Author: Alexandre Santos Lobao, Bruno Pereira Evangelista, José Antonio Leal de Farias & Riemer Grootjans
Publisher: Apress, 2009
Pros: Good introduction to XNA for C# developers
Cons: Not suitable for beginners
Reviewed by: Mike James
Despite its title, Beginning XNA 3.0 Game Programming: From Novice to Professional, this isn't a beginners introduction to XNA. If you can program and are new to XNA and games programming in general then this will get you started and even move you on more advanced topics. If you are looking for a book to get you started with games programming and you aren't already a good programmer then this book isn't for you.
The code it presents is fine for a programmer who already knows how to enter code and build a program but there is insufficient explanation if you need instructions about exactly what to do.
The first four chapters develop the basic ideas of 2D graphics and game play. Then we move on to adding network players and sound. A more realistic extended example is then presented before we move on to 3D graphics. From here the book becomes increasingly advanced with chapters on 3D views, shaders, special effects, terrain generation, skeletal animation (reverse kinematics) and so on. Finally we have a more extended 3D example, in the form of a third-person shooter game.
Overall the code is well presented and if you know C# and want to learn about XNA then this is a good introduction. If you are a beginner wanting to learn to program using games then Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0: Learn Programming Now! is a better choice.