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Zune Game Development using XNA 3.0 (Expert's Voice in XNA) 1st ed. Edition
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About the Author
Dan Waters is 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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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If you are looking for something to teach you Zune Game Development, I am sad to say this book is out-of-date.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 While the book is out of date for the device it was intended, it still teaches how C# and XNA work together as well as basic Game Development concepts.