Learning XNA 4.0
Game Development for the PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone 7
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2010
Pages: 540

Want to develop games for Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7? This hands-on book will get you started with Microsoft's XNA 4.0 development framework right away -- even if you have no experience developing games. Although XNA includes several key concepts that can be difficult for beginning web developers to grasp, Learning XNA 4.0 shortens the learning curve by walking you through the framework in a clear and understandable step-by-step format.

Each chapter offers a self-contained lesson with illustrations and annotated examples, along with exercises and review questions to help you test your understanding and practice new skills as you go. Once you've finished this book, you'll know how to develop your own sophisticated games from start to finish.

  • Learn game development from 2D animation to 3D cameras and effects
  • Delve into high-level shader language (HLSL) and introductory artificial intelligence concepts
  • Build three complete, exciting games using 2D, 3D, and multiplayer techniques
  • Develop for and deploy your games to the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
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Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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O'Reilly MediaLearning XNA 4.0
 
3.6

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (5)
  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Well-written (4)
  • Accurate (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Student (4)
    • Intermediate (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (5)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    4.0

    Great Book

    By The Brown Potato

    from Cuba, MO

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Difficult to understand

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

    This is a great book for those whom have decided to start programming with XNA in Visual Studio!

    (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    A Tough Read With Space For Improvement

    By renderwerx

    from New Zealand

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

      A Tough Read With Space For Improvement

      I have to say, this is the first XNA book where the reader needs to stay focused with each chapter, memorizing the rules before tinkering with your own code. The book gives you little space for learning by doing. Furthermore, the code is explained at advanced programming skill level and not for the absolute beginner. I would not recommend reading this book if you are entirely new to XNA or the C-Sharp programming language itself.

      If you already have purchased the book, it will be a good resource later on with your learning as you progress. Meanwhile, for those of you that are new to XNA, I suggest watching the freely available XNA video tutorials from this website XNA video tutorial dot com. Another good series is XNA Guitar Matey.
      Do this first before buying any XNA book. This way you get a very practical experience and to check out if XNA is the right thing for you. Also, explore other alternatives that are available. This book is not the only one and only XNA book. Sadly for this book, there are indeed better books to learn XNA.

      ...

       
      4.0

      Good, just use Microsoft's documentation

      By Johnny L. Hopkins

      from Spindale, NC

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

      Title: Leaarning XNA 4.0 by Aaron Reed, O'reily Media, Inc.

      Summary: Aaron Reed, a game development instructor at Neumont University, has written a step-by-step guide for learning XNA Studio 4.0 and shows the reader how to write games for PCs, XBox 360s, and Windows Phone.

      Reactions: This book serves as a good introduction to the XNA platform, version 4.0. The book takes a step-by-step approach creating and building several games that are 2D, 3D, multiplayer, and mobile-based.The best use for this book is a supplement to Microsoft's documentation for the XNA platform. The chapters are good and include quizzes and exercises that expand the source code and test the knowledge of the reader on the concepts presented in each chapter. I would hope that the book is upadted to include any recent changes to XNA 4.0. Even though it could be used as textbook for game programming, I would get a second book on XNA just in case.

      (4 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      interessting, but mising code download

      By CommanderK

      from Germany

      About Me Student

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Student

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

        well, my native language is german and I was looking for a book which can "teach" me a little bit about Gamedeveloping and XNA. I never made an game neither did I work with XNA. In the first chapters are some background informations explained which i like very much. Seems to be the book is exactly what I was looking for.

        The book is well written, easy too understand and has some funny parts which I like very much.

        I got only one problem as an other person who commented here (and that is the reason why I'm here n that website:
        Where the hell are the code snipets to download.
        example: Page 23 "Download the source code for this chapter ..." ... OK - but where?
        So I read the book again but couldn't find anything - so I started to visit every URL in the book.
        On the Website of the Author (Page XVI) is a link to an unoffical code archive. OK - but where is the official?

        That point make the book from a 5/5 to only 3/5.

        (4 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Code Examples Ruined by Interleaving...

        By Software Dev

        from San Mateo, CA

        Verified Reviewer

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

        This book is incredibly tough to read due to the tight interleaving of code snippets with the books text body. Example:
        "Add the following code directly after the vertex initialization code you just added in your LoadContent method: // Set vertex data in VertexBuffer vertexBuffer = new VertexBuffer(GraphicsDevice, typeof(VertexPositionColor), verts.Length, BufferUsage.None); vertexBuffer.SetData(verts);"

        By not separating the code into a complete readable figure the entire context of the code snippet is "buried". This makes it especially difficult when trying to refer back to a section you've already read and are just looking for code syntax or ordering of code elements.

        This pretty much makes the entire book useless. I found myself back on the web simply googling around for clear code examples.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantabulous

        By Peanut !

        from South Africa

        About Me Developer, Maker

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Extendable
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

          I'm using this book as the foundation for my creative content. Been using AppHub and 50 other web sites - still this book provides the core values of the xna framework most others don't !

          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excelent Book

          By Carlos

          from Asuncion

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

          Excelent Book! Need a basic knowledge of OOP

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          great learning guid.

          By refluxer.

          from The Netherlands

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Student

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning XNA 4.0:

            this book is a great learning guide. p.s. @Nick the quick. The code can be downloaded at:[@]

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