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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

Next week is the last week of teaching XNA Game Development to my students. My year long planning for the course has really paid off and I'm proud of the 2D games that my students created. All of the games were deployed on the XBOX 360 to show the game play.

I've posted some of the games that they created and I hope you like them too.

Here are some DO's and Don'ts when teaching XNA.

Do's

Stick with one version of XNA and use it for the Semester.

Teach your students the art of game design.

Prepare by learning XNA- Take the online class by called XNA Xtreme 101 by 3dbuzz or purchase their DVD. They do an excellent job explaining the concepts.

Use the XNA lessons that Microsoft MVP, Bill Reiss has on his site. MVP George Clingerman has some good tutorials on his site as well. 

Tell your students to look up things on their own. You as a teacher, won't have all the answers. The Creators Club is a good place to go.

Use the Beginner's Guide to XNA Game Studio Express lessons that are online. Granted the bandwidth is slow but well worth it.

Take a look at all of the XNA books that are currently available. All have something to offer.

Have patience with your students because they will ask a lot of questions and you won't have all the answers.

Get an XBOX 360 for your class so your students can deploy the game to it.

Set time limits on phases of projects so you that students can meet deadlines.

Have fun!

 

Don'ts

Don't underestimate the knowledge of your students.  I spent a great deal of time teaching students C# and there really was no need to spend all that time because the students had JAVA knowledge and much have that knowledge transferred over to XNA.

Plus, I thought I'd have a hard time teaching collision to my students and we just used BoundingBox collision and all was fine.

Don't spend a great deal of time trying to get sprites. Use free sprites. It takes away from class time.  The same goes for music as well.

Don't forget to promote what your students have accomplished in class. Blog about it and post videos for all to see.

Don't get frustrated.

 

Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2008 1:18 PM XNA Programming | Back to top

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