Animating the Xbox 360 Avatar Gadget

Thanks to a very helpful user of the gadget (goes by the name of Dave), I have been informed that animating the avatar within the gadget may be possible.  Apparently, the Xbox Live site currently hosts the animated version of the avatar in a Silverlight plugin and since gadgets are merely glorified, miniature web apps that live on the desktop, using Silverlight in a gadget is completely possible and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the gadget.  However, since gadgets are slowly being fazed out with Windows 8’s new “metro app framework”, this gadget will likely not see any significant revamping other than to add animation to the avatar.

On the bright side though, if there is enough support, I will consider writing a new Windows 8 dockable app that may be able to serve as a logical evolution of the Xbox 360 Avatar Gadget.  I’ll have to see what the final version of Windows 8 holds and how the new app ecosystem develops.  I’m curious to see how the current Windows 7 Gadget Platform will change (or if it doesn’t) for Windows 8 and what the usefulness will be for having gadgets live on the “old” desktop that will be overshadowed by Windows 8’s new Start/Home Screen.

Anyway, I’m currently working on writing a new version of the Xbox 360 Avatar Gadget that will utilize Silverlight (which can leverage XNA libraries to animate and control the avatar in many useful ways).  The new version of the gadget will likely be remarkably different so I will not simply replace the current unanimated one with the new animated one, just in case some people have problems with the animated version.

Stay tuned!

About Aaron

Avid computer software programmer and all around digital designer. I live for the challenge and excitement of computers and bending them to my will. Computers are a canvas for creating fantastic pieces of art that millions of people can interact with worldwide. That alone is reason enough to be a digital designer.
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10 Responses to Animating the Xbox 360 Avatar Gadget

  1. circuitboardsymphony says:

    This is excellent news; I’ve been feverishly hunting for just what you’re working on. When can we expect a build of this?

  2. circuitboardsymphony says:

    This is excellent news, as I’ve been hunting feverishly for exactly this. How long have you been working on this? Can we expect a build of the project soon?

    • Aaron says:

      Thanks for your interest in the gadget. I just recently started looking at updating the gadget for animating it using Silverlight. You can expect the new version to be done sometime next week (barring any unusual technical difficulties). Stay tuned!

      • circuitboardsymphony says:

        You’re a speed demon, I was expecting a couple months at the least! Then again, I’m not a programmer or digital designer…

  3. circuitboardsymphony says:

    Don’t know if this could apply to the project at all, and I don’t mean to waste your time, but *maybe* this can help? I won’t post links again…

    • Aaron says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I’m not sure I will need to make it an “Out-of-Browser” app, but I will keep this info in mind if I run into any problems. Thanks again for the great info!

  4. Sidney says:

    You really constructed several fantastic tips within your posting, “Animating the Xbox
    360 Avatar Gadget | The 2K Technica”. I am going to possibly be returning to ur site in the
    near future. Thx ,Marsha

    • Aaron says:

      Thanks Sidney, I’m just now seeing this comment after years of being away from WordPress. Reading your comment made my day. Life got busy fast leaving no time for blogging. I hope to return to it soon.

  5. Don says:

    The suspense is killing me… Does this continue somewhere else?

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Don, you’re the first person to fall victim to “suspense” from this post. 🙂 Unfortunately, I haven’t continued development on this gadget or its story. Right now, it lives on as a simple Windows Vista/7 desktop gadget and it does what it was originally intended to do…show a full-sized static image of your Xbox 360 avatar. I can see no further motive for continuing development of this gadget right now as I have a more demanding and involved project on the horizon. I will be ready to write a blog post about it soon. 🙂

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