XNA 4.0 Winter Workshop 2011 Topics

23. November 2010 09:52 by Jeromy Walsh in Game Developedia, XNA 4.0  //  Tags:   //   Comments (13)

I've just about finished the outline for the XNA 4.0 Winter Workshop, but am still interested in hearing more about the topics other people would covered. Since I've not published the outline yet I thought I'd take a moment and get people's feedback.

If you have time, please post a comment indicating which topics within the realm of XNA 4.0 (or general game development) you'd be interested in. For example...

  • 2D Rendering Pipeline
  • 3D Rendering Pipeline
  • HLSL
  • Audio
  • Networking
  • State Management
  • Storage
  • etc...

And of course, if you have something you'd like covered which does not fit neatly into a category listed above, feel free to describe what you'd like to learn and I'll do my best to work it in.

Workshop outline and signup form coming soon!

Re: Sample Code Not Working with XNA 4.0 [Release]

11. November 2010 09:04 by Jeromy Walsh in Game Developedia, XNA 4.0  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Thanks to Scott Ratushny who emailed me to let me know my code samples weren't working. Tutorials 1-5 were all built with the Beta version of XNA 4.0, so all my old tutorials would not build with the release version of XNA.

I've updated all of my previous projects to point to the correct assemblies. So if you tried downloading the demos before and found they would not compile, try again, they should work now.

Thanks again, Scott!

Announcing the 2011 XNA 4.0 Workshop

9. November 2010 07:03 by Jeromy Walsh in C#, Game Developedia, Win Phone 7, Xbox 360, XNA 4.0  //  Tags:   //   Comments (40)

Starting this coming January I will once again be running one of my GameDev.net workshops! Due to growing interest and the recent release of XNA 4.0, this workshop will be on XNA 4.0, including coverage of WinPhone 7 development. Unlike my previous workshops, this one will require previous C# programming experience. Additionally, a basic understanding of game programming and linear algebra (vectors, matrices, transforms) is highly recommended.

XNA Workshop Overview (Start Date: January 17, 2011)

This workshop is designed to aid people in their journey to learn XNA. This workshop is targeted at highly motivated individuals who are interested in learning XNA or who have attempted to learn XNA in the past, but found that without sufficient support and mentoring they were unable to connect all the pieces of this highly complex but powerful Framework. This is a guided workshop. Each student is responsible for taking the time to read the material and learn the information. The community and tutors that arise out of this workshop are here for making the learning process run more smoothly. Because everyone will be working from the same source materials, students may find it easier to get answers to the specific questions they might have. There is no minimum age requirement, however all participants should have at least mastered Algebra, Geometry, and some Matrix/Vector mathematics.

Additionally, this workshop does not attempt to defend XNA as a Framework, nor does it attempt to demonstrate that XNA is either more or less useful than other API's for any particular purpose. People who intend to start a discussion about the differences between XNA and ANY other API (except as are relevant to a particular topic), are encouraged to do so elsewhere. This workshop is for educational, not philosophical discussions.

XNA Workshop Summary

1. Anyone interested in participating will be asked to sign up here on Game Developedia so I can keep track of who's following along and send out announcements if necessary. The signup sheet will be provided in December.

2. Anyone interested in participating will purchase a copy of Chad Carter's Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed.

3. Anyone interested in participating will download and install XNA Game Studio 4.0 and Visual C# 2010 Express Edition. (Or another edition)

4. Each week, participants will be responsible for reading the designated chapters of the text and the accompanying tutorials provided here.

5. As people have questions on a chapter they may post them in our weekly chapter forums, located in the XNA Workshop Forum of GameDev.net. These forums will be created in early January. More advanced XNA programmers may post additional questions or exercises to help test the other students' understanding of the material.

6. Each week students should submit their answers to the quiz questions which will be provided here on Game Developedia. Quizzes will be computer graded, so you can determine how well you're grasping the information.

7. Every four weeks there will be a programming project due (see below) - designed to test a student's understanding of the previous four weeks. Students should complete these projects and upload the source code to our project database for peer review and feedback.

XNA Workshop Text

Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed.

