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3D Game Development with Microsoft Silverlight 3: Beginner's Guide

September 24, 2009
Gastn C. Hillar

Microsoft Silverlight is a programmable web browser plug-in that enables the animation, vector graphics, and audio-video playback features that characterize Rich Internet Applications. Silverlight is a great (and growing) RIA platform and games are the next level to exploit in it. But it doesn't offer 3D capabilities out of the box and integrating a 3D engine can involve lot of complex mathematics and matrix algebra. This book will help C# developers to get their fingers on the pulse of 3D in Silverlight.

This book uses Balder, an open source 3D engine offering 3D capabilities for Silverlight 3. It leaves out boring matrix algebra and complex 3D mathematics. By the end of the book you will have explored the entire engine, and will be able to design and program your own 3D games with ease!

The book begins by introducing you to the fundamental concepts of 2D games and then drives you into the 3D world, using easy-to-follow, step-by-step examples. The book employs amazing graphics and impressive performance, and increasingly adds more features to a 3D game giving you a rich interactive experience.

By following the practical examples in this book, you will learn the important concepts, from the creation of the initial models, up to the addition of physics and artificial intelligence.

The book helps you to provide realistic behaviors for 3D characters by enveloping models with different textures, using lights to create effects, animating multiple 3D characters using a physics engine (Farseer Physics Engine), and simulating real-life physics. Videos, music, and sounds associated with specific events offer the final touches to the 3D game development learning experience.

What you will learn from this book :

    Display and control 3D models in a 3D world
    Set up and control cameras to display parts of an animated 3D world
    Use an object-oriented design to define and specialize 3D characters
    Create amazing effects by controlling cameras, lights, and characters using gaming input devices
    Animate simple and complex 3D characters
    Display, move, and rotate 3D models in a 3D world using different effects, textures, transformations, and artificial intelligence (AI)
    Create realistic behaviors using physics simulations
    Envelope the models using textures, materials, and lights
    Add environments, backgrounds, scenarios, stages, skill levels, statistics, and scoring
    Reproduce sounds and background music
    Load and control 3D models developed in popular 3D modeling tools like 3D Studio Max, Blender, Google Sketch and AutoCAD


Approach

This book takes a step-by-step approach to building a complete interactive 3D game using Silverlight and enhancing it through its related technologies. The book focuses on practical examples and has a friendly approach, with the opportunity to learn by experiment and play. It uses illustrations, screenshots, and interactive experiences to understand the most complex topics related to the 3D scenes.

Who this book is written for

This book is designed primarily for C# developers with basic knowledge of the Visual Studio IDE who want to develop online 3D games using Silverlight or create interactive 3D scenes for a web site with animated models. No prior experience in 3D programming, 3D animation, or Silverlight is required.

The book is also aimed at 3D developers who want to improve their online content, offering innovative 3D models in action.

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