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#1 Mr. M4G1C

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 07:40 AM

I already decided a long time that I would grow up to be a soft ware engineer/ game designer. and Heard about this XNA program. I thought Since this sounds like a great oportunity to get a feel for how programming is, I'd give it a try. I'm only entering my second year of high school, and really have no knowledge of anything with programming, unless creating my own level in Super mario world count...

Anyway since my high school blows, we have no classes that even teach me the basics for programming, and i'm too young for college courses. What are the basics for even learning about XNA and the computer languages it uses? huh.gif



#2 BenJeremy

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 08:09 PM

QUOTE(Mr. M4G1C @ Jun 26 2007, 03:16 AM) View Post

I already decided a long time that I would grow up to be a soft ware engineer/ game designer. and Heard about this XNA program. I thought Since this sounds like a great oportunity to get a feel for how programming is, I'd give it a try. I'm only entering my second year of high school, and really have no knowledge of anything with programming, unless creating my own level in Super mario world count...

Anyway since my high school blows, we have no classes that even teach me the basics for programming, and i'm too young for college courses. What are the basics for even learning about XNA and the computer languages it uses? huh.gif


Well, it's difficult to say... I started 25 years ago, programming BASIC on VIC-20s and PET computers. I moved on to C=64s and IBM PCs, learning Assembly, Pascal, then COBOL and Forth in college. In the service, I finally got into C programming, and after that, C++.

Now pretty much any language is basically a matter of learning syntax and having a reference guide handy - VB6, VB.NET, C#, Java, Javascript...

Learning C# is probably the easiest, as it is fairly well designed in terms of consistency. Express is also free, which makes it nice... you can write simple "console" apps (not Console as in game system, but console as in command line interface "DOS" box) to read text input and write text to the screen, line by line. Start simple, then challenge yourself to do more, like a windows-based form.

Also, pick up a decent book... the books like "C# for Dummies" aren't a bad place to start, even if the name may be a bit put-offish.

Also remember, the goal is to learn "object oriented programming" (OOP) - XNA revolves around the use of objects and interfaces. Straight coding is fine, but you have to think in terms of grouping the tasks you want done in logical groups.

#3 bucko

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:52 PM

Ah nice insight BenJeremy, might have to get that book soon since I've always wanted to learn to but never knew were to start.

I'm pretty good with XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and a bit of PHP and MySQL but never programmed anything in C# before.

I'm also quite good at level building in 3DStudioMax hopefully that will help with XNA?

Something like that good

http://www.amazon.co...h...9564&sr=8-1 ??

Might just get parents to buy it and say it's for University stuff well I am doing Ba Interactive Design so it could come in useful.

Also I may get slapped in the face for asking this but do programing languages like C# change (I know theres better/different ones like C++) like web code standards do? Since the book is 2005 want to make sure it's ok.

I've also been interested in the demo scene (you know them crazy demos to max out the hardware) any pointers to get in that?

Edited by bucko, 27 June 2007 - 10:01 PM.


#4 BenJeremy

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 12:17 AM

QUOTE(bucko @ Jun 27 2007, 05:28 PM) View Post

Ah nice insight BenJeremy, might have to get that book soon since I've always wanted to learn to but never knew were to start.

I'm pretty good with XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and a bit of PHP and MySQL but never programmed anything in C# before.

I'm also quite good at level building in 3DStudioMax hopefully that will help with XNA?

Something like that good

http://www.amazon.co...h...9564&sr=8-1 ??

Might just get parents to buy it and say it's for University stuff well I am doing Ba Interactive Design so it could come in useful.

Also I may get slapped in the face for asking this but do programing languages like C# change (I know theres better/different ones like C++) like web code standards do? Since the book is 2005 want to make sure it's ok.

I've also been interested in the demo scene (you know them crazy demos to max out the hardware) any pointers to get in that?



3DS Max will help, just because of handling 3D meshes/models in the XNA framework will require you to, well, build models and such. I haven't done much in 3D with XNA yet, but my current project might as well use 3D space to render.

As for standards, well, that's a bit funny there... I'm working on a project that's restricted to .NET 1.1 Framework, but do some of my developing on my own PC, which has VS.NET 2005, which ONLY supports .NET Framework 2.0... so I have to be careful of constructs that may not work in "1.1" - and there ARE language differences, particularly in the form of "Generics". Since C# Express came out in 2005, the book might be fine... of course, you don't need generics, and more importantly, compatibility is maintained FORWARD, so in my own work example, any code I wrote to compile on VS.NET 2003 (for work) also compiled fine in VS.NET 2005.

I would avoid the first couple XNA-specific books out, too... but if you can find any decent Shader books (I've gotten a couple at discount sellers) for DX8 or above, they will be applicable to any fancy 3D stuff you might want to do. Shaders are how you program the graphics processing of textures and vertices, essentially similar to programmable logic coding (If you are familiar at all with FPGAs).

DX books will also help... many of the examples should be "portable" into the XNA framework.

#5 bucko

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE(BenJeremy @ Jun 29 2007, 12:53 AM) View Post

3DS Max will help, just because of handling 3D meshes/models in the XNA framework will require you to, well, build models and such. I haven't done much in 3D with XNA yet, but my current project might as well use 3D space to render.

As for standards, well, that's a bit funny there... I'm working on a project that's restricted to .NET 1.1 Framework, but do some of my developing on my own PC, which has VS.NET 2005, which ONLY supports .NET Framework 2.0... so I have to be careful of constructs that may not work in "1.1" - and there ARE language differences, particularly in the form of "Generics". Since C# Express came out in 2005, the book might be fine... of course, you don't need generics, and more importantly, compatibility is maintained FORWARD, so in my own work example, any code I wrote to compile on VS.NET 2003 (for work) also compiled fine in VS.NET 2005.

I would avoid the first couple XNA-specific books out, too... but if you can find any decent Shader books (I've gotten a couple at discount sellers) for DX8 or above, they will be applicable to any fancy 3D stuff you might want to do. Shaders are how you program the graphics processing of textures and vertices, essentially similar to programmable logic coding (If you are familiar at all with FPGAs).

DX books will also help... many of the examples should be "portable" into the XNA framework.


thnx, much appreciated, will order the book soon and have a play!





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