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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Semi-Fix for XNA 4.0 Tutorial's "No suitable graphics card found" Error

This is a bit of an odd post here on CAS but I thought it'd be useful for people like me who are trying to learn XNA via the XNA Game Studio 4.0's Shooter tutorial and can't get past the "No suitable graphics card error" error when trying to debug.  The true fix for my fellow game developers out there is actually to get a PC with a decent graphics card.  Reading the questions on this that have been posted on forums, stackflow, etc since 2010..seems that the answers are simply, "Y U No have a better PC?"

Well, as many of you know, I've been developing my iOS videogame, Tenshi-Oni on/off for the past year.  I use a 2 year old Macbook pro with the most recent OS (currently Mountain Lion as of this post) and all is fine and dandy.  This Macbook is a jump from my old Dell Dimension I got in 2002 back when I first started this site.  I did upgrade it midway with a Radeon 9200 graphics card for duel monitor support...but yes, it's well done for in terms of modern day development.  I could maybe try to use virtual machine and in a sense turn my Mac into a semi-Hackintosh...but I don't want to possibly ruin my Mac and jeopardize Tenshi-Oni.

"So, why don't you get a new PC?...you can build one for like $500-$600."  Sorry, not an option right now and my reasoning for getting into XNA development all of a sudden is to re-learn how to use the Visual C# IDE and XNA Framework. (more on that in a future post).  So, I'd imagine and seen it from the questions posted (but hardly answered) that many people with sub-par PCs and/or graphics cards want at least get the damn Shooter tutorial game to debug/run on your PC.  So, here's the "solution" I've made:

  • Revert back to Visual C# 2008 & XNA 3.1
Not exactly a true fix since you won't be able to test any gestures and frameworks in 4.0...particularly for Windows Phone....but Windows x86 and Xbox builds can be made.  Just downloading the completed tutorial files and building it in Visual c# won't work without a little bit of  footwork...which I did for anyone looking for it...

Linked above is the Shooter XNA 4.0 Completed Tutorial Project...but made to work on Visual C# Express 2008 w/ XNA 3.1.  Granted, it's not an amazing feat of programming at all...for the most part, it's really just a bit of CTRL+C, CTRL+V and minor tweaking.  Some of the minor tweaking included omitting XNA 4.0 Framework references, like the .Touch for Windows phone plus I made the ship spawn a fifth of the way in since it spawning at x=0..doesn't look that great since half the ship will show and half will be off the screen to the left.  Also, the debug screen in x86 on Visual C# seems to have an output height beyond the Shooter Tutorial's graphics...so I fixed that with the graphics.PreferredBackBufferHeight = 480; line in Game1.cs.  

I can confirm it works on my old Dell with the x86 build.  I can't confirm it works on the Xbox 360 for testing but the build is there too.

Hope this helps at least get people like me with less than stellar PC step-ups a chance to get their feet wet with XNA/C# Game Development until we can nab ourselves a serious gaming and dev rig.

oh..and yes...I do plan on porting Tenshi-Oni to Windows...the controls are really best for Windows Phone or Windows 8 tablets as oppose to Xbox/PC but...I'll see if I can fix that once I cross that bridge.  More on why I'm diverting from the moment to XNA...in a bit.

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