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Tricky Visual Studio 2013 issue

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So I'm trying to learn about making Windows store apps, as I have a game that I made with older technology that might be a good fit.

 

At home, I have Windows 8.1 and can run VS express 2013 'for Windows'. The problem is that at home, family commitments make it hard to concentrate on programming.

 

At work I sometimes have some time to really concentrate, but we just moved to Windows 7 and will likely stay here for 10 more years. At work I must use the 'for Windows Desktop' version.

 

My first app created with the DirectX xaml template on my Windows 8 computer will not load on my Windows 7 computer. I can look at the individual files, but it's kind of hard to learn new technology that way. 

 

What I would like to do is maybe work on two projects, one at home that will allow me to learn exactly what makes an Windows store app different from any other app, and the other project with graphics and game logic that can be developed on my Windows 7 computer. Then at the end, I could merge them together somehow and make a Windows Store app out of a regular app.

 

Does anyone know more about what features in 'for Windows' that cannot be use with 'for Windows Desktop'. Are all solutions and projects incompatible among the different versions? What would you do if you were forced to work on a Windows 7 computer for much of the time, and you wanted to make an app for the Windows Store?

Edited by cephalo

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At work I sometimes have some time to really concentrate, but we just moved to Windows 7 and will likely stay here for 10 more years. At work I must use the 'for Windows Desktop' version.


Be aware that your employer likely owns anything you do on their equipment or while consuming their resources (office space, heating and A/C, electricity, internet connection, coffee machine, etc.) and they might not take kindly to you even trying to learn about non-work-related things. You're likely better off sticking to using your home machine and working on some better time management and time structuring techniques. I found it useful to work on personal stuff in coffee shops and the like, personally, back when I worked on things simple enough that I could deal without having an array of monitors. smile.png

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At work I sometimes have some time to really concentrate, but we just moved to Windows 7 and will likely stay here for 10 more years. At work I must use the 'for Windows Desktop' version.


Be aware that your employer likely owns anything you do on their equipment or while consuming their resources (office space, heating and A/C, electricity, internet connection, coffee machine, etc.) and they might not take kindly to you even trying to learn about non-work-related things. You're likely better off sticking to using your home machine and working on some better time management and time structuring techniques. I found it useful to work on personal stuff in coffee shops and the like, personally, back when I worked on things simple enough that I could deal without having an array of monitors. smile.png

 

 

Yeah, that could be an issue. I'm not a programmer by trade, though. Where others might surf the web or play windows solitaire during slow times, I prefer to do other more enjoyable things if I am going to be sitting in front of a computer all day anyway. To be honest, I'm not sure about all the legal issues that could come up. Do I have to surf the web during down times? Maybe I do!

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depending on what's how your networks are setup, remote desktop into your home machine might be an idea. it will most likely be very slow, but it would be an option. legal issues aside :)

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A decent-enough option if you can spare some money for your hobby would just be to get a cheapish Windows 8 laptop and take it wherever you can better concentrate than home. Bringing it to work has all the same legal issues, and possibly more if you put it on their corporate network, but go to a quiet coffee shop or, heck, go sit under a tree if it suits your mood.

 

Setting that option aside, what you *could* do is structure your game in such a way that the UI and platform code is abstracted away from the game itself. Not only is this something that will allow you to continue with productive work in both locations, but its a good idea in general. What you end up with is one game with two different "faces" -- one for Windows 7 desktop and one for the Windows 8 Store model. The 'face' is not just UI though -- it could extend to other things like how you access the disk or network, or things like the hard requirements Windows 8 store apps make on how your app behaves well (e.g. your game must not take longer than 2 seconds to load and become responsive, so you can't block the main thread to load resources). But most of a game can be well-insulated from that, and if you care only about Windows 7 and Windows Store, you can use D3D11 for rendering and most other common gaming APIs just fine (if you wanted to reach back to XP, you'd have to include a separate D3D9 or OpenGL-based renderer).

Edited by Ravyne

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depending on what's how your networks are setup, remote desktop into your home machine might be an idea. it will most likely be very slow, but it would be an option. legal issues aside smile.png


Maybe, maybe not. Again, you're at work, using your work computer, getting a paycheck for your time... they own everything you do in every legal context I've even been made aware of. If you make something while at work that you later by yourself sell on an app store you are basically committing theft from a legal point of view in most jurisdictions as I understand. A lot of people even have employment contracts that grant the employer IP ownership rights over everything you do on your own time with your own equipment!

edit: doh, you were talking about a technical solution and explicitly not about a legal one. I fail at reading comprehension. Edited by SeanMiddleditch

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edit: doh, you were talking about a technical solution and explicitly not about a legal one. I fail at reading comprehension.

 

 No, problem. You bring up an important angle to these questions. There are several reasons why I'm not worried about it.

 

Without getting too personal over the internet, my job has nothing to do with any kind of intellectual property. I'm just a blue collar worker guy, who happens to have a job where it is Ok to surf the web when my responsibilities are taken care of. I could see problems if I was working at a game company and trying to make my own games, that would be rather awkward, though I would hope my employer would take this view of things. :) I also have a good relationship with my supervisors and I can't imagine them throwing me under the bus if I did some successful side project that didn't impact what was expected of me.

 

Secondly, I have a very bad track record on getting projects finished and released. It's unlikely that anything will come of this that would be worthy to claim ownership of. If Windows 8 and Windows phones and tablets become a raging success and I end up as the next Minecraft or Angry Birds guy, maybe I'd have some legal problem to address, but if the alternative is to retire in my dead end job having spent my life web surfing, should I bend the rules a bit? Hells yeah. Being the next Minecraft guy sounds like a great problem to have! That of course, is ridiculously hypothetical.

 

Maybe it's time to buy a new laptop. Of course, I can't just leave something like that in the car... wink.png

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You may just be a blue collar worker with access to a computer. But you probably signed some paperwork when you were hired. And one of those pieces of paper you signed probably signed away ALL of your IP rights to the company you work for. I've even seen some that state they have every idea you have for 6 months AFTER you leave...

 

The legal guys at your company will smile and give you a dismissive handwave. They'll tell you "everyone signs these", "It's standard procedure", "it's not even really enforcable", "Damnit Eck, now you're just being difficult"

 

Basically that piece of paper says that ANY idea you have belongs to them NO MATTER WHEN AND WHERE IT HAPPENS, and NO MATTER HOW UNRELATED TO THE COMPANY'S BUSINESS. So if you have an amazing idea, one Saturday, while sitting on your potty at home, about an idea completely unrelated to your company's field, technically they own that idea.

 

The chances they'll sue you for your idea is slim to none. It probably won't be worth it to them to sue you for your idea. But if they decided to do so, technically they'd be right. And in court, "technically right" is the best kind of right. :P

 

- Eck

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