How to *legally* distribute an XNA (beta 1) game

October 2nd, 2006 by Sharky

kick it on GameDevKicks.com 

With my game (or at least work in progress) now rewritten for the XNA Framework, I thought I’d better look into how to distribute it.

Distributing the game build itself is nothing fancy.

However, an XNA game simply won’t run unless the XNA framework is installed also.  No surprise there.

Here’s the catch

Currently, while XNA is still in it’s Beta 1 phase, there is no easy way to redistribute the XNA framework dll’s along with your game build.

Sure, you could possibly try an identify the required Dll’s and through trial and error eventually get it to run.

But, you’d be violating the XNA beta 1 EULA.

This is just a temporary thing, as I believe a full (non-beta) release of XNA and Game Studio Express is planned before the end of 2006.  Don’t worry.  Microsoft most definitely wants people to be distributing their games.  That’s the whole idea!

The solution!!!

Until the full version comes out the only legal way to get an XNA game running on another machine is a bit annoying.

On the target machine you must first install the following:

  • .NET Framework v2.0 – no surprise there.
  • Microsoft C# Express
  • Microsoft Game Studio Express (beta 1).

Yep, it’s a bit of a pain to be sure.  Still, it is a “beta” remember. Mustn’t grumble. 

More details in these two MSDN threads: here & here.

Anyway, I plan to put up my first XNA build for download soon.  Unfortunately, you’ll need the above  stuff installed, which pretty much rules out all but the most motivated, or those already tinkering with XNA.

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