I learned tons reading Game Coding Complete and the blog at http://gamearchitect.net/, then also digging through the XNA engine at http://xnafinalengine.codeplex.com/. Thank you for showing that diagram of C4, I'd love to read more about the high-level overview. Does anyone have more links to discussions or breakdowns of engine designs? I have implemented small ones in different school projects, but am now looking to really cement the same concept as the OP; the separation of graphics and game logic.
Sounds like your jargon is a bit mixed up, but I think we get the point.
You're looking to create game assets in 3DS Max for use in an XNA project?
Yes. There may be other ways, but the one you see used most often is to export a Max model as a .x file, which XNA can easily read from. I use Pandasoft's exporter. You install it, then open your model in Max and go to Export and choose .x.