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Cosmic314

Windows 10 Game Programming

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I'm crafting some small games and decided to make a full leap into Windows 10.  I've been watching some of Microsoft's Virtual Academy presentations.  They've created a unified development environment called Universal Windows Platform (UWP).  The platform's objective is to create one code base that supports all Windows devices:  Xbox One, PC, phone, tablet, their version of smart glasses, and anything else under the sun that will support Windows.  The new development model is an 'App' which calls the Windows Run Time (WRT) and supports managed code.  (This is different then the CLR which still only supported PC development).

When I hear 'managed' code I automatically associate it with 'performance hit' via garbage collection, etc.  Is this concern justified?

 

Underneath the hood are now three models (I paint with broad strokes):

  1. Win32 -- classic API which uses structs to query and update the OS/App
  2. COM -- MS' object-oriented methodology for OS/App communication
  3. WinRT -- managed code which is largely supported across platforms

For you Windows developers, will the UWP model change how you do things?  Are there concerns over performance?  How many will still develop Win32 / COM?

 

I'm trying to get an understanding of the overall picture.

 

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Thanks for the reply, SmkViper.  The examples I'm exploring with the WinRT flow are clearer than the venerable Win32 model.  To boot, the new Visual Studio 2015 Community hearkens back to the day when Studio releases actually included all the nifty built-in tools.  I was kinda bummed in VS 2010-2013 that for things like IDE extension you needed to purchase the $200+ version.  I just kick around Windows programming as an amateur / hobbyist and that price tag was certainly a barrier to entry.  Now I can march along, learn a little about what XAML is and the integrated GUI developer (that AFAIK only existed in .NET in recent releases of VS).

I know lots of people tend to have strong opinions about OS, particularly Windows, but I am impressed with where they are headed and what they offer.  I'm tempted to get an Xbox One merely to trying streaming to the PC.

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Seems like a good place to share --

 

If you want to do WinRT (Windows 8 and 10, universal apps) using C++, a Microsoft MVP named Kenny Kerr has created a 'pure' C++ (that is, C++11/14, not C++/CX) library that provides a projection of the library surface. Basically, it performs the function of C++/CX (and then some) without you having to resort to using C++/CX and its funny 'hat' operators to do the reference counting, through careful use of move/copy semantics to manage lifetimes (though that description is a simplification I'm sure).

 

That library is called Modern and its available on Github. I highly recommend this option over C++/CX for those who prefer C++. Those who use C# or other .Net languages should use the standard projections for those languages.

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Thanks Ravyne.  The little hat operators, and their ilk, do rub me the wrong way.  I will definitely grab that library and give it a spin.

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Ravyne's mention of a library that lets you use raw C++ reminded me of the Windows Runtime C++ Template Library. It's basically ATL for WinRT. Potentially the major reason you may way to use it is it will not translate HRESULTs into exceptions like C++/CX will (some people wish to avoid exceptions for a variety of reasons).

So that's a third option to explore smile.png

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There's a donut shop near where I live that makes exactly one type of donut.  Despite no choices people flock from afar to enjoy them.

Sometimes just having one option is the easiest!

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