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Creation Data Matrix in Font Creating Your First 2-D Game

CHAPTER
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Creating Your First 2-D Game
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ow let s start the fun. In this chapter you re going to create your first game and explore some of the techniques seen in the previous chapter. Your first game will be both simple and fun. By the end you will have exercised many principles of 2-D games, not only acquiring answers, but more importantly, discovering the questions that must be answered before starting a game project. Let s go.
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Designing an XNA Game
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Before anything, as trivial as the game might seem, it must be well planned. Many projects fail because of too little effort in this phase, which leads to projects without a defined end, or even projects that are finished but with a completely different result from the initial project. This book intends to teach making games the right way, so let s start right.
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Design for the First Game: Rock Rain
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You re an intergalactic explorer and you re stuck in an endless asteroid field! How long will you resist this rock rain This is the main theme of your game, a frenetic challenge where you need to dodge a lot of asteroids that pass rapidly across the screen. It s like an Asteroids clone (a popular classic game). This is a simple and old game concept, where players need to dodge a group of obstacles on the screen, and the longer they remain without a collision, the more points they get. Additionally, the quantity of meteors increases as time goes by, making the challenge harder and harder. To satisfy your curiosity, Figure 3-1 shows the screen of your first game.
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CHAPTER 3 s CREATING YOUR FIRST 2-D GAME
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Figure 3-1. Final look of Rock Rain
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Right now, you ll clarify the game constraints and rules before you program anything. In the case of Rock Rain they re simple: The player is able to move freely around the screen and cannot leave the screen border. The meteors appear at the top of the screen and move down with a random angle and speed. After some time a new meteor is added to this rain. The score is given per the number of meteors on the screen. If the player collides with a meteor, the player s score will be zeroed and the game will restart with the initial quantity of meteors. Looks clear, doesn t it Values such as the starting quantity of meteors and how long it should take before another meteor is added to the screen were not specified because they re game parameters. We ll talk about them next.
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CHAPTER 3 s CREATING YOUR FIRST 2-D GAME
Talking like a game programmer, things like spaceships, meteors, and score are objects in your game. You should also detail these objects before you start programming anything. Note that each object in the game has its own characteristics and behavior: the rocks fall, the player controls the spaceship, the score grows with the meteor count, and so on. The correct definition of the behavior and the state control of the game s objects is the most challenging task in game programming. That s why it should be well thought out before you start to build anything else. You ll have only three sound effects: music that plays while the game is active, a sound that plays when a new meteor is added to the game, and an explosion sound that plays when the player collides with a meteor. Also on this collision you ll make the player s Xbox 360 gamepad shake, to give an impact effect.
Let s Get to It
Well, as you might have guessed, start by creating a Windows Game project called RockRain. The Solution Explorer in your Visual Studio looks like Figure 3-2.
Figure 3-2. XNA Game Solution window with the Rock Rain project created
The Content folder is a special item in XNA Games projects. In this project, you ll put all the game s assets, such as images, sounds, and so on that is, everything that should be loaded through the Content Pipeline.
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