About this Series

Product Description

Finally, you can get your hands on 3D Buzz's entire XNA Xtreme 101 training set for one incredibly low price! For the first time ever, we've combined Volumes I, II, and III of this set into a single bundle, making it easier and more affordable than ever to get the training you want over C# and XNA. All told, this set is exactly what you need to get from the level of complete beginner to proficient game programmer with XNA, covering the basics of syntax with C# and gradually moving up to the world of the XNA framework. Many different types of game are discussed, starting with fully covered examples in which each line of code is discussed, and eventually getting to the point in which you will be comfortable coding your own games after receiving a thorough briefing on how the game needs to perform. So quit dreaming about making your own games and let 3D Buzz help make you into a game programmer today!

What will I learn from XNA Xtreme 101 - Vol. 1?

Throughout these videos, youll be creating two complete games, along with several other support applications used to demonstrate specific points. The games covered include The Hyperion Project, a simple text-based adventure engine, and Cannon, which you will actually create using three separate methods.

This step-by-step process gradually makes you more and more acquainted with Object-Orientation, allowing you to make an easy shift into the realm of the XNA Framework. Whether youre completely new to the realm of programming, or a veteran programmer preparing to make a smooth transition to XNA, youre going to find exactly what youre looking for within XNA Xtreme 101!

It should be noted that this first volume focuses more on making the student into a proficient programmer using C#, and does not yet heavily emphasize the use of the XNA Framework. XNA will be used throughout the remainder of the XNA Xtreme 101 course volumes.

The Hyperion Project

This game serves as a way to get your feet wet with programming in C#. This is XNA Xtreme 101s version, albeit an extraordinary version, of a "Hellow World" application in which you will create a full-blown console-based text adventure game. During the creation of the Hyperion Project, you will be shown how to create a simple game from both the programming and design point of view.

Cannon 1

Cannon 1 ups the ante as it teaches you how to create a graphical shooter using WinForms. You will be introduced to sprites for the first time as you are shown how to create an event-driven game.

Cannon 2

Cannon 2 is the evolution of Cannon 1 from an event-driven game to an engine-based game.

Cannon 3

Cannon 3 is the culmination of everything you will have learned throughout Volume 1 of XNA Xtreme 101. In this project, you will recreate the Cannon game using XNA.
Knowledge Review 7 - The DAG
In this Knowledge Review, the viewer is challenged to create a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Those who have used 3D applications may be familiar with this concept as it is the basis for the scene. A DAG is made of of nodes representing the various abjects within the scene. The nodes can then be parented to form complex hierarchies used to influence such things as transformations. In the creation of the DAG, the viewer must put their understanding of object-oriented programming to the test. Inheritance and virtual methods play a key role as the basic properties and behaviors are defined in the base node class and then passed on to subsequent, more complex classes. The creation of a scenegraph is extremely important in the world of game development as todays games consist of hundred or thousands of objects all working together inside of an overall scene. The DAG Knowledge Review is a true test for any aspiring game programmer. The viewer is first given the opportunity to attempt to solve the task on their own. They are then walked through the creation of the DAG step by step to see how the instructors completed it.

Knowledge Review 8 - The Simple Pong Game

This Knowledge Review challenges the viewer to create a simple game in the style of the famous Pong. All of the knowledge gained up to this point will be essential to the successful completion of this game. The ability to accept custom input from the player becomes key in this lesson. In addition, the viewer learns how to output text to the screen to inform the player of the status of the game. While this game is somewhat simple, the skills gained in its creation will be absolutely essential to the creation of any more complex game the viewer might undertake in the future. As with all Knowledge Reviews, after the viewer has been given the opportunity to complete the challenge, the instructors will demonstrate the creation of the Pong-style game.

Precision

The culmination of XNA Xtreme 101 - Vol. 2 is the creation of the Precision game. This is a top-down 2D game making use of such concepts as object-oriented methodologies, moveing and scaling sprites, accepting input from the player, and displaying text to the screen. Here, the viewer is forced to reach deep into their bag of knowledge gained over the course of Volume 1 and Volume 2. This full-featured game is not only fun to play, but will give the viewer a real taste of what goes into game development from the design to the implementation and the viewer is even walked through the creation of the sprites used in the game.

Memory Master

Memory Master is a game in which a series of floating circular pucks bounce around the screen, flashing in a particular pattern. The player then repeats this pattern using a series of corresponding button presses. The challenge comes from the fact that while the pattern remains consistent and constantly expands, the pucks themselves are freely floating about the screen and bouncing off of each other.

For the completion of the Memory Master game, we begin by focusing on new features that the engine will have to handle, namely the code to cause the pucks to bounce off of one another. This circle-to-circle bounce code is constructed through the creation of a simple application that allows you to fill a screen full of circles that bounce off of the walls and off of one another.

Once the bounce code is in place, the only remaining feature is the creation of a system that generates random sequence, allowing each random sequence to be played back over time. This is handled through the creation of a second simple application that creates random patterns of four colored arrows.

With these two applications complete, the user has everything they need in order to employ the skills established in Volumes I and II, and thereby complete the Memory Master game.

Battle Blocks

Battle Blocks is a game that pays homage to classic arcade games of yore. The player controls a rectangular paddle that bounces a ball into a stack of bricks, thereby destroying and eventually clearing the level of those bricks.

The code for Battle Blocks requires that the game know how to handle collision and bounce in such a way that the location at which the ball strikes the paddle will affect the direction of the bounce. To accomplish this, a special system is designed that allows a ball to bounce off of a square, with the system being aware of which side of the square that was struck. Once this established, the system is enhanced to allow collision and bounce with any rectangle.

The final new element is covered is creating a series of boxes that are aware of collisions from the ball objects. These collisions are then used to destroy those boxes; a key element for gameplay.

