Starting this coming January I will once again be running one of my GameDev.net workshops! Due to growing interest and the recent release of XNA 4.0, this workshop will be on XNA 4.0, including coverage of WinPhone 7 development. Unlike my previous workshops, this one will require previous C# programming experience. Additionally, a basic understanding of game programming and linear algebra (vectors, matrices, transforms) is highly recommended.
XNA Workshop Overview (Start date: January 17, 2011)
This workshop is designed to aid people in their journey to learn XNA. This workshop is targeted at highly motivated individuals who are interested in learning XNA or who have attempted to learn XNA in the past, but found that without sufficient support and mentoring they were unable to connect all the pieces of this highly complex but powerful Framework. This is a guided workshop. Each student is responsible for taking the time to read the material and learn the information. The community and tutors that arise out of this workshop are here for making the learning process run more smoothly. Because everyone will be working from the same source materials, students may find it easier to get answers to the specific questions they might have. There is no minimum age requirement, however all participants should have at least mastered Algebra, Geometry, and some Matrix/Vector mathematics.
Additionally, this workshop does not attempt to defend XNA as a Framework, nor does it attempt to demonstrate that XNA is either more or less useful than other API's for any particular purpose. People who intend to start a discussion about the differences between XNA and ANY other API (except as are relevant to a particular topic), are encouraged to do so elsewhere. This workshop is for educational, not philosophical discussions.
XNA Workshop Summary:
- Anyone interested in participating will be asked to Sign Up on my blog GameDevelopedia.com so I can keep track of who's following along and send out announcements if necessary.
- Anyone interested in participating will purchase a copy of Chad Carter's Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed.
- Anyone interested in participating will download and install XNA Game Studio 4.0 and Visual C# 2010 Express Edition. (Or another edition)
- Each week, participants will be responsible for reading the designated chapters of the text and the supplemental material provided on GameDevelopedia.com.
- As people have questions on a chapter they may post them in our Weekly Chapter Forums, located in the XNA Workshop Forum here on GameDev.net.
- More advanced XNA programmers may post additional questions or exercises to help test the other students' understanding of the material.
- Each week students should submit their answers to the quiz questions which will be provided on my blog. Quizzes will be computer graded, so you can determine how well you're grasping the information.
- Every four weeks there will be a programming project due (see below) - designed to test a student's understanding of the previous four weeks. Students should complete these projects and upload the source code to our project database for peer review and feedback.
XNA Workshop Text:
Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed
After looking around at various XNA books, Chad's book seems to be the most well-rounded, covering both 2D and 3D technologies, creating some sample projects, and in general providing good coverage of the framework. As you've no doubt noticed, Chad's book is based on XNA Game Studio 3.0. To make the information relevant to XNA 4.0, and to cover the new features of XNA 3.1 and 4.0 which are not present in his book, I will be providing supplemental tutorials on my blog.
Weekly Chapter Threads:
As with my C# Workshop, each week a sub-forum will be added that can be used to post your questions and answers for the current week's reading assignment. People who come late to the workshop can catch up by reading over the previous threads and continuing to post their new questions.
The weekly chapter forums will have an introduction thread which will be mirrored (and stickied) in the "DirectX and XNA" forum. The first post of each weekly thread will be structured with a brief introduction to the workshop, and provide links back to the XNA Workshop Forum and my blog so that people can easily navigate and follow the conversation of the current week.
Monthly Project Threads:
Forums will be created for each of the Monthly Projects where the first post outlines the details and requirements of the project. People can then use those forums to discuss the project, get design ideas, and ask questions.
While the full details of how this will be accomplished are not yet hammered out, participants will be able to upload their projects for analysis and peer review. Projects will not be graded, however promising projects will receive some kind of notoriety.
The workshop will begin January 17th, and is estimated to run for 16 weeks, allowing some leeway for any setbacks due to my own schedule, or delays due to people needing more time to complete projects, etc...
As always, feel free to provide feedback about the XNA workshop proposal within this thread. Specifically, I'm interested in hearing what kind of projects you'd like to see, and how eager you are to start. =)