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I've been using XNA to learn game programming for some time, and I'm interested in moving to Android. Having said that; the learning curve to get started seems to have ramped up exponentially. I have a working knowledge of Java (started with it before learning C#). Is there an intermediate step I should take in order to prepare myself for working with Android game programming? And are there any resources that are geared toward moving from XNA to Android?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could try using MonoGame or wait for ExEn they are both ports of XNA to alternate platforms.

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I don't have enough reputation point to comment, but posted as an answer anyway,

this link might be interesting for you android-experiment-porting-my-xna-game

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Unity is also an idea. You can script in C#, JavaScript or Boo so it would be that much easier to code in it since you already have some XNA experience. It's not free, though.

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Honestly, the best thing to do is to just go for it. Start off small, you have some experience in XNA and it shouldn't be too difficult to apply to a Java environment. Having said that, the graphics side of things can be a little bit hairy but there are lots of tutorials around if you just search for Android Game Development Tutorial.

One such tutorial is here. It's originally in German, but the Google translation doesn't seem to be too bad and it looks fairly comprehensive. There are the odd German phrases in there, but it looks like you can work out what they're saying most of the time.

You could also develop for Windows Phone 7 in XNA 4 to get a feel for developing for mobile devices so that experience could port over to Android too.

Good luck!


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A lot of the algorithm design you've applied in XNA will transfer over to virtually any programming language. The things that change will be program structure (slightly) and use of a different graphics API to achieve things like drawing. XNA does a lot of the low level boilerplate code for us, thankfully, so you may end up doing more low level coding in Java to achieve the same things you've achieved in XNA, such as game timing.

Killer Game Programming in Java would be a great place to start to learn how to do game and graphics programming specifically in Java. A lot of the core concepts will be immediately familiar to you, but you'll learn to how achieve everything using the Java API.

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