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C# and XNA?

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I have been programming with java for enough time(a year) that I have built pong and a simple physics simulator which bounces balls around the screen. The book I have on Java doesn't have a decent chapter on Graphics(Active Rendering , Full screen Exclusive mode , etc...), and it's kinda bugging me to have to google around and only find a page or two. This has been making me wonder whether it would be worth it to switch to C# and learn XNA, because of the larger fan base for game development and more resources in books and online? Some other questions I have are: Would this be a good idea? How similar is XNA's 2d graphics to Java2D? What is a good free or cheap book on XNA and or C#? Does Visual C# express 2008 support XNA(I have heard that it doesn't), and if so, what do I have to download and run XNA?

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I would say definitely! With Xbox LIVE Community Games launching by the end of the year, you will be able to make XNA games and distribute them over the LIVE Marketplace to millions of gamers.

Quote:
How similar is XNA's 2d graphics to Java2D?

XNA definitely has the edge in performance. Everything is much faster because it all runs with hardware acceleration. That said there are some nice drawing methods in Java that don't have an equivalent in XNA (like drawing circles for instance). For these things you wind up having to do them using vertices and drawing polygons or lines yourself. A bit of a pain, but it can have advantages.

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What is a good free or cheap book on XNA and or C#?

There aren't any free XNA books that I know of. When you install XNA you do get a lot of getting started help documents which are excellent for learning the API. For C#, we have a FAQ from the XNA forums that lists lots of resources: http://forums.xna.com/thread/16573.aspx.

Quote:
Does Visual C# express 2008 support XNA(I have heard that it doesn't), and if so, what do I have to download and run XNA?

That is correct. From what I've read, they changed the way plugins work a bit in 2008 and since they weren't ready to ship before the XNA guys, they didn't want to wait to make support for it. It will likely come in a few months as a refresh. If you want to get started with XNA, there's a perfect getting started guide from the XNA site that tells you exactly what to install (and in what order) to get up and running: http://creators.xna.com/Education/newtoxna.aspx.

If you ever have any questions, I highly recommend the XNA forums over at forums.xna.com. There are lots of helpful people over there including myself and lots of other MVPS and even a few of the XNA team members. It's a great place to go to get answers to your questions.

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The Current XNA software only works with C# 2005 for now.

That said you can have installations of both C# 2005 express and C# 2008 express working on the same PC. I was using 2008 and then installed 2005 to use XNA.

As Nick mentioned,the XNA forums are vey helpful.

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Quote:
Original post by jdub
Would this be a good idea?


Hell yeah! And you could have your game running on the 360 at the end of it too [smile]

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Original post by jdub

How similar is XNA's 2d graphics to Java2D?


Better. XNA uses Direct3D under the hood which allows you to make the most of hardware acceleration and all the nice features that come with it, such as antialiasing and texture filtering. Java2D is based (in it's Windows form) on the Windows GDI which is software rendering only.

Quote:
Original post by jdubWhat is a good free or cheap book on XNA and or C#?


It's not free, but I'd highly recommend this book if you want to get going in XNA:

Professional XNA Game Programming

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Quote:
Original post by Diosces
For a XNA book I recommend Microsoft XNA Game Studio Creator’s Guide ?

I bought it a few weeks ago based on this forum's feedback. I've found it to be quite good, however I am only a quarter way through it thus far.


Yep. That is a good book which got me started using XNA until I decided to switch to OpenGL instead.

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