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XNA Game Studio 4.0 Programming: Developing for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 (Developer's Library) Paperback – December 12, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Get Started Fast with XNA Game Studio 4.0–and Build Great Games for Both Windows® Phone 7 and Xbox 360®
This is the industry’s best reference and tutorial for all aspects of XNA Game Studio 4.0 programming on all supported platforms, from Xbox 360 to Windows Phone 7 and Windows PCs. The only game development book authored by Microsoft XNA development team members, it offers deep insider insights you won’t get anywhere else–including thorough coverage of new Windows Phone APIs for mobile game development.
You’ll quickly build simple games and get comfortable with Microsoft’s powerful XNA Game Studio 4.0 toolset. Next, you’ll drill down into every area of XNA, including graphics, input, audio, video, storage, GamerServices, and networking. Miller and Johnson present especially thorough coverage of 3D graphics, from Reach and HiDef to textures, effects, and avatars. Throughout, they introduce new concepts with downloadable code examples designed to help you jumpstart your own projects. Coverage includes
- Downloading, installing, and getting started with XNA Game Studio 4
- Building on capabilities provided in the default game template
- Using 2D sprites, textures, sprite operations, blending, and SpriteFonts
- Creating high-performance 3D graphics with XNA’s newly simplified APIs
- Loading, generating, recording, and playing audio
- Supporting keyboards, mice, Xbox 360 controllers, Touch, accelerometer, and GPS inputs
- Managing all types of XNA storage
- Using avatars as characters in your games
- Utilizing gamer types, player profiles, presence information, and other GamerServices
- Supporting Xbox LIVE and networked games
- Creating higher-level input systems that seamlessly manage cross-platform issues
From Windows Phone 7 mobile gaming to Xbox 360, XNA Game Studio 4.0 creates huge new opportunities for experienced Microsoft developers. This book helps you build on skills you already have, to create the compelling games millions of users are searching for.
About the Author
Tom Miller has been with Microsoft for a full decade. He specializes in bringing together managed code and gaming. He wrote and supported Managed DirectX, and for the past few years, he has been largely responsible for implementing the framework (graphics, audio, input, storage, and other core features) included in XNA Game Studio products. He currently works for Microsoft Game Studios.
Dean Johnson joined Microsoft in 2006 and helped launch the XNA Creators Club pipeline allowing hobbyists and independent developers to release their games on the Xbox LIVE Indie Games Marketplace. He currently is a Lead Software Development Engineer working on the XNA Game Studio product team.
Both authors actively blog and participate in game development conferences.
Top customer reviews
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The ideal audience for this book is someone who has some experience in making games with XNA, but wants to get more use out of the architecture. If you're starting out, I recommend the O'Reilly book. If you want to go further from there, maybe this would be the second or even third book you read.
I've been doing graphics programming since the DOS era, and have seen a lot of bad tutorials, and a lot of over-eager underachievers who write a "game programming" book to satisfy their need to accomplish something on a platform.
This is not one of those books: this is an accessible, clear, and purpose-driven course in games programming. It assumes only that you have a basic understanding of C#, and have at least seen a Dictionary<string,whatever> declaration before, but doesn't assume that you're a veteran D3D coder.
The coding examples are clear, thoroughly-explained, and ramp up quickly. Lots of best practices and gentle introduction of xna/winpho concepts, like game Components. The elements that are repeated are repeated in order to train you into them, and not just to pad out the book. This book doesn't fall into the Petzold trap of making an example for every member of every Enum, just to have one. There are a few typos here and there, but you'll catch them when you compile.
TL/DR; This book is worth purchasing for the skeletal animation code alone.
Another bothersome point is that the book contains errors in the code and some code simply does not work when you try to build and run it. Coupled with that is that there does not appear to be any website devoted to support for the book, no downloadable source code, no errata listing, no nothing. In short, if you're already up to speed with XNA Game Studio 4.0, already have a decent command of C#, and have already developed a game or two, or are well on your way, this book might be good for tips and new ideas. If not, this book probably will not help you.
My only problem with the book is that is has several typos. Fortunately, the code used in the book is typo free, which is what counts.