Note: the following was most recently tested with XNA 4.0
XNA is a great platform that allows you to play with the more advanced topics in Game Networking. The only trouble is that sometimes it takes a bit of wrangling to get the Windows Live accounts setup correctly.
The worst scenario is this:
You’ve created a networked game, and when you run it for the first time it prompts you to log in and you select “Use Existing Profile”. You enter your account info and find that because you’re not a full Creator’s club member, the program crashes.
You get something like:
GamerServicesNotAvailableException was unhandled: The current profile does not have an XNA Creators Club membership, which is required to sign in to the LIVE service. To continue, purchase a membership from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, or switch to a local gamer profile.
So clearly, the solution is to “switch to a local gamer profile”. Local profiles are allowed to test games created with SystemLink, but unfortunately, there’s no easy way to create a new local profile! The system has saved your old profile and won’t let you delete it or let you add a local one. Since this is new code you have not yet created exception handling (your pulled the code off the net or out of a book like Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed.)
Logging in with your profile causes a crash, but you are required to log in in order to get to the “Delete Profile/Add New Profile” screen.
In this case, the only free solution is to delete your cached profile. In Windows 7, this can be found on your primary hardrive:
Just delete all the content folders to delete the cached accounts. Then, when your run your networked game, when prompted “Create New Profile”, and on the next screen, scroll down and select “Create Local Profile”.
Now you’re free to test XNA networking using a SystemLink without any difficulties.
For more information on setting up your account for networking, see the links on my previous blog post.