Microsoft XNA and XBOX 360 Games Development:

For those who wish to, you can do all you programming assignments based on C# and XNA framework, and then you will be able to run your assignment either on PC or even on the XBOX 360 console. If you are unsure, here are some factors that may help you consider the options:

1.     Programming Language:  C++ vs. C#: In class, all examples are presented in C++. XNA Framework is in C#.

2.     GUI API: MFC vs. WinForm or UWBGUI: In class, all we discuss issues around building graphical user interface based on examples implemented in MFC. To work with XNA framework, you have to either work with WinForm or UWB_GUI library. In order to compile and run on XBOX 360 console, you must work with UWB_GUI library. The concepts are the same, you just need to learn how to work with the API.

3.     Graphics API: In class all examples are presented in DirectX-Direct3D. XNA Framework is very similar to D3D, only a little different.

If you are still reading, thank you. I admire your persistent! And believe me your persistence is well worth it! We learn computer graphics concepts in class, if you dedicate the time to apply the concept in this new and different technology, not only will you end up learning more, your assignments will be that much cooler and that much more fun. Most importantly, your resume will be that much more impressive! Not only do you have hands-on experience on one of the cutting edge technology, the motivation, self-discipline, and dedication you have demonstrated will certainly attract future employer’s attention!

In addition, if you need the income, and do well in this class, I will very much like to pay you to work with me to integrate your work into our library! Imagine, cool assignments, get paid, good references (from me), pretty resume, _and_ did I mention getting paid. Can life be better? Well, it will be hard work … but then again, you never know, past students got their pictures taken for the news papers (UWeek , and Daily) for all we know, if you do a good job, maybe we can get you on some TV somewhere? J

OK enough rambling, here are some details …If you are still reading, GREAT! Here is what you need to do:

1.     Background information and downloads:

a.     Find out more about XNA and what you need: go to: XNA Creators club online.

b.     Membership: notice as a UW student you can obtain free membership (here is a short how to document from Howard Yuen).

c.     You should download and install: XNA Game Studio Express (as of 9/24/2008, V2) and you are ready to go!

d.     Here is a short discussion on how to connection your PC to your XBOX360 console (we have a few stations in the Windows Lab that you can work with).

2.     Documentations:

a.     For the IDE: XNA Games Studio Express.

b.     For the API: XNA Framework class library documentation (this is also available off the help menu from the XNA Games Studio Express).

3.     On-line discussions: This is MSDN XNA discussion bulletin. As in all on-line discussion sites, this place has many useful information, unfortunately, it also contains many not very helpful (and sometimes even misleading discussions). Read with care, and watch out, sites like these can easily take up your entire day!

4.     XNA specific materials related to our course:

a.     For options to run on the XBOX 360 console (From Howard Yuen, based on work done by Peter Yiap and Robert Stone):

1.     Small program demonstrating how to work with UWBGUI library.

2.     Library version 1, and versions 5 to 11.

b.     For options to only run on the PC

1.     Tutorials on how to work with WinForm library (zip and on-line html) (from Ethan Verrall, based on work done by William Frankhouser).

2.     Library versions 1 to 11 (by Robert Stone).