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C# is the language of choice for learning how to program. It is a very well structured object-oriented language and avoids some of the problems of Java. An excellent free programming environment is available for C#, as well as a game programming framework. And (if necessary) moving from C# to C++ is easy.
Developing computer games is a perfect way to learn how to program in modern programming languages. This book teaches how to program in C# through the creation of computer games – and without requiring any previous programming experience.
Contrary to most programming books, Egges, Fokker and Overmars do not organize the presentation according to programming language constructs, but instead use the structure and elements of computer games as a framework. For instance, there are chapters on dealing with player input, game objects, game worlds, game states, levels, animation, physics, and intelligence. The reader will be guided through the development of four games showing the various aspects of game development. Starting with a simple shooting game, the authors move on to puzzle games consisting of multiple levels, and conclude the book by developing a full-fledged platform game with animation, game physics, and intelligent enemies. They show a number of commonly used techniques in games, such as drawing layers of sprites, rotating, scaling and animating sprites, showing a heads-up display, dealing with physics, handling interaction between game objects, and creating pleasing visual effects such as snow or glitter. At the same time, they provide a thorough introduction to C# and object-oriented programming, introducing step by step important aspects of programming in general, including many programming constructs and idioms, syntax diagrams, collections, and exception handling.The book is also designed to be used as a basis for a game-oriented programming course. For each part, there are concluding exercises and challenges, which are generally more complex programming endeavors. Lots of supplementary materials for organizing such a course are available on the accompanying web site http://www.csharpprogramminggames.com, including installation instructions, solutions to the exercises, software installation instructions, game sprites and sounds.
Arjan Egges is an associate professor in the Games and Virtual Worlds group in the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Heading the Motion Capture Lab there, his current research focuses on the integration of motion capture animation into navigation and object manipulation tasks. He regularly teaches various courses related to games and computer animation, and recently designed the new introductory programming course for the university’s new Game Technology bachelor program, using C# as the language of choice.
Jeroen Fokker is an assistant professor in the Software Technology group at Utrecht University. As the director of education, he is responsible for the undergraduate programs in Computer Science and Information Science. He has been teaching introductory programming courses for over 20 years, using C++, Haskell, Java, and C#, as well as courses on compiler construction.Mark Overmars is a full professor in computer science at Utrecht University. Here he has done research into computational geometry, robotics, and game technology. Mark is responsible for the Game Technology educational program at Utrecht University. Furthermore, he is the author of the Game Maker software package, originally designed as a tool to teach children about the basics of object-oriented design and to raise their interest in computer science. The package, though, has developed into a full-blown authoring package for games used in education by amateurs and by professional game developers. Mark was named as one of the top 50 influential people in game development by the U.S. magazine GameDeveloper in 2010.