I’ve been hearing from a lot of high school computer science teachers that they are looking for some fun and educational things to do with their AP CS students once the exam is over. For some of these teachers some XNA looks promising. For those people and more I decided to put this collection of resources together in one place. I’m open to adding more if people leave me comments or send me email. What works for you to get jump started with XNA and game development?
Official XNA Sites
- Creators Club Online – Home base for XNA Game Studio Express information
- Online Support Forums – The first place to go with your technical problems!
- Essential Software – What you need (in software) to get started
Projects – By and For Educators
Very Silly Games
Very Silly Games is a “Library of Gameplay silliness” from which you can pull down fully working XNA games you can play instantly on your computer or, once you have joined the XNA Creators Club, on your Xbox 360.
XNA Game-Themed Assignments
Kelvin Sung from the University of Washington at Bothell has a project that is building XNA Game-Themed assignments for use in computer science classes.
GuitarMatey is a 3D game for the Xbox that allows you to improvise guitar music with the accompaniment of a backing track. Five pirates dance for you as you play the game. While GuitarMatey lacks a real objective or purpose, it is perfect to help you learn about developing 3D games for free using XNA and our partner tools.
Full details and links to the videos may be found here.
When Cods Collide
Betsy Aoki has created a simple 2D game in XNA that involves collision detection. It looks like a useful series and it is a fun read. So here are the links:
Modify an existing game in 10 minutes
Hilary Pike has created a short quick moving demo/screen cast on modifying an existing 2-dimensional XNA based video game. In just 10 minutes she walks the viewer through some key gaming concepts and then adds Collision Detection and Score Keeping to the game.
XNA Pong Game
Dan Waters has created a Pong game as a tutorial for beginners. This might be a piece of code a bright student might enjoy improving on themselves.
Other Sets of Links From Teachers
Brian Scarbeau’s XNA Class links – http://sws.lhps.org/XNAforstudents/tabid/347/Default.aspx
Patrick Coxall’s collection of videos – http://www.ottawacatholicschools.ca/teh/content.php?doc=3697