Friday, April 16, 2010

Got a great idea for a Windows Phone 7 game, but haven’t used the XNA Studio before (nor maybe any game dev either)? Here’s a ground-up XNA 2D tutorial series to help get you started

Dark Genesis - Session 1 continued – Game Development Introductions

“So if you're new to game development, welcome to a whole new world of fun where the only limit is your imagination (skills can be learned, creativity must be something from within). If you have been around with programming or basic game development, most of what will be covered in this tutorial you should already know, feel free to comment and improve where necessary.

The original digipen webcast for this session can be found here on the codeplex site for this tutorial

Over the course of this tutorial, I'll be going over:

  • Introduction: covers the basics of what you'll need to know
  • C# overview: a programmers intro guide to C# (good if you're starting out, skip if you are already a C# vet)
  • Game components: covers the necessary plumbing to get your game on
  • Building the demo: building the blocks and components of your game



Dark Genesis - XNA 2D from the ground up

“When I was starting out in game development, there was not a lot of info out there or the budding indie game developer, what was out there was generally hard to reach or not clearly documented.

One of the shining lights was Microsoft’s “Coding 4 Fun” site. There wasn’t much to being with but what it did have was excellent. It got even better with a few of the game development series a few worthy patrons ran, one of these was the Digipen Institute.

Back in 2005 Digipen Institute of Technology in partnership with Microsoft presented a series of eight one-hour webcasts to introduce participants on how video games are produced. The main game development concepts were demonstrated via the creation of a “top-down shooter” using C # 2005 Express Editions, Microsoft’s lightweight integrated development environment designed for beginning programmers.

Much though from the old days was lost or has become out of date in the new modern world of XNA but I’m reviving some of the best from those days in a series of tutorials. I’m basing it on the old material (which I’ll also provide links for in keeping with preserving the past) but I’m also going to give it a make-over and with luck go a bit further with each series.

First off is Digipen's 2D introduction to game development, where this showed it’s colours was not just how to make a game, it changed views on how you learned game development by starting from the point of assuming no knowledge before. Most of the tutorials today and even the MS XNA help itself, assumes you already know how this all fits together.

Webcast Sessions:

  • Session 1: Overview of Game Development Process
  • Session 2: Basic Programming Concepts and Introduction to C#
  • Session 3: Overview of Game Elements
  • Session 4: Introduction to Sprites and Animation
  • Session 5: Transformation and Collision of Sprites
  • Session 6: Player Control of Sprites
  • Session 7: Game Music and Sound Effects
  • Session 8: Creating Sprite Behaviour



Codeplex - Star Trooper for XNA 2D Tutorial

“Project Description
Source for the Star Trooper XNA 2d Tutorial on XNA-UK (, including the full set of code and each phase of the tutorial.

Additionally the original DigiPen webcasts and source will also be available.

Notes for the content here
This project will eventually store all the code for the XNA 2D tutorial.

As plans go I intend to:

  • Create a single project for all 3 platforms (including phone if time permits)
  • Go though all the basics as covered in the original webcast
  • GO beyond based on lessons learnt through my years in XNA dev

…” [GD: Project Description Leached in full]

Star Trooper for XNA 2D Tutorial - Lesson one content (there’s also Lesson two & three content available too)


Original Digipen Webcast
documentation, 7874K, uploaded Mar 29…

Original Digipen Supporting Material
documentation, 442K, uploaded Mar 29…


With XNA getting a huge new emphasis, audience and attention with Windows Phone 7, I thought this series might be useful.

As a LOB dev, game dev is something new for me and having done a few simple games in XNA, I can same it can feel darn different. It’s kind of like a step back to a time before event driven development. We’re talking “game loop” dev here… And that might require some mind-twisting for those who have grown up in a Evert Driven coding world.

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