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Home » Game Development » Game Programming » [Book] Beginning C# Programming with XNA Game Studio (Book review on a beginner level game programming book.)
[Book] Beginning C# Programming with XNA Game Studio [message #26] Fri, 06 March 2015 18:53 Go to next message
lede is currently offline  lede
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After looking through a bunch of different books and all of them seem a little pricy I decided to pick this book up which was on special today. The first chapter was very basic and really just gives a basic overview of how computers work and why we need programming languages. For an experienced programmer this is a very high level explanation which skip over several core technology concepts. But what can you expect from a beginner level programming book.

The second chapter gets a little more into the C# language but at a very basic level. It really compares to the "Hello world, hello" programs I have done in just about every language I have ever learned. The speed of this chapter is a little long but needed so that newer developers can learn the core basics. This is by no means a definiti8ve guide on OOP programming but the author has been trying his best not to overwhelm the newer reader.

My first thoughts of this book is if your an experienced programmer then you might now want to get it but for $10 it is worth a read. You never know where you might find something you didn't know. The content has been half way decent so far so I will keep reading this until I have completed it.
Re: [Book] Beginning C# Programming with XNA Game Studio [message #27 is a reply to message #26] Sun, 08 March 2015 21:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lede is currently offline  lede
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Got through a couple more chapters and I have to say I do have one complaint. The authors do try and impress the need for planning your programming tasks which I agree with but they leave out a major step in any programming project. That is code versioning! They go over the importance of UML and Unit Testing but hey don't worry about your code safety that isn't as needed as documentation.

This is probably one of my major pet peeves with developers who try and press hard onto new programmers the need for planning and then forget this major step. I didn't find out about this being needed until after I lost several changes to a major project I was working on. At the time I was working from my home computer and still had an office that I also worked in on different days. One time I forgot to copy my work from home or work can't remember the exact direction but I do remember having that oh crap I'm screwed I'm missing 2 days of programming and it was no where to be found.

A few years later I learned how great SVN was and if I hosted my repository on my development server then I could keep code in multiple places. This just last month saved me when our main server had a hard drive melt down and all the data on it was lost. Yes we had backups in place but even those were not reliable and didn't have much use to helping in our disaster. Well my code was safe I had it synced in 5 or six different computer hard drives so I didn't lose a single line of code. So not only is it good for syncing backup and code bases between multiple devices it also keeps me sane when I release a major bug fix.

Okay I'm going to stop now because if your a serious programmer you should know about this process. But for you new developers out there look into it. You will need it down the road and at some point it may save your sanity.

Back to reading!
Re: [Book] Beginning C# Programming with XNA Game Studio [message #33 is a reply to message #27] Wed, 11 March 2015 11:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lede is currently offline  lede
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This book so far has fallen short of being a good book for a beginner developer. If your an experienced C# developer the first couple of chapters are worthless and should of been cut from the book. There are a lot more beginner books that tech the basics of C# which I would recommend before reading this book. Next issue about the book is even after they have covered the basics of C# they jump into XNA development and then kind of gloss over some of the more important parts of the game studio. Because the author is trying to gear everything towards a complete newbie they fall short to actually providing any value to the reader.

Currently I'm on chapter 4 but the first couple of chapters have been a complete waste of time. I'll keep everyone posted as I progress further in the book. I only hope it get better and starts treating us like programmers and not like complete morons.
Re: [Book] Beginning C# Programming with XNA Game Studio [message #36 is a reply to message #33] Mon, 16 March 2015 07:09 Go to previous message
lede is currently offline  lede
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Did some more reading in this book over the weekend. The couple of chapters I read showed it was poorly thought out and organized as the chapters skip around important topics. For example while reading the section that calls our first program the worlds worst game or "Not A Game (NAG)" the book skips over how we make a class to handle our media and instead just has us copy it from their web site. I understand the need to copy and paste code but when it is a crucial part of the code example I feel your better of learning how to write the code.

I feel the author should of focused on either writing a book about using XNA and skip the new programmer portion of the book or write a real beginner C# programming book. Because they tried to reach both audiences the book falls apart in the way it lays out the foundation for programmers. I have a very strong background in C# programming and found many of the basic topics lacking in proper explanations. C# was designed from the the start to incorporate Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). In the book they fail explain why this is important to us as programmers and skip over a lot of design concepts that will help new developers. At some point they may tackle the need for inheritance or composition which are two powerful concepts in OOP.

I will probably still keep reading this book but at this time I don't recommend this book for reading.
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