Challenge: Explore XNA Game Studio
With the release of Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft also release the XNA Game Studio Express Framework to allow C# programmers to create games for Windows and the XBOX 360. Microsoft eventually released XNA Game Studio 2.0 for the Visual C# 2005, they dropped the Express part. It was just for the Express Edition at first but it was so well received that support for the full versions of Microsoft's Visual Studio was added. With the release of Visual Studio 2008 and the Express Editions, Microsoft started work on XNA Game Studio 3.0 and now there is XNA Game Studio 3.1 which supports both 3.0 and 3.1.
XNA is a framework that works with DirectX to allow developers to create games for Windows, the XBOX 360, and now Microsoft's Zune (but with limits for the Zune.) It is an easy to use framework that takes many of the complexities out of game programming and is well suited for hobbyists and those who have never written games before. Both the XNA framework and Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express are free to download from Microsoft and free for both personal and commercial use.
With XNA you can create games easily, even if you have never written a game before. Writing games can be fun and rewarding. Watching somebody play and enjoy your game can give a wonderful sense of accomplishment. There have been many excellent games created using the XNA framework. You can find many tutorials and starter kits on the XNA Creators Club web site. Don't be afraid to try it. You might find out that you like it.
To kick off the challenge, I have created a simple space shooter, the complete project is available below. (The code is heavily commented for beginners.)
Number of downloads: 512
For those of you who don't know what to do with XNA, here's some ideas:
- Extend one of the starter kits from XNA Creators Club
- Create an image browser
- Have fun with sprites
- Play sound files
- Create a simple XNA game (Good for C# programmers)
- Write an XNA tutorial (Good for XNA programmers)
- Create a simple XNA network game (Good for XNA programmers)
There are a variety of resources on the web on XNA. The most important is the XNA Creators Club. If you want to develop games for the Xbox 360 with XNA you will need a membership with the XNA Creators Club. Considering how much a licence to create games with other console's costs it is a great deal for an independent developer.
- Visual C# 2008 Express
- XNA Game Studio 3.1
- XNA Creators Club
- Riemer's XNA Tutorials
- XNA Development
- XNA Resources
- XNA Developmer Center
How To Get Started:
You will need Visual C# 2008. If you don't have a commercial version of Visual Studio, you can download the Visual C# 2008 Express Edition for free. After you have installed Visual Studio, or Visual C# 2008 Express, download and install the XNA 3.1 Framework and install it. Once you have it installed you are ready to create a new XNA game. After launching Visual Studio, from the File menu select New Project. Under the Visual C# node there will be entries for XNA Game Studio 3.0 and XNA Game Studio 3.1. Select one of those and give your project a name.
Submit Your Challenge:
When you've completed the challenge, reply to this thread with a .zip/link/code/etc. of what you did.
Post questions in our XNA Forum.