In past releases, we have published XNA Game Studio developer education content on the Creators Club site, and we have continued to do so as new XNA Game Studio 4.0 content is published. The recently released XNA Game Studio 4.0 integrates into the Visual Studio 2010 family of products. Visual Studio 2010 has some new features to provide direct access from the VS IDE to tools and developer education content hosted on the Visual Studio Gallery web site.
XNA Game Studio 4.0 sample content on the VS Gallery
We’ve started converting some of the XNA Game Studio 4.0 samples into project templates and publishing them on the Visual Studio Gallery in addition to posting them on the Creators Club site. We created an account named XNA GS Education on the VS Gallery web site and have posted an initial set of project templates for XNA Game Studio 4.0 content using that account. You can see a full list of available content on the VS Gallery web site, and you can find XNA Game Studio 4.0 sample content in the Visual Studio 2010 New Project dialog and in the Extension Manager.
In addition, anyone inside or outside of Microsoft can post their own sample content on the VS Gallery web site and it will show up in the same locations in the VS IDE as the content that we are uploading. The packaging process is a little tricky – it requires creating a VS 2010 project template and then creating a .vsix file with some specific settings. We are thinking about ways that we can make the VS Gallery publishing process easier for the XNA Game Studio team and the community. For now, this is a somewhat manual process, and that is why there is currently only a small amount of XNA Game Studio content aside from the entries that our team has published.
Accessing online templates via the Visual Studio 2010 New Project dialog
XNA Game Studio sample content is available within the New Project dialog in Visual Studio 2010, Visual C# 2010 Express and Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone. To access this content via the New Project dialog, you can do the following:
- Click on File | New | Project...
- Click on the Online Templates link on the left side of the New Project dialog
- Click on the XNA Game Studio node, and you will see a list of available XNA Game Studio sample project templates that looks like the following:
- Click on one of the templates, enter a name and location and click OK
- Visual Studio will download the template, install it for you and open a new instance of the template that you can start coding in
- After you have installed the template, it will appear in the Installed Templates list in the New Project dialog. In the screenshot above, you can see green check marks next to the Windows Game State Management and the Windows Phone Game State Management items – those are templates that I have already installed on my computer
Accessing online templates, controls and tools via the Visual Studio 2010 Extension Manager
XNA Game Studio sample content is available in Extension Manager in Visual Studio 2010. The Extension Manager is not available in Visual C# 2010 Express or Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone. To access this content via Extension Manager, you can do the following:
- Click on Tools | Extension Manager...
- Click on the Online Gallery link on the left side of the Extension Manager
- Expand the Templates node
- Click on the XNA Game Studio node, and you will see a list of available XNA Game Studio sample project templates. The list of items in this UI is the same as you will see in the New Project dialog.
- You can install and uninstall tools and templates from the Extension Manager
- After installing one of the XNA Game Studio project templates, you can go to the New Project dialog, find it in the Installed Templates list and create a new instance of the template from there
In general, I tend to use the New Project dialog to access this XNA Game Studio sample content, even if I’m using an edition of VS 2010 that supports Extension Manager because I prefer the simpler experience of installing + instantiating the template in a single step that is the same as the step I use to instantiate one of the in-box project templates.
If you are an XNA Game Studio developer, I encourage you to install a VS 2010 edition and XNA Game Studio 4.0 if you haven’t yet and check out some of the great sample content available directly from the VS 2010 IDE.