Windows Vista - Day 1

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Mike Boeh, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Mike Boeh

    Mike Boeh
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    I know there's another Vista thread, but it was hijacked into a DRM debate :)

    So, from a technical standpoint, how are your games doing on Vista? I was very pleasantly surprised to find that all of my games worked just fine, even ones that wrote to the application's directory- which I thought was supposed to break it. Even with Limited User Accounts, it worked just like XP.

    So for all the big deal people made, it seems like it's damn near the same thing as XP. There is a little warning that pops up when you run stuff, but that happens with every program, even the ones that come with XP. And you can still put an icon on the desktop when you install, so the ESRB thing seems to be a non-issue too.
     
  2. Cicero

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    That's good to hear! The whole ERSB/writing to folders issues have been a huge concern for me - I spent a good day just reading up on it.

    How was the speed compared to XP? Most of your games are DX7 are they not?
     
  3. Matthew

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    Vista virtualizes writes to the application directory so they actually end up in the user's local folders (at least, I think that's the case).

    Do your installers use a "Launch Game Now" checkbox on the final screen? I've heard that's where a lot of problems lie--the installer will ask to elevate privileges to administrator with the UAC dialog in order to install, so if you launch the game at the end it will actually launch the game as administrator too. This creates problems if you launch the game a second time as a user and it tries to change any files the game created while it was running with elevated privileges.

    More info:
    Teach Your Apps To Play Nicely With Windows Vista User Account Control (Problems During Installation section)

    User Account Control for Game Developers
     
  4. Mike Boeh

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    I couldn't see a difference in speed at all.
     
  5. Mike Boeh

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    My installers do, and the games still work on the second try in a LUA environment....
     
  6. Dominique Biesmans

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    I assume you're running the 32 bit version of Vista? For what it's worth, I tried Bugatron Worlds too, and it runs just as fine here on Vista x64.
     
  7. Desktop Gaming

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    Similar stories were going around before XP was released, and that came to nothing as well.

    I guess the hatemongering anti-Microsoft vultures need to have something to gossip about. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Anthony Flack

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    The virtualised application writes was the one thing I heard about Vista that I thought was a really positive step forward. I wasn't particularly bothered about the LUA thing since anyone who uses a Mac is familiar with this anyway. But the way Vista handles this for you just seems like a really good, smart idea.
     
  9. Jack Norton

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  10. Sharpfish

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    I hear directsound apps can have some problems (I don't know the extent). Sound libs like Audiere using Dsound may have problems for example so worth checking.

    (This may be wrong as I can't confirm this myself).
     
  11. Grey Alien

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    Some people on BlitzBasic.com tested out Holiday Bonus (made in BlitzMax) and Easter Bonus (made in BlitzPlus) for me and they worked fine even though they create and write to ini, profile and high score files in the game folder!

    However, they probably have UAC turned off as they are developers so I've asked them to turn it back on and do some specific tests where they change settings and complete levels and go out of the game and back in to see if the settings and unlocked levels have been retained.

    I've also posted the info about the installer autolaunching (as mine do that) to see if there is a problem there.

    Oberon have sent me an interesting doc about vista problems and solutions but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post it. I'll ask them.
     
  12. Grey Alien

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    OK I got permission to post this doc that I got from Oberon, it's not that new but may prove useful. There is also an accompanying doc with some code samples:

    So based on people testing my game and Retro64's testing it would seem that these aren't really issues at all. I'm confused...
     
  13. HappyCat

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    Thanks - very interesting :)

    But yeah it does seem to be odd - "don't write to Program Files, but if you do Vista will take care of it for you" ... so why worry? Anyway, I recently changed Gun Wing to write to CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA anyway (at least on Win 2000 and above) so it should be okay.
     
  14. mot

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    For anyone using Java ;), have you found a good way to retrieve the
    CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA path and such? I haven't; that's why I had
    to write this: http://code.google.com/p/winfoldersjava/

    Oh and to stay on topic, has anyone tried Devastro on Vista?
     
    #14 mot, Feb 2, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  15. Midnight Synergy

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    The Oberon document is still from last September. My guess is that the virtualization has been refined quite a bit since then. And frankly, it would have to work with programs writing to their own directory, otherwise 95% of existing software would no longer function on Vista.

    I'm not crazy about the idea of using user directories for everything. It might make sense for user-individual files (such as player profiles), but it seems to me that un-packing resource files (e.g. on the fly during program execution) or doing other data/exe oriented things should stay in the programs own directory for cleanliness' sake. Oh well - I'm sure I'll start doing it with future programs myself, just to be safe (safe, until Microsoft changes the rules again with the next windows).
     
  16. soniCron

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    Because that behavior could change with a single Windows Update from automatic to "Please run the program in Windows XP compatability mode. If you don't know what that is, please click here for detailed, step-by-step instructions..."

    And then it'd just be a mess.
     
  17. James C. Smith

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    Can’t the installer just set the proper permissions on the game’s folder to allow all user read/write access to it? This seems to work in every test I have seen and I have never see anyone explain a case where this doesn’t work. This is what the Reflexive Arcade installer does for all 400+ games available there. It has worked than way for a long time to work better with LUA in XP and it seems to work just as well in Vista.

    Would someone please explain to me what is wrong with writing to the “program Files” folder (actually the game’s folder which may happen to be installed in the “program files” folder) IF you add the proper ACL to the folder at install time.
     
  18. electronicStar

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    I hope your solution works because I think that's all I'm going to bother with.
    Microsoft ideology is to scatter your files through a dozen different places. The underlying ideal seems to be the "virtualization" of the whole storage hardware.
    But why bother? It's not like we are suddenly going to use photon-crystal technology or anything like that anyday soon. And even if we did, it wouldn't be a reason to use a dumbed-down organization for the files.
    This ideology is also useful for the admin/limited user paradigm which is great for enterprises and offices but totally useless and irritating for a home usage. I hate to have to store my documents in a "my documents" folder that is itself scattered and hidden among several redundant subfolders on my HD. But most softwares save there by default, so I'm obliged to use it.
    And from a programmer POV, yeah, it's a real PITA to have to write to "my_harmless_folder_for_the_dumb_user" or something like that instead of just dropping the files in the program directory that was created just for that purpose:mad:
     
  19. tolworthy

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    I use the Inno installer, which gives two choices: Program files, or custom. If I avoid Program files, what exactly should I type?

    Please forgive this newbie question!

    More details if needed: my game has 4 files (engine, sound library, game data, and icon) which like to live in the same folder. During play, the user might create and update a simple ini file (to remember the screen resolution) and save games, and my game looks in the same folder for everything. That's it. No registry or other folders (though the Inno installer might do something behind my back, who knows?).
     
    #19 tolworthy, Feb 4, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  20. Pallav Nawani

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    I have a game that uses Dsound (and audiere) and reportedly doesn't run in Vista. I can't check this myself as I don't have vista (yet). But I would like to learn more about this possible issue. Can you give me links to any website/forum posts where this issue is discussed?
     

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