I've been working with XNA Game Studio from Microsoft since the first Beta release. XNA brings game development (for the PC, XBox 360, and the Zune) to a level that is managable by independant developers without all of the headaches of dealing with DirectX or other graphics APIs.
I run a website devoted to XNA called XNAResources.com
where you can find tutorials and other information about XNA Game Development.
Game Development Tutorials
My Star Defense Tutorial Series takes you through the entire process of creating a 2D Space Shooter type game with XNA Game Studio 3.0. Everything from designing the game to implementing levels, scoring, and sound.
The end result is a game similar to the old "Defender" and "Star Gate" arcade games. The entire 12 part series is hosted on the XNAResources Tutorial Page
As a followup to the Star Defense series, the "Expanded Sprite Engine Tutorial" takes some of the concepts from Star Defense for animating 2D sprites to the next level. Included in this tutorial are named animations (multiple per sprite), automatic sprite movement and rotation, waypoint following, and other goodies.