I dabbled briefly with an early version of XNA (Game Studio 2.0 I seem to recall) when I was looking at alternatives for game programming languages/libraries, but wasn’t particularly impressed with it. Yes, it allowed rapid development, and most of the basics were done for you, but it seemed slow, and required doing things in a particular way, and seemed more aimed at the casual 2D game market on the Xbox 360 (although it supports Windows development as well).
With the advent of XNA 4 (due later this year) I thought I’d have another look at it and so installed the latest iteration XNA Game Studio 3.1.
Install Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1
The video tutorials walk you through all aspects of getting started with C#/XNA; setting up a Creators Club account, creating your first simple 2D and then 3D game, and there are ‘Starter Kits’ that help springboard you into different projects.
Bear in mind that you don’t need to purchase the full membership to develop games for both Windows and the Xbox 360, but you will only be able to deploy your games on Windows PCs without the full membership.
Its slicker than I remember, and much more streamlined, I’m actually going to give this another go 🙂