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Mars Windows 8 App
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Yep, I just asked for it
Submitted By ffroggy on 12/10/12
Mars Explorer, ffroggy, Feature Requests, Other 
This Document originally posted in the "Mars Explorer" Group

Well guys, here goes.
So there's this awesome thing called Windows 8 (download the ISO preview here), it's the next generation of Windows software, and it's got a totally new UI, a Windows Store, and more. My idea is to begin development of a Windows Modern style App, that runs in the Metro interface, instead of on the Desktop.
I will learn more about the Modern style Interface, it's programming language, etc. but in the meantime, what do you guys think about this? is there a general consensus in favor of development of something like this?
ffroggy
PS development will be VERY interesting, because Unity doesn't have a Windows 8 export option, so we'll see how that goes :)

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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/12 - 20:10 GMT
Meh...
Well it's complicated for one and I don't like complicated stuff with all these unnecessary features it my way.
 
So Microsoft is still working on it?!? How long?!?
Apple already got to Mountain Lion within a year!
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/12 - 20:11 GMT
Hmm can I install Windoz 8 in VirtualBox?
 
I'll try, although I mostly fail with windows, but successful with Linux...
 
I'll try.
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/12 - 23:04 GMT
If you are requesting a mars windows 9 app...
 
YAY FFROGGY IS UN-HIBERNATING :)
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
6 hours - 683v
Posted 2012/11/05 - 3:14 GMT
hmm... another linux user!
do you run debian or ubuntu?
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/13 - 17:37 GMT
Ahh Windows 8... Very cool indeed! lol Apple was experimenting with making their laptop screens become touch screens a few years ago, but as I have heard the story told, they thought it was too clunky and killed research... A decision I deeply disagree with. Looks like windows has finally gotten around to trying this out, and they ACTUALLY DID DO IT! I am a windows hater, and I am actually excited for one of windows' features. Funny how that works, but I wanted the iPad to be a computer with a touchscreen, not an iPhone with a huge screen lol... I finally got my wish :D
 
Okay, all of that aside, let's talk technical about this new metro interface, and why we should/cannot move to it.
 
First and foremost, Windows 8 brings an App Store! However, unlike the Mac App Store, in order to publish anything whatsoever, whatever you are publishing MUST support the following:
 
"3.1 Your app must use only APIs for Metro style apps The APIs for Metro style apps are described in the Metro style apps API reference. Your app must also not link to, depend on, or otherwise make use of APIs or Windows OS services outside those described in the Metro style apps API reference."
 
"3.5 Your app must fully support touch interactions as described in the Windows 8 touch language Your app must provide visual feedback when users touch interactive elements. Your app must fully support touch input as well as keyboard and mouse input. Customers must also be able to access all of your app's functionality using only touch interactions. The Windows 8 touch language is described in Touch interaction design."
 
 
 
Unfortunately, this is pretty restrictive... Here is why:
 
 
The first quote rather strongly states the following:
  • All apps on the Windows App Store must be mainly based on the Windows Metro user interface theme. (Unity can do this with a proper GUI theme)
  • All apps on the Windows App Store must not only LOOK like the Windows Metro user interface theme, but they must also rely on the source code provided by Windows in order to achieve this effect. (Unity is not capable of this at all)
  • No app on the Windows App Store may use ANY user interface technology OTHER THAN the windows metro API. (This disqualifies Unity completely as unity uses its own internal API for UI.
There are several grey areas in this though:
  • Unity could, for instance, utilize the Metro API (which undoubtedly has custom theming options) to turn the entire unity app into a single large, invisible button (Or some sort of interface device capable of handing both touch and clicks), with an OpenGL (or DirectX) "display" (but technically not UI) behind it. They could then map button clicks/screen gestures to the OpenGL buttons on the display, and call those clicks "gestures, clicking the main button a different way changes its behavior". I actually think the reason that Microsoft added this restriction was because they were too lazy to implement an adaptive multi-touch system that could handle pretending to be a mouse for certain applications. They want ALL applications to accept their new methods of input (more on that below), and instead of making it hard on themselves and just checking each developer's work on their own to this goal, they are just forcing developers to use their pre-made work.
  • Is DirectX part of the Metro API already? Would then a small amount of tweaking and a new build mode simply be needed?
  • All of Unity's app is actually encompassed inside a native OS UI window. This window ALREADY conforms to the Metro API when run on Windows 8. Is this container window enough to qualify the whole thing as acceptable?
 
The second quote,
 
"3.5 Your app must fully support touch interactions as described in the Windows 8 touch language Your app must provide visual feedback when users touch interactive elements. Your app must fully support touch input as well as keyboard and mouse input. Customers must also be able to access all of your app's functionality using only touch interactions. The Windows 8 touch language is described in Touch interaction design."
 
