Thanks a lot for the responses, it’s really useful to see how people are tackling this. From what I can tell it all seems to be mostly a free-for-all, which is can be both good or bad.
Honestly I’m not a huge fan of the installer option, mostly because personally I’d rather not have the tool copying files which I’ll have to use effort to track down when I later want to remove it (in my experience bundled uninstallers usually leave some mess lying around too). Whenever I’ve downloaded a game from say itch.io and it contains a
setup.exe, I’ve sadly just not bothered. I’d be interested to hear other people’s opinions on this. Do Windows users tend to prefer installers and I’m in the minority? I’ve been running Linux almost exclusively until very recently so it could definitely be just me!
I think I prefer the method outlined in the Monogame documentation, that I mentioned above (
dotnet publish...), it’d be perfect if the libraries didn’t have to be bundled as separate files. I wonder if there’s a trick that can be used to package them together?
Since it’s not really a lot of extra effort, I guess a decent option is to produce a few different type of distributions and allow the user to download the one that they prefer.
@Mando_Palaise I don’t think the setup file created by the publish wizard is compatible with Linux at all. You’d need to do something custom if you wanted a similar installation method on that platform. A common approach is to bundle the software in an archive (often a .tar.gz) file and users extract it where they want and run from there. The
dotnet CLI I mentioned above can make it easy to do that, as it bundles in all the required dependencies in the format required on the target platform. But this being Linux there are a billion different ways to do the same thing!