XNA Game Studio 3.1 Readme
This file provides setup information and describes known issues for XNA Game Studio 3.1.

XNA Game Studio Readme

Provides setup information and describes known issues for XNA Game Studio 3.1.

Setup Requirements

This section describes the operating systems and hardware that support XNA Game Studio 3.1, and the additional software required to run XNA Game Studio.

Supported Operating Systems

The following operating systems fully support XNA Game Studio.

Operating system Supported versions
Windows XP
  • Home Edition
  • Professional
  • Media Center Edition
  • Tablet PC Edition
Windows Vista
  • Home Basic
  • Home Premium
  • Business
  • Enterprise
  • Ultimate

Remarks

  • XNA Game Studio 3.1 has been tested on Windows 7 Release Candidate. Support for the Windows 7 operating system is expected after the final release.
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (or the latest service pack) is supported, but is not required, for XNA Game Studio.
  • Windows XP requires, at a minimum, Service Pack 2.
  • Although XNA Game Studio itself is available only in English and Japanese, it is supported under any of the available language settings on Windows.
  • Administrator permissions are not required to run XNA Game Studio, but they are to install it. For Windows Vista, elevated administrator permissions are required.
  • Although the setup program for XNA Game Studio will complete on the Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, XNA Game Studio is not officially supported on these operating systems, and the XNA Game Studio software may not work as expected.

Hardware Requirements

To run XNA Framework games on a computer running a Windows operating system, you need a graphics card that supports, at a minimum, Shader Model 1.1, and DirectX 9.0c. We recommend using a graphics card that supports Shader Model 2.0 because some samples and starter kits may require it.

Ensure your graphics card is using the latest driver. Check with your hardware vendor or access Microsoft Update to find the latest version of a driver.

Other hardware requirements for XNA Game Studio are identical to those for Visual Studio 2008. For more information, see the Visual Studio documentation.

Visual Studio 2008

XNA Game Studio leverages the Visual Studio 2008 development environment, extending it for game development. You can use XNA Game Studio with either Visual C# 2008 Express Edition or one of the other Visual Studio 2008 products such as Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition. You can also use XNA Game Studio with multiple variants of Visual Studio 2008. For example, if you have both Visual C# 2008 Express Edition and Visual Studio 2008 installed on the same computer, the XNA Game Studio Setup program will install support for both.

Note
Only members of the Visual Studio 2008 product line support XNA Game Studio 3.1. XNA Game Studio 3.1 is not compatible with Visual Studio 2005 or any previous editions.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

XNA Game Studio requires that you install the .NET Framework 3.5.

The Setup program for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 installs the .NET Framework 3.5 if it is not already installed on your computer. You can also install the .NET Framework from the Microsoft .NET Framework Developer Center.

XNA Creators Club

To develop games for Xbox 360, you need a membership in the XNA Creators Club. You can get an XNA Creators Club membership from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, or at XNA Creators Club Online: Sign in and Membership.

XNA Creators Club and Xbox LIVE Membership Requirements

There are two types of online multiplayer games available when you create a networked game with XNA Game Studio: system link game sessions and LIVE sessions. These two forms of online multiplayer gaming describe whether the multiplayer gaming session is on the local area network (system link games), or if the gaming session is advertised and found through the LIVE service. With system link games, you can search the local area network to find the gaming sessions. With LIVE sessions, you can use the LIVE service to find available game sessions. Use the searchProperties argument of Find to specify the parameters used to search for an available game session—a game session that uses either system or the LIVE service.

Developing and testing a networked game requires at least two machines, but you only need one Xbox 360 console and one Creators Club membership to test network code for the Xbox 360. This is because XNA Framework supports cross-platform system links so developers can run one instance of a game on an Xbox 360, and a second on a Windows-based computer. This functionality helps creators debug their titles without having to purchase a second console. It is also possible for more than one Windows-based development computer to connect several machines in a system link session without any memberships required.

Memberships are required for a player on a Windows-based computer and an Xbox 360 console in a network session, depending on the session type that has been created.

