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Creating installation packages

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Hey, Im looking to create an installation package so my game can be installed on anyones computer using windows. I tried this a few months back but was unsuccesful and want to give it another go. My game uses various win32 libraries including directx and winsock. Does anyone know any free programs that will do what im after? Any help will be greatly apreciated... Thanks, Darren

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You can make Setup projects with Visual Studio. I don't know if it comes with the Express edition though, which is the only FREE version of that IDE.

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Original post by Bearhugger
You can make Setup projects with Visual Studio. I don't know if it comes with the Express edition though, which is the only FREE version of that IDE.


You can?? I have .NET 2003 aswell as the free express edition.


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I would suggest you have a look at WiX as well - it's an XML based system that creates MSI files. It's an open source project by some of the Microsoft people - available here. It was used to create the installer for MS-Office 2007 so it certainly is up to the job. I found it fairly straightforward to use - even modifying the GUI forms slightly.

Skizz

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OK, I'm an expert on using Windows Installer for creating installations, so this is not casual advice I'm giving out here. (I was the first Microsoft MVP for Windows Installer; there are something like 5 of them now.)

First, the express editions do not include deployment project types, so you can't create a setup from the express editions. That's the good news. Why is it good news? Because the deployment project type in VS.NET is a piece of shit. Its slow, buggy, limited and very frustrating to use for real projects.

WiX is open source, has high quality and works in the express editions because your project source files are just XML files. There is a WiX mailing list where lots of people can help you if you get stuck (I'm one of them).

WiX documentation assumes that you have spent some time understanding the Windows Installer model for installation. Get Phil Wilson's "The Definitive Guide to Windows Installer" if the Windows Installer documentation is making your head spin. Phil goes over what you need to know in a clear and concise manner and gives good advice on how to deal with all the scenarios. (You will need to consider patching and upgrading if you ever get any users or have a product that evolves.) Phil is also a Windows Installer MVP and answers questions on the newsgroup microsoft.public.platformsdk.msi as well as the WiX mailing list.

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Quote:
Original post by legalize
First, the express editions do not include deployment project types, so you can't create a setup from the express editions. That's the good news. Why is it good news? Because the deployment project type in VS.NET is a piece of shit. Its slow, buggy, limited and very frustrating to use for real projects.


How about C++ projects using the full version 2005? Do you also consider Windows Installer inferior to Wix in that case?

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