Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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herein are my own and not those of my employer, Microsoft.
The Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 that was released last week includes the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh Beta 2. There is a change that we made in the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh between Beta 1 and Beta 2 that I want to highlight because it hasn’t been advertised up to this point.
Shawn Hargreaves made a change to the content pipeline build process to address a long-standing pain point. On certain OS configurations, it is now possible to build content via the content pipeline without requiring the ability to create a D3D device. This means that starting in the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh Beta 2, you can build content in the following types of configurations:
This functionality depends on a D3D API that does not exist on all versions of Windows that are supported by the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh. Specifically, this functionality is only available on Windows Vista and later. On Windows XP, the content pipeline will continue to behave the way it has in the past, and it will require the ability to create a D3D device at content build time.
Assuming you are building your game on a supported OS, this functionality will work equally well for Windows, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone games.
If you have a build system for your XNA Game Studio game and are looking for more flexibility for your build machine configurations, I encourage you to try out the updated content pipeline build process in the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh. If you do so, please go to the App Hub forums and let us know if you have any questions or run into any problems.
As announced on the Windows Phone Developer Blog and on the App Hub web site, the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 (formerly named the Windows Phone Developer Tools, and which includes the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh Beta 2 as well) was released for download earlier this week.
The Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 includes the following changes from the original Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 Beta release:
Getting Started links
Here are links to help you get started installing and using the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2:
Here are some links to useful documentation to help you get started with the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2:
Here are some links if you run into questions or issues with the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2:
How to install
Here are steps you can use to install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2:
If you encounter Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 setup failures
If you run into an installation or uninstallation failure for the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2, you can use the log collection tool to gather your setup log files. This log collection tool will create a file named %temp%\vslogs.cab.
Once you have gathered your setup log files, you can upload them to a file server of your choice (such as http://skydrive.live.com), and post a link to the log files in the forums to get additional support.
If you run into uninstallation issues with any release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools or XNA Game Studio, you can use the cleanup tool described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/pages/9544320.aspx to remove the Windows Phone SDK or XNA Game Studio.
<update date="7/5/2011"> Added a link to download the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 ISO image. </update>
A while back, I wrote a blog post explaining how to localize the title of a Windows Phone game. That blog post includes a link to the Windows Phone 7 Title Localizer tool that can be used to quickly create native resource DLLs with localized versions of the game’s title. A couple of days ago, the creator of this tool released an update so it can now be used to create native resource DLLs for the new Windows Phone Mango languages.
You can find more information about the tool at http://patrickgetzmann.wordpress.com/wp7-localize/. You can find a list of steps to localize the title of your Windows Phone game using this tool in this blog post.