 
Goes on to state that:
  • All apps on the Windows App Store must support touch (as in fingers on the screen) input.
  • When the app does this, it must provide visual feedback for this.
  • All apps on the Windows App Store MUST allow ONE HUNDRED PERCENT USAGE using the touch interface.
That third point right there, THAT is the major problem. Many many many games are mainly done using keyboard input, mouse, etc. To require that requires a whole new form of input! Especially when it comes to shooter games. But, have no fear, Unity can do a few things to comply to this, and in fact, if Unity complies to THIS clause, Unity may have a chance of NOT having to conform to the FIRST one!
 
What Unity can do to conform to the second clause/quote:
  • Unity can simply make all of their GUI.Buttons respond to touch clicking (THis handles 50% of problems)
  • Unity can simply allow keyboard input through the onscreen keyboard. (This clears another 30%)
  • For mouse input, Unity will have to actually innovate. They will probably add a gesture that is common amongst all Unity apps that stands for mouse motion. Perhaps two fingers swiping across the display, etc. This will be clunky, but enough to qualify the app to go on the Windows App Store.
  • Unity already has a TON of touch gesture interaction code designed for iOS. It's possible that they will enable this code for windows 8 compilation, allowing developers to create their OWN gestures, and take full advantage of the windows 8 features...
 
With all of this stated, there are a couple important things to note... 
 
  1. The restrictions mentioned are very much an uphill battle for Windows. Part of game design is letting the developer pick and choose their OWN input system. Forcing developers to create multiple input systems will both create unbalanced gameplay, and make life hell for developers. Believe me when I say this, Unity developers are not the only ones all across the globe screaming at Microsoft for adding these changes. As such, it is highly likely Microsoft will change their mind.
  2. If Microsoft doesn't change their mind, we can probably see apple adding multi-touch to their products very soon. They already have the technology for it, they just decided it was a bad idea. Either that, or multi-touch will BOMB on windows, and windows will remove it, as well as the restrictions. We are only in windows 8 beta! It's hard to say where windows 8, as well as the Windows App Store will go!
  3. It is important to realize that we are not talking total consumer blackout here. All that using the current UI restricts us from is selling our game on the Windows App Store. We can still publish to Windows 8, just not via their App Store! Some proponents say that users will be scared to download from anywhere else, but from previous rumors about developers being forced to host their own work, it sounds like the Windows App Store will NOT be codesigning their products (and therefore not trusting developers with hosting), and, because of this, all security awarded from using the app store will vanish.
Now, with ALL of these things stated, there is one final thing that I must say.
 
None of us, not Aubrey, not froggy, not I, can do anything about this. (Without going through some seriously hacky wrappers and mouse input synthesization... Which undoubtedly someone, either Unity or a fellow game designer is already working on) The ONLY people who can truly support windows 8 Unity development is.... You guessed it... Unity. Unity must be the company who adds support. There is nothing we can do.
 
Frankly, I think having a restricted UI on windows is a mistake, for everyone involved. I think Unity will probably fight Windows (just like they did Apple when it was looking like programming language restrictions were going to keep Unity off the APPLE App store) and I think if Windows is smart, they will back down. But restricted UIs ruin the gaming experience. I think this thing will die very soon if Microsoft does not remove these restrictions.
 
 
 
Anyways, that's my two cents on the subject lol. Froggy, if you can build us a wrapper to map touch input to mouse input, that would be excellent. I would focus on developing a windows 8 app that converts touch screen taps to mouse clicks. We could then see about adding that to some sort of a wrapper that contains a unity window, and only applies the remapping when that window is the window being tapped on :)



P.S. Do you mind if I make comments on your post not have scrollbars? I can undo this change if you like.
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/13 - 18:00 GMT
*longest comment of the year award*
:P
 
Thats too bad flynn. Hopefully Unity and Windows work it out :(.
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/14 - 6:32 GMT
A touch screen laptop is impractical. Think about it.
1. You would have to reach over the keyboard and being careful not to press any buttons.
2. It is quite a long way to stretch your arm, which could cause arm pains.
3. Each time you touch it it would push back.

The only successful touch screen laptop is this thing where you can rotate the screen backwards and fold it down so to turns into a mobile-like tablet. It also has a stylus stored in a tube on the left bottom of the laptop. This makes it good for signing documents.
The flaw with teh hole for the stylus is that dirt and stuff could get in there so you can't put the stylus in. Also it is very hard to clean.
The hinge on it is flimsy and easy to break.

