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Windows XP & XBOX 360 Game Programming Using XNA Game Studio Express Paperback – 14 Mar 2011

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Introduction PART 1 - Core Framework Elements 1. Hello, XNA! 2. The XNA Application Model 3. Basic 2D Rendering Techniques 4. Basic 3D Rendering Techniques 5. User Input 6. Music & Sound FX PART 2 - Intermediate Framework elements 7. Scene Management & Collision Detection 8. The Graphics Sub-System 9. Shaders and Effects 10. Intermediate Rendering Techniques 11. File IO & Serialization PART 3 - Advanced Framework Elements 12. Models, Skinning, & Skeletal Animation 13. Advanced Rendering Techniques 14. Particle Systems and Other Effects 15. Gamer Services & Live! 16. Networked Multiplayer Games PART 4 - Tools and Technology 17. Debugging & Profiling 18. Multi-Threaded Development 19. Playing Without a Game PART 5 - The Content Pipeline 20. The Content Pipeline Paradigm 21. Importers and Content Types 22. Processors and Intermediate Formats Appendix A: Obtaining and Using XNA GSE 2.0 Appendix B: Developing and Deploying on the Xbox 360 Appendix C: Working with the Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT)

About the Author

Jonathan S. Harbour is an associate professor at the University of Advancing Technology (Tempe, AZ). His web site at includes an online forum and blog for book support. His most recent game projects are Starflight - The Lost Colony ( and Aquaphobia: Mutant Brain Sponge Madness (

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Good Reference for XNA 4.0 24 Feb. 2012
By R. Caldwell - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, this is a decent reference book for the XNA 4.0 library. In the first third of the book, it mainly just points out the layout of the XNA library in an easy to read and easy to understand way. The part I was most disappointed in was the lack of code examples and coverage of the HLSL. The XNA library is quite extensive and this book would only benefit with more through code examples, especially for some of the more obscure features of XNA 4.0. However if you are someone who has experience with C# and either XNA 2.0 to XNA 3.1, the reference part of the book is excellent for what it is.

However, the real meat and potatoes are in part 3 of the book. This is where the author covers, Meshes, Avatars, Sprites and Multiplayer Networking, in-depth, with the XNA library. In the last chapter, the author has you making a simple multiplayer game engine that can easily be added to for a more full featured multiplayer engine.

In conclusion, you need to take this book for what it is, a good reference to the XNA 4.0 library with some really good examples coming towards the end of the book. If you are experienced with C# and have used past XNA libraries (XNA 2.0/3.1), then this is a good book to have on hand while making a game with XNA 4.0. With that said, this book would have greatly benefited from an extra 100 to 200 pages, in order to include more code examples and maybe even a couple of chapters to cover the HLSL too.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
If you are looking for an in-depth book of what XNA can do...this is a great book. 3 Mar. 2011
By Programming Teacher - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book started out a surprise seeing the description the publisher was listing was different than what the book
was actually meant to be. Since then, the publisher has fixed its description.

Since then, I have had the chance to read the book and it has some great resources that are not covered in
your typical book...which is great....more meat and potatoes rather than just some of the fluff you get in other books.

It is not meant as a beginner, take you step-by-step book...It is meant for programmers that know the main topics of game development, but it is meant to take you further into game development through using the tools that are not typically covered, but this book does.

Hope this is of help for those people trying to advance their XNA games. BTW-> If you are looking to learn the basics of game development, please check out Jonathan Harbour's (this author) other programming books that do teach you beyond the fluff!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mostly a reference book 15 May 2012
By Steve in Knox - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first 3/4 of this book is for reference. It basically shows you all of the namespaces and classes with a brief description of each. The last 1/4 walks you through the creation of a basic game engine. I'll keep this around for a quick reference, but I cannot recommend it for learning XNA. Check my other reviews for a recommendation of a really good one.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Poor effort 8 Mar. 2011
By A. H. Veldhuizen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really poor effort on the part of the author. If anyone thinks of buying this book to learn how to code in XNA think again. There are far better books available. I bought it in the hope that it would explain the XNA classes (namespaces) with their methods and Properties and some C# code on how they are used. Well, I may as well copy the MSDN library for free. Part II ie chapters 3 to 11 (57 - 270) is practically the MSDN library in print with a little code sprinkled in between. The emphasis is on little. I have bought many books on programming and can only say this has been an expensive waste.
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