Chris Gomez

Development topics for the indie programmer

Philly.Net Users Group – Code and Slides

I spoke at the Philly.Net User Group in June and I want to thank the group for hosting me and for the enthusiasm from the folks who came to see how to build games using XNA.

I had some problems with my web server and provider so I’ve had to do some rebuilding here at my blog.  But here is where you can find the code and slides for the game we made during the meeting.

Code and Slides on SkyDrive

Public Github Repository

We now know that XNA will be one of the supported development frameworks for Windows Phone 8.  It won’t just be that old Windows Phone 7 SDK games will be supported. The new SDK will have XNA games as a supported project type.

Bouncing on a Trampoline

I often get hung up on explaining how I make my clown “bounce” on a trampoline in the Circus game that I use in my XNA presentations.  I know I introduce some basic trigonometry that we’ve all long since forgotten.  Considering my lack of engineering degree and poor grades in trig, I always assumed that everyone else in the room would just get it and I could easily move on.

I’ve not always found that to be the case, however.  It turns out, what I am doing seems a little magical to some people and the whole point of my talks is to make game development easy to understand and take the mystery out of it.

So let’s look at how we make a clown a bounce on a trampoline.


Start With the Game State Management Sample

Most presentations on XNA, including my own, start at File > New Project.  There are tons of great ones around the web.  Right now I would suggest Bill Reiss’ Intro to XNA tutorial, which is on Part 5 as I write this post.

The tutorial may seem focused on Windows Phone, but the technique of drawing a sprite, handling input, and playing sounds are key to all games, so it’s a good start and I’ll try to continue filling in the gaps for the questions I am hearing at my presentations.

If you have tried looking at my Circus sample that I use in my XNA talks, you’ll see I started with File > New Project, but this isn’t REALLY how you will want to structure your game.  Use this wizard when you are getting started with XNA and just playing around.  But when you decide you want to start looking at something with more features of a full game, start with the Game State Management Sample.

The Game State Management Sample drops you off at essentially the same place, with a game loop and a CornflowerBlue game screen that you simply start adding your code to, but it has all the basic structure of a game that you’ll want to at least consider when you’re thinking of publishing.