  Xbox 360 console Windows-based development computer Zune
Run an XNA Framework Game LIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membership No memberships required No memberships required
Use System Link for Local Area Network gameplay LIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membership No memberships required No memberships required
Sign in to Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows - LIVE Servers LIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membership LIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membership Not available on Zune
Use LIVE to connect to other machines over the Internet while the game is in development LIVE Gold membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membership LIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membership Not available on Zune
Caution
XNA Framework components that interact with Games for Windows - LIVE require an XNA Creators Club membership. If for any reason a LIVE profile without a Creators Club membership is set to auto sign in to a Windows-based computer, the game will be unable to connect to the LIVE service. Furthermore, the XNA Framework gamer services components, including the Guide, will be unavailable. To disable auto sign in for a LIVE profile on a Windows-based computer, disconnect from the network, launch an XNA Framework game, and then open the Guide.

Additional Required Software Installed by XNA Game Studio 3.1 Setup

The XNA Game Studio Setup program also installs the following required software:

DirectX Runtime

XNA Game Studio Setup installs the DirectX runtime, which is required to use the XNA Framework Game API.

Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool

XNA Game Studio Setup installs multiple versions of the Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT). You can use XACT to author audio content for your game. Games written using the 3.1 XNA Framework are required to use XACT 3 projects, which are not backwards compatible. Games written using the 3.0 XNA Framework are required to use XACT 2 projects. For more information about upgrading your projects in regard to XACT, Upgrading XNA Game Studio Projects.

Games for Windows - LIVE

XNA Game Studio Setup installs Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable, version 2.0.687.0. This software provides support for various gamer services such as retrieving player preferences for local accounts, as well as programmatically displaying various LIVE Guide user interface screens.

1. Known Issues with XNA Game Studio 3.1

This section describes known issues that you may encounter when using XNA Game Studio.

1.1. Setup

This section describes known issues with the setup of XNA Game Studio 3.1.

1.1.1. Uninstall XNA Game Studio 3.0 Before Installing XNA Game Studio 3.1

XNA Game Studio 3.1 replaces XNA Game Studio 3.0, but does have support for both 3.0 and 3.1 projects. The XNA Framework 3.0 and XNA Framework 3.1 redistributables are both installed with XNA Game Studio 3.1, and developers can create games for both 3.0 and 3.1 projects with XNA Game Studio 3.1.

1.1.2. Uninstall XNA Game Studio Before Uninstalling Visual Studio 2008

If you choose to uninstall Visual Studio 2008, you must first uninstall XNA Game Studio 3.1. XNA Game Studio 3.1 will not uninstall properly if Visual Studio 2008 is not currently installed.

1.1.3. Uninstalling XNA Game Studio Does Not Uninstall XNA Framework

Uninstalling XNA Game Studio does not uninstall the XNA Framework. This is because the XNA Framework is required for playing an XNA Framework game. You must manually uninstall the XNA Framework to remove it from your computer.

1.1.4. Do Not Uninstall XNA Framework or XNA Game Studio Platform Tools Unless Also Uninstalling XNA Game Studio

Do not uninstall the XNA Framework or XNA Game Studio Platform Tools unless you are also uninstalling all versions of XNA Game Studio from your computer. Although the XNA Framework and XNA Game Studio Platform Tools are separate components from XNA Game Studio itself, XNA Game Studio versions rely on these components and will not function correctly if they are uninstalled.

1.1.5. Error Codes that May Be Returned from Setup

Setup may return one of the following error codes if an issue occurs during installation. If you are using a script to install XNA Game Studio, you should check for these error codes.

Value Description
5001 .NET Framework 3.5 is not installed.
5002 Not running on a supported operating system.
5003 Setup is not running with Administrator privileges.
5005 Error in the command line specified to the installed.
5006 Setup is running; cannot run multiple instances of Setup.
5007 Pre-released version of the product must be uninstalled before running Setup.
5008 XNA Game Studio 3.0 must be uninstalled before installing XNA Game Studio 3.1.
5009 Only one language version of XNA Game Studio may be installed on a system at a time. If you are installing the Japanese language version of XNA Game Studio 3.1, you first must uninstall the English language version of the product before running Setup.
5010 Invalid setup culture specified. XNA Game Studio 3.1 Setup only supports en-US or ja-JP when specifying a .NET culture string indicating which culture to install.
5011 Unable to load the End-User License Agreement.
5998 User canceled out of Setup.
5999 Other non-specific error.

