Sunday, September 28, 2008

Game programming has never been easier

In recent days, game programming has become near impossible for a solo or small group to accomplish. Unless you can afford to pay for a game engine, a huge amount of time is spent setting up an environment before you can even start thinking about the game logic or graphical implementation. For console game development it was financially impossible as the physical development kit required would cost a fortune for a budding game designer. Microsoft has now developed a way to make it viable for everyone and the best part is that it is virtually free.

XNA Game Studio, an addition to Visual C# Express Edition, has given hope to game designers around the world. It provides a developer with all of the tools that they require to jump right into game development without the need to worry about the down and dirty parts of game programming. After loading the XNA Game template, it is now possible that after a tutorial or two you could start bouncing sprites around the default Cornflower Blue screen. However, if you are brand new to everything in game programming it won’t write a game for you and a certain degree of vector mathematics and logical design will be required but there are many sites and books that can help in this department.

Microsoft also hosts a giant resource of tutorials specifically for XNA within the XNA Creators Club. Within the forums you will also find a plethora of information regarding programming within XNA. Making Windows games has never been easier or better supported and a $99 yearly fee for the premium membership with the creators clubs gives you the ability to play your creations on your own Xbox. Developing games has never been as affordable or easy as it is now.

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