My Fix for UWP

Here’s my fix for everyone’s issues with the Universal Windows Platform:

Don’t use it.

Oh, you want more?

Ok, stick with the way you do things already.

What? That’s not enough for you either? Who are you – my English teacher? Ok! Fine. Let’s get into this.

For clarification purposes, UWP is the Universal Windows Platform. This is where Microsoft has been working toward with Windows 10, the universal apps, and software as a service. People are upset that this closed ecosystem is going to ruin their games. But you know what….

First let’s look at Apple’s app ecosystem. It’s completely locked down. You get apps from their store. That’s it.

With MAC OS you can install any software from any developer for any reason and no one cares whether it came from an official source or the guy next door who makes kitten simulators.

This is also the way Windows works, right? Yes. Yes it is… Unless…

Before we get into Windows let’s look at Android. You have to get apps from the Google Play Store, sort of. If you want to sideload apps go right ahead. But don’t get upset if you get hacked or damage the phone. So in a sense, it is similar to Windows: you can install whatever you want. Nobody really cares.

So, Windows… specifically Windows 10. Here you have two options. You can install whatever software you get your hands on. Or you can install apps from the Windows Store. One would think you’d get the best of both worlds, and one would be right, unless one is a big baby who doesn’t understand the idea behind the Universal Windows Platform.

This platform, which I will be calling UWP from now on (which in my head I will always hear “UnderWear Protection”) is meant to be one that covers Windows 10 on PCs, Windows on mobile devices, Windows on IoT devices, Xbox One, and Hololens. There are many perks in using this platform:

  • You get featured in the Windows store from time to time
  • You can easily setup your app to run on one or all device types
  • You get to integrate your app or game into Xbox Live
  • Other perks I don’t know about because they haven’t released all the infos

The problem I keep hearing about is how people are upset that the UWP, and by extension the Windows Store, is a closed ecosystem. And yes, it is. But there’s purpose in that. If you’re just upset that your PC game won’t be able to use mods then don’t make your game a UWP app. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Your Xbox version can’t use mods either. You think Microsoft is going to open that up for you? Think again. And until you see Sony allowing PC versions of games running on the PlayStation to use PSN and their achievement system, quit your complaining about not being able to integrate Xbox Live unless you use the UWP. Just quit. Seriously. You’re a baby.

Now, I’m not a game developer. However, I do have both Minecraft for PC and Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (aka Minecraft Pocket Edition running on Windows, since, you know, Microsoft owns Minecraft, so… why not?).

Minecraft for PC (which I will call Minecraft) is great. It is the original, but it is also running on a platform that is nearly universal (or at least used to be): JAVA. This allowed people to mod the game, which led to Minecraft becoming even more popular. Add in multiplayer over LAN and servers plus all those mods and plugins and you’ve got an awesome game. Then there’s Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (or Minecraft PE, which I’ll just call MCPE). MCPE is basically vanilla Minecraft, a few versions behind, missing features, and without the ability to install mods or plugins. But you do get to use Xbox Live. So that’s a plus. However, there is the question of “What was the point?” There was already Minecraft PE for Windows Phone. They didn’t make that a Universal app, though. They made another version of Minecraft just for Windows 10 (on desktops, laptops, and tablets – not phones). All of those devices (well, not all tablets are that powerful…) can already run Minecraft (and you don’t even need to install JAVA first, anymore). If you already had Minecraft on the PC, why make a MCPE app for PC, which is different than the Minecraft PE app for Windows phones?

Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (or MCPE for Windows 10) actually runs very smoothly, more so than the original Minecraft. It looks beautiful, runs well, and can play LAN games with MCPE for Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and of course Windows 10. It cannot run mods and plugins, but it can connect to servers which are running custom mods. So you can still play some cool games. You also get to connect with Xbox Live. Using Xbox Live you can make screen recordings to share with friends, and you get achievements. Even with all that, Minecraft for PC still exists… and it just got a new update… so…

Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition did not replace Minecraft for PC. And it won’t. So, what makes these developers think that a UWP version of their game (if they even choose to make one) would replace the Win32 version of their game? Especially when THEY ARE IN CONTROL OF MAKING THEIR OWN GAMES!

That’s the point I really wanted to make. If I was a game developer I definitely want to go where my audience is playing games. But if my game is an iOS game, then it makes perfect sense to make a Windows 10 UWP game. However, if my game has always been a Win32 application, then I’ll probably just stick with that. That is, unless my game doesn’t do anything all that special and never utilizes mods, plugins, and other customizations… Then, why not make a UWP version and prep it to work on Windows 10 tablets, desktops, phones, the Xbox One, and possibly even HoloLens?

So basically, like I already said, if you have an issue with the UWP

DON’T USE IT!

-Diggs out

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