1.2. Development Environment

This section describes known issues you may encounter when working with XNA Game Studio and the Visual Studio 2008 integrated development environment (IDE).

1.2.1. Upgrading Projects to XNA Game Studio 3.1

XNA Game Studio 3.1 only supports upgrading projects from version 2.0 to version 3.0 and from version 3.0 to version 3.1. XNA Game Studio 2.0 projects are upgraded automatically to XNA Game Studio 3.0 projects when they are opened in XNA Game Studio 3.1. XNA Game Studio 3.0 projects can be upgraded to XNA Game Studio 3.1 by right-clicking the solution in Solution Explorer, and then clicking Upgrade Solution.

To upgrade a project based on a previous version of XNA Game Studio, create a new XNA Game Studio 3.1 project, and then add the code and content from the original project to the new XNA Game Studio project.

For more information about upgrading, please see the XNA Game Studio documentation.

1.2.2. Game Fails to Launch After Upgrading to XNA Game Studio 3.1

A launch failure may occur if the original Xbox 360 or Zune game project file explicitly specified references to 3.0 versions of the Microsoft.Xna.Framework and Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game assemblies. The upgrade process does not modify explicit assembly references in Zune or Xbox 360 project files. Visual Studio will compile an XNA Game Studio 3.1 project that is still referencing 3.0 assemblies. When launching a game project that has been upgraded under these circumstances, the game will immediately return to the XNA Game Studio Connect screen, and Visual Studio will not indicate the reason for the managed code exit. In some cases the game may throw a System.TypeLoadException before it exits.

To resolve this issue, first remove the Microsoft.Xna.Framework and Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game assemblies, and then add the assemblies in the Xbox 360 or Zune project again.

In general, do not use specific references for project references, and do use specific references for content references.

The NetRumble Starter kit provided for XNA Game Studio 3.0 specified explicit versions of these assemblies, so project upgrades based on this version of NetRumble will exhibit this behavior.

1.2.3. Standard Templates Not Visible in Visual Studio 2008 IDE

If you install XNA Game Studio with the English version of Visual Studio 2008 on a computer running a non-English version of the Windows operating system, you may experience the following issues:

  • The standard templates are not visible in the IDE.
  • The IDE uses a mix of English and non-English text.

To resolve these issues, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then expand the Environment node. Ensure that International Settings is set to English rather than Same as Microsoft Windows. If you change this setting, you must restart Visual Studio 2008 for the change to take effect.

1.3. Target Platform Deployment and Debugging

This section describes issues that you may encounter when you deploy to an Xbox 360 console or to a Zune device, or when you debug a game on one of these platforms.

1.3.1. Xbox 360 Games Fail to Deploy with Error Code 2300

If your Xbox 360 game fails to deploy with an error code of 2300, this could indicate that the storage for the game is corrupted on the target console. In this case, the deployed game does not appear in the Game Library and subsequent deployment attempts also fail with the same error.

To fix this error, look in the System Settings, Memory area of the Xbox 360 console, within the category XNA Game Studio Connect. Delete any game whose title is "Corrupted," and then attempt a redeployment.

1.3.2. XNA Game Studio 3.1 Components Do Not Interoperate with XNA Game Studio Express 1.0

The software components in XNA Game Studio 3.1 that enable interaction between the development computer and the Xbox 360 console do not interoperate with similar components released with XNA Game Studio Express 1.0. For example, XNA Game Studio Device Center does not support the XNA Game Launcher. Similarly, XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 cannot communicate with XNA Game Studio Connect. The only case in which interoperability is supported is the deployment to XNA Game Studio Connect of XNA Framework 1.0 games that have been packaged using XnaPack.exe.

