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Serapth

XNA Book

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Hello All!I am a long time ( like 6 years… ) lurker and one time poster, although I have long since forgotten under which alias. Anyways, I feel this is perhaps the perfect forum to share my project with.Many years back, I worked professionally as a tools provider for the game industry. I have loved game programming since typing out BASIC on my Atari 800XL ( guess I just dated myself.. eh? ). However over the last few years I just sorta lost interest. With the recent release of XNA I rekindled my interest with a passion. Myself, I don’t really want to create games professionally anymore ( something about 60 hour work weeks at my age just isn’t appealing ). That said, as a hobby I love it and strangely, educating others became just as, if not more so, satisfying then actually creating something myself. That discovery coincided with a need in my professional life ( you know… the one that pays the bill ) to be able to communicate highly technical terms in plain English. I scoffed at the idea at first, then realized its a lot harder then it sounds. So, I have mixed the two desires together to form my current project.I am writing an XNA book. Perhaps most exciting to you, the reader… a free XNA book! ? At least in electronic form. I am targeting relatively new game developers with the only assumption being you have passable C# coding experience. Sadly, trying to teach programming and game development in one book seems to be a fools errand, as far to many game book’s on my shelf will attest! The goal is to teach game programming concepts, using XNA, in as simple and plain English as possible. If you are a die hard game programmer, frankly I don’t think you will get much out of what I am writing, I will be honest about that upfront. However, if you are new to programming games ( but not programming in general ), I hope this is the perfect book for your introduction. You will learn the basics of everything you need to know to program a game by the time you finish reading it, at least I hope.Also, its written by me as a not for profit thing and as such, I am not constrained by traditional publisher issues. I haven’t got a deadline, I don’t have a page limit nor an agenda. I want the community and community feedback to guide how the book turns out. For example, if you read a chapter and didn’t understand something… I failed. Yet nicely, if you email me, I can revise the chapter to make it clearer. The same, should you find yourself not knowing how to do something, I can look at adding a chapter on it. In essence a community driven book.Thus far, the first three chapters are done. You can download each, with full source code and get more as they are written. The more feedback I receive, the better tuned the book will be and hopefully the more effective your experience will be as well!Chapter 1 is pretty much an introduction to XNA, runs you through downloading everything and getting up and running.You can download it at:Book: Source:Chapter 2 is an introduction to 2D rendering, as well as using Microsoft supplied tools to create transparent sprites.You can download it at:Book:Source:Chapter 3 is about Keyboard, Mouse and Xbox 360 gamepad input.You can download it at:Book:Source:Finally, LearnXNA.com is hosting all the chapters as they are released, in addition to merging them all into one book. Its also a great place to get started with XNA development.You can visit it at:LearnXNA(BTW, if it is against policy to advertise other gaming related sites, feel free to edit that out. Sorry. )If you download it, please let me know if it was useful to you, what you would like to see changed, what you would like to see added, and the future direction you would like to see the book take!I am averaging about a chapter a week, and hope to cover audio then 3D shortly in the future.Cheers,Mike



EDIT: All the above links are dead. After being informed LearnXNA has joined the dodo in nowhere land, I managed to find these documents and posted them again. They are hopelessly outdated at this point, but hopefully you can learn something from them. Also the unreleased source for the unwritten chapter5 has also been included.

Download files from GameFromScratch.com

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Original post by Morpheus011
um...you just became my personal hero.


Read it first, then get back to me! ;) Im fairly new to this conversation style of writing.

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Original post by Crazyfool
Gives me errors when I open it.


Argh, ive run into this with a handful of people. Is the error when you try to open a PDF directly in a web browser?

If thats the case, it has something to do with the combination of software you and I both have on our machines ( I havent figured out what combination sadly... ) I am authoring it in Office 2007 beta, then saving to PDF. I think its the presence of Office 2007 on your machine that causes the exception.

However, if you right click -> save as, it will work fine.

Please, let me know if you are running any (or all) of the three following programs. Office 2007 Beta, Vista or Visual Studio 2005. Also, are you using IE? Sorry, im just trying to narrow down what causes that annoying crash. Damn MS beta software :(

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Original post by Serapth
Please, let me know if you are running any (or all) of the three following programs. Office 2007 Beta, Vista or Visual Studio 2005. Also, are you using IE? Sorry, im just trying to narrow down what causes that annoying crash. Damn MS beta software :(

Second pdf crashed on me when opening in Firefox 2.0b2. I am not running Vista and I dont have Office 2007. I do have most of Visual Studio 2005 Express installed but I don't see how that could have anything to do with it [cool]

Will have a look through the pdfs at some stage (when I have time) and I hope you won't need to rewrite too much when the XNA framework is no longer a beta [wink]

All the best,
ViLiO

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Original post by ViLiO
Quote:
Original post by Serapth
Please, let me know if you are running any (or all) of the three following programs. Office 2007 Beta, Vista or Visual Studio 2005. Also, are you using IE? Sorry, im just trying to narrow down what causes that annoying crash. Damn MS beta software :(

Second pdf crashed on me when opening in Firefox 2.0b2. I am not running Vista and I dont have Office 2007. I do have most of Visual Studio 2005 Express installed but I don't see how that could have anything to do with it [cool]

Will have a look through the pdfs at some stage (when I have time) and I hope you won't need to rewrite too much when the XNA framework is no longer a beta [wink]

All the best,
ViLiO




Yeah, thats the downside, I am aiming at a moving target. The content pipeline release is definatly going to cause some huge changes.

I just downloaded the Beta 2 refresh for office, ill try to republish after that, hopefully it will fix whatever the bug is.

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I saw your post on the XNA forums and briefly went through the contents as I already have a grasp of what was introduced. I'm really looking forward to when you get into the 3D stuff and the design behind XNA (GameComponents, Services, etc). Keep it up!

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Original post by Rob Loach
I saw your post on the XNA forums and briefly went through the contents as I already have a grasp of what was introduced. I'm really looking forward to when you get into the 3D stuff and the design behind XNA (GameComponents, Services, etc). Keep it up!


Thanks for the encouragement. I am kinda stalled at the moment, as beyond the next chapter, there needs to be a bunch of tools created. Im working on those at the current time. The biggest of which is to make up for the lack of a content pipeline at the momment. I am writing an ASE importer ( to keep with my theme of using the Mech Commander 2 assets which are all in ASE format), which is about 90% done. Plus im writing a sprite tool as we speak, to finish out the chapters on the basics. Hopefully I will finish both in the next few days.

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