It's Christmas time and what better thing to do than to build a game to give away as a Christmas gift?  Especially one that works on many different devices?

To get started you will need to make sure you have one of the versions of Visual Studio Express, Visual Studio Professional or Visual Studio Team Systems, any will do for our effort right now.

First off make sure to uninstall the beta version of XNA 3.0 if you have it.   Click on start and then Control Panel then use the Control Panel Home, click on Uninstall a program.  Then look for Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 (Beta), uninstall it.

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While removing the Beta version of XNA Game Studio 3.0, plan on 10 or more minutes watching this dialog box, joyful times:

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   The wait is worth it though, once you have XNA Game Studio 3.0, you can develop games for

  1. Zune,
  2. XBox 360,
  3. Silverlight
  4. Windows XP and Vista!

Wow!

Now you have to do the downloading of the XNA 3.0 from Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0, and then do the installation.  I would recommend that you download the deployment file to your local machine and do the installation directly on your machine.

You will see the following dialog boxes:

Let's get started after making sure to uninstall the beta version of XNA Game Studio 3.0 (beta) and replace it with the final version! 

This screen is called a "splash" screen, it introduces the installation, if you had any remains of the beta version it would warn you and tell you to complete the uninstalling of the beta version.

Click "Next"
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EULA, end-user license agreement, it is always a good idea to take a look at these EULAs by scrolling through them before clicking Next.  There has been a time or two that I decided not to install software after reading the related EULA.  The XNA EULA looks good!

Click the checkbox stating that you accept the license agreement, if you agree with it. 
Click Next
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This dialog box is asking if you want to modify the Windows FIrewall so you can communicate with your Xbox.  If you are sharing your computer with others, or younger than 16, I would suggest that you talk this over with your parents or guardians before making the selection.  If you need to do this, then just cancel the installation and talk it over with the other people who you live with or share the computer with.  Otherwise, this is painless, I always do the selection shown below: 
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After you have decided if you want to allow communications, select the option buttons, Or select the 'no' option buttons you don't want to communicate with the XBox and Network games.
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Now you get to wait, oh boy!  This takes awhile, if you have homework r email or need to do real work, you should just go off and do it.  On my machine it has been running during the time I wrote this article. To this point.

Now I am going to refill my coffee cup, get a cookie and come back to this.  Urrgghhh!  I want to get started with XNA 3.0 full version!

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FINALLY! YIPPEE!  XNA is installed and now can be used! image