by Andrew Tierney Wednesday, April 1, 2015 12:06:00 AM
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