Books on Building Games for Windows Phone (and Xbox, and Windows)

For those of you who want to develop games for the phone – and hey, it’s the most popular mobile app category, so why not? – here’s a list of books that cover game development in XNA 4.0. Remember, the XNA framework is not just for the Phone, but the Xbox and PC as well!

Learning XNA 4.0

learning xna 4

Learning XNA 4.0 (published by O’Reilly) is the latest revision of this book; I’ve used the material and some of the code from the previous edition, Learning XNA 3.0, in presentations I’ve done on XNA. The first half of the book covers 2D game development, while the second half jumps into the third dimension. Naturally, this book covers stuff that was added to XNA in the move from 3.0 to 4.0, including support for Windows Phone.


XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example

xna 4.0 game development by example

I’m enjoying Packt Publishing’s XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example, which walks you through the development of four very different but entertaining games using XNA: a “Pipe Dream” clone, an “Asteroids”-esque game, Robot Rampage and a supercharging of the “Platformer” demo you can get from App Hub.


XNA Game Studio 4.0 Programming

xna game studio 4.0 programming

XNA Game Studio 4.0 Programming is a thorough look at game dev in XNA, both 2D and 3D games, with special emphasis on 3D graphics.


Into the Third Dimension: 3D Graphics with XNA Game Studio 4.0 and XNA 3D Primer

3d graphics with xna game studio 4

xna 3d primer

If you’re looking for an introduction to 3D game programming in XNA, these two books will help. Packt Publishing’s 3D Graphics with XNA Game Studio 4.0 is dedicated wholly to the topic, and Wrox’s XNA 3D primer is a short book that provides a quick introduction to 3D graphics in XNA.


phone games

This article also appears in The Great Canadian Apportunity.

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