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Old 11-03-2012, 01:11 AM   #16
alenl
 
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I have to apologize in advance for keeping off topic, but 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. Pardon me if this turns out to be a long post, but it is a complex issue. I'll highlight only the most important sentences if you want to skip the details.

Gabe Newel did not overreact. What you don't see here is that, 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. 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.

---
[*] Yes, I know that the PEGI-16 limit is supposed to be lifted to PEGI-18, but this is only an announcement, and we didn't see the new terms yet. There could still be another fly in the ointment. Note that besides the bare rating, they also disproved profanities, drug references, and various other things like that in terms that are separate from the rating requirement. If they don't remove all of that, a game may satisfy the ratings yet still fail the cert. Worst thing is for such things you simply cannot know what they will allow until you submit, which is terrible.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alenl View Post
So far, we know that they've banned mature games, like Skyrim, CoD, and Serious Sam.
Well, you guys haven't announced any new SS games, so that shouldn't be a problem!

Seriously, though, I don't really see Windows 8 catching on with most people (at least on desktop PCs), so hopefully you guys don't have to be too concerned about it. The way I see it, 7 is to XP as 8 is to Vista.

Getting back on topic, the Steam Workshop support seems interesting, but I want more Campaign levels, and it seems more favorable for modders to make Survival maps, which is kind of disappointing. Don't get me wrong, Survival's nice and all, but the Campaign:Survival ratio for SS user levels in general is pretty skewed.

Last edited by Adrock4: 11-03-2012 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:00 AM   #18
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The problem with Campaign maps that they take a sh*tload of time to make. Take the Jewel of the Nile DLC for example. It's only 3 maps, and it has -some- new resources, but the majority of the resources were reused from the original game. Yet still, the DLC took about... dunno 6-7 months to make? And it was made by Croteam, not just one single amateur. It is really hard to make a campaign.
I personally will -try- making something in 2 months, using only the resources I have now only. But it may or may not happen.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:08 AM   #19
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Well, with the DLC you had a lot more than just actual map creation to worry about. There was the recording of new voice acting lines, animating cutscenes, composing new music (IIRC, a track or two is new), creating new assets like the boss and the axe, all while regularly updating the game itself (as well as maintaining Serious Sam HD and releasing DLC for that), adding new survival maps, and porting it to the Xbox 360 (Christ, Croteam's been putting in work this past year).

I understand what you're saying about single player levels taking more time (you of all people should know), but if the end result is of a decent quality, the time is absolutely worth it. I'm not saying everyone should be making single player stuff, but there should at least be one piece of SP content on the Workshop.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:42 AM   #20
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Well, we'll see.

Btw, there's no new music in the DLC, dunno why everyone thinks that.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #21
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Huh. Where's the idle music from Together Forever in the main game? Because that's a ing fantastic track.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #22
Solais
 
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Lost Temples of Nubia. Both the Peace and the Fight music. This is how the music was used in the DLC:

Gathering of Gods: Music from Power of the Underworld and middle part of Last Man on Earth, aka the metal music played around temple ruins.

Together Forever: Music from Lost Temples of Nubia, aka the desert dunes music that only appears once in vanilla SS3.

Born Again: Music from the beginning of Silent Riddler and the end of Last Man on Earth, aka the slums music.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alenl View Post
Windows 8 is a serious danger to PC Gaming.
Time to go offtopic with big walls of text.

Looks like your thoughts got the attention of PCGamer. Not that what you did was necessarily a bad thing, you brought up alot of good points that we've seen other developers worrying about since Windows 8 was revealed.

Serious Sam 3 is one of the few PC-oriented shooters left within the market, as most titles released on consoles are satisfied by simply dishing out a subpar port.

Who knows what could have happened to Serious Sam 3 if it was released on XBLA first; long certification waiting periods, meeting Xbox Live requirements, purchasing working developer SDKs and trying to grind through patch certifications would have kept the game from releasing earlier on both platforms and bleed Croteam of funds they could of used to improve the game and be adequately paid. Steam simply doesn't scrutinize the content of a game like Microsoft would.

Thanks to services like Steam (GoG, Desura, etc) they helped establish the platform to hold a healthy audience willing to pay money for indie titles that might have been overlooked elsewhere, games like Hotline Miami and the retro/indie Serious Sam games is a good example of this. Now we have workshop support to bolster sales through websites promoting the update and get the community involved in making cool new content for the game alongside DLC.

The issue that alnel is addressing is that on a "Walled Garden" like the one Microsoft is trying to promote, the strengths of the PC platform wouldn't be allowed since it would take away from the closed nature of a Apple-like experience. Trying to control freeware games, mods and open source content wouldn't be a benefit to Microsoft and having them promote this store at a OS-level makes it unreasonable for smaller companies to compete online.

TL;DR The intent of Microsoft to have their appstore be successful will be bad for PC Gaming and this is why Win8 is a problem.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #24
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I like how "TheHunter" has gone quiet now.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alenl View Post
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
Please... Microsoft has a major focus on corporate customers, your scenario will never happen.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:40 PM   #26
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Kind of funny how an off-topic post from Alen spawned a PC Gamer article with almost 100 comments.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:41 PM   #27
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Am I missing something here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alenl View Post
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!
I'm not sure I understand this whole Windows Store thing. alenl said that you can only download applications on Windows 8 from the Windows Store, right? In my experience though, this hasn't been the case.

I just downloaded and installed Diskeeper software on my Windows 8 system, just as I had done so on my Windows 7 system - through the company website. I did not have to go through the Windows Store and nothing stopped the software from installing - so what exactly are you guys referring to? A tile icon even showed up for it in Metro.

To prove my point further, I downloaded and installed 7-Zip directly off of their website - not from the Windows Store - and it installed fine and also created a Metro icon for me. This is not like iOS at all - what am I missing here?

-Alex

Last edited by AlexKlein: 11-05-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alenl View Post
Gabe Newel did not overreact. What you don't see here is that, 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. There is this "small detail" that Microsoft is not advertising anywhere, but you can find it dug deep in the developer documentation:


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!
Lets just get all the SS games ported to Linux/Mac and just forget all about this Windows 8.....
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #29
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Morbus, corporate has nothing to worry about. They are already enabled to ship metro apps with sideloading. But you can't get that version on your average consumer Windows.

Allow me to quote myself:

Quote:
...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...
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #30
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AlexKlein, that is correct for desktop apps. Desktop apps get a standard icon in the metro side, and when you click they launch on desktop.

Real metro apps, the ones with active tiles, full-screen running, supporting touch UI, etc... those are running on a completely new set of windows APIs. Forget the Win32 API that's been used since Windows95. These new APIs are called "WinRT"(*) and you cannot appear inside the tiled UI without using the WinRT APIs.

Where's catch 22? You cannot run an app with WinRT if you didn't download it from the Windows Store.(**)

(*) Note that WinRT is not the same thing as WindowsRT. WindowsRT is a version of windows running on tablets with ARM CPUs and which doesn't have support for real desktop apps. While WinRT is API that is used by both WindowsRT (on ARM) and Windows 8 (on x86/x64), for Metro apps. Confused already? Yes? Good - that was probably the point of all that naming scheme.

(**) Actually, you don't have to download from Windows Store - if you are a registered developer (otherwise - how could programs be developed?), or if you are running that on a Volume-licensed Enterprise Windows machine, or some other corporate arrangement (otherwise the backlash from corporate would have been really bad - but consumers will not understand the issue anyway, so who cares for them, right?).
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