DirectX Technical Articles

This section contains a series of technical articles about developing games for Microsoft Windows.

In this section

Topic Description
64-bit programming for Game Developers
This article addresses compatibility and porting issues and helps developers ease their transition to 64-bit platforms.
Authenticode Signing for Game Developers
This article discusses how to get started with authenticating your game and how to integrate authentication into a daily build process.
Best Security Practices in Game Development
This article discusses best practices to use in game development.
Cascaded Shadow Maps
Cascaded shadow maps (CSMs) are the best way to combat one of the most prevalent errors with shadowing: perspective aliasing.
Coding For Multiple Cores on Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows
This topic gives some advice on how to get started with multithreaded programming.
Common Techniques to Improve Shadow Depth Maps
This technical article provides an overview of some common shadow depth map algorithms and common artifacts, and explains several techniques ranging in difficulty from basic to intermediate that can be used to increase the quality of standard shadow maps.
Crash Dump Analysis
This technical article provides info about how to write and use a minidump.
Debugging with Symbols
This article provides a high level overview of how to best use symbols in your debugging process.
Direct3D 10 Frequently Asked Questions
This article contains some of the frequently asked questions surrounding Direct3D 10 from the point of view of a developer who is porting an existing application from Direct3D 9 (D3D9) to Direct3D 10 (D3D10).
DirectX Frequently Asked Questions
This article contains a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Microsoft DirectX.
DirectX Installation for Game Developers
This article is intended to address some of the common questions about the DirectX runtime, and using DirectSetup to install DirectX.
Disabling Shortcut Keys in Games
This articles describes how to temporarily disable keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Windows to prevent disruption of game play for full screen games.
Game Timing and Multicore Processors
This article suggests a more accurate, reliable solution to obtain high-resolution CPU timings by using the Windows APIs QueryPerformanceCounter and QueryPerformanceFrequency.
Games for Windows Technical Requirements
This article provides technical requirements and best practices for games that run on Windows.
Games for Windows Test Cases
This article provides test cases for games for Windows.
Gaming with Least-Privileged User Accounts
This article describes how games developers can author Microsoft Windows games that work well with least-privileged user accounts (also known as limited-user accounts).
Install-on-Demand for Games
This technical article discusses two techniques, install-on-demand and background install, using Windows Installer.
Installation and Maintenance of Games
This article describes a set of best practices that can help reduce user frustration about the time required to install a game, prevent unnecessary support calls, and allow users to start playing your game as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Lockless Programming Considerations for Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows
This article gives an overview of some of the issues to consider when trying to use lockless programming techniques.
Installation Best Practices for Massively Multiplayer Online Games
This article describes creating a chain of trust design for Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) client installation and custom game update systems that work well with Windows and the security model of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Installing and Using Input Method Editors
This article offers a tutorial for how to install and use the standard Windows Input Method Editor (IME).
Introduction to the 10-Foot Experience for Windows Game Developers
This article introduces the 10-foot experience and explores the list of things that you should consider first about this new interaction pattern, even if you aren't expecting your game to be played this way.
Making Video Games Accessible: Business Justifications and Design Considerations
This article is for game content developers and producers who want to reach the accessibility community market by adding basic accessibility features to help people with disabilities or impairments.
Optimizing DVD performance for Windows Games
This article discusses how to optimize DVD performance for Windows games.
Patching Game Software in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
This article examines some methods of patching that will work well in Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well as Windows XP.
Resource Management Best Practices
This article discusses best practices for dealing with resources generally, how managed and unmanaged resources behave, and provides some detail on how resources are typically handled by the runtime and drivers.
Simplifying Game Installation
This article outlines some concepts that developers of games for Windows can and should implement to improve the overall experience.
Taking Advantage of High-Definition Mouse Movement
This article focuses on the best way to optimize the performance of high-definition mouse input in a game like a first-person shooter.
The Direct3D Transformation Pipeline
This article provides a technical explanation for Direct3D application developers on how to set the parameters of the Direct3D Transformation Pipeline by the direct manipulation of Direct3D matrices.
Top Issues for Windows Titles
This article highlights many of the common issues we've seen in current-generation PC games.
Top Tools and Techniques for Making More Robust Windows Games
This articles describes tools and techniques that you can use to help reduce the number of support calls you receive.
User Account Control for Game Developers
This article describes the guidelines and best practices for game developers to work effectively with the User Account Control (UAC) security feature introduced in Windows Vista.
Using an Input Method Editor in a Game
This article explains how you can implement a basic IME edit control in a full-screen DirectX application.
Windows Firewall for Game Developers
This article describes the Windows Firewall - why it exists, what it accomplishes, and how it does so. Most importantly, it describes how to configure your game to work well with the firewall.
Windows Games Explorer for Game Developers
This article outlines the process of registering a game with Games Explorer and parental controls on Windows Vista and Windows 7 by using the new GDF schema.
Windows Installer for Game Developers
This article gives an overview of Windows Installer, specifically targeted to game developers. For detailed documentation on the features and APIs mentioned in this article, please refer to the Windows Platform SDK.