After looking around at various XNA books, Chad's book seems to be the most well-rounded, covering both 2D and 3D technologies, creating some sample projects, and in general providing good coverage of the framework. As you've no doubt noticed, Chad's book is based on XNA Game Studio 3.0. To make the information relevant to XNA 4.0, and to cover the new features of XNA 3.1 and 4.0 which are not present in his book, I will be providing supplemental tutorials here on Game Developedia.

Weekly Chapter Threads

As with my GameDev.net C# Workshop, an XNA Workshop Forum will be created and each week a sub-forum will be added that can be used to post your questions and answers for the current week's reading assignment. People who come late to the workshop can catch up by reading over the previous threads and continuing to post their new questions.

The weekly chapter forums will have an introduction thread which will be mirrored (and stickied) in the "DirectX and XNA" forum on GameDev.net The first post of each weekly thread will be structured with a brief introduction to the workshop, and provide links back to the XNA Workshop Forum and this blog so that people can easily navigate and follow the conversation of the current week.

Monthly Project Threads

Forums will be created for each of the Monthly Projects where the first post outlines the details and requirements of the project. People can then use those forums to discuss the project, get design ideas, and ask questions.

While the full details of how this will be accomplished are not yet hammered out, participants will be able to upload their projects for analysis and peer review. Projects will not be graded, however promising projects will receive some kind of notoriety. 


The workshop will begin January 17th, and is estimated to run for 16 weeks, allowing some leeway for any setbacks due to my own schedule, or delays due to people needing more time to complete projects, etc...

As always, feel free to provide feedback about the XNA workshop proposal within this thread. Specifically, I'm interested in hearing what kind of projects you'd like to see, and how eager you are to start. =)

XNA Role Playing Game Starter Kit 4.0 (Part 2)

3. November 2010 08:48 by Jeromy Walsh in Visual Studio 2010, Windows Installer, Xbox 360, XNA, XNA 4.0  //  Tags:   //   Comments (3)

Heya All,

As promised, I've taken my ported XNA Role Playing Game 4.0 and turned it into a proper Starter Kit - Installer included! Below is the link to the Windows Project. I'll provide a starter kit of the Xbox 360 version soon, or if you prefer, you should be able to download the Windows project and use the Conversion Wizard to turn it into an Xbox 360 title.

XNA Role Playing Game Starter Kit 4.0 (Windows)

Cheers and Enjoy!

XNA Role Playing Game Starter Kit 4.0 (Part 1)

2. November 2010 10:40 by Jeromy Walsh in Visual Studio 2010, XNA, XNA 4.0  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Hi All,

It seems like only yesterday I received a new job as a Video Game Programming Instructor at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. I remember naively thinking about how much free time I'd have, and how I'd spend that free time working on tutorials and demos here on my blog.

Well, it turns out there's a lot more to teaching than I imagined. I've been spending most of my time writing lesson plans, coming up with guided practices, and grading homework assignments. I hear the first year is the hardest because you're putting in place a lot of the boiler-plate stuff that more seasoned teachers have had years to establish.

At any rate, things are finally starting to ease up a little bit and so I'm starting on a new game project with some industry friends of mine. We're opting to build the game in XNA 4.0, and as a result, we needed a good starting point. We ultimately decided to use the Role Playing Game Starter Kit as our base code, however it wasn't in XNA 4.0 yet. So, I did what any programmer with far too little free time would do. I ported the Role Playing Game Starter Kit to XNA 4.0 myself.

Here is the ported code for the XNA Role Playing Game Starter Kit (4.0).

Please note that at present this is just a sample project. I'm in the process of converting it into a proper Starter Kit, but that requires I learn the Visual Studio Template system, which is proving to be an interesting challenge all in itself. It's not overly difficult, but for my first time it's requiring a good amount of trial and error to learn how things connect on either end of the pipe.

All that remains is getting the Wave files copied over, and getting the build order fixed. It currently tries to build the RolePlayingGameWindows project before the RolePlayingGameProcessors project, even though the processors are listed as a reference in the RolePlayingGameWindows project. I can easily add a dependency after-the-fact, but dependencies seem to be stored in the solution file, not the project file, so I need to figure out a way to enforce such a constraint in the Visual Studio template File.

I'll post the completed Starter Kit once I learn how to configure the bloody thing.

About the author

Jeromy Walsh is a professional game programmer with multiple credited and uncredited AAA game titles. Jeromy's primary area of expertise is in Tools/Engine development, though he likes to fiddle with other areas as well.