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Unity Game distribution

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Learning DX11, I made an engine and MFC GUI for it. It is mostly a model viewer.
Now I decided to move to games.
Probably it will be FPS or some open-world game (I am working on that :) )

I want to make a decision of distribution platform to move.
Target platform will be Windows 10, x64, DX11. Probably in some future, XBO (I love Windows :) )
No support for ARM, x86, PS*, mobile, Android/IOS/Linux is in plans.
No Unity or other big middleware.

Right now, I am redesigning my engine in order to add support for: levels, GUI, physics, …, and have 2 choices:
1.    Implement most of the functional in clean WinAPI, and in next iteration think how to distribute a game, with probability of throw away all the GUI/WinAPI and rewriting some subsystems.
2.    Use UWP for GUI, game loop, and design next version of an engine with that in mind.

I am in research right now and I want to clear some questions for me:

 

1.    Piracy.
    a.    As far as I know, there is no such thing for XBO. (I failed to find XBO games on thepiratebay)
           Is this correct?
    b.    For PC with Universal Windows Platform, it is not clear.
           Is UWP enough to deal with piracy?
    c.    I can see a lot of Steam games that are cracked. Because of that I made a conclusion not go to Steam.
           Any thoughts?

2.    UWP Limitations:
    a.    How is it impact development time?
    b.    How painful is it to follow all Microsoft guidelines?
    c.    Does anyone of you ship UWP game?

3.    UWP and Performance:
    a.    Should I be concerned of impact in comparison with simple WinAPI?

4.    Overall suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Happy SDE

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The most important thing to consider with UWP is that if you use UWP apis, you're severely limiting your market, at least on PC, I don't think you can sell your game anywhere but with MS, and would need to rewrite them if you wanted to put your game out on PS4, or PC, even windows 7 machines.

 

You have less fear of piracy, because no one bothers to pirate things that aren't popular.  

 

Actually following the UWP guidelines shouldn't be a big deal, since you'd need to follow them for any console release, as they all have similar guidelines.  If you're using something like XAML, you might run into perf issues, I don't know of any game that's used it though, so maybe it'd be fine, or maybe that's an indication that it's a bad idea?

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As far as piracy is concerned, I wouldn't give it a second thought - All games eventually get cracked, so it becomes a lot of wasted time trying to stop it.
That time is better spent improving your game, and making it more likely to be paid for.

Thank you McGrane for the answer.

It gave me different view point on my plans.

 

I decided to make 2 iterations:

1. Port GUI to pure WinAPI + develop a real game from current "viewer"-type app.

2. In time, when it will be really good, start research on game distribution again.

Probably UWP/Steam will be in different state, and today's answers will be somehow outdated.

 

 

 

I don't think you can sell your game anywhere but with MS, and would need to rewrite them if you wanted to put your game out on PS4, or PC, even windows 7 machines

PS4 and Windows7 will never be my target platforms :wink:

Edited by Happy SDE

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Probably UWP/Steam will be in different state, and today's answers will be somehow outdated

 

We can only hope, but I wouldn't hold my breath :) For every new system that comes out, there are people who like the challenge of breaking it, and usually eventually succeed

 

Happy coding, and good luck on your game ;)

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In order for me to buy a PC game, it would almost have to be on Steam (or in a HumbleBundle, but I effectively require steam keys to buy stuff there as well). I have bought stuff in the Windows store, but almost exclusively for my phone and/or tablet (Surface). Typically lightweight games suitable for train rides etc. I have made a personal promise to never again buy stuff on (or that requires) uPlay, even though there are several games I would really like to play, simply because it's so downright bad that it literally prevents me from playing the games I've bought (like Anno 2070).

 

I would worry much less about piracy than having a place to be seen in the first place. The only two places I'm likely to ever find your game are Steam and Humble Bundle, unless it's a phone/tablet friendly game in which case the Windows Store is where it's at.

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If wide distribution is your main aim then Steam is the only serious choice, unfortunately. Theoretically lower piracy rates on any other platform will not compensate for the reduced sales you'll see by not being on Steam. So you have to decide what is most important to you.

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Maybe you're forgetting other ways to market such as id@xbox for publishing to xbox one without UWP.

 

Nintendo and Sony also offer almost-indie-friendly publishing programs, but id@xbox is your best bet to get your game out on a console, if it's something that appeals.

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