Seems there still is a lot of goodness coming out of the community over the festive period, which is amazing that people still have time to post while parting!.
Notes for the aspiring graphics artist, a programmers perspective
First off, an interesting post from Mykre, Mykre seems to be massing a load of useful links things days, wonder where it all comes from
The post is about 3D design and what to know, it is a very good article which covers the basics of what to know and how to go about learning 3D graphics design, lots of food for thought. Main thing I took from the article was to take more care looking at my surroundings and try to draw more by hand.
Creating and Using Fonts in XNA
Posts have been coming on the forums about using fonts in games with XNA. This has been round the houses a bit but the best solution seems to be the Bitmap Font support in XNAExtra’s, although Gary has left Microsoft now, the XNAExtras tools are still available, no word from Microsoft if they will pick up the pack and include it in the framework.
Another one to note is Jubbernaut’s "How to draw a game Font" tutorial which show’s you how to do it yourself.
Big thing to note if your using 2D text in a 3D environment is a post on Shawn’s blog about setting the graphics device settings properly when rendering 2D and 3D together, else if you don’t set it right all your normals will be off and your lighting will look horrible!!!.
Lastly if your really new to XNA and Game Development
Biggest tip to anyone starting out fresh with no coding skills whatsoever, is this "Learn C# First". The Microsoft C# express site has a lot of resources for the programming initiates, with good resources and even a free book which is good for first timers, existing programming may want to check out the "Programmers Guides to C#" books, there are quiet a few out there.
Also check out CSharp.Net which offers a lot of help.
Get your footing straight before tackling XNA. If you jump straight in and copy tutorial code you are going to struggle with out a good C# backing, old adage is "Learn to walk before flying, unless you have inflatable shoes!", same goes for when you start to learn XNA.
When starting in XNA, especially if your new to game programming, start small, work your way through the 2D tutorials in the help first, then maybe some of the excellent 2D tutorials out there and then make a game or two first.
If you try and jump straight into 2D first you will have a very hard time without the 2D basics. Been said a few times and I still even hear it now, you ain’t going to be making Quake or the next Half life any times soon (Well not unless your name is Benjamin or George)
Last note is a big one for anyone who is starting fresh with XNA.
But please!!!, if you have a question, try searching the forums first, especially for words like "Tutorial", it’ll save a lot of time and you’ll get your answer a lot quicker if you search first!.
Happy New Year