Windows 8 and gaming: critique from game developers

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Windows 8 and gaming: critique from game developers

Postposted on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:30 pm

Well, I think many people have already read about Gabe Newell calling Windows 8 a "catastrophe". Now it looks like some people at Blizzard have similar feelings:
https://twitter.com/Rob_Pardo/status/228235190705729536 And I'm sure there will be more of similar responses from similar companies... Is Microsoft intentionally trying to slowly "kill off" PC gaming in its traditional form (using keyboard + mouse)? Or are they simply went "too far" with all the "touch" BS for PCs because of blinding desire to "out-Apple" the Apple and/or arrogance ("we know more about our user's desires than the users themselves") or simple stupidity? You decide! :wink:
P.S: Before you mention that "Valve are afraid of Windows Store competition" - please realize that http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/PC/ has existed for a long enough time already (under different names) and Gabe didn't criticize it or the Windows 7, the OS which allows people to currently use this service :wink:
Last edited by JohnC on Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windows 8 and gaming: critique from game developers

Postposted on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:50 pm

One of the things that annoys me most about Windows 8 isn't so much the OS itself (although Metro aggravates me a lot), but the fact that the DirectX SDK is now part of the Window SDK. Unless the Windows SDK becomes updated much more frequently, waiting until a service pack for updates to the D3D runtime and compilers forces developers to work around SDK bugs for an unnecessarily long amount of time. Of course, considering the last DXSDK update was in June 2010, Microsoft hasn't really been great at sticking to its commitment of 6-month updates to the DXSDK either.

I just hope the next Xbox is even more like a PC. That way, those of us that develop for the PC won't be totally screwed by Microsoft's lack of interest in the PC gaming space. (Although, oddly enough, VS2012 includes a visual shader debugger that looks really slick and super useful. More Microsoft schizophrenia I assume).
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Re: Windows 8 and gaming: critique from game developers

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:20 am

Zoomastigophora wrote:I just hope the next Xbox is even more like a PC. That way, those of us that develop for the PC won't be totally screwed by Microsoft's lack of interest in the PC gaming space. (Although, oddly enough, VS2012 includes a visual shader debugger that looks really slick and super useful. More Microsoft schizophrenia I assume).

I hate to break this to you, but there is a TON of money to be made on the Xbox by modeling things more after mobile platforms than PC. XBLA is basically an app store, and getting that to work across all Windows 8 platforms would be a major selling point (and it could probably work for the 360 and the next Xbox). On top of that, PC gaming isn't growing like mobile gaming. Phones are becoming legitimate gaming platforms, even if enthusiasts and "hardcore" gamers refuse to acknowledge it.

Overall, Blizzard and Valve are going to be fine. I know Gabe seems to want an alternative (sounding like a "just in case Windows 8 fails"), but I find it unlikely that Blizzard and Valve will ever be without an operating system. Windows would have to completely abandon the desktop space...which is possible, but that will require the same sort of Windows domination in the mobile market.
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Re: Windows 8 and gaming: critique from game developers

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:18 pm

superjawes wrote:I hate to break this to you, but there is a TON of money to be made on the Xbox by modeling things more after mobile platforms than PC. XBLA is basically an app store, and getting that to work across all Windows 8 platforms would be a major selling point (and it could probably work for the 360 and the next Xbox). On top of that, PC gaming isn't growing like mobile gaming. Phones are becoming legitimate gaming platforms, even if enthusiasts and "hardcore" gamers refuse to acknowledge it.

I think you might have missed my point. Software development models tend to follow the underlying hardware. Consoles and phones are all converging towards PCs in terms of the discretization of processing units and your ability to address them separately through distinct API support (plus heterogeneous computing lets you treat them all as ALUs able to do whatever you need, which can lead to some interesting things, but that's diverging off the point). Microsoft already wants the whole Windows 8 ecosystem to be able to interoperate and allow for easy porting, which is why DirectX is going to be available across desktop, mobile and console for game development.

The issue is that the Xbox is Microsoft's focus and premiere entertainment portal, and consequently, the majority of Microsoft's tools development support goes towards the Xbox Development Kit. PC game developers are basically second class citizens in Microsoft's developer ecosystem. My point is that if the next Xbox is even closer to a PC, the tools that Microsoft develops for its console developers will be easier to port to the PC world so that we might benefit from them too. For instance, PIX on Xbox 360 works pretty reliably and is usable, PIX for Windows crashes half the time (granted, PIX was originally intended for Xbox, but it would have been nice to have more support than Microsoft simply making it available). All of that is going away when VS2012 arrives with the integrated visual shader debugger that I'm willing to bet was primarily written to assist Xbox developers.

Whether or not Xbox follows an app store model wasn't really my point. Digital distribution is the future as far as I'm concerned, whatever you want to call it.
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Re: Windows 8 and gaming: critique from game developers

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:57 pm

They can critique all they want, it's their own fault that they picked DirectX over OpenGL and Windows over cross-platform.

I hope things will change now, more choise for consumers is always good.

Concerning Microsoft, their latest products seem like a panicky fight against Apple. I can imagine why they do it, but I'm not sure if they will succeed. So far everything seems like a total disaster with a slight glimpse of hope.
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