Here are the items you will need to have to follow along with this blog, for college students attending an accredited college in the US, all of the following are free, except for the Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), if you attend a school that has MSDNAA you have access to that version of:
If you are a student either contact your department for the software from MSDNAA or use Dreamspark. If you are short on harddrive space, you can get USB drives for under $100, recommend that you buy one. To get all of this stuff downloaded and installed is going to take sometime, I would recommend that you spark up a good video like one of the Lord of the Rings while you are doing the downloads and installs.
Visual Studio 2008 Professional or better Visual Studio Team System, which I will be using, you only have to download one or the other, but if you are going for free, then get the VSTS version, if you are student that has to use Dreamspark, then use VS 2008 Pro.
Visual Studio 2008 C# Express and Visual Web Developer 2008 Free for everyone, you will need both of these for part of the class
XNA Studio Express 3.0: You will need this to program the Zune
XNA Studio Express 2.0: You will need this to be able to load your games to the Xbox
Expression Studio you will need both Expression Studio and the Expression 2.5 CTP, we will be using this to show how to use XNA with Web based games. We will also cover how to use Blend with Expression Web and Design.
Expression 2.5 CTP June you will need this because I am using examples that use it
SoftImage SHOCK, a non-Microsoft product, yes, it is free for students and hobbyists
Blogs you need to put in your favorites:
http://blogs.msdn.com/dawate (need to put the link to him)
You can pretty much skip this blog if you go to Dan Waters blog Game Theory, he details everything that I will, except that I will be at a very simple level. Which is difficult since Dan Water's blog pretty did it is as simple as possible, so I will just be doing it slightly differently. And unlike Dan, I wasted my summer on things like a 3 week vacation and doing bureaucratic crude at work.