If I were "graphically challenged" where could I get resources I could use in my XNA games?

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The App Hub Education Catalog of course! I was reminded about this catalog by Building games based on Silverlight and Expressions post, XNA Game resources: Free sounds and music to use in your games.

One of the hardest things I run into when I'm developing something is the graphics. The coding I can do, but when it comes to graphic resources I'm pretty much helpless. So where possible I use already existing resources. The problem with that is finding resources that I can legally use. I both want to use something I have the right too and not illegally leach the work of someone else, without their okay.

That's where the App Hub comes in. There's a ton of games where their code AND resources have been made available via the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL).

So what kind of games, resources, stuff are we talking about?

Ninja's! Space Battles! Robots!


Sample Overview

NinjAcademy is a complete gesture-based Windows Phone game. The player attempts to get the highest score possible by slashing bundles of bamboo, throwing shurikens at wooden targets, and avoiding the deadly dynamite.

This game includes the following features:

  • Implementation of the Game State Management sample
  • Gesture-based input
  • 2D Animation
  • Sound effects and game music
  • Local high-score table
Robot Game (ARCHIVED)

Note that this game is in a Archived status. That the code might not work in the latest version of Game Studio, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of its resources!

The Robot Game Kit is a complete mini game for XNA Game Studio. The project comes ready to compile and run, and it's easy to customize with a little bit of C# programming. You are also free to use the source code as the basis for your own XNA Game Studio game projects, and to share your work with others.

Robot Game is a three-dimensional robot combat game that demonstrates the following components:

  • Advanced graphics using shaders and post-processing effects
  • Advanced particle system
  • Collision detection, 3D positional sound, input, and screens management
  • Single-player mode and split-screen two-player versus mode
  • Customizable game elements, such as robots, weapons, and items



Ship Game

The Ship Game starter kit is a complete XNA Game Studio game. The game comes ready to compile and run, and you're free to use its source code as the basis for your own XNA Game Studio game projects, and to share your work with others.

Ship Game is a 3D spaceship combat game set inside a complex tunnel system. Ship Game features advanced lighting and textures, a full GPU particle system, and advanced physics. Explore the tunnels on your own, or take on a friend head-to-head by using split-screen mode.

Tutorials & Documents

The Ship Game starter kit includes a readme file outlining the game controls, architecture, and ideas for improving and expanding game features. To access this document, simply follow the instructions above to install the starter kit. The document will display automatically.



Spacewar is a complete starship combat game that comes in two versions: Retro and Evolved. The Retro version is inspired by the first implementation of Spacewar, developed by Stephen Russell, Peter Samson, and Dan Edwards in 1962 for the DEC PDP-1; the Evolved version features similar gameplay, but with 3D models and effects.

The project comes ready to compile and run, and is easy to customize with only a little extra C# programming. The documentation in the starter kit contains a list of some customizations you might make. You're free to use the source code as the basis for your own XNA Game Studio game projects, and to share your work with others.


Card Game Starter Kit: Blackjack

This sample is a fully-functional Blackjack card game for Windows, the Xbox 360 console, and Windows Phone 7, built on top of an easily extensible card game and animation framework that you can use to build your own card games.


And that's just for starters. There's a massive amount of free, as in free for everyone, stuff available on the App Hub and the Education Catalog just waiting for you...


The page thumbnail, Space ninja GO!, is curtsey of Bohman

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