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Croteam on Windows 8 Issues

A post on the Steam Users' Forums from a couple of weeks ago offers a distressing overview of Windows 8 from Croteam (thanks Gamer's Hell), as Alen Ladavac says: "I would very much like to clear this one thing. I think that this is very important as there are 'under the hood' motions related to Windows 8 that are hidden and not well understood even by many developers (yet), and certainly not by most gamers." Saying "Gabe Newel did not overreact," he goes on to describe how "under the hood, the new tiled UI is a means for Microsoft to lock Windows applications into a walled garden, much like the one on iOS." Here's more:

There is this "small detail" that Microsoft is not advertising anywhere, but you can find it dug deep in the developer documentation:

One cannot release a tiled UI application by any other means, but only through Windows Store!

I cannot even begin to stress out just how horrible this idea is! There is no side-loading, except for corporate use inside one company, and that works only on the enterprise edition of Windows 8. Do we all understand what that means? You cannot download an application from the Internet and run it on your computer. You have to get it from Microsoft's store. Even if it is a free app!

If it was just about "being downloaded from Windows store", it would not be a problem. It would be nice to have a common hub to download things from. But to get an app onto that store, it has to be certified by MS. This means bringing the "console experience" onto your desktop. Each app that you will get through the Windows Store will have to adhere to certain requirements imposed by MS. So far, we know that they've banned mature games, like Skyrim, CoD, and Serious Sam.[*] They have forbidden modding. They could very well forbid Open Source if they want. But even if these terms were not there, this is still a certification system. With all of its downsides, including uncertain release dates, rare and late patches, and everything turning out to be more expensive and sucking more.

While, theoretically, desktop applications are exempt from these requirements, it looks more and more like just a foot-in-the-door technique. A large number of developers have expressed their concern with possibility that, probably in Windows 9 or something like that, the ability to get even desktop apps in any other way than through Windows app store may very well be removed. When that happens it will be too late.

I would not invest into supporting the tiled UI apps (which MS now conveniently calls "Windows Store apps" - does that ring a bell?), until MS removes the requirement that they have to be shipped through Windows Store on desktop at least - and thereby remove the requirement of certifying them with MS. Certification is a broken concept and should be abolished.

Now, while in current state Windows 8 do look like they support plain desktop apps seamlessly, the removal of start menu and use of "charms" even on the desktop looks like a pretty blunt attempt to force users to "get used" to the tiled UI. It would be fine by me if it wasn't for the aforementioned certification issue.

So, it is a vicious circle. And not an accidental one. This one was carefully designed to be that way. I say: no thank you, I'll skip on that one.

* (Our footnote, not Alen's): He seems to have missed this story).

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74. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 23:35 DukeFNukem
FloodAnxiety wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 21:17:
Game devs should not feel threatened by the windows 8 app store. They can still sell their desktop games the same way as they used to. They are only worried because if users start to gravitate to the app store they may stop purchasing desktop apps from other channels. If that does happen then that will only validate the direction they are going with the app store.

The certification process is a necessary evil to ensure that end user gets a good quality experience from these apps.

Here are some PROs of Windows 8 Store apps:

- The app can utilize more resources. All apps are required to properly support suspending and the possibility that the OS can terminate the app when it is not running. This means that an app store game can be a resource hog, and other open apps that are not running will get terminated if your app requires the resources used by that app.

So Windows 8 will close an app for if your not using it. Big whoopie do. How will it know whether you actually want an application left open or not? I keep hundreds of tabs open in my web browser, a PDF reader, NotePad++, Steam, SeaGate tools, etc. They run 24/7. They don't need to be closed. I DO NOT like this idea at all. Sounds like Microsoft wants to make every decision for the user now days...from the cradle to the ****ng grave.

- Consistent ways to update all of your apps. No more Quicktime/Adobe flash updaters pop ups and the corresponding services that are constantly running in the background checking for these updates.

Way to make a big deal about nothing. If an intelligent user wants to shut down a service and do manual updates he's free to do so. Unless the service running in the background is completely disrupting your OS experience, whats the problem? Furthermore, I actually enjoy getting popup windows from Adobe and other software. Forced updates are a bad idea. If the software changes in such a way that people don't WANT to upgrade to the latest version, what then?

- Security of the walled garden builds trust in the store and their apps. This will increase the number of users willing to take a chance on your software if you aren't a well known and trusted publisher.

Another bullshit so-called "PRO" of the Metro App store. All you are saying here is that it's good for small developers who aren't well known. Yet there are TONS of websites on the internet where small developers can promote their software. CNET is a great place for developers to have their software showcased.

- Installing an app can only install that app. No more hidden installations of google toolbar and other crap that you didn't ask for.

I didn't ask for the Metro UI on the latest version of Windows ...who's protecting me from that crap? How do I uninstall that?

- Simple and easy way to uninstall an app, and uninstall it cleanly. Most desktop software today will leave things behind, such as loose files and additions to the registry. Which contributes to the decline in performance and disk space of the PC after several years.

Oh my God. A loose file left behind on my 7200rpm SATA 6.0Gb/s 1TB hard disk drive???? The second return of Christ must be near!!! And last time I checked, Windows 7 still includes this neat little tool called "Disk Defragmenter".

- Apps that go unresponsive (the grey ghosting of the title bar you see in desktop apps) are terminated immediately. This raises the bar on developers to write responsive UIs.

An unresponsive application isn't a reason to contemplate suicide. Start the task manager and kill the application. A better way to have worded your point would have been to use the words "forces the developer" versus "raising the bar". Microsoft is very good at forcing things on people.

As for the desktop experience in Windows 8; I don't miss the start button at all. Instead of having a roughly 50x50 hot spot for the mouse to click on, there is a 4x4 hot spot right in the corner. I know where the start button is, I don't need the wasted pixels on my taskbar to show the Windows Logo. Not that I use it much anyways, since the Windows key on the keyboard has always opened the start menu and still has the same function.

Wow, that means if I upgrade to Windows 8 I can reclaim 2484 pixels of screen real-estate of a total 2,073,600 pixels on my 1920x1080 monitor for an actual savings of a number so insignificant I can't reprint it here. Yeah, I can see why people are "rushing" to upgrade to Windows 8. Hey, I got another tip for you. Get rid of your keyboard and mouse and buy a touchscreen-monitor(if you don't already have one). Think of the space you will save on your actual desk!!!

tldr; Lots of improvements all around. Devs should target the app store to reap the additional benefits it provides, or they can stick to the old way of doing things.

Every point in "FloodAnxiety"'s post was complete and total bullshit. Microsoft wants to coddle their users from the cradle to the grave. That means transferring more control away from the users and developers into the hands of Microsoft. Windows 8? No thanks. I'll stick to the "old" way of doing things.

People get all up-in-arms when they hear about bills like SOPA and PIPA because they don't want the government controlling and monitoring everything they do but somehow, its "A-Okay" if Microsoft controls everything on their desktop computer.

Windows 8 was the first step towards the home desktop PC becoming nothing more than a dumb terminal.

"People who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither" - Benjamin Franklin

This comment was edited on Nov 18, 2012, 01:35.
Just because you aren't afraid of something doesn't it mean it can't hurt you...
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