XNA Game-Themed CS1 Examples (XGC1)

Release 2.0 (XNA V3.1)

XNA Game Studio Express: Installation and Setup

(for XNA 3.0)

Running XNA Framwork programs on a PC: XNA framework program code can be compiled to run on Windows-based PCs or on the XBOX 360 consoles. Sometimes it is convenient to test a program locally on a PC before testing it off the network on a XBOX 360 console.  In order to run XNA framework programs on your PC, you need a:

    Direct3D 9.0 capable video card that supports at least Shader Model 1.1

Check your graphics card manufacturer's website for more information about your specific graphics card.

All software and APIs described in this document are free of charge.

This document describes how to install and setup development/run-time environments to work with the NXA framework. Our ultimate goals are to guide you to work with the XNACS1Lib library and to convince you to work with the XNA Games-themed programming Assignments ( XGAs ) and XNA Game-Themed CS1 ( XGC1 ) materials in your CS1/2 classes. The XGAs and XGC1 are designed to teach introductory programming concepts based on game-themed assignments and examples. All these materials are developed based on the XNACS1Base class where the XNACS1Base class is a very simple (and restrictive) class/library developed on top of the XNA framework. Based on the handful functions/classes in the XNACS1Base class, one can develop simple 2D XBOX 360 games without any knowledge of the XNA framework. In fact, besides simple gamepad input, you do not need to be aware of the existence of the XNA framework. At this point (Dec 2008), XNACS1Lib does not run on the Zune device.

However, you do need to install the XNA SDK and related IDE in order to work with the XGAs.  Please refer to http://creators.xna.com/ for details of required installations. To summarize, you will need to install:

  1. IDE: either Microsoft C# Express 2008 or Visual Studio 2008.
  2. XNA Framework: Microsoft XNA SDK.
It is possible to develop XNA projects using the Visual Studio 2008 IDE. We have chosen the C# Express 2008 IDE because it is freely available.

For the PC , if you don't have access to a XBOX 360 controller you can use keyboard to control the games. Here is the keyboard to controller mapping. If you want to work with a XBOX 360 controller you will need:
  1. The wired XBOX 360 controller ; and

  2. Download/Install the driver from here . The following are information for the download procedure:

For the XBOX 360 gaming console you will need:
  1. The XBOX 360 gaming console ; and

  2. Subscribe to the XNA Creators Club . A brief explanation on how to join the creators club can be found here .

  3. Follow the steps detailed here to connect your PC to the XBOX 360 console. 

  4. At this point, you have all the required settings and you should be able to test your XNA games! You should be able to double click on the XBOX.sln version of the build file, compile, deploy, and run the assignment on the XBOX 360 console.

Microsoft XNA framework is a collection of Application Programming Interface (API) libraries. Applications developed based on the XNA framework can be compiled to run in the Microsoft Windows environment or on the XBOX 360 gaming console. For more information on XNA please refer to:
  1. General information: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/xna/default.aspx .

  2. Frequently asked questions: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/xna/aa937793.aspx .

  3. Discussion forum: http://forums.xna.com/ .

  4. Documentation: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb203940.aspx .

  5. Other on going XNA-specific develop projects: http://www.codeplex.com/xnadevru/ .

Project home page: The Game-Themed Introductory Programming Project.
Kelvin Sung
Computing and Software Systems
University of Washington, Bothell
Michael Panitz
Business And Information Technology
Cascadia Community College

Microsoft Logo This work is supported in part by a grant from Microsoft Research under the Computer Gaming Curriculum in Computer Science RFP, Award Number 15871 and 16531.