What exactly did you want to know about the apps platform? Since this is a public topic, I’ll keep it relatively easy to understand but still in-depth enough to promote discussion.
First and foremost, apps (in this case games like KI) are not actual Win32 programs, theyre bytecode virtual machines. What will this mean in the long run? Hard to say as I believe it’ll continue to evolve for a while. None the less, during this transition from Win32 programs to UWA, functionality and control to the users will be greatly reduced when you compare it to a full fledged win32 program.
To some degree, you could see the current implementation as similar to java jars/apps (old minecraft among others) and how it needed a java virtual machine to run it. Obviously mods were possible with these bytecode systems, so what’s the difference? Bytecode is not inherently signed and restricted. This UWA system however does currently require signed code and is far more restrictive. From what we’ve seen so far (and when Quantum Break comes out likely further confirmed) arbitrary unsigned code will remain incredibly challenging. Unsigned code cannot interact with “universal apps” which means 3rd party fixes, or mods, or whatever else you may want to use are no longer on the table. Okay so that’s hobbiest type stuff, is there other ramifications? A lot