Whoever thought of manifest files for VS2005 should be shot. Right now my artist’s can’t run the game due to this crap. Already wasted 4 hours trying to figure this out, and am getting nowhere.
No longer can you include the necessary DLLs. Now they have dependencies embedded into the assembly, and it checks in weird system paths using the registry. Unless the person trying to run the game has these dependencies already (or Visual Studio 2005 installed) they can’t run it. I can’t actually test since I do have VS2005, so I have to grab people to help me try installing the game.
Your choices: Either (maybe??) use the HORRIBLE installer included with Visual Studio 2005, or … um I don’t know. The reason their installer is horrible is that it’s hard as hell to use, and I have to go through every single file in my game, one by one, and add it to the installer. No way am I going to do that. It also can’t find dependencies by 3rd party DLLs. It also doesn’t generate a single file for the installer, but 2 files (???). So there’s not one download but 2. Forget about it.
I tried copying a .manifest file from another program, along the DLLs. that should work I think, except that I’m using a whole bunch of libraries. Do I need to somehow find the source for those other DLLs and turn off manifest generation there too, and rebuild everything? I’m not sure that’s even possible, and if it were it would take me days to hunt down the source. Anyway, it doesn’t work.
I tried having my testers install the VS redistributable runtime but it also didn’t work.
I’m sort of running out of options here aside from installing VC6, getting things to build there, and using that instead.
Goddamn it. I just want to get this freaking game done and it’s always something to waste my time.
* EDIT *
I finally figured it out. I didn’t know there was a VS2005 redistributable for versions both with and without SP1. I didn’t see the SP1 version on my prior google search, and had my artists install the one without. I had one user install it with the SP1 version and it worked.
I’m also going to distribute the .manifest and dlls alongside the application. This was actually one of the first things I tried, and it didn’t work, so I think it’s more for versions of Windows that don’t have side by side assemblies at all. I saw that FMOD designer and most other installed applications did this, so in all probability it will work.