Muddle Puzzle


Last year I set myself a challenge to see if I could write a game in Unity, and sell it. So I decided to write a small sliding puzzle game called Muddle Puzzle. I used the professional version of Unity 5.3.x, Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition and C#. It was an interesting experience, and now the game is released on itch.io. The URL to buy the game is: http://yewtree.itch.io/muddle-puzzle. You can view the video below to see the Muddle Puzzle gameply.

Tesla Themes


If you use WordPress and are looking for some great themes, then a company called Tesla Themes provides beautiful, modern WordPress themes with clean design, powerful features and great support.

They also have an affiliate scheme that provides you with revenue generating links to their website.

Tesla Themes provides Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Authorize.NET payment methods. There are three packages: starter, developer, and lifetime.

The starter package costs $48 per theme, and is perfect for beginners. With this package you get a single theme, unlimited domains, free weekly updates, technical support, extensive documentation, and HTML theme files.

The developer package costs $79 per year, and is perfect for developers. With this packet you get all 41 current themes, unlimited domains, free weekly updates, technical support, extensive documentation, all HTML themes, 18+ new themes per year and access to PSD files.

The lifetime package costs $199 and is a one time payment. This package is perfect for agencies. With this package you get all 41 current themes, unlimited domains, free weekly updates, technical support, extensive documentation, all HTML themes, 18+ new themes per year, all PSD files, and lifetime access.

Fresh Store Builder: Build An Amazon Store The Easy Way


Fresh Store Builder is the easy way to build an Amazon store. To see an example of an Amazon Store built with Fresh Store Builder, have a look at AJS Computer Bookstore.

To get started with Fresh Store Builder you will need a domain name and web host capable of hosting MySQL databases and PHP-based websites. It will also help if you have a PayPal account and Google Analytics account. The whole process is relatively straight-forward.  You can view the FSB Demonstration Site before you purchase, and if you like what you see you can place an order for Fresh Store Builder.

If you do go ahead and purchase Fresh Store Builder, you will be provided with download links to the software and video tutorials that are very helpful in getting you started. When your site is finally setup, you will have a control panel that allows you to change themes, site settings, products and categories, and auto-population of categories based on criteria that you specify.

Fresh Store Builder is a very easy to use store builder, once you have learned to use it. It is inevitable however, that at some point in the lifetime of your new store created with FSB that you may need technical support. As a member of the FSB community, you will have access to excellent technical support, and a very active user community. So help is close at hand if you find yourself becoming unstuck.

Happy store building.

Xna 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginner’s Guide


XNA 4.0 Game Development By Example authored by Kurt Jaegers is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn XNA 4.0 games development. As you work through the book you develop some games including Flood Control, Astroid Belt Assault, Robot Rampage, and Gemstone Hunter.

This book comes in two versions one for Visual Basic .NET programmers, and the other for C# programmers. The good thing about this book is that it is very easy to read, and the examples are easy to follow. For anyone new to games programming this is a good place to start

Silverlight UserControl Binding to Object Properties


On your main user control create a member variable for your object. Your object will need to implement the INotifyPropertyChanged interface. In your constructor, set the data context to the member variable. Your child user control will need to provide a dependency property and implement the INotifyPropertyChanged interface. Place your child user control on to the main user control, and set its binding in XAML to the name of the property, and set its mode to two way: Text="{Binding MyDataProperty, Mode="TwoWay}".

Silverlight UserControl Type Not Defined Exception


I have had a really frustrating day and a half trying to get a Silverlight UserControl to work in another project of mine. The solution consists of an ASP.NET website with domainservices made available to a number of Silverlight applications. The Silverlight UserControl was properly namespaced, inline with all the other projects. But could I add it to my Silverlight applications. NO!

I knew it had to be something to do with namespace issues, and I tried all sorts. In the end I managed to solve the issue with the help of my senior colleague.

The solution was as follows.

Here are the original namespaces of the web host project, and the UserControl respectively:

  • Lucid.Online.Assessments.Server (the web host)
  • Lucid.Controls.Silverlight.BlockButton (the user control)

Here are the modified namespaces:

  • LucidOnline.Assessments.Server (the web host)
  • Lucid.Controls.Silverlight.BlockButton (the user control)

Just one period caused all that hassle! Why? I don’t understand why. But at least this has fixed my issue.

So if you get the Type ” undefined exception, just check your namespaces.

Silverlight with WCF Services and SQL LocalDB Development and Deployment using CassiniDev.


Problem: You are required to deploy a Silverlight application that accesses a database via WCF Services onto a standalone computer that does not have IIS, IIS Express, or SQL Server Express installed.  Your end users are people with very limited or no real technical background that find even simple day-to-day IT tasks difficult. What database and web server do you use, and how can you make the installation as easy as possible for your end users with little, or preferably no configuration?

Solution.

  • Install SQL Server 2012 or higher on your development computer.
  • Connect to the LocalDb server instance in management studio using: (localdb)\v11.0.
  • Create a new query and enter the following command to create     your database:

    create database databaseName on (name=’databaseName’, filename=’fileLocation\fileName.mdf’)

  • Create your tables.
  • Create a new Visual Studio Silverlight with WCF RIA Services project.
  • Right click on the web project and select Manage NuGet Packages…
  • Select the online option and type entityframework.
  • Install EntityFramework.
  • Add a model.  The server name should be: (localdb)\v11.0.
  • Build your project.
  • Create your domain service.
  • Build your project.
  • In your Silverlight application import the System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Client namespace, and the namespace of your web project.
  • Create a member variable for your domain context and IEnumerable of your domain object.
  • In the appropriate method that will instantiate the domain service add the relevant EntityQuery and LoadOperation lines of code.
  • Add you method that will handle the LoadOperation.Completed event, check that args is not nothing.
  • Use your entities as required.
  • Now add a Windows Form application.
  • Download and install CassiniDev.
  • In your Windows Forms application add a reference to the CassiniDev4-lib.dll.
  • For the tutorial on Using CassiniDev to host ASP.NET in your application.
  • Build your solution.
  • Copy the deployable portions of the web project into the WebContent folder located in the Windows Forms executable’s root folder.

On the client computer that you are going to deploy the solution on you will need to install:

  • Silverlight 5;
  • the .NET Framework 4.02 update (NDP40-KB2544514-x86-x64.exe);
  • and the SQL Server Local Database (SqlLocalDB.msi).

There is the Express Edition of InstallShield which is free to use.  Use this to create a Basic MSI project that will silently install the above components, and copy your application onto the client computer.  Create a desktop shortcut.  Run the executable from the shortcut to test that the application is working.