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Thread: Vista Compatibility

  1. #1
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    Default Vista Compatibility

    With the eminent release of Windows Vista, what are you guys doing to ensure compatability on this next-generation operating system?

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    What is there to do? I'm using Java. As far as I know, I won't have to change anything...
    You're using Flash - same deal there, right?

    Seems like only people who work on a low level would have anything to worry about.

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    There's supposed to be a special folder for games and some sort of rating system built in. Anyone investigated that yet?

    I guess it will be accessible using the SHGetSpecialFolder stuff or whatever it's called in the win32 API; so maybe it will finally make me do the Java bindings for that call...

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    I know several portals are requiring their developers test their games on Vista. I'm really not in the mood to buy a new computer, Vista likely won't run on this one, and I don't know anyone who plans to get such a system, so I'm wondering how other developers are handling this "issue."

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    Anyone have an official url to download a vista demo copy from Microsoft or must you have an MSDN subscription to get it? Guess I'll have to reformat my old P4 dekstop and upgrade it's ram to 2gb.
    Thanks,
    Brian Fisher
    ArcadeTown.com

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    Matthew Wegner
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    Cool. Was just carrousing there and was going to report that back here. By the requirements page sounds like my 3 year old 2.4ghz P4 desktop with 1gb of ram should be fine, unlike all the rumors have heard. Hope that holds true.
    Thanks,
    Brian Fisher
    ArcadeTown.com

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    Has anyone tested Python, Pygame and Py2exe on Vista? Will I need to update my development tools/libraries?

    When Apple updated to intel, the Rosetta layer saved my bacon. There isn't an intel based Mac that didn't run The Witch's Yarn slower than our low-end target (500mhz G3). Kudos to Apple!
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    I would love to hear about any games that fail and why so that we know what to watch out for. I have read plenty of dooms day lists talking about all the things programs can't do in Vista and about all the apps that need to be fixed. But so far all the games I tried worked fine in Vista including the ones I developed for Windows 95 and the ones that dare to write their data in the Program Files directory.
    James C. Smith - Producer/Lead Programmer - Costume Chaos, Build in Time, Ricochet Infinity, Big Kahuna Reef, CasualCharts.com

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    I don't think it's worth testing on a beta version, what if they change stuff? I always wait until they ship a final version and then test my programs on that version. You certainly should buy it to look for new product opportunities the new version presents.

    And then I don't exactly trust Microsoft ship dates... so you might not have to do any testing for awhile yet.

    Tom

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    Does anyone know if Vista will support VisualBasic6 and VisualC++6, or is this another attempt from Microsoft to get people to switch to .NET?

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    Quote Originally Posted by B_Level View Post
    Does anyone know if Vista will support VisualBasic6 and VisualC++6, or is this another attempt from Microsoft to get people to switch to .NET?
    I can't see why VB6 wouldn't be supported, there are a lot of programs written in VB (applications more than games), and MS won't want to break these.

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    I tried running our games under Vista RC1, and they all experienced terrible graphical errors, lags and sometimes even a crash when trying to exit a game.

    After some research it appeared the lags and gfx problems were all a result of the really early Nvidia beta driver. After installing the still-beta-but-at-least-somewhat-updated driver these problems vanished.
    And the application shutdown crash came from the pre-beta Sound Blaster Audigy driver I used.

    My personal opinion is that in many cases, troubleshooting your games while most device drivers are still in beta stages may be a waste of time as most problems come from either the OS or the early device drivers.
    I'm sure MS will make sure the sharp version of Vista will be backwards compatible with 99% of the software that ran under WinXP.

    What I did find worthwhile though, was to prepare your games with the new 256x256 formatted icon.
    I used a freeware icon editor, IcoFX http://icofx.xhost.ro to generate new .ico files with a True Color 256x256 icon for Vista on top of the standard 48x48 and 32x32 icons for XP and older OSes.

