Joel Verhagen

a computer programming blog

XNA: Great for Game Programming Beginners!

A friend of mine recently told me about Microsoft's XNA Game Studio. Since I've kind of been interested in game programming for a while, I decided to give it a try. The only game programming I have ever done is playing around with good ol' pygame. Well, to be honest, first few hours of hacking around with XNA 4.0 has been very pleasant indeed. Here are a few discoveries I've made:

  1. You can do it all for free! This is what I download to get going:
    1. Visual C# 2010 Express
    2. XNA 4.0 Game Studio (requires some big downloads during installation)
  2. I love C#. All XNA projects must be written in C#. At first I was worried, but C# is very nice to code in. It's good to be back in a static typing programming language.
  3. Microsoft has made it really, really easy to get started. There are 1,001 different tutorials out there about getting started. Here are a few that helped me out.
    1. A very basic YouTube tutorial with explanations of the default functions that are part of your new XNA project's Game object.
    2. Sprite Sheets and Animations tutorial. This tutorial is really helping me out as I play with 2D animation.
    3. For any little speed bumps I run into, I check the App Hub forums (the official XNA boards)