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
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.
About the Author
Gastón C. Hillar has been working with computers since he was eight. He began programming with the legendary Texas TI-99/4A and Commodore 64 home computers in the early 80’s.
He has a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, graduated with honors and an MBA (Master in Business Administration), graduated with an outstanding thesis. He worked as developer, architect, and project manager for many companies in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now, he is an independent IT consultant and a freelance author always looking for new adventures around the world. He also works with electronics (he is an electronics technician). He is always researching about new technologies and writing about them. He owns an IT and electronics laboratory with many servers, monitors and measuring instruments.
He is the author of more than 40 books in Spanish about computer science, modern hardware, programming, systems development, software architecture, business applications, balanced scorecard applications, IT project management, Internet and electronics.