Yesterday I blogged about the SketchFlow starter kit and how great I thought it was.  Well, last night, I went ahead and tried the Venture into Gaming with Behaviors in Expression Blend 3 starter kit from:

http://adamkinney.com/Blog/4-Expression-Studio-3-Starter-Kits-available-for-download

Much to my surprise, this felt more like a Blend 3 Fundamentals through Building a Game.  To understand what I mean, here are the individual modules in the kit:

01_BLN03SP1EN720_Organizing_and Importing_Assets into_Expression_Blend

02_BLN03SP1EN720_Creating_the_Game_Interface_Using_Expression_Blend

03_BLN03SP1EN720_Understanding_Layout_Containers

04_BLN03SP1EN720_Creating_a_User_Control

05_BLN03SP1EN720_Adding_and_Applying_Behaviors

06_BLN03SP1EN720_Adding_Game_Walls_and_Creating_Animation

07_BLN03SP1EN720_Animating_Controls_with_the_Visual_State_Manager

08_BLN03SP1EN720_Working_with_Texts_and_Embeding_Fonts_with_Expression_Blend

09_BLN03SP1EN720_Adding_Audio_Resources_to_a_Silverlight_Game

10_BLN03SP1EN720_Publishing_and_Testing_Your_Silverlight_Game

If you are looking to warm up to Blend a bit more through a video walkthrough + hands-on-lab kind of approach, then I’d definitely recommend this kit.  If you already understand these concepts, then you might want to skip this one.  On the other hand, it is kind of fun to see how easy it is to build a simple game with the skills you already have.

The biggest nugget for me was the module on Behaviors.  If you haven’t looked at Behaviors, then GO DO IT NOW.  Here’s a good post on behaviors:

http://team.silverlight.net/announcements/product-feature-highlight-expression-blend-3-ndash-behaviors/

“A Behavior is in essence a reusable piece of interactivity that can be applied directly to user interface elements in Expression Blend.”

I don’t remember where, but I saw someone describe Behaviors as "ASP.NET AJAX Control Extenders for Silverlight/WPF."  Not a bad way of describing them if you are familiar with the concept of ASP.NET AJAX Control Extenders.

Once you have wrapped your head around Behaviors, you’ll want to check out the following two links to download more:

http://gallery.expression.microsoft.com/en-us/site/search?f%5B0%5D.Type=Tag&f%5B0%5D.Value=Behavior

http://expressionblend.codeplex.com/

In general, http://gallery.expression.microsoft.com is a great resource.  There are all sorts of useful things to download there including Art/Design assets, Web Templates, Samples, Themes, Behaviors, Code Snippets, Tools/Addins.