MonoGame XNB Content for Express Editions

In the comments of the last post, Martin pointed out that my solution where I include a Windows Phone Content Project and Windows Phone Game Library project in the MonoGame for Windows 8 game solution doesn’t work when using Express editions of Visual Studio. This is because Express editions are usually tied to a specific technology, so Express for Windows 8 is different than Express for Windows Phone, and different from Express for Web.

If you don’t have a non-Express version of Visual Studio installed when you install the Windows Phone 8 SDK, it should install the Express version of Visual Studio for Windows Phone development. Assuming that you already installed the Windows 8 version of Visual Studio Express, you can leave the MonoGame game solution as-is, but create a new Windows Phone solution to generate the XNB files for you to include in your MonoGame game project.

This isn’t as convenient as having everything in the same solution, but it shouldn’t be too much more complicated. When adding new content, you’ll have to build the Windows Phone solution first, then go to your MonoGame solution and add the XNB file “As Link” just like you would if it was all in one solution.

At this point I’d like to know from you. When including source code for download for the rest if this series, should I include the single solution option that only works if you have a paid version of Visual Studio installed, or should I have 2 separate projects that will work in Express versions?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sychris.lee Chris Lee

    “At this point I’d like to know from you. When including source code for download for the rest if this series, should I include the single solution option that only works if you have a paid version of Visual Studio installed, or should I have 2 separate projects that will work in Express versions?”

    Speaking for myself, I have Visual Studio 2012 so obviously I’d prefer if you targeted the full version. Maybe you should link this article in all your subsequent articles, maybe like “if you’re using Express versions of Visual Studio, click here”

  • http://twitter.com/ChromaticRanger Martin Stickley

    Hi Bill
    I’m only using Express versions so for absolute convienience it would obviously suit me best to have the code split, however, I’m sure I could cope with the single solution if that ends up being the majority decision. :)
    Cheers,
    Martin

  • http://www.facebook.com/CromWhoCaresForNothing David Cole

     I don’t typically download the full source code, I prefer to tinker around on my own following the article examples until I get it right myself.

  • http://billreiss.com/ Bill Reiss

    I’ve thought about it more and I think I can support both, I’ll just be including 3 solution files, one for the combined and then 2 others for the split for Express. Worth a shot anyway :)

  • Guddler

    Being the original commenter (now with a proper login), obviously I’d prefer the two solutions, but saying that, I actually don’t usually download the code anyway, I prefer to type it in as I follow along and learn a lot more that way – so it won’t really bother me either way. Main reason for pointing it out in the first place was just so you were aware of the issue for express users and to make sure I wasn’t missing something myself.

    I’m also trying to look into whether I may be eligible for any of the ‘Spark’ programs but I don’t think I am.

    • http://billreiss.com/ Bill Reiss

      Thanks well I’m glad you pointed it out, because I have been on a Pro version of VS for so long now sometimes I forget, but a few years ago I was in the same boat and so I’d like to support both if possible.

  • Ralph Ocampo

    Hello Bill,

    I also only use the Express version.

    Ralph Ocampo