    If you're using older versions of MS Visual C++ (I'm running 6.0) you will probably get a compilation error if you include the new .ico file in you project as VC++ fails to identify the new chunks of data.
    One way to get around the problem is to keep your current icon while compiling, then update/replace the icon afterwards using this command line app http://www.rw-designer.com/res/ReplaceVistaIcon.exe

    It may not be the optimal solution, but at least it worked fine for me.
    Daniel Zandelin
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    Thanks for the icofx tip Daniel -I'd just sat down to look into that!
    Last edited by Fost; 10-27-2006 at 01:56 AM.
    Nick
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    Vista has high performance requirments if you don't use the "classic windows". As far as I know there will be an option to change the style.

    Somethings about vista (what I have heard) :
    - DirectX games should run 2x faster in it, no more extra hands handling the dx calls
    - New 3D - features included with DirectX10 (geometry shaders for example).
    - Windows Vista doesn't support other windows applications, if I remember right : must be dx10 and created with Vista.

    There is already plenty of information about Vista.

    How this will affect to indie developers? Well it opens new ways to do things, you don't need to worry about supporting all windows & directx versions. Also I see it as a chance to improve indie games look, you just need to take a chance. However it might require you to build up your own technology, but hey imagine 2D games which can take advantage of newest shader features!
    Best Regards,
    Arto Ruotsalainen
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    If I install the Vista RC 1, does it time out in a few months, or can I keep it on my tester machine for the long term?
    Bonnie's Bookstore - Casual Game Blogs (Multiple blogs by different developers) - My Game Dev Blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arex View Post

    - Windows Vista doesn't support other windows applications, if I remember right : must be dx10 and created with Vista.
    eh?
    that doesnt sound right.

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    Whoa... massive disinformation here. Arex, lay off the mind-altering substances. DirectX games will not magically be 2x as fast. Just not possible. And old Windows apps definitely will work in Vista.

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    Couple of other things I noted testing in Vista.

    I use InnoSetup - version I downloaded from their site a few months ago, I think.

    When you click to install the game, you get a semi-scary message "An unidentified program wants access to your computer". Might scare off a few users.

    When it's done, there's another message "This program may not have installed correctly".

    You can click through both messages, but they're just the kind of thing that would scare of some end users (maybe me, if I was an end user).

    Is there something I can/should be doing vis-a-vis my installer to make these messages go away?
    Bonnie's Bookstore - Casual Game Blogs (Multiple blogs by different developers) - My Game Dev Blog

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    Hmm, looks like getting authorized for digital code signing from Verisign costs $499 for a year (slightly less on an annual basis if you sign up for longer time periods)

    http://www.verisign.com/products-ser...ing/index.html

    And the instructions to actually implement this are fairly complex:

    http://www.matthew-jones.com/articles/codesigning.html

    So I don't think I'll go this route unless some publisher/distributor/portal requires it.
    Bonnie's Bookstore - Casual Game Blogs (Multiple blogs by different developers) - My Game Dev Blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Steinmeyer View Post
    If I install the Vista RC 1, does it time out in a few months, or can I keep it on my tester machine for the long term?
    Answering my own question - closer reading of the lengthy EULA shows that Vista RC 1 will apparently stop working 5/31/07.
    Bonnie's Bookstore - Casual Game Blogs (Multiple blogs by different developers) - My Game Dev Blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffski View Post
    eh?
    that doesnt sound right.
    True.

    Didn't check that out, apparently windows applications should be easy to port to Vista, might not even need to port. But older dx versions cannot be used in there.

    Ya, as far as I heard the dx should be twice as fast. But what is the truth is a different thing.
    Best Regards,
    Arto Ruotsalainen
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    Just curious as to wether anyones heard about Vista's compatibility with older version of DX. I've read mixed reviews - some say there will be no support (unlikely) while others say there will be minimal support. Just wondering what if anything you guys have heard.

