Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
All postings are provided AS IS
with no warranties, and confer no rights. Additionally, views expressed
herein are my own and not those of my employer, Microsoft.
Michael Klucher wrote a blog post earlier this week that included some information about Windows Phone icon sizes for games and applications. I wanted to provide a little more information about where each icon image is used and also give some suggestions for how to test your game icons in the emulator. Here is a summary of what this blog post covers:
Windows Phone 7 icon types
The Windows Phone Developer Tools allows you to configure 2 different types of application icons:
Windows Phone 7 icon sizes
The Windows Phone 7 OS displays application icons in 2 different sizes, depending on where they appear:
Configuring your project as an application or a game
The location that your application appears in the Windows Phone 7 OS depends on whether you have configured it to be an application or a game. During development, this setting is controlled by the Genre value in the file \Properties\WMAppManifest.xml. When you get ready to submit your application or game to the Windows Phone Marketplace, you will be asked in a web form whether it is an application or a game. The ingestion process will take the value that you select there and overwrite whatever you list in the file \Properties\WMAppManifest.xml in the project you submit.
The technology used to create the application or game does not matter. In other words, although the default experience is to create games with XNA Game Studio and applications with Silverlight, you can also create applications with XNA Game Studio and games with Silverlight if you want to.
Deployment details for games
Deployment details for applications
Updating icons in an XNA Game Studio 4.0 Windows Phone game project
The default project templates for both Silverlight for Windows Phone and XNA Game Studio 4.0 Windows Phone projects in the Windows Phone Developer Tools use the settings for applications, not games. When you are ready to configure your XNA Game Studio 4.0 project as a game and update the icons, there are a couple of options. What I typically do is the following:
Alternatively, you can create a 173x173 .png file and overwrite the default GameThumbnail.png in your project. However, if you do that, you also have to remember to overwrite Background.png in your project as well. For a Windows Phone game, there isn’t any real reason to need 2 different icons because Games Hub and the start menu both use the same icon size.
How to test a game’s application icon in the emulator
The Windows Phone emulator does not have the Games Hub in it, so you cannot directly test how your application icon will look when it is displayed in Games Hub. However, the icon size in Games Hub matches the icon size when an application is pinned to the start menu. That means that you can use steps like the following to test the appearance of your game’s application icon in the emulator:
There are a few follow-up questions that folks usually ask when I explain the above information to them:
Thanks, great writeup!