1.4. Networking and Multiplayer

This section describes issues that you may encounter when using the networking and multiplayer features of XNA Game Studio.

1.4.1. Firewall Exception for XNA Game Studio 3.0 Projects Must be Added Manually

The XNA Game Studio Setup program adjusts Windows Firewall settings to allow the XnaTransX.exe application to send and receive network traffic. This is necessary for your Windows-based development computer to communicate with the Xbox 360 console. Similarly, the Setup program adjusts Windows Firewall settings for the XnaLiveProxy.exe application to enable network communications for networked games.

The XNA Game Studio Setup program automatically can add these firewall settings, but does not add them automatically for XNA Game Studio 3.0. For XNA Game Studio 3.0 projects created with XNA Game Studio 3.1, you will need to configure your firewall to allow XnaLiveProxy.exe to send and receive network traffic. Some firewall products enable you to unblock all ports used by an application; some enable you only to unblock specific ports; and some, such as Windows Firewall, enable you to do both.

If your firewall supports unblocking all ports used by an application, specify the following executable:

          <install dir>\Microsoft XNA\XNA Game Studio\v3.0\Bin\XnaLiveProxy.exe
        
Note
In the above paths, <install dir> refers to the directory beneath which XNA Game Studio is installed. By default, this directory is %ProgramFiles%.

To unblock specific ports, configure your firewall using the following information.

Application Port Protocol Inbound or outbound
XnaLiveProxy.exe 1000 UDP inbound/outbound
XnaLiveProxy.exe 3074 UDP inbound/outbound

For more information, please see the article "Third Party Firewall Settings" in the XNA Game Studio documentation.

1.4.2. Finding and Connecting to Games Built with XNA Game Studio

Network games designed with XNA Game Studio can only find, and connect with, other XNA Game Studio network games built with the same version number. For example, XNA Game Studio 3.1 games can only find, and connect with, other XNA Game Studio 3.1 games, and will not find or connect with XNA Game Studio 3.0 games, and vice versa.

1.4.3. Joining a Creator Title Session Fails Using the Console Guide

Joining an existing creator title session from the console dashboard will fail. You will get an error message.

Failure can occur in the following cases:

  • Accessing a friend's profile (who is hosting a creator title multiplayer session), and selecting Join Session in Progress.
  • Using the New Xbox Experience, selecting Friends, choosing the friend hosting the game, and selecting Join Game.

To avoid this failure, either have the friend creating the creator title multiplayer session send you an invite, or start the same creator title or any other title yourself, and then use the console guide to join your friend's creator title session.

1.4.4. Unexpected Behavior Could Occur When Accepting Invites From a Creator Game

If you are running XNA Game Studio Connect and attempt to join an XNA Creators Club game session (by accepting an invite or by joining a session through the console guide) and nothing happens, ensure that XNA Game Studio Connect is on your console's hard drive. To resolve this, look for XNA Game Studio Connect in the Game Library or System Settings, Memory of the dashboard, and then verify that a hard drive symbol is present when you select that item. If you do not see XNA Game Studio Connect, download it to your hard drive from Game Marketplace. If you find XNA Game Studio Connect, but not on the hard drive, move it to the hard drive using the options found in System Settings.

Unexpected behavior could also occur if you installed an older version of XNA Game Studio Connect, such as the XNA Game Launcher, that was released with XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 or XNA Game Studio Connect 2.0. To resolve this, delete any existing version of the XNA Game Launcher, and then install the latest XNA Game Studio Connect title from the Game Marketplace. If you still require the XNA Game Launcher, you can download it again, after the latest XNA Game Studio Connect version has been downloaded.

1.4.5. Windows Games May Hang When Running on AMD Dual-Core Processor

If you are running an XNA Framework Game on a computer with a dual-core AMD processor that is running Windows XP, and the game contacts the Xbox LIVE servers, you may experience unpredictable behavior such as a hanging of the game process. To work around this issue, you should install the AMD Dual-Core Optimizer from AMD on the computer on which you are running the game. Currently, the optimizer is available at AMD Dual-Core Optimizer

1.5. Game Sharing and Distribution

This section describes issues that you may encounter when sharing and distributing XNA Game Studio games.