Now you know why Apple didn't go with the idea. They THINK, not only wonder.

Also how'd you make the comment without a scroll bar? (I'm viewing from plexpedia.)
Thank you Flynn for taking your time to write each comment! I'm sure you have a lot to do.
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/14 - 7:38 GMT
Lamp, you are incredibly obnoxious in everything you say and do.
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 31,378v
Posted 2012/10/14 - 9:19 GMT
(Removed)




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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/14 - 18:52 GMT
hmm?
Seriously.
Not only that, when you try to sign or draw on a touch screen laptop, you'll push the screen down.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/14 - 19:04 GMT
Okay I got windows 8 installer working in VirtualBox. Although it requires some key that came with the back of the box.
:P

Only OS I can use in VirtualBox is Linux.
I wish to have windows in it to play around with it.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/10/15 - 18:33 GMT
@Lamp: dude, just repartition your hard drive! that's what I did. Download release preview ISO, mount it on a flash drive, and go from there. Also, touch-screen laptops are a great idea, I personally  prefer to have a bothist computer, one that does both touch and mouse, and Windows 8 can handle that.
@flynn: ok ok, slow down. I know introductory javascript, a tad bit of Lua, and html. I actually understand most of what you are saying, but I (for the next couple months until I learn a few other languages... Ruby, here I come!) wouldn't be able to do anything but organize the project. I guess we'll all twiddle our thumbs and wait for Unity then. I don't like the direction Windows is taking with Windows 8 philosophically. Apple's "my way or the highway" philosophy is my biggest Apple repellant, and now Windows is doing that too. argh. Win 8 is VERY cool though. and it's only 40 bucks! woohoo!
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/15 - 19:15 GMT
Mountain lion is 20 bucks.

Also I do not want to partition my hard drive.Why should I? Then I'll need to restart and hold down the key and then wait for it to load and when I'm done I have to restart agin and sometimes I wanna see something from Mac OS but wanna use the Windows.

I use VirtualBox! I went to the link you gave me, downloaded the ISO, loaded it up, and then it asked for an activation key that "is on the back of the box you got Wndows".
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/10/17 - 17:04 GMT
1. Mountain Lion isn't a standalone OS, you need Lion as well to run it.
2. Mountain Lion is more like 1020 bucks, because you can ONLY use it on macs. Albeit this does increase the price of Windows as well, but not nearly as much :) You get what you pay for here.
3. Repartitioning your hard drive: Oh, you're using a mac. That's a lot more complicated than repartitioning on a PC. Right now, I'm dual-booting Win 7 and 8 from Windows 8's really pretty bootloader, but if you're using a mac with the secure sign-in and all that when you boot then you're right, it's probably a better idea to run it in a virtual machine. 
4. VirtualBox: ooh, I like virtualbox! That's Oracle's open-source software, right? Virtualbox should work fine with Windows 8, according to my research. You can find the product key you need on the webpage where you downloaded the ISO file. Enjoy!
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/17 - 18:56 GMT
Oh! Thanks a bunch!
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 day - 4,998v
Posted 2012/10/16 - 0:55 GMT
From what I've seen of it, the colorful boxes and stuff with windows 8 looks pretty stupid. And making everyone use their user interface is going way to far.. Even Apple doesn't do that.
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/16 - 0:57 GMT
Agreed.
 
One thing I don't like is the cheap use of just plain squares and rectangles. Not even curved edges. It really doesn't match with the Aero windows and start button.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 0:13 GMT
Which is why there is no start button any more :) Windows 8 has a pretty big learning curve, that's my biggest problem, it's not as "oh this makes sense" as Apple software at first. However, now that I've been using it for a couple months, I can say pretty confidently that once you get past the first day, where it's confusing, things get really really easy :) That's my opinion, of course
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 0:29 GMT
I CAN'T FIND THE START BUTTON!!
 
 
WHERES THE START MENU???
 
 
HOW DO I GO BACK???
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 31,378v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 2:44 GMT
WHOA calm your pants man! Dont freak out!
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Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 5:00 GMT
I'm not.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 31,378v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 5:07 GMT
"I CAN'T FIND THE START BUTTON!!
 
 
WHERES THE START MENU???
 
 
HOW DO I GO BACK???"
 
Ah man! I'm sorry! I confused the constant yelling and these so many of these ? and !
 
I'm sorry again you calm, you calmer than a crack addict who found marijuana!
 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
2 days - 8,588v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 5:17 GMT
I am using the lenovo idea pad lol
 
let the complaints end lawl
 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Windows 8 App
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/10/31 - 17:43 GMT
What's dat?


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