As a final tutorial in discussing how to publish your game, I thought it would be a good idea to look at a few other ways that you can distribute your game. This includes using an installer, and working with a game publisher.
Using Another Installer
In a previous tutorial, we looked at how to use ClickOnce to distribute your game. This is not the only way for you to distribute your game. In many cases, ClickOnce is the simplest way. However, there are other ways out there that allow you to distribute your game, which may have added benefits that ClickOnce does not provide. While we can't discuss all of the other installer systems out there, I just wanted to point out that they do exist. One installer that I have used in the past is InnoSetup. It works very well, and allows you to write a simple script to indicate what files need to be copied, what prerequisites need to be installed, what registry values should be set, and so on. It is pretty powerful, and is easy to learn. It provides some things that ClickOnce does not provide, like an Uninstaller for your program.
There really are a vast number of installers out there, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, so you should take a look at some of them, if ClickOnce doesn't do what you need it to.
Working with a Game Publisher
Another option for distributing your game is by working with a video game publisher. A video game publisher is a company that will work with you to get your game out. There is usually a formal contract involved, which includes giving the publisher a share of the profits. The publisher usually manages distribution and marketing for your game, and you are expected to complete the game on a set timeline. The advantage to this is that since they deal with marketing and distribution, you don't have to worry about that, or even know how to do it.
This tutorial is the last in the series of tutorials about distributing your game. By this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of how you can distribute your game. There are, of course, an unlimited number of ways to distribute your game, even beyond the ideas discussed here. Look around and see what works best.
If you haven't taken a look at the other tutorials about distributing your game, yet, you should go back and take a look at them. There are tutorials about Packaging your Game for Other XNA Users, Packaging your Source Code for Other XNA Users, and Using ClickOnce to Distribute your Game.
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