Direct UWP Support

I get that this is a subject with a lot of controversy and if this gets out of control or isn’t constructive, feel free to close or delete this thread, that’s not my intention.

I would like to submit my opinion on the subject for consideration. It seems that Epic is taking a stance against the Universal Windows Platform as a whole and does not plan to integrate UE4 with it, though they have allowed windows to make their own branch with UWP support. If this is incorrect and they just haven’t gotten the integration finished, that’s great! If not, read on.

To put my stance in simple and short terms as possible, I believe that windows as a whole has stagnated due to limitations with how .exe files work and the lack of control windows has on how vendors use their platform and we should be working with them to make this new platform better instead of refusing to move forward.

Problems with windows without UWP

  1. Standardized APIs: Try using bluetooth or nfc on windows, it’s a mess, better than it was but still a mess and everyone just steers clear of using for more than a keyboard or headset.
  2. Need for anti-virus anti-spyware: What if I want a different calculator program? So I go to some random guy’s site and download their cool calculator but now my computer is infected with spyware because the guy’s website was hacked and his download compromised. Now I have to wipe my pc or spend money on anti-spyware software that essentially is just keeping a list of programs that contain malware and how to remove it automatically (Hint UWP can do that for you without having to install crappy anti-spyware that starts scanning your pc in the middle of a ranked game)
  3. No control over what features apps can access. When you run an exe file, some features require elevated access, but you don’t know why it’s requesting elevated access or what the app is doing. So you either say no or you risk it all and let it run. Android has perfected this with their permission requests at the time the app tries to use the feature. (Think webcam, mic, location, browsing history, contacts, etc)
  4. Multiple programs running just for keeping games up to date. Origin, Steam, Uplay, GOG, Blizzard App, Epic Games Launcher, etc. all these companies have had to solve the same problem of how to keep their games up to date and we have to have all this software running which slows boot times and eats up memory. They still take a cut of the sales but since they don’t own the platform they won’t be using that to make Windows better. This is bad no matter how you look at it.

Many of Tim Sweeney’s complaints have been heard and corrected by Microsoft Gamasutra - Microsoft unlocks framerates for UWP apps, tells devs 'we're listening' and I love him for sticking up for us like that. The only other point I see that wasn’t directly corrected is allowing third party sources, which windows does do and is as easy as typing “sideload apps” in the start menu or clicking the button that comes up when you try to install an app from a third party. Again, if that hurts third party stores, that’s not a bad thing, I’m tired of installing 10 apps just to download all my other apps every time I setup a new PC.

I’m all for standing up for what we want, but I think we are on a old slowly sinking ship complaining about the living conditions, when we should be jumping on Microsoft’s new ship that is more foundationally more sound and complain about the living conditions there. If we don’t start using their platform, they are going to stop listening to us because we are no longer their target audience.

Note, I have a Steam account that is valued at more than $7000 so yes I know how much that would hurt if steam went away. I’m trying to look at the bigger picture and I think this is the best thing for windows as a platform. Valve can go back to making games :eek: or make a better desktop platform. Imo that would be a win either way.

A few things
The Windows store would not prevent viruses or adware/spyware
Restricting things to using the Windows store puts too much control into the hands of Microsoft, I don’t want to potentially have to pay them for sales of my software, and for stuff like Steam there’s no way Valve is going to give up what they have now. It is kind of annoying to have all the apps for different services, but that makes them more competitive and that’s beneficial for us.
And there’s very little advantage to using UWP outside of being able to develop for Xbox and other Microsoft devices more easily.

Obviously you won’t find many people here that share that opinion, and Epic definitely doesn’t. And I’m happy about that.

When looking at the “bigger picture” its easy: Windows will become irrelevant for private people (not for companies!) because people will move to Linux. UWP is not part of the bigger picture. Theres no good reason why people should continue to use closed source software like Windows in the long term.

For a long time Windows had to be the only relevant desktop platform for gaming due to DirectX, but now with Vulkan becoming more mature that reason will soon no longer exist. I am currently using Windows, but I very much hope I won’t have to use it any more in 10 years.

Lot of assumptions there…

How did the linked article or the Blog address the real elephant-in-the-room, the risk that Microsoft opts to disable Side-Loading in future Windows updates…?

