Installing XNA Game Studio Express
To use XNA Game Studio Express we must use Visual C# Express. We cannot use Visual Studio .NET Professional nor can we use any other IDE. Although there are people who have successfully been able to run XNA and even get the Content Pipeline (which we talk about in Part III of the book) to work in Visual Studio .NET Professional, it is not officially supported by Microsoft and is not covered in this book.
To get started complete the following steps:
- Run the xnagse_setup.msi file from Microsoft's website. The file can be downloaded by clicking on the top link of the Creator's Club Resources—Essentials web site http://creators.xna.com/Resources/Essentials.aspx.
- Click Next to get past the setup welcome screen.
- The next screen is the End-User License Agreement. If you accept the terms, select the check box and click Next.
- This will open up a notification dialog box that explains that the Windows Firewall will have a rule added to it to allow communication between the computer and the Xbox 360. This can be seen in Figure 1.7.
Figure 1.7 XNA Game Studio Express modifies the Windows Firewall so an Xbox 360 and the PC can talk to each other.
- Click Install to continue. The next screen shows the progress of the installation.
- Once it has completed installing all of the required files we will be presented with the completion dialog box. Simply click Finish to exit the setup.
After we have installed XNA Game Studio Express, we can go to the Start menu and see it added a few more items than those contained in the IDE. Make sure to take time and read through some of the XNA Game Studio Express documentation. There is also a Tools folder that contains a couple of tools we will be looking at later. We will be discussing the XACT tool in Chapter 6, "Loading and Texturing 3D Objects," and the XNA Framework Remote Performance Monitor for Xbox 360 application in Chapter 3, "Performance Considerations." Go ahead and open the IDE by clicking XNA Game Studio Express on the Start menu.
Hmm, this looks identical to the Visual C# Express IDE. There is a good reason for this—it is the same application! When we installed XNA Game Studio Express it added properties to Visual C# Express to allow it to behave differently under certain circumstances. Mainly it added some templates, which we will look at shortly, and it added the ability for Visual C# Express to handle content via the XNA Content Pipeline. It also added a way for us to send data to our Xbox 360, as we will see in the next chapter.