How to recover if you try to upgrade an XNA Game Studio 2.0 project in Visual Studio 2008

XNA Game Studio 2.0 integrates with the Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition and higher.  It does not support integrating with any of the Visual Studio 2008 family of products.  However, since XNA Game Studio code projects are simply C# projects behind the scenes, it is possible to attempt to open them in the Visual Studio 2008 IDE.  Doing this will cause the Visual Studio Conversion Wizard to appear and attempt to walk you through the process of upgrading the project to the Visual Studio 2008 file format.  If you do this for an XNA Game Studio 2.0 game project, it will cause several problems, and as a result you should not attempt to upgrade XNA Game Studio 2.0 game projects in the Visual Studio 2008 Conversion Wizard.

The specific problems you will encounter are the following:

  • Since XNA Game Studio 2.0 does not support integrating into the Visual Studio 2008 product family, there will be no project system available to handle the project after conversion completes and the project will fail to load in the VS 2008 IDE.
  • The Visual Studio Conversion Wizard does not upgrade any nested content projects (.contentproj) that are a part of your code project.
  • The Visual Studio Conversion Wizard offers the option to create a backup, but the backup folder does not include the nested content project, which makes it more complicated to revert the project after a failed upgrade attempt.

If you mistakenly attempt to upgrade your XNA Game Studio 2.0 projects using the Visual Studio 2008 Conversion Wizard, you can use the following steps to recover your project and continue development in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual C# 2005 Express Edition:

  1. Create a new folder that will contain your recovered project.
  2. Go to the backup location created by the Conversion Wizard and copy the contents to the folder created in step 1.  The backup should be located at <directory selected in the Conversion Wizard UI>\backup.
  3. Go to the upgraded project location and copy the Content folder into the code project directory located in a sub-folder of the new directory you created in step 1.  The Content folder should be located at <project directory>\Content for your upgraded project.
  4. On a system that has Visual C# 2005 Express + Visual C# 2005 Express SP1 (and/or VS 2005 + VS 2005 SP1) and XNA Game Studio 2.0 installed, go to the folder you created in step 1 and open the .sln or .vcproj in the Visual Studio 2005 edition and verify it can be opened correctly and built successfully.
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