[casual_games] Portal Sales
chuckw at microsoft.com
Thu Dec 21 14:31:25 EST 2006
Given a statement like "The BEST thing Microsoft could do to make Vista a better gaming environment would be to simply delete the Game Explorer before shipping Vista, thereby making the parental control issue irrelevant.", it is pretty clear that Alex St. John has made up his mind. I'm not going to get into an argument about the utility of the Game Explorer and Parental Controls in Windows Vista. My job is primarily to help game developers understand the technology, how it is intended to be used, and provide as much information about it I can. It exists, it does what it does, and there are opportunities and implications for it being there. I will say that some of these opinions seem to be based on the early versions and not the RTM version, for example I've never seen it 'offering to delete blocked games'. Again, the best thing to do is for developers to get a copy of Windows Vista RTM, look at the Game Explorer & Parental Controls, and try their games on it. From there you can make an informed decision. As with every piece of software, there are great improvements and there are areas of change that are frustrating. On the whole, Windows Vista has a lot offer as a gaming platform.
It is absolutely possible to create a deployment that does not require any elevation. If you have a fully side-by-side per-user installation and do not install any system components, you never have to elevate. For large DVD-based games, standard installs are a better choice but for download games it makes sense. Windows XP LUA was not widely used largely because it was off by default, but was not that difficult to support for gameplay. For the past few years, we've been telling game developer audiences about Windows Vista and pointing to "LUA by default" as the most impactful change. As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
The technology that needs the most updating for Windows Vista are the portals themselves. Casual games rely heavily on the deployment technology provided by the portals. Reaching and educating the portal technology providers is therefore the real challenge. That said, it is absolutely possible to make it work. MSN Games has proven it and will be talking about it soon.
Again based on many of the posts I've seen on this list the past few days, it seems pretty clear that the level of engagement and education with respect to Windows Vista is pretty low. There's a lot of speculation and rumors. The Windows Gaming DRG group is not that big, so we have to rely heavily on events like our GDC developer day and GameFest to reach developers, and it seems like few people on this list actually make it to those events. Please take a look at the current SDK and the presentations on the DirectX Developer Portal (http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/). The sky is not falling, and there are plenty of things you can do.
Game Technology Group
More information about the Casual_Games