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Mr_Threepwood

Getting a game ready for release

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Hi, so I'm at the point where I've almost got a simple game finished, and I'm wondering about distribution (not like anyone's going to play it, but for learning purposes). I've done some searching and tried to figure out the whole resources system, but VC++ 2008 express doesn't seem to make it easy, or I'm doing it completely wrong. How does one usually pack the media files into an exe? I've got Wav's, Midis, and bitmaps I'd like to have compiled into a single exe file. Any information regarding distributing games conveniently would be greatly appreciated.

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mostly you don't compile the bitmaps and sounds into the exe. To distribute there are basically two ways to do it. use an installer program and write your own installer it will create an msi(it is kind of like an executable zip file). It is kind of hard and pretty annoying. The other less professional way is to just zip up all the files you need.

You will need to figure out what files you need. Since you are using vc++ you will need the VC++ redistributable. If you are using sdl you will need that dll and so on for any library you are using that isn't statically linked.

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Ok so I'm confused about this and it's difficult to find a straightforward walkthrough of how to do it. I've got a simple game of pong finished and I'd like to upload it to my site for kicks, but I tried it on someone else's computer and it doesn't work. So I have to include dlls or something to get it to work on other peoples computers I guess.

So things I used in the project are:

Visual c++ 2008 express
Windows library (I linked winmm.lib and msimg32.lib)
Several bmps, wavs, and icons which are included in a resource script


So does anyone know of how I'd go about figuring out what else I need to link to get it working on someone else's computer (do I have to link even? Or is linking a different thing from including release files?). I checked on msdn but I didn't know what they were talking about. Am I supposed to add things into the linker section of my project?

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You need everything your app needs in the same directory. except standard windows dlls that are already in the System or System32 directory of any computer. These dlls are the standard libraries for the standard Win API.

When your app runs it will look for the DLL's it needs in it's own directory and then the system directory. That's it. You can tell it to look elsewhere and build an installer that puts files where you want but be warned everybody sets their directory structure up different and custom directories are prone to all sorts of issues. Especially if some other program rewrites the PATH pointers.

The only safe method is to keep everything together in one directory or build your own directory structure under that directory with the path hardwired into your code. You need not worry about standard windows DLLs but EVERYTHING else that your program uses at runtime needs to be in the executable directory for simplicity. This especially applies to any third party DLLs that your graphics engine for example may need.

If you use the direct X SDK then you'll need the direct X redistributable DLL etc. All your graphics need to be in the executable directory.

Test it on your own machine first. Compile a release version then move it (the executable) somewhere weird and strange on your computer (like another drive, on a flash USB, six directories deep etc, and you'll soon find out what it needs because it won't run until you put the right files in with it.

It's also a good idea to go back through your code (if you haven't already done so) and write exception handlers for everything the code needs or loads. Then you get an error message if it can't find something that tells you what it can't find. You really need this anyway or you can end up putting a game out there with hundreds of complaints about it not working and you have no idea why.

m0ng00se

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Well it works anywhere on my computer regardless of where it is. All it is is a single EXE file, and it doesn't use anything other than the windows API (no direct x, opengl, etc). All of the sounds and images have been packed into the EXE file.

The error I get on other peoples computers is "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling application may fix this problem.".

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