Adding an XML Content File to a Visual Studio Project

Describes how to add custom game data as an XML file through the Content Pipeline.

Adding XML files to game content

Custom game data that is expressed in an XML format can be easily integrated into your game through the XNA Game Studio Content Pipeline.

This example demonstrates the procedure for integrating custom XML data into the content project of a simple XNA Game Studio game for the Windows platform.

To define game data

Within the XNA Game Studio solution, you create a new Windows Game Library project.

  1. Right-click the solution node, point to Add, click New Project, and then select the Windows Game Library template.


    A Windows Game Library project is created instead of a Content Pipeline Extension Library project so that the class we will define can be used by both the content importer that runs at build-time and the content loader at game runtime.

  2. In the Name box, type MyDataTypes, and then click OK.

  3. In Solution Explorer, double-click Class1.cs to edit the new library project file.

  4. Replace the default template with the following code to define the class.

    namespace MyDataTypes
        public class PetData
            public string Name;
            public string Species;
            public float Weight;
            public int Age;

To add an XML file to game content

In this procedure, the "MyDataTypes" library is added as a reference in the content project.

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the game content project, point to Add Reference, click the Projects tab, select MyDataTypes, and then click OK.

    A new content item is created next.

  2. In Solution Explorer, right-click the game content folder, point to Add, and then click New Item.

  3. In the Add New Item dialog box, select XML file (.xml) in the Templates pane.

  4. In the Name box, type pets as the file name, and then click OK.

    The new "pets.xml" file automatically opens for editing.

  5. Replace the contents of the template file with the following XML code:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
      <Asset Type="MyDataTypes.PetData[]">

When you press F6 to build the solution, it should build successfully, including the custom game content imported from the XML file.

To load the data at runtime, see the tutorial Loading XML Content at Runtime.

See Also

Using an XML File to Specify Content
Adding Content to a Game