Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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I already have Visual Studio 2010 Professional installed, and I would like to use it for Windows Phone development. The Windows Phone Developer Tools installs Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, which I don’t intend to use. Is there a way that I can install the Windows Phone Developer Tools without installing this express edition?
No, there is not a version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that does not include the Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone edition. That means that you will always have to download and install the express edition in order to develop Windows Phone applications or games. You cannot eliminate the download size or the install time. However, most of the files that are a part of the express edition are also a part of the professional and higher editions, so there is only minimal extra disk space taken up by the express edition after installation completes.
There are a couple of important notes to keep in mind related to this express edition:
A while back, I wrote a blog post explaining how to install offline documentation for the Windows Phone Developer Tools. Up until recently, those steps worked for the Windows Phone Development documentation, but not the XNA Game Studio 4.0 documentation. It has taken a little while, but the XNA Game Studio 4.0 documentation can now be downloaded for offline viewing using these steps as well. This will allow you to access help by pressing F1 within Visual Studio during XNA Game Studio development even if you are working offline.
As announced this morning on the XNA Game Studio team blog, there is a new game development landing page and a new game development tutorial available on the App Hub site. Here is some information about each of these new pages.
Game Development Landing Page
The landing page is available at http://create.msdn.com/education/gamedevelopment. It includes the following types of information:
Game Development Tutorial
The tutorial is available at http://create.msdn.com/education/tutorial/2dgame/getting_started. It includes a video and a code guide that present the key concepts to teach game design, art, and programming skills.