Yesterday I finally managed to sit down, install and try the XNA framework. After some initial struggle, more to do with my hardware than anything else its on.
I read the read me and decide to start with appropriately a starter kit. Wow, that’s a lot of code but it is a working game, not a very good one, but it works. I had a look through and what struck me was the content folder and how many different types of file there was, from the TGA textures files and backdrops and sprite files, to the unknown SWM mesh format. From this I concluded I have a hell of a lot to learn about 3d programming.
So I started with a blank project instead. Whilst it’s nice to have a bells and whistles project to reference there is no substitute to starting from scratch. Within minutes I had me a bouncy ball sprite program that ran very smoothly in next to no code very easy to understand. This is the “Your first XNA program” in the help files so its no wonder the web is filling up with new versions of pong. I haven’t gone as far as creating pong, it will be a good exercise, but I think I need to find out just what you get from the framework, all this talk of tools and I see nothing.
If you are brand new to DirectX programming and XNA then expect a very hard struggle and dust off those trig books from school you will need them from essentially what you could class as “lesson 2”.
In the forums people are complaining that they want more tools a kind of VB for games, drag and drop Doom, I don’t want this, that would be bad and we would end up with the same tired old excuse for a format with differing graphics. What I DO want from MS and the XNA guys is a primer on what you need to do in a step by step guide with why you do it that way and where the tools are you need to do it, at least a link to tools you may need to purchase.
One tool you have to have is Paint.NET because the hobbyist can’t afford Photoshop.
I’m going to dig out my managed DX book and see if what I need is in there.