1.5.1. Location to Which XnaPack Extracts Packaged Games

For Windows XP, the XnaPack tool extracts games to the following location on your local hard drive.

%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\XNA Creators Club Games

For Windows Vista, the XnaPack tool extracts games to the following location.

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\XNA Creators Club Games

The value of the %USERPROFILE% environment variable changes depending on the login ID of the currently logged-in user. It also depends on the drive letter of the partition on which Windows was installed, and whether you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista. For example, for Windows XP installed on drive C, XnaPack would extract packaged games to the following location.

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\XNA Creators Club Games

where "<user>" represents the login ID of the currently logged-in user. For Windows Vista installed on drive D, XnaPack would extract packaged games to the following location.

D:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\XNA Creators Club Games

where, again, "<user>" represents the login ID of the currently logged-in user.

You may want to create a Windows shortcut to this location so that you can access it more easily.

1.5.2. Copy Local Property Causes Validation Error When Unpacking a Zune Game

If an assembly reference in your Zune game has the Copy Local property set to true, an error could occur when unpacking the Zune game.

Before packing your game with the XNA Game Studio Package utility (xnapack.exe), verify that the following assemblies have Copy Local set to false:

  • .NET Framework assembly: mscorlib, System, System.Core, System.XML, System.Xml.Linq
  • XNA Framework assembly: Microsoft.Xna.Framework, Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game
Note
Do not change the value of the Copy Local property for any assembly references within a game library contained by the Zune game to be packaged.

1.6. XNA Framework

This section describes issues that you may encounter when using the XNA Framework.

1.6.1. NoSuitableGraphicsDeviceException from XNA Framework Game

If an XNA Framework game throws an NoSuitableGraphicsDeviceException, inspect the text in the unhandled exception dialog box to determine whether the cause is an unsupported video card.

To run XNA Framework games on a computer running a Windows operating system, you need a graphics card that supports, at a minimum, Shader Model 1.1, and DirectX 9.0c. We recommend using a graphics card that supports Shader Model 2.0 because some samples and starter kits may require it.

Ensure your graphics card is using the latest driver. Check with your hardware vendor or access Microsoft Update to find the latest version of a driver.

1.7. Content Creation

This section describes issues that you may encounter when creating content for XNA Game Studio games.

1.7.1. XACT Hangs When Attempting to Play Wave File

XNA Game Studio 3.1 includes two versions of the XACT tools, version 2 and 3. Version 2 is included for backward-compatibility. Audio designers using the XACT tools must match the version of the auditioning utility (AudConsole.exe) with the version of the XACT audio creation tool being used. A mismatch will lead to temporary hangs in XACT when attempting to play a .WAV file, followed by error messages indicating that the existing connection was forcibly closed or the auditioning server has been lost.

The version of the XACT Auditioning Utility that can be found on the Start menu is Version 3. Version 2 of the XACT Auditioning Utility is not on the shortcut menu for XNA Game Studio, but can be found in the following location:

          <install dir>\Microsoft XNA\XNA Game Studio\v3.1\Tools
        
Note
In the above path, <install dir> refers to the directory beneath which XNA Game Studio is installed. By default, this directory is %ProgramFiles%.

1.7.2. Build Action Must Be Set to Compile for Items in Content Projects

Items in content projects must have their build action set to Compile in order to be built by the XNA Framework Content Pipeline. If the build action is set to Content, the item will not be built. By default, items in content projects have their build action set to Compile.

1.7.3. Audio Content with Compression Quality Set to Low Can Cause XNA Game Studio to Hang or Crash

Windows projects containing audio content with an 8 KHz sample rate and the Compression Quality property of the game asset processor set to Low can cause XNA Game Studio to hang or crash during compilation.

To avoid this issue, use either a different quality setting (for example, High or Medium) for the processor, or increase the sample rate of the source content above 8 KHz.

1.7.4. Imported Wave Banks Limited to 200

When using the Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT) with XNA Game Studio, you are limited to importing no more than 200 wave banks.

 

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