Getting Started with XNA 3.0 and C#
Welcome. Game development is near and dear to my heart since that is how I first learned to write software in the early 80's. Game programming and programming in general have come a long way since then. I hope that I can inspire others to learn to program by developing their own games and that I can give some assistance to you along the way.
XNA Game Studio Express (from now on I'll probably just write it as XNA) is an exciting offering from Microsoft. It allows developers to create fully functional Windows, Xbox, and Zune games using the latest and greatest development environment available.
Here's what you'll need:
First, download and install Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express with SP1 (any Visual Studio 2008 SP1 will work as well). You can find it at this link: http://www.microsoft.com/express/vcsharp/
Once that's installed, you can download and install XNA Game Studio 3.0 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=7D70D6ED-1EDD-4852-9883-9A33C0AD8FEE&displaylang=en
You should now have a new program group in your start menu, titled "Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0" and a shortcut under there for either Visual Studio or Visual C# Express 2008. Launch the development environment from that shortcut.
You should see a screen like the following:
Select File->New Project. You should see a list of installed templates. Select Windows Game (3.0). In the Text Box at the bottom of the dialog, enter the name of your game. Let's call it MyFirstGame. Click OK. This will generate a project and create the base code for the game. It is actually a working application, but it doesn't do very much. If you click the green "Play" button in the top toolbar you can see what it does. It should look something like this:
Congratulations, you have created your first working program! Next time we'll start to make it do something.