Using Wacom Touch Gestures in Unsupported Applications

I’ve recently made the decision to learn some drawing skills. Specifically, I wanted to start with a tablet right away so I could avoid having to re-teach myself to using a tablet instead of paper. However, I still consider it important to be able to shift and rotate the canvas with my hand, so I went for a Wacom tablet with touch.

Most artists I knew swear by Paint Tool SAI, but that just happens to be one of the applications not fully supported by Wacom’s drivers (pressure works fine, but touch is a no-go). Luckily, Wacom’s drivers are pretty flexible and you can easily modify them to support your favorite application.

Here’s a guide to enable pinch-zoom, panning and two-finger rotation in Paint Tool SAI and Manga Studio!

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How to Consume DLLs in Visual C++

For the C++ game programmer, there’s a huge collection of Open Source and commercial libraries available doing all kinds of things from simulating physics, reading common image formats or storing your data to rendering cutting-edge 3D graphics. But consuming those libraries in you own applications is often accompanied with a bit of hazzle since you need to point your linker to the right import libraries, copy the right DLLs into your project’s output directory and add the directory containing the matching headers to your compiler’s "include" directories.

It will get a little harder even when you target the Windows 8 App Store, where you need to provide binaries compiled for 3 platforms: x86, x64 and arm. I’ve been using C++ for over 10 years now and over time, I have come up with a method for organizing and consuming libraries that has served me very well.

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Logo of the XNA Game Game Architecture tutorial series, three interlocked gears

Game Architecture Day 1

Stylish logo of two engaged gears with the text XNA Game Architecture

Welcome to day 1 of the XNA Game Architecture series! We’re about to create a small 3D Shoot ’em Up using the principles of modern software architecture.

If you missed the introduction, this series is about the architecture of games. Instead of focusing on a single concept, we’ll be focusing at how it all comes together and how you can keep your game’s code manageable and clean. You’ll be looking over my shoulder as I write a small game and explain why I do things one way and not the other :)

Today, I will start the project by creating a development tree that contains the actual XNA project and some third-party libraries I’m going to use within the game. Normally, I would add those libraries as I go, but I’ve got a pretty clear idea for this project and it will be easier for you because I can just package them all in a handy zip archive which you’ll find at the end of this article.

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Game Architecture Series

Stylish logo of two engaged gears with the text XNA Game Architecture


I’m planning to start a short article series:

There are a lot of XNA tutorials out there that explain the basics – how to display a sprite, how to do collision detection and how to render a bunch of colorful particles with additive blending. But there aren’t many articles that explain to you how you’re supposed to put it all together – how to structure a game so that it is easy to extend and remains manageable when the amount of code begins to grow.

The discipline that deals with this issue is called software architecture. Like programming, or any other creative process, it relies a lot on tacit knowledge – finding a good solution without first running down an alley of dead ends (that you can identify using the Principles of Object-Oriented Design) requires a lot of experience.

What I will do in this series is let you look over my shoulder as I design a small game and try to explain my motivations for choosing one design over another while I do so. This will give you a solid starting point and an understanding of the design process that you can apply to your own game projects.