Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Microsoft XNA 4.0 Part 1 - Development Environment

In this series of blog posts I will be documenting the progress I make with the Microsoft XNA 4.0 game development framework.

My plan is to start with the very basics (development software, project template, etc)  and work towards programming a simple 2D game and then ultimately a 3D game using models I will create with Cinema4D.

There's the road map right there...so let's start with what we'll need for the ride:

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
The Microsoft IDE used to program for just about anything with the Microsoft logo on it. I will be using the Ultimate version provided in my student license. If you don't have a copy of Visual Studio 2010, you can pick up Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express for free.

(Feel free to try this with Visual Studio 2008, but I finally migrated to 2010 a couple of weeks ago and I'm sticking to it :))

Microsoft XNA Framework
The XNA Framework is used to develop video games for Microsoft platforms: Windows, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone. So again, pretty much everything Microsoft. The latest version to date is the Microsoft XNA Framework 4.0 and can be directly integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

When these two components are installed, you're ready to dive right into the gaming business...at least theoretically that is :)

You can check if everything installed correctly by starting up Visual Studio 2010 and opening the "New Project" dialog. Select Visual C# on the left, if everything worked out fine XNA Game Studio 4.0 will be listed at the bottom. When you click it you will be able to choose from different project types:

During these posts I will be working with the "Windows Game" project template. These projects can be used on the Microsoft Windows and Phone platforms. I don't think I will be experimenting with Xbox 360 as I have a Playstation3 (*hehe maybe I'll get browny points for mentioning Sony here, in there war against the internet*).

So much for part one, next time I plan to write about the basic inner-workings of a windows game, how to get started and such. Now time for coffee.

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