How To Build a Networked Zune Game with XNA Series – Introduction

Well hello there! I wanted to share with you the latest installment in my Zune series: Building a networked Zune game.

The potential is huge – imagine a group of six people playing Monopoly wirelessly on their Zunes, or some other board or card game. (That’s next for me!) But for right now, the goal is to understand the fundamentals. That means going over peer-to-peer architecture and sending network packets.

Important Things to Jumpstart You

DOWNLOAD ZE SOURCE! (164KB) [updated June 17 to include ZuneScreenManager]

  • Zune games are perfect for peer-to-peer because of their relatively low processing power and the lack of a central server (unless it’s a Zune).
  • Peer-to-peer means everyone is running an instance of the same program – there is no client or server.
  • Thusly, to implement a lobby, you need to have Create and Join Session functionality in the same program.
  • Make ample use of the available NetworkSession events (GamerJoined, GameStarted, SessionEnded) etc.
  • This sample shows how to send a network packet between peers with a Vector2 in it. More complex thinking will be necessary to implement a message handling system.

So, let’s jump right in.

Video 1: Introduction (download .wmv, 26MB)

Stay tuned for the "how to" bits – subscribe to the blog, more will be available in the next couple of days.

Comments (8)

  1. You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from

  2. I wish I had Dan Waters’ creativity. Recently Dan posted a how to video to introduce the peer to peer

  3. Dan Waters has a great video series as well as code download showing how to build a networked Zune game.

  4. says:

    Dan, *GREAT* article!!

    One piece of criticism however: Your source doesn’t build because the ZuneScreenManager project is not included in the solution. Was this intentional? I’d very much love to test out your network game.



  5. dawate says:

    Thanks Jason, this has been fixed!

  6. Game Theory says:

    Many thanks to Shane DeSeranno of the Zune team for helping me wrap my head around this concept. One

  7. scott says:

    Where can we get the source code (link is gone)?