Tainted Vista Review #1: Game Development Called on Account of Vista

by Joey deVilla on December 29, 2006

The Tainted Vista Review

Welcome to the first installment of The Tainted Vista Review, an ongoing series of blog entries documenting my experiences with Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows Vista.

For those of you who've been following the tech blogosphere for the past couple of days, the “Tainted” in the title will be an obvious reference: I was one of the bloggers to whom an Acer Ferrari 1000 laptop pre-loaded with Windows Vista Ultimate — the most decked-out edition of the OS — was sent by the troika of Microsoft, their PR firm Edelman and Acer. This giveaway has resulted in controversy; for details, see this blog entry.

Consider this your disclaimer: I took a freebie. Or at least it was a freebie until they backpedalled.

That being said, I don't feel beholden to Microsoft other than having to say “thank you”. I haven't signed any agreements of any sort with Microsoft, Acer or Edelman. Like the optics of the giveaway campaign, the laptop and my opinions are out of their control.

It is my intent to review Vista honestly and without deference to Microsoft, but you've got to know where my Vista and the platform on which it runs came from.

And now, the first post…

Game Development Called on Account of Vista

Although I am not a game developer by trade, it's always something I've wanted to dabble in, even if only as a hobby. Hence, when I heard that Microsoft was developing an IDE that would allow you to write games for the XBox 360 — I won one of these at the recent Ajax Experience conference in Boston — I was very interested. My interest was doubly piqued after watching Rory Blyth's hour-long video posting at the launch of XNA game development framework and the XNA Game Studio Express IDE.

XNA Game Studio Express runs on top of Visual C# Express Edition, so I downloaded that first and installed it without a hitch.

The download page for XNA Game Studio Express says that it's “Only supported on Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2 (all editions) at this time.” Having trudged up the Microswoft OS upgrade path before, I know that this could mean one of two things:

  • It will either fail to install or fail to run on anything other than Windows XP SP2, or
  • It just hasn't been fully tested on Vista, but will run, although with some possible glitches.

At this stage in the game, I could live with some glitches, so I downloaded the installer. The installation process went smoothly up until near the end, when the installer froze near the end of the process, stuck forever at the part where the status dialog box says “Status: Registering project templates…”.

I took a screenshot at this point; it's shown below…

Progress dialog box for the XNA Game Studio Express setup program, which reads 'Status: Registering project templates'.

After a little waiting, I cancelled the installation, which led to this dialog box:

dialog box for the XNA Game Studio Express setup program, which reads 'Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express Setup Wizard ended prematurely'.

I suppose that I can wait until that future unspecified date when XNA Game Studio Express gets released for Vista, or I can use PartitionMagic and set up an XP SP2 partition so I can try it sooner.

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