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Learning XNA 4.0: Game Development for the PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone 7 [Paperback]

by Aaron Reed
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 27, 2010 1449394620 978-1449394622 1

Want to develop games for Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7? This hands-on book will get you started with Microsoft's XNA 4.0 development framework right away -- even if you have no experience developing games. Although XNA includes several key concepts that can be difficult for beginning web developers to grasp, Learning XNA 4.0 shortens the learning curve by walking you through the framework in a clear and understandable step-by-step format.

Each chapter offers a self-contained lesson with illustrations and annotated examples, along with exercises and review questions to help you test your understanding and practice new skills as you go. Once you've finished this book, you'll know how to develop your own sophisticated games from start to finish.

  • Learn game development from 2D animation to 3D cameras and effects
  • Delve into high-level shader language (HLSL) and introductory artificial intelligence concepts
  • Build three complete, exciting games using 2D, 3D, and multiplayer techniques
  • Develop for and deploy your games to the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7

Frequently Bought Together

Learning XNA 4.0: Game Development for the PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone 7 + XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginner's Guide + XNA Game Studio 4.0 Programming: Developing for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 (Developer's Library)
Price for all three: $90.55

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aaron Reed has extensive software development experience and more importantly, experience in software development education. Since 2004 he has taught courses at Neumont University in .NET, web development and web services, XNA, systems design and architecture, and more.

Aaron's experience in teaching both DirectX and XNA for several years to university-level students helps him understand what topics are easily understood and which ones need more depth and emphasis. Through experience in the classroom he also has a good understanding of what format and sequence makes the most sense to present the material. This book follows that format and is meant to present game development concepts in the way most efficient and most comprehendible as proven in the classroom.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449394620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449394622
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only the VERY Basics of 2D Game Making August 15, 2011
By Tj
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for three reasons. First, it was highly rated and well-reviewed. Second, it was the 2nd Edition (Updated for XNA 4.0) and the 1st edition was also highly rated and well-reviewed. Third, it specifically mentions 2D development.

I was not disappointed.

The book reads easily, and has no typo's so fallowing each chapter as written end in completed works with little trouble. The authors sense of humor shows occasionally but with good taste and only to offer added emphasis to points made. So as a whole this is a book full of very little filler, mostly good information. I was happy to have purchased it and very happy after completing it... That is, until I started to take what I leaned in it and apply it to my own game idea(s)... I quickly found that there are a few very specific details that are never touched upon, that many would expect when making a modern PC game.

It is the lack of these details that force me to give this a 4 out of 5 stars...

Cons: (For 2D Games)
- No 2D Matrix Transform lessons. (Manipulating the View Port directly)
- No camera control with mouse. (Grab & Drag, Zoom to Cursor, Click & Center, or even Mouse wheel Zoom)
- No screen selection by mouse. (Individual or group select by L-click and drag)
- No GUI (Graphical Use Interface) lessons, past putting the score & number of lives on screen.
- No tile based world lessons. (Used in nearly every 2D game today, ie: platformers and RPG's)

While this is a relatively small number of issues, and does not take into account 3D development, I still found it necessary to come here and write this review in hopes of better informing anyone looking to purchase this. If you intend to develop 2D games (which is pretty much what you have to do as an independent developer) you may want to consider the lack of some of the more significant features in modern 2D games.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for XNA January 19, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my first XNA book that I really sat down with and completed. I want to thank the author and editors for making sure the material in this book was extremely straight-forward without error. You can read this book from beginning to end and the author instructs the reader with detailed and specific instructions on how to accomplish the tasks at hand. He explains concepts extremely well and expands on them each chapter with some reflective questions and tests. I would recommend this book to anybody out there that wants to start game development using XNA, or even if they've already started XNA: this book has a lot of useful information.

The book leaves off with the reader wanting more 3D knowledge, but the 3D chapters are adequate for a rough start. I've learned a lot from this book and it will be in my personal collection for quite some time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a professional software developer (not game-related though) with a lot of experience in C#, and toy with game programming as a hobby. I've grabbed some other books in the past but none got me excited about finally sitting down and working on a game like this one did.

