After our experimentation with writing a game for the DS, my son has decided that it would be good to write a game for our XBox. This platform offers a lot more options for writing games compared to the DS which is limited by its less sophisticated display capabilities and the need to write in C. The XNA framework for the Xbox allows the programmer to write code in C# to produce applications that can run on both the Xbox and the PC. The game can be developed inside Visual Studio, which allows fairly good debugging capabilities. The XNA framework supports both 2D sprites and 3D models, and offers the framework of the game loop into which objects can be inserted. Game objects basically support methods for updating their state, when they are passed parameters to say how long it was since the last update, and methods that tell them to render themselves. This makes simple game development much simpler than the C loop of the DS model.
This book gives coverage of the whole XNA framework. It has examples demonstrating the production of both a 2D and a 3D application. The 2D game is a "dodge asteroids" game which is extended from a single player game into a multi-player cross network game. The 3D game is a third person shooter where the player games in a 3D world containing a number of 3D monsters. The introductions to 3D graphics and the rendering and shading pipelines was good, and the examples were well chosen.
I’m looking forward to trrying it all out.