Hi guys.

I am intending to try my hand at 2D game programming as a hobby.
I have recently downloaded MS Visual C# '05 Express Ed. and MS XNA Game Studio express.
Will these two enable me to write complete 2D games for Windows or will I also need the DirectX Development software
I will be using Blender to create all sprites and backgrounds, not that that really matter now.
I have *some* experience with Python, though I never really went outside console-based apps, save my short venture into the world of TKinter.

Thanks in advance for your replies!

Your truly,


Re: XNA Game Studio Express What tools do I need to write sprite-based games?

George Clingerman

With XNA you will have all you need to create 2D games. Having Visual C#, Game Studio Express and toss in the latest DirectX runtime and you'll be good to go.

If you're new to programming in C# you'll want to check out this thread for a great collection of resources (books, video tutorials and online resources) for developing with C#.

Once you're comfortable with C#, then I'd recommend checking out the tutorials provided by Microsoft found in the help section of XNA Game Studio Express. They're a great place to get started.

Also, there are a variety of community sites providing wonderful tutorials and samples. I'd recommend starting with these three and then moving through the link section provided on each of these sites to discover even more XNA community content.


There is also a nice collection of links and resources being put together over here at Virtual Realm as well that I'd recommend checking out.

Most of all, I'd just like to say welcome to the community, start with the basics and work your way through slowly, don't be afraid to search these forums for your answers and when you don't find them, pose your own questions.

Good luck and hope that helps get you on your way!

Re: XNA Game Studio Express What tools do I need to write sprite-based games?


As far as the art content goes, you can use pretty much any image program out there to make 2D sprites. Photoshop, Paint.Net, Paint Shop Pro, and even MS Paint will work.

Re: XNA Game Studio Express What tools do I need to write sprite-based games?


Re 2D sprites.

I would also recommend Gimp for Windows ( and GraphicsGale FreeEdition( for sprite editing. I'm always oscillating between these two packages and good (sic) old Paintbrush (pbrush.exe). Gimp Effects are particularly powerful for creating graduated backgrounds, motion-blurred images and the like. have some free 3D textures in the requisite .x format and there's always Ari Feldman's classic spritelib ( collection of 2D invaders, 1942 graphics etc. A bit chunky by today's standards but will give you a quick start.

Good luck!

Re: XNA Game Studio Express What tools do I need to write sprite-based games?

Richard Kain

Yes, you can create a full 2D sprite-based game for Windows with the tools you listed off. Visual C# Express + XNA Game Studio Express will pretty much cover all the coding you would need to do. It is possible to construct an entire 2D game using just this combination. (you can use XNA's 3D drawing routines to create 2D elements based on vectors and shaders, so it isn't actually necessary to use images) If you want to base your game on 2D image sprites, no problem. XNA Game Studio has very good support for 2D sprite drawing and animation. XNA also provides full access to the standard keyboard and mouse. (as well as full support for the 360 controller used with Windows) And any XNA game made for Windows can be commercially distributed without paying any royalties.

Blender is a very solid program. (especially for an open-source project) I've been using it to model for years now. And yes, you can create whatever sprites you want with it. You will probably want to have a scene with a pre-positioned camera for taking shots of your models from directly above. It isn't required that you set your camera to orthographic (as opposed to perspective) but I'd recommend it. Also, I would seriously advise that you switch off anti-aliasing when you render your sprites. I find that having crisp edges for sprites tends to look better. Of course, that's just my opinion. If you prefer to have a softer edge to your sprites, you can crank anti-aliasing all the way up if you want. And don't forget to select the RGBA option when you pick your file format. (I'd advise rendering your sprites as TGA files initially) If you just render them as RGB, you'll lose that wonderful alpha channel. Blender fully supports alpha channels, and will render out the visibility layer for your sprites for you. Thanks to that wonderful feature, you won't have to worry about firing up your sprites in Photoshop.

So...yes. Those two program packages (both free) are all you need to construct a full commercially viable 2D game. Well, that...and a *** load of time, effort, and expertise. (these things don't make themselves, after all) The tools available these days are just incredible. Good luck.