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XNA Development Question

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On the old school XBOX 360s – there was a user interface that had the user selections ‘sitting on top’ of a sphere, and the sphere rotated around rapidly, allowing you – the user – to zip through items in a 3d sense. It was actually quite cool.

xbox-live-dashboard-update_1

Now afterwards, Microsoft ‘downgraded’/and dumbed down the User Interface for the XBOX 360 to its current ’tiled’ version.

Here’s how that looks:

TILED

It’s downright ugly, right?

Now I am currently developing a 3d user interface, and making my own version of ‘Windows’ which leverages the old school feel of the XBOX 360, but making it more practical to introduce both gamers corporate people into 3d worlds.

But here’s the thing. I am having an issue drawing the ‘sphere’ the little 3d characters, books, and other things ‘sit on’, and getting this to appear correct is kind of imperative…

Specifically: The ‘Floor’ of the ‘menu’ is a sphere, and a very responsive one at that.

I drew arrows on this image to illustrate:

Sphere

 

Now what I would like to do is – create a sphere – just like this user interface has.

Now the problem with computers and 3d programming is – you’re forced to do things in discrete chunks.

Meaning – in real life, you would take a protractor, and trace a contiguous line around a single point.

Now in a computer, One method of drawing a circle is applied Pythagorean Theorem – which calculates positions offset from the center based on the radius, and creating a triangle and then calculating the values the ‘x’ and ‘y’ points based on a theorem which leverages the number ‘pi’.

But WHERE the hell did PI come from?

The circle or sphere created through a computer program – if you enlarge it – you can see the ‘lines’ drawn that trace the circle.

To my awareness, there is no way to draw this circle.

Yet THERE IT IS with Microsoft’s old XBOX 360 menu.

So here’s my higher resolution sphere:

Sphere

Now looking at this one. It’s obvious that when I enlarge it. you plainly see the line segments which demonstrate the application of the Pythagorean Theorem in order to draw that sphere..

SphereIt’s irregular. You can see the line segments. Which is going to look like absolute shit in a menu like Microsoft’s.

So clearly they didn’t draw the sphere the same way.

Now I have come to realize that – it SHOULD be possible to draw a sphere on a computer with only two things – an x and y location and a radius. Where PI should NOT even be a part of the equation.

In theory.

How in THE FUCK did Microsoft do this?

What Microsoft did cannot be done with binary processing.

The goal is to develop a circle without having to reference PI.

HOW?

I suspect why Microsoft may have ‘downgraded’ it’s user interface.

With our current level of math and what we know.

What they had done with that previous user interface shouldn’t have been possible.

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