ECE4893A/CS4803MPG – Homework #3

ECE4893A/CS4803MPG – Homework #3

ECE4893A/CS4803MPG: Multicore and GPU Programming for Video Games

Fall 2009

Homework #3: Visual Studio & XNA Warm-Up

Due: Thursday, Oct. 1 at start of lecture (as hardcopy)

Late policy: The homework will be graded out of 20 points.
submitted after class starts will lose 5 points. Homeworks
submitted the
next day will lose 5 additional points per day.
(We understand thst sometimes multiple assignments hit at once,
or other
life events intervene, and hence you have to make some tough
choices. We’d
rather let you turn something in
late, with some points off, than have a “no late assignments
accepted at all”
policy, since the former encourages you to still do the assignment
and learn something from it, while the latter just grinds down
your soul.)

This “warm-up” homework is intended to get you used to working with Visual
Studio and XNA, so you can get minor confusions out of the way before we start
anything serious. All you will need to turn in for this homework
are two screenshots.

Some of the machines in Klaus 1446 have fancy NVIDIA or ATI graphics cards;
small labels on them should indicate which ones have such cards. These machines
should have Visual Studio 2008 and XNA Game Studio 3.1
installed on them. You can also do
work on your own machine, and in fact are encouraged to do so
to lighten the contention on the lab machines; see
for instructions on setting up your machine with XNA.
Even if your graphics
card is insufficient to run XNA games, you can still edit and compile.

  • Download the source code for an XNA 3.0 or 3.1 game you find interesting.
    Note that only a subset of
    games you will find on the web have source code available – also, you will want
    to make sure you find XNA 3.0 or 3.1 games.
    (If you find an XNA 2.0 game you really like, you might want to
    try upgrading it
    to 3.1
    Please do not use Spacewar, or Prof. Lee’s
    simple 2-D game presented in class. We want some variety.

    Here are some places to start
    looking; Google may turn up more:

  • Spend a little bit of time playing around with Visual Studio. Become
    accustomed to its features. Look over the source code of the game you
    downloaded to get a feel of how an XNA game is put together.

  • Make some trivial
    change to the game, preferably something involving
    changing just one line of code (for instance, change the number of “lives”
    or “health” you start with, change the color of an object, etc.)
    Turn in a
    screenshot of Visual Studio showing the code you changed.
    By hand, circle
    the place you changed on the printout and say what you changed.

  • Compile your game for Windows and run it.
  • Turn in a screenshot of the running game, and include somewhere on the
    page the URL you got the game from.

Note that you do not need to try running anything on the Xbox 360 at this
point. A fairly complex procedure is involved; we will cover that on a later