As regards the rest of your points, lets look at Google-Play. Even with all the resources they have, Google is doing a lousy job of keeping Malware away. Its a tricky problem, encrypted hidden payloads and dormant software downloading toxic payloads later on etc. Plus, the whole Android Permissions thing is a disaster too. It relies enormously on educated and aware users, which most aren’t. So you’re making huge dangerous assumptions there. If Windows Store / UWP takes off, you can be sure that the best Malware writers in the world will figure out ways to game it too, assuming anything else can only lead to disaster!

As regards the wider trust issues with Microsoft. Any big corp that steamrolls over Anti-Trust law has to be watched carefully. So what if Microsoft are creating their own walled garden, Apple and Google have done it… Sure, but most of us Devs have gotten used to having control over our PC’s and don’t want to lose that freedom. So will Microsoft do right by us? Who knows, its a big leap of faith! The Dirty-Malware like Tricks that were used with Windows10 and the ongoing games over competing AV, raises some serious doubts… But above all, having no OFF button for Privacy ‘Slurp’ in Win10, confirms that MS don’t actually listen to users…

I’m not saying there will be no problems with it, there always is with every platform.

Privacy isn’t really a problem with UWP, that’s built into windows and not using UWP does nothing to help that.

Windows has never been open source, not sure what that has to do with UWP [USER=“24522”]John Alcatraz[/USER]

@darthviper107 It would help with viruses/malware though, of course nothing is a magic bullet for that. You already pay Steam to distribute your games, and MS already has full control over Windows, they could push out updates to prevent you from using your apps at any time.

@franktech one of those articles are from 2014, loads has changed with Android permissions since then. The other one, Google has removed that app from the store now, and the wallpaper app had to ask the user specifically if it could send and receive SMS messages, if you say yes to that … what did you expect?

Nothing so far explains to me why I shouldn’t have the option to deploy unreal games to the newest windows platform. Google could enslave the world with killer robots and we can still deploy to Android, I don’t see why MS might screw up their store is a good enough reason to not have it be an option to deploy to.

All that said, it looks like there has already been plenty of discussion about this, somehow I missed that thread when I was searching for it: What's so dangerous about UWP ? - General Discussion - Unreal Engine Forums It looks like this discussion isn’t going anywhere and I’ve expressed my opinion so I’m gonna leave it be and probably not respond to this thread anymore. Feel free to lock it if you want.

Most of the ways you get viruses would be unaffected, compromised software is a small part of that. As a developer you pay the same for any service, but as a consumer since I have multiple options it means they are competing with each other and there’s more sales on Steam than there are on the Microsoft store. Microsoft can’t currently disable your apps, what you’re advocating for is for them to do just that.

I just want UWP support so that I can deploy to Xbox One as an Indie. But on the flip side I understand why epic does not want do it. :\

2017 will definitely be the year of the Linux desktop.

I tried using ubuntu once. All the convenience features I am used to are missing, linux sucks. No idea why anyone would want to use it for desktop…

I guess many of us don’t miss the ‘inconvenience’ features of Windows, like Forced Updates or Privacy-Slurp etc… :smiley:
Plus Settings get obfuscated away in each new version. Whereas Linux just uses menus, no Schitzoid confused UI!

I too would like to see UWP support. Until then, Unity.

What else do you need?

It’s about official support, and not having to migrate your project to a different editor just to support the official store that’s on half a billion gaming rigs.

Why would you need to migrate one, this custom branch has everything that main release branch has.

As I’ve said in the main discussion thread, Epic just don’t have labor to support all the platforms.
UWP is not as important as binary distribution (i.e. Steam). Even Linux is not officially supported.
And compared to Unity (which is not free), Epic main goal is Games development (Unity team actually made no any games).

*Half a billion Windows 10 devices including mobile devices etc - the vast majority will not be gaming hardware. Of those that are running Windows 10 gaming machines, most are dutifully ignoring the Windows Store. Even Microsoft is showing signs of giving up, having begun releasing their flagship titles on Steam (starting with Killer Instinct and Halo Wars DE), and beginning to enable cross-play between Steam and Windows Store versions of games.

BTW, UWP games still not ment to be run on XBOX.
And people were excited about UWP just because of that.

I was under the impression that you could ship UWP games for XBox One now?

The problem is less in the API specifics and more in MS policy. Only for registered developers, and only MS approved games. It is same as for PlayStation and as it was before for XBOX.

I don’t see that as a problem. Marketplace curation is essential to avoid becoming an absolute mess like the mobile stores (or the monster that Steam is rapidly becoming).

Unfortunately I have no access to XBOX subforum here. Probably there’s more info on this matter.