The main strength of this book over others I've seen is that it seems to land in just about the right spot as far as treating the reader like an XNA and game development newbie without also treating you like you're a newbie to C# or programming in general. I hate it when a book wastes my time teaching me the basics of programming... this book gets right to it in describing how XNA works. It doesn't go into as much detail as some other XNA books, which means its definitely a book I'm going to recommend to anyone else who wants to learn XNA, but it probably won't end up sitting on the desk as a reference book and probably won't have much use to someone already familiar with XNA. Of course, the word "learning" in the title should probably make that clear!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book you're looking for on XNA March 7, 2011
By S. Aki
Awesome, that's the only word one can use to describe this book.

I went so quickly through this book that at times I felt like I was missing something somewhere but I didn't, it's just one of those books that you can't put down. You'll get a good grasp of taking a project and using it on a PC, Xbox and WP7 phone. In all honesty, I skipped straight over the WP7 section as I've been developing for it for a few months now already so I'm not 100% sure on that chapter but the rest was great.

What I liked the most about this book, is the groundwork it laid for anyone new to XNA (and even DirectX for that matter). You get shown the basics of the high level stuff (HLSL, AI, etc) so you at least understand what it is that you'll be studying after you're done with this book but the rest is pretty in depth and you come out feeling like you're on the right path and no longer lost.

I don't know if all the source code provided is perfect, but the code examples in the book are, so I mostly used that. The few times I did refer to the provided source code to check something they ran perfectly out the box.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've bought the book to read it in my Kindle (and in my HD7 Windows Phone cellular phone) - overall the book is very good!! and it is written in a clear language - the topics it covers are very helpful. I read other books before I bought it and no one of them learn us how to check collisions for example... It is a good book for beginners in game development (like me)... I really wanted to give this book 5-stars because it worth it - but the formating of the eBook is very bad -

* The tables are not shown as tables they appear as one paragraph it WP7 app and also in Kindle you don't know which words are in the same row and which are not.. as the first table in Chapter 1.

(I think the tables should appear as images for example).

* The code snaps are not formatted correctly so different commands appears in the same line: for example, in Location 845 in the Kindle edition we have the following code:
SpriteBatch spriteBatch; public

(I think the code snaps should appear in smaller fonts and different font).

Too sad that the eBook's text formatting is very bad which hurts such a great book.

This is my review for now, I still did not finish reading the books.. so if I will find more issues I will update my review.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Booooom baby
This book is mad good, really sets you up to get into game dev. Would recommend to anyone trying to get into the biz.
Published 22 days ago by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Well liked book.
Purchased it for my son who is in college. He said he got a lot of info and help from the book for a project he was involved with.
Published 27 days ago by mary mathias
4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book
Good book for beginning with XNA framework, it gives you the necessary to know the platform and how it works
Published 4 months ago by Adan de Jesus Ulloa Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars only book that really made me make a game!
Great author. Awsome book. And I just recently discovered you can port an xna game to android or ios with something called exen
Published 4 months ago by dangal
5.0 out of 5 stars My husband read it from cover to cover
I gave this book to my graphic designer husband as a gift. He read through it in a matter of weeks. He said that it immediately had him building his own games and it was a quick... Read more
Published 5 months ago by MeganH06
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad for 2D XNA game development
Covering the 2D game development aspect of what this book has to offer, I was extremely disappointed. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful book
Only made it through a few chapters but so far the book is very useful.

Also works on Cloud Reader which greatly helps when doing homework so you can have two screens... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Covers the basics well
Misses some more advanced details that I needed related to reading attributes of a model, specifically the vertices, edges, and faces.
Published 11 months ago by bda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Not only was it in amazing condition it had everything I needed to learn so far! Still don't understand why there is a fish on it though :)
Published 14 months ago by Aaron
4.0 out of 5 stars Good way to get started
Before you purchase this book you should be aware that XNA is a discontinued product. You can still develop XNA games for Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone 7/7. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Judson White
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Topic From this Discussion
Book cover: the same as 3.0?
I believe that O'Reilly picks the images for authors of books. The actual author has no say in what goes on the cover.
Dec 2, 2010 by Piblo |  See all 2 posts
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