Laser Bike

A game that has seen a variety of incarnations throughout gaming history, and one that was a key element in a major motion picture of the early '80s, Laser Bikes puts the player in control of a digital motorbike that leaves a laser trail behind it. The object of the game is to steer through the level, avoiding the laser walls of both your bike and that of your opponent, all while trying to force your adversary to crash.

For this game, it is the laser walls that pose the initial challenge. You will see how this problem is handled using a grid-based system to divide up the playing field. This allows the game to shade in those areas through which a bike has already passed, and thereby draw the walls trailing off the bikes. This system also allows for special textures to be used in areas where the bike changes direction, allowing the overall graphical effect to remain smooth.

Once the wall drawing system is in place, the videos also cover the creation of an interpolation system which allows the bike to appear to smoothly move through the level, despite the fact that it is internally considered to move directly from one grid point to another. This is also the first game in which multiplayer support is fully discussed and integrated, allowing the player to pit their skills against a friend!

Space Fighter

Space Fighter is your quintessential classic top-down scrolling shooter game! This incarnation of a tried-and-true recipe for fun includes animated sprites, a robust weapon system, and a hierarchical ship construction system, which allows ships to be assembled from multiple destroyable pieces!

Being the final game in the XNA Xtreme 101 series, this game gets a little bit of extra attention in the videos, and rightly so with so many engine additions! The first topic that is handled is the creation of an animated sprite class, allowing for frame-based animation for ships, weapons, explosions, etc. From there, we show you how you can establish a per-pixel collision detection system for accurate response to weapons fire. From there, you'll see how to bridge the gap between these two systems by enhancing the collision system to allow for per-pixel collisions on animated sprites!

The video also covers the creation of the star field effect which will play along the background during gameplay. However, rather than rely on user-generated textures, we demonstrate how this star field can be handled procedurally, allowing for the field to be edited via a series of parameters.

For gameplay to be at its best, the game will need a variety of different weapons. Here we lay the groundwork for a flexible weapon system that allows the programmer to implement a near limitless array of different weapon types! The weapon system itself is comprised of two components: A firing action and a sequencing system. The firing action provides the ability for projectiles or other types of damage-causing objects to be spawned. The separate sequencing system allows for variable timing of these firing actions. With the two systems in place, the weapons system is ready to accept sprite-based projectiles, hit-scan weapons, mass or radius-based damage weapons, and more!

Xbox 360 Publishing

With all of our games finally covered, it's time to focus on one of the final concepts of the XNA Xtreme 101 class: How to play your creations on your Xbox 360! This task is covered through in-depth on-screen examples, showing you exactly how to go about joining the XNA Creator's Club, how to get Visual Studio connected to your Xbox 360, and how to get your games running on the console! Best of all, we show you how you can share a codebase between the PC project and the Xbox 360 project, essentially porting your PC game to the 360! The upshot to this is that you can play the games you have designed for the PC on your Xbox 360 console, while still retaining PC playability. The setup also allows for changes to the Xbox version to affect the PC version, and vice versa.

Topics List for XNA Xtreme 101 Volume III

  • Programming Concepts covered in Volume III
  • Structs
  • Arrays (declaration, usage, looping and multidimensional)
  • Delegates
  • Events

Game Engine Topics

  • Circle-circle bounce (memory master)
  • Circle-rectangle bounce (battle blocks)
  • Sprite ejection
  • Rotational and vector math for look-at target and directional rotation
  • Grid based trail generation and collision
  • Procedural texture generation: starfield generator
  • 2D Camera creation
  • Hierarchical translation (parented game objects)
  • Multiplayer support
  • Sprite animation
  • Per-pixel collision detection
  • Animated per-pixel collision detection
  • Robust weapon systems

XNA Framework Topics

  • Audio handling
  • Texture manipulation

Xbox 360 Publishing Topics

  • Joining the XNA Creator's Club
  • Xbox 360 and Visual Studio setup for game deployment
  • Porting existing projects
  • Creating a shared code base between Windows and 360 projects

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes 'XNA Xtreme 101' different from other training videos?

With the advent of XNA, a whole new world has been opened to proficient developers or first-time coders. Never before has the ability to develop games that can be played on a console been available to the Average Joe. And, never before has there been such a comprehensive, in-depth, and user-friendly training program capable of taking someone from completely new to programming to creating their very own games which can then be played on an Xbox 360 or PC. 'XNA Xtreme 101' was conceived to do exactly that. Moreover, it easy-to-understand manner that is engaging and highly entertaining! You won't have to worry about boring monotonous lecture material; the instructors keep everything upbeat and on-target, whether you're talking about high-level design or lower-level implementation! Plus, there is nowhere on the planet where you can get this level of professional-quality education for anywhere near this price!

Are there any prerequisites for watching this content?

The only prerequisite for XNA Xtreme 101 is that you know how to use your computer. Nothing else is assumed of the viewer. The lectures introduce you to programming using C# and XNA from the ground up, and any past experience you may have with programming is simply a bonus.

What hardware or software do I need to complete this class?

You NEED the following:

  • A computer with the Windows operating system that supports Visual C# 2005/2008 Express and is capable of running our VTMs.
  • A copy of Visual C# 2005/2008 Express. Don’t worry, it’s free.
  • The XviD codec installed.
  • A stable Internet connection, preferably broadband.

The following prerequisites are optional, based on which game assets you want to create yourself, and whether you want to play the game on an Xbox 360.

  • Some sort of paint software
  • Sound recording/editing software
  • Xbox 360 Controller for your PC (This is not required, but HIGHLY recommended)
  • An Xbox 360 with hard drive and subscription to the Creator’s Club

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