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 was not 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.

Participants were able to download C # 2005 Express Editions along with webcast tutorial materials to experience building the game themselves. It should be noted that the intent of this webcast series is to provide an overview of the game development process and is not designed to train participants in all aspects of C#.

These days the “Coding 4 fun” has been reduced to a blog. Do not get me wrong there is still a lot of good that goes on there, but it is more varied. Some do say though that what went on the site did form the precursor to what we have today – XNA.

Much though from the old days was lost or has become out of date in the new modern world of XNA but I am reviving some of the best from those days in a series of tutorials. I am basing it on the old material (which I will also provide links for in keeping with preserving the past) but I am 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 is 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


About DigiPen Institute of Technology:

Based in Redmond, Washington, a major centre of game development in the United States, DigiPen Institute of Technology is acknowledged as a leader in interactive entertainment technology education. Since 1994,

DigiPen has been successfully educating students for careers in the video game industry as programmers, production artists and computer engineers.

DigiPen offers the following degrees:

· Master of Science in Computer Science

· Bachelor of Science in Real-time Interactive Entertainment

· Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

· Associate of Applied Arts in 3D Computer Animation

· Bachelor of Fine Arts in Production Animation.

For more details about Digipen’s degree programs, visit http://www.digipen.edu

DigiPen Institute of Technology also offers a number of outreach efforts to explore a career in video game development:

DigiPen also has an online program taught live by DigiPen instructors. For details, go to http://projectfun.digipen.edu

The original webcast and project is available over @ StarTrooper XNA Codeplex page

Simon (darkside) Jackson

Simon (darkside) Jackson

Engineer, industry executive, research enthusiast. Avid learner with diverse interests in coding, game development, Mixed Reality (AR/VR/XR) and reinforcement learning. 25+ years of experience working in multinational corporations and startups.


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