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CHAPTER 12 s CREATING A THIRD-PERSON SHOOTER GAME
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display adapter. Otherwise, you set the width and height of the screen s buffer according to the GameSettings parameter. Last, you check if the current video card supports the shader model 2.0.
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Summary
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In this chapter you learned how to create a simple but complete TPS game. In the beginning of the chapter we quickly reviewed some examples of commercial FPS and TPS games. Then, based on this review, you created a basic design for your game, divided into defining the game, gameplay, and technical design parts. After that, you started to develop the game code, which was divided into three main namespaces: GameBase, GameLogic, and Helpers. In the GameBase namespace, you created all the classes for the game engine, some of which you created in the previous chapters. Then, you created all the helper classes in the Helpers namespace and all the game logic classes in the GameLogic namespace. After that, you created a LevelCreator class to create your game levels, and finally, you put it all together by creating a GameScreen class that handles the main game update and drawing logic.
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CHAPTER
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Closing Words
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f you ve reached this page, you ve probably read the entire book, and now are probably wondering what the next steps are: what to do to sharpen your XNA knowledge further to create the next generation of games. That s the purpose of these last pages: to give you some insights and tips on where to go from here. Before we do so, we d like to thank you for your confidence in buying our book, and we hope that you had as much fun playing around with the samples and games as we did writing them. If you didn t have fun, please get in touch with Apress and tell us what we can do better, so our next books can better suit your expectations and needs. You can find our contact information at http://www.apress.com.
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Where You Are Now . . .
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At this point, you should have (at least) two games: one simple 2-D game with some network features, and a simple 3-D game. Most importantly, by this time you should be familiar with game programming terms and have a basic knowledge of the XNA framework. Creating neat game samples is good, but the games in this book are solely meant to provide you with practical examples of how to apply the basic knowledge you have about XNA to a real game. You ll find an improved version of the 3-D shooter at Bruno s site, at http://www.brunoevangelista.com; you can find some tutorials, news, and samples at Jos Leal s site, http://www.sharpgames.net (this last one only in Portuguese). We do recommend that you go back and have a quick look at each chapter s summary, so you can refresh your memory about everything you saw, and note topics that you didn t understand well or want to revise. Remember: you can always find the most recent code and any text or code errata in the Source Code/Download area of the Apress web site at http://www.apress.com. All you have to do is to look for the book s name. When you re sure that you ve gotten everything you could from this book, you can proceed further.
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CHAPTER 13 s CLOSING WORDS
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Where Do You Go from Here
If you search for XNA in any common Internet search engine, you ll find (as of February, 2008) around two million hits. When you narrow down to an XNA Tutorial search, you get about half a million results, without quotation marks, and about ten thousand results when searching with quotation marks. If you ve ever tried to choose anything from among one thousand possibilities, you know that even one thousand is just too much information for a person to process so forget about searching the Internet for your next steps, unless you know exactly what you need! If you need good examples, http://creators.XNA.com is always your starting point; that site has samples for almost anything you ll need to create your 2-D or 3-D games. http://www.codeplex.com is also a good source for XNA projects, including some open source game engines and components. But if there s a single piece of advice we can ask you to follow, it is that you don t start by analyzing samples or by trying to collect code on the Internet to create your own game engine, including everything you might need for a game. Too many people out there are creating samples, components, and game engines with XNA, and too few are creating real games, even simple ones. So if you really want to learn XNA, start by creating a game on your own. Of course you can and are encouraged to write original games, but as a start we d recommend a simple but fairly interesting game: Tetris. If you start from the ground up and create your own version of Tetris, you ll exercise many concepts you ll use in every one of your future games: using the Update method of the Game class to detect collisions and update the game state (make the blocks fall); creating a set of classes with different behaviors (each block turns in a different way) but which share a common ground (every block falls), allowing you to create a hierarchy with a base and derived classes; dealing with user input; coding for game end and game scoring; and so on. Besides exercising many common basic concepts, creating an XNA Tetris clone is also a good choice because you can create it within a couple weeks, so you can stay motivated for your next challenge. It also allows you to get a whole new insight about the difficulty of creating a game from the ground up, so you can have a proper feeling about the complexity of such a task and how each of the game components fits together. After creating your Tetris clone, the next step could be a game that uses the same concepts, but includes some extra challenges, such as creating a breakout clone or a pinball game. In such games, you d be using the concepts from Tetris, plus sound, some advanced-mode collision detection algorithms, and including some animated sprites. An interesting variant of this second step should be creating a simple 3-D game, such as a 3-D version of Tetris, breakout, or pinball. Such games are interesting because although they use 3-D objects, you can still use simplified, 2-D like versions of the collision detection algorithm.
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