Back to square one

I’m a “noob”. Thats basically the feeling these days as I’m playing around with XNA for WP7. But its fun and its easy. After years of doing enterprise development this is a nice change of gears; it lets me take a break from my every day routine of SharePoint and such.

I’ve always considered game development to be the place where I could fully let loose and enjoy some cutting edge code, but the industry is hard to get into – especially for beginners. WP7 changes that, of course, as it allows everyone with varied .NET backgrounds to join in on the fun.
Full XNA development puts alot on the plate what with shaders and such, but with WP7 you get an entry level introduction to game development (and yet you get to play with advanced concepts such as sensors and touch in an easy way). I’ve done some shader coding; just enough to understand that I’m actually happy XNA for WP7 doesnt support more than what is included (for now) because otherwise I’d charge that hill as well and for now I’m happy with enjoying the basics.

While XNA is a platform that provides a lot of help its still not the big babysitter like the other platforms I use every day. It gets you started with the fun stuff and hiding all the low level code which deals with the hardware etc. My first realization was that doing input management and control UI is something that you need to handle yourself. There is a certain measure of infrastructure code that you need to put in place before you get to play with the fun stuff; not like, for example, Silverlight where you can just draw a button and attach to a click event.
But its worth it because you gain a deeper understanding of what the babysitter platforms actually do for you and leaves you a better developer. I firmly believe its important for developers to know what a framework actually does for them.

XNA for WP7 (as that is what I work with at this moment) is just easy enough to do simple games and challenging enough so that I have something to pit my mind against when doing more advanced games.

Hopefully I’ll have some good ideas worth publishing on the Marketplace soon as my number one ambition, still and always, is to create something that people enjoy whether it be for entertainment or business.

In reality this isn’t back to square one because with my .NET backround WP7 development, be it Silverlight or XNA, is easy – just enjoy it, people.


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