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Zune Game Development using XNA 3.0 [Paperback]

Crystal Waters

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Book Description

March 15 2009 Expert's Voice in XNA

XNA 3.0 is the latest incarnation of Microsofts game development environment for the Xbox360, PC and now Zune. The Zune mobile device is Microsofts recently launched competitor to Apples iPod range, offering many of the same features and services to an iPod but with additional features such as wireless music synchronization, far better Windows Vista integration and the ability to host XNA games.

The tools required for Zune XNA development are downloadable from Microsoft at no cost, ensuring that the platform appeals to both hobbyists and professional developers alike. The XNA user-base has grown quickly and steadily since the technologys first release in 2006 and is now beginning to mature into a vibrant community with regular presentations at gaming conferences and appearances in keynotes at other Microsoft events.

This book uniquely focuses on the particular challenges that creating games for mobile Zune devices with limited processing power, small screens and low graphics power poses. As such it is calculated to appeal to large audience of gaming enthusiasts that want to build multi-player mobile games that they can share with their friends.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (March 15 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430218614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430218616
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 17.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,279,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dan Watersis an academic developer evangelist at Microsoft. He has served as a developer and architect, both professionally and for fun, for over 10 years in a variety of industries. He resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife and daughter. He enjoys gaming, golf, web design, and writing music for guitar, piano, bass, and drums.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Learning XNA and Basic Game Development, too bad Zune HD came out already. May 13 2011
By Emily Egeland - Published on Amazon.com
For someone that did not know much about C# and XNA before this, I felt that this was a great learning experience. Not only did the author explore game development concepts, but he explained C# and XNA to the reader, ensuring that they understood all topics.

One of my pet peeves with this book, amongst other programming books I've read, is that the author will give you their code to copy. To really understand how a language works, or how the algorithms are structured, I feel you need to figure it out on your own. Everyone learns differently, and unfortunately that learning style was not for me. To make up for the code given to you, the author does include questions that cover the chapter just finished, to ensure that you understand what is going on. He also thoroughly breaks down each line of code to explain exactly what it does. The concepts he provides in the code are described before the code is shown.

Some exercises that were included were making a card game and writing break-out for the Zune. The problem with many books on learning a language is having a really boring end-goal, like writing an accounting program, or looking at a simple calculator. This book teaches the user to make cool games, which is generally more interest to the average reader. While that was the point for the book, it still was a good way to learn.

If you are looking for something to teach you Zune Game Development, I am sad to say this book is out-of-date. The new ZuneHD has a multitouch display, instead of the buttons on the bottom of the device. Luckily, the book does go through making Zune games for Windows as well. While the book is out of date for the device it was intended, it still teaches how C# and XNA work together as well as basic Game Development concepts.

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