How to write XNA games without launching Visual Csharp Express
Posted by XanTium | February 12 13:56 EST
David Weller's Blog (Community Manager at Microsoft's Game Technology Group):
Many people want the XNA Content Pipeline to work with their version of Visual Studio Professional/Enterprise/Standard. While this is DEFINITELY on the radar for the XNA product teams, you can't currently do it. And, no, there isn't some "secret sauce" that is used internally, where the XNA product team is running VS Enterprise and laughing at all you "little people" struggling with Visual C# Express. Nope, all the developers here do indeed use Visual C# Express when using/testing XNA Game Studio Express. Personally, I don't even have any other version of C# installed on my machines.
But what if you really, REALLY wanted to use the XNA Content Pipeline features with your pet version of Visual Studio? Enter the XNA Content Builder (XCB) project on CodePlex. This is part of a project by a community of Russian developers that are building several different projects that support XNA Game Studio Express. If you read Russian, check out XNADEV.RU, or just visit their main CodePlex page (in English!)
This does not mean you can skip downloading and installing Visual C# Express and XNA Game Studio Express, it just means there is some kind of support that lets you bypass launching XNA Game Studio Express and using your favorite version of VS. I have not personally tried it (remember, I pointed out above that I currently use VC# Express exclusively).