Chapter 2. Getting Started

Have you ever wanted to write your own video game? I’ll assume that because you’re reading this book, the answer to that question is yes. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this book for its sheer literary goodness, in which case, carry on.) Like many kids, my interest in building games grew the more I played video games. I would spend hours on the computer. It started with Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Combat on the Atari 2600. I then became fascinated by the rich storyline of King Graham of Daventry in Roberta Williams’ King’s Quest series, and my brother and I destroyed several keyboards trying to beat Bruce Jenner in Decathlon. But I reached a point where playing the game wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more; I wanted to actually build the games. I believe part of what separates a software developer from a software user is that curiosity, a desire to look under the covers and figure out what makes something tick.

For those of us with that innate curiosity and desire to write video games, Microsoft’s XNA game development framework is everything we’ve ever hoped for. With the straightforward layout of the framework and the power it presents to the developer, writing games for the PC has never been easier. On top of that, XNA 4.0 enables developers to develop their own games for the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7. Never before has access to software development kits targeting next-gen consoles or the latest handheld media devices been so readily available. ...

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