- Paperback: 428 pages
- Publisher: Packt Publishing (September 24, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849690669
- ISBN-13: 978-1849690669
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,916,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginners Guide Paperback – September 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.
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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.
Unfortunately, I find that it barely skims the surface of XNA (methods, functions, common practices). This makes the projects more like copy & paste than a series of solutions designed to produce the results required by your needs. The book is clearly titled, "XNA... by Example", so I can't really fault Kurt Jaegers for skipping an in depth discussion of XNA.
I would absolutey recommend this book to everyone who is interested in game development; I would also recommend getting a book that is oriented toward XNA itself to which this book will suppliment.