One little thing ... I can't find a way to quit the game during gameplay except by alt-tabbing and killing the application manually.
You can press P to pause and then choose quit or you can alt+F4.
Yeah, they're not unrelated in the sense that they're needed, but external installers are unrelated in that they're outside the application itself and not simply installed into the game folder and if additional installations are made into the system folder they may clutter up the system even after the game is removed. I don't know if your app is like this, but adding stuff to the system without asking for consent is way not cool. That's why adding any amound of stuff to the game folder is OK but to the system folders is not. </>
I definitely agree with you on that, especially when it comes to stuff like Punkbuster or SecuROM. However I want to clarify that everything installed is totally reusable outside of my game and may not even get installed if it's already there. It installs redists for .NET 3.5, DirectX, XNA, and VC. I have it silently install for user convenience since I assumed people didnt wanna babysit the installation by clicking Yes every minute. Plus it's easy for people to miss a directory that says INSTALL ME! and then the game just doesnt work, I know I've made that mistake myself. The flip side is you're sitting there thinking "WTF is this taking so long". If this is something more people feel strongly about I can change it, honestly I don't have a strong preference either way.