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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars XNA 4.Game Development by Example: Beginners Guide, 12 April 2011
This book uses three very different games to gradually introduce new concepts in XNA and c#.

Chapter 1, Introducing XNA Game Studio

A brief history (thankfully brief) of XNA and how to install. I like the "What just happened?" explanations. These offer a more detailed description of what you have actually done- assuming that you are working through the book together with your computer.

Chapter 2, Flood Control - Underwater Puzzling
Using a 2D board game to introduce the XNA Content Pipeline, and sprite sheets. This book does not assume that you are a C# programmer and makes some efforts to try and explain some c# concepts at the same time as introducing you to XNA concepts. If you are new to programming and c# then terms such as Overloading, and Alpha blending are explained as they are introduced.

Chapter 3, Flood Control - Smoothing out the Rough Edges
Through the use of this interesting introductory game the author continues to teach you c# concepts such as inheritance. Most games also contain some maths knowledge and the author does not leave it to chance that you may not know what a radian is.

Chapter 4, Asteroid Belt Assault - Lost in Space
This second game is an introduction into 2D animation and introduces you to collision detection and how to support such a requirement. (This game brought back to me the concept of Player-Missile graphics on my first Atari in the early 1980's).

Chapter 5, Asteroid Belt Assault - Special Effects
This chapter introduces you to explosions and sounds and the various ways of handling sound in XNA. This also contains an introduction into a 2D particle system.

Chapter 6, Robot Rampage - Multi-Axis Mayhem
The previous two games limited you to a single screen sized world, but this game will introduce you to scrolling around a world bigger than your screen. Also contains a nice introduction to tiled maps and of course a new camera class.

Chapter 7, Robot Rampage - Lots and Lots of Bullets
If you don't know what A* is then you will after reading this chapter. There are entire books written on path finding and this author does well to explain the basics and put them to a practical use. Also introduces a way to implement "powerups".

Chapter 8, Gemstone Hunter - Put on your Platform Shoes
A side scrolling game is used to introduce multiple layers of tiles and how to use Windows Forms with XNA. Also serves as an introduction to serialization. With the introduction of implementing a Game Library, this example starts to get professional.

Chapter 9, Gemstone Hunter - Standing on Your Own Two Pixels
After reading this chapter you will me even more familiar with class inheritance and derived objects. This just has to be so much more fun to learn than via the kind of books that I learned c# from.

You cannot write a game in XNA without some understanding in c#, object based programming and some maths. Unlike many similar beginner books, this book does not assume that you know everything (eg what a radian is) and explains each new concept as it is introduced.
This books use of some interesting games certainly beats yet another way of printing "Hello World" on the screen and this will make it a great learning experience of anyone that wishes to start programming with little or no programming knowledge.
At first I was not too enthusiastic in reading a book for beginners but very quickly lost my lack of interest as I eager to discover how this author was going to explain some of the more complex concepts of c# and xna.
This book is not for those that expect to get an introduction into the 3D world of XNA, and for that reason the book title should have included "2D". However it is essential that these 2D concepts are fully understood before moving onto 3D.
After reading this book you will be well placed to get an introduction to 3D with the next title from the same publisher 3D Graphics with XNA Studio 4.0
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, 2 Nov. 2011
N. R. Ianni (Spain) - See all my reviews
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Basically, if you want to make 2D videogames and don't know how or aren't too good at it, get this book NOW!

I had been playing with XNA since the 3.0/3.1 version but never really achieved anything.
Read a lot of recommended books about the framework but none of them helped me with the process of making a game as all of them would teach me the basics of OOP and not the basics about game development.

I was about to give up when I came across with this book, now I'm making my own games and having fun witth them :)

This book is, from my POV, the best place to start with 2D game designing, and even if you don't know that well OOP or the .Net framework it's still gonna be helpful as it starts slowly and quickly builds up.

The book is divided into 9 chapters, the first one explains what XNA is and how it works and explains how to make a really simple game.
After that, it shows how to make 4 different games, each one within 2 chapters: The first chapters usually builds a simple game and the second chapter upgrades it by putting more complex stuff into it (like path finding algorythms, sound effects, visual effects, etc).

The good thing about the games it teaches you is that they basically cover every type of game except for sports and rpg, on chapter 2 & 3 you'll make a board game with animations, on ch.4 & 5 a space shooter with enemies moving over waypoints, on ch.6 & 7 a TDS game with random generated maps, powerups, a world larger than the screen (using a camera) and path finding algorythms, and on ch.8 & 9 a sidescroller platformer game ala MarioBros. It also explains how to make a MapEditor by using winforms + xna (really useful thing for your games).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overall, 15 Jan. 2012
I think that this book is good if you are someone with some programming experience that wonders how to turn your knowledge of object oriented programming into games. I also like the 'by example' learning model of the book, rather than explaining concepts in an abstract way which often programming books do.

My only real criticism of the way this book is written is that you can spend long periods of time just copying code from the book before you actually get to try out (and test/play) what it is you've been writing. As well as making it more difficult to hold your attention, it also means you slip in the odd mistake. This is good in a way for someone with programming experience because it means you have to debug and step through your code to work out why things are not as they should be helping you understand it better.

However if I were to put my myself in the shoes of someone with very little experience of visual studio and/or programming it might result in that person getting frustrated to the point of giving up on the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what it says on the tin! Or cover?, 11 Mar. 2013
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This is an excellent beginner's guide to XNA 4.0!

I bought this book as being a typical student I had been missing some classes which we were working on Game Design using XNA. This book contains for examples of games using different techniques and styles, with a full walk-through for each one.

Step by step coding instructions showed what everything meant, where to put it and what it did directly - how it affected the game. I particularly liked the style of writing with this, and even for the price I think it's well worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good buy for beginners to XNA and game development, 9 May 2012
Mr. S. Jackson (UK) - See all my reviews
The book gives a great intro into the whole XNA world from a C# developers perspective and details 4 great learning projects to build from (including one of the best visuals example i've seen in a while, just showing you that even the most basic game design can really shine with great visuals!)

I've written a more in depth review of the Visual Basic version can be found on XNA-UK here which still stands true for the C# version - [...]
Well worth the buy

If your a Visual Basic version there is also a version of this book for you too [...]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example, 25 April 2011
Excellent book. The Only way I can fault it is that at times too much code is written at once. Although The reader may understand how to solve the problem in the way presented, they may not be left with as clear an understanding of the issue as to enable them to solve it in other ways which would be extremely beneficial
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 1 April 2013
DA Cole (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginner's Guide (Kindle Edition)
Great game examples with theory paced just right. The basic principles introduced in each game serve as a useful set of core 2D techniques to build upon. Very enjoyable to work through.
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