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    Whoa... massive disinformation here. Arex, lay off the mind-altering substances. DirectX games will not magically be 2x as fast. Just not possible.
    It should run a lot faster on the same hardware, just maybe not double-speed. AIUI it's due to removing the need for context switches or something, that are currently the reason that a simple draw triangle routine written in OGL is faster than its D3D equivalent.
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    Paul Johnson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Steinmeyer View Post
    Hmm, looks like getting authorized for digital code signing from Verisign costs $499 for a year (slightly less on an annual basis if you sign up for longer time periods)
    Phil, try comodo: http://www.instantssl.com/

    We use them to code sign our installers. Make sure you timestamp it though as otherwise your old exes will expire in a year.
    Nick
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_Level View Post
    Just curious as to wether anyones heard about Vista's compatibility with older version of DX. I've read mixed reviews - some say there will be no support (unlikely) while others say there will be minimal support. Just wondering what if anything you guys have heard.

    Windows Vista has enough DirectX support to run every DirectX game I ever wrote including the ones I wrote in 1996 using Dx2.

    Quote Originally Posted by B_Level View Post
    Does anyone know if Vista will support VisualBasic6 and VisualC++6, or is this another attempt from Microsoft to get people to switch to .NET?

    It also is happy to run programs written with Visual C 6 and I assume VB6.

    I really don’t understand how people could believe that Microsoft would release a new version of Windows that wouldn't run programs that were written 6 years ago using the standard development tools and libraries supplied by Microsoft.

    The sky is not falling! Windows Vista will run Win32 programs that were build with nearly any development tools old or new.
    James C. Smith - Producer/Lead Programmer - Costume Chaos, Build in Time, Ricochet Infinity, Big Kahuna Reef, CasualCharts.com

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    2x faster haha... certainly not. Say the fillrate is the bottleneck. No matter how much you improve anything else - the framerate will be the same.

    I also read that games run infact about 10-15% slower. Well, it doesnt matter. The machines which run vista will be rather fast anyways (far from being 6 years old, which is a common target). Most likely with a pretty good graphics card on top. So, everything is alright from the performance pov.

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    Default Dx10

    "Games or programs which are built on Vista's version of DirectX, 10, will not work on prior versions of Windows, as DirectX 10 is not backwards-compatible with DirectX 9"
    http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/article.asp?CIID=24636

    AND

    "There's also backward-support for DirectX 6, 7 and DirectDraw, and Vista will feature and extended version of Direct3D 9, known as D3D9Ex, that developers can play around with now."
    http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/article.asp?CIID=24636

    So DX7 games/apps do fine (check here for examples)
    "Vista is somewhere around RC2 at the moment. They're plannin' on shipping it to software developers to get their applications ready for its mainstream release. I've run Blitz3D apps under Vista, works fine."
    BLITZ3D works in Vista RC1. I don't have a newer one, but it does work fine.
    http://www.blitzbasic.com/Community/...hp?topic=64511 - Blitz3D discussion

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    I think the main concern is the usual windows niggles of where to correctly store user data, writing to the registry, installation paths and admin/limited account rights and all that. Basically if that has changed then a lot of us will need to re-write (small) portions of our code to "play nicely" with Vista.

    That is certainly my concern and I would like info about that, I wasn't really worried about my core-code actually executing ok on Vista (though am ready and willing to look out for and correct the typical small anomolies).

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    We didn't do anything special for the games themselves. All the games in my signature work fine on Vista RC2 (5744) using ptk's Direct3D 7 renderer that we've used since Fairies (we had updated Atlantis 1 to use D3D as well prior to even testing on Vista). Full framerate, no glitches, no crashes on exit or anything. On the other hand, OpenGL drops to software rendering on my test machine (Intel core duo + i915 chipset) which probably doesn't bode well for GL games on Vista.. Fortunately we use D3D by default.

    We'll probably want to have our games signed to avoid scary warnings and we'll make 256x256 icons, but that's about it. As James said, Vista will run Windows applications, that's its whole point -- no need for a doomsday scenario.

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
    Emmanuel Marty
    Programmer/designer, Azada: Ancient Magic, Azada, Atlantis Sky Patrol, Mystic Inn, Fairies and Atlantis. iPhone: Atlantis Sky Patrol, Azada
    Creator, Kanji game engine, powering Serpent of Isis 2, Dark parables, Relics of fate and many topselling games

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