Professional XNA Programming: Building Games for Xbox 360 and Windows with Xna Game Studio 2. 0by Benjamin Nitschke
Before you know
This improved and updated edition of the bestseller will get you up and running quickly with building games for Xbox 360 and the Windows platform. Professional game developer and Microsoft MVP Benjamin Nitschke begins by explaining how to install the free XNA Game Studio 2.0 and then goes on to share essential advice for using it in a productive way.
Before you know it, each successive chapter will have you developing small games that increase in difficulty. By using the chapters as building blocks, you'll evolve from 2D programming to 3D, and you'll ultimately create a full-blown graphics engine that can be used for more advanced game projects. Plus, you'll get an inside look at six fully functional games, including the popular Racing Game and the new Dungeon Quest.
What you will learn from this book
- Tips for adding music and sound with XACT
- Techniques for creating unique visual effects through Shaders
- Ways to access keyboard, mouse, and Xbox controllers with XInput
- How to write your own XNA graphics engine and create a game engine
- How to manage content in XNA
- Myriad ways of fine-tuning, debugging, and troubleshooting
- How to make sure games run on the Xbox 360
- Ways to generate landscapes and tracks
- How to take advantage of XNA's new networking APIs
Who this book is for
This book is for anyone who wants to create games on the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms. Experience with C# or a similar .NET language is necessary, but previous game programming is not required.
Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.
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Meet the Author
Benjamin Nitschke is the founder, lead programmer, and game designer at exDream entertainment. He is 26 years old, and lives in Hannover, Germany. He became a DirectX MVP of Microsoft in 2006 for his outstanding work in the DirectX community, especially with the free game Rocket Commander.
He started young — at the age of 9 he bought his first computer, a C64. He did not have many games, but he was very eager to type in commands on the C64, and from that to writing the first applications and games in Basic was not a big step. A few years later, he finally got a PC (386) and started some small game projects (Tetris clones, shoot-em-up games, and so on). exDream entertainment was founded 10 years ago, and it released a couple of smaller games before the first RTS game, Arena Wars, was created. Arena Wars was the first commercial .NET game ever and was released in 2004, where it received more than 20 awards worldwide, especially for the great multiplayer modes.
Recently, Benjamin has developed a couple of free open source games such as Rocket Commander and the XNA Racing Game Starter Kit, along with many game modifications. These games feature many video tutorials and a good documentation and code style to help beginners create their first video games. The video tutorials have been viewed more than 100,000 times and the games were downloaded and played even more often than that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The book is well organized, using many examples with additional sources available from wrox.com. I am new to C#, but well-experienced in C++ and Java. This book avoids focusing on language differences and sticks to the original purpose of familiarization with XNA API's and sound game logic.
It has plenty of examples that are thoroughly explained and does not burden the reader by interlacing reference material in the content. This is not a reference book. It is a cover-to-cover lesson book that is easy to follow and gradually increases in intensity by chapter. The reader is immersed in full-blown 2D game examples as early as the second and third chapters. Follow the examples, attempt the suggested manipulations as well as some of your own, compare and contrast your version with the author's sources from his website, invest a little creativity, and this book gives you a jump-start in writing game engines using an iterative process.
I would recommend "Professional XNA Programming" to intermediate-level programmers as opposed to beginners. The author does not waste your time holding your hand through rudimentary language syntax, and if you are familiar with C++ or Java the examples fill in most blanks you'll need for C# in this context.
I am also recommending "Professional C# 2008" as a reference for those who feel less comfortable with the language. It is helpful to be familiar with the .NET Framework at an entry level before beginning XNA.