XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginners Guide Paperback – Sep 24 2010
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About the Author
Kurt Jaegers Kurt Jaegers is a database administrator by day, and a long-time hobbyist game developer, having built games for everything from the Commodore 64 to the Xbox 360. He is the owner of xnaresources.com, one of the earliest XNA-focused tutorial websites.
Top Customer Reviews
All the essentials of game programming are treated. Like using a game loop in some games, where the program waits for user input. A different style from more traditional linear start to end approaches. The book also demonstrates the ease of use of Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 version. This SDK comes across as well polished and robust. A solid background against which to code.
The text demonstrates different types of games. None are too intricate. A beginner's guide, after all. Common techniques like defining tiles for the screen are gone into. A key idea is the Draw() routine, which updates the screen graphics. Object oriented code is possible, though the text does not seem to explicitly use this term.
Another game example is Asteriods. A venerable lineage that goes back to the early 80s at least. One take home idea is that you get to model the collision between two asteriods. This only hints at what is really an arbitrarily deep means of simulating real or artificial worlds. Where you model actual or imaginary physics at the lowest level, and use this to drive many interactions. Readers with a background in undergraduate physics can appreciate the vistas that this section of the book offers.
Yet another chapter delves into path finding algorithms.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example wastes no time in diving into code, creating what is exceedingly a simple game, but builds a strong foundation for the other games which will be built. The reader will learn by doing, progressively increasing their knowledge of XNA and learning how to develop a game. There are times when the author will gloss over specific details, details that I feel should have been explained a bit more, but any successful programmer will investigate topics of interest on their own anyways.
The book doesn't assume any previous C# knowledge, or programming knowledge if I'm not mistaken. I'm going to raise a huge flag and say you should be a competent programmer before diving into this book. Don't get this book if you've never written any type of program on your own, and I'm not talking about just a "Hello World" program either. I promise that you really won't understand what's going on and once you leave sample land, you'll be completely lost. Understand that game programming is an extremely elitest form of software development, even with XNA. So with that said, this book is aimed at complete beginners to XNA and game programming, but not programming in general. You may do alright if you don't know C# yet, but do know Java (preferably) or even C++.
Also note, this book doesn't explain anything specific to Windows Phone 7 game programming. If Windows Phone 7 game programming is your ultimate goal, you can still use this book to learn XNA, and then move onto the many tutorials and guides available on the new App Hub website.
It is very good because:
The author explains the concept, shows you the code, and explains what is happening in the code
(enough detail but not too much detail)
The sample games present some very helpful concepts. I would say that it goes beyond
a beginner course.
For example, the 'Robot Rampage' game clarified the following:
enemy AI to pursue the player; bypassing obstacles on the play field
using a play area larger then the screen; by using a camera class
creating a random play environment for each new game
creating explosions of different sizes
utilizing 'Manager' classes to control the objects
In summary, this book was very helpful.
In two words: "just great!"
No, seriously. I was very impressed by how the author leads the reader the all the stages of creating XNA games - starting with the absolute basics, not taking any previous knowledge for granted... And down to the more complex concepts - all hands on, with the omnipresent "What just happened" summaries.