Suitable for ages 15+
XNA is a set of professional tools provided by Microsoft that allows users to create computer games for PC, Xbox, Zune Players and Windows 7 phones.
Coding in XNA is done using the C# language. It is a platform that is probably best suited to Computing students and would be suitable for use with the NPA in Computer Game Design at Higher Level. It can also be used as a tool to develop a computer game as part of the Computing Advanced Higher course.
However, you do not need to be studying a Computing qualification to use XNA Game Studio. Anyone with an interest in developing their game design and coding skills will find XNA a powerful tool.
All the audio and visual assets used in games you make with XNA need to be created externally. There is no in built tool for creating these assets. This does facilitate many people to be involved in the game design process and the use of many multimedia applications. Some people can create images, others can create audio and others can code.
Join the Consolarium Glow Group to find out more. (Log in required.) This includes complete tutorials and assets to create a 2D and 3D game. You can also download source code that illustrates useful game design techniques.
XNA Creators Club provide some useful free starter kits to download.
Note: To develop games for Xbox 360, you need a membership in the XNA Creators Club. You can get an XNA Creators Club membership from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, or at XNA Creators Club Online. Membership also gives you access to premium content resources.