XNA 3D Primer Published – Get a free copy!

In June of 2006 I officially became a professional author when ASP.NET Pro published my article “Google Can You Hear Me?”.  (So eager was I to be published I submitted my code in VB!).  Now I’m proud to announce Wrox has published “XNA 3D Primer” as a Wrox Blox (aka eBook).

Why did I write this book?  Truth be told, I’ve always admired technical book authors that can teach not only the how, but the why of a subject.  It’s no secret I’m a fan of Charles Petzold; ever since I read “Programming Windows 95” (my first Windows version that I wrote applications for) I’ve wanted to join the ranks of great technical authors.  I of course am not there yet – this is my first book and I kept it simple by writing a 40 page ebook.

Who did I write this book for?  A book is nothing without an audience.  This book is written for the line-of-business application developer who is curious about writing 3D games using XNA.  XNA is Microsoft’s platform for game development and includes a .Net based managed framework that can be run on Windows PCs and the Xbox 360.  You can even sell your games over Xbox Live Indie Games.  Some experience with XNA is expected, but not more than working though the getting started beginner’s guides.

What does this book cover?  The book is a surface tour of 3D programming.  When I first started 3D programming I felt like all the documentation was in Latin.  None of the lingo made sense, and I had trouble just figuring out what I needed to search on.  The book covers the basics of 3D space and the core math you’ll use over and over again.  It then moves on to handling the camera, working with 3D models, collision detection, and ends with methods to animate 3D models.  None of these topics are covered in great depth, but I found touching each one gives the “full picture” to the parts of a 3D game.  Think of this book more as a guided safari instead of a full expedition into the jungles of XNA 3D.

You said free copy? Yes, though this free copy isn’t without cost.

First, you can buy XNA 3D Primer from Wrox for $6.99 (this is cheaper than my “free” offer below).

Since this is my first published book I wanted to do something special.  Initially I was going to donate the money I earned from the book (which isn’t much – this was written for pleasure not profit) to Child’s Play.  What is Child’s Play?  In their own words:

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over 5 million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With almost 70 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

Then I stole got an idea from Seth.  Instead of giving the money outright, I offer to anyone interested to make a $30.00 (or more) donation to Child’s Play.  Then email me the receipt and I’ll send you a free copy of XNA 3D Primer.  You’re making the donation, so you get to take the tax deduction and you get the good feeling that comes when giving a donation.

When I explained the idea to my publisher, Wrox, not only did they love it, they offered to pitch in.  On my own I would have been able to give away 50 copies of my book; Wrox has doubled this so I can give away 100!

So, the steps are:

  • Go to http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ and click the PayPal donate link (just under the map)
  • Donate $30 (or more)
  • Email the PayPal reciept to michael.neel+xna@gmail.com (yes, there is a plus sign in the email)
  • I will email you a (DRM-free) PDF of XNA 3D Primer (please give me a day or so, the process is manual)

Once these 100 copies are gone, that’s it – I’ll update this post with the remaining copies and the total raised for Child’s Play. 

Update: The giveaway has ended.  I had two people take up the offer, thus proving I’m no Seth Godin!

Posted 01-25-2010 8:57 PM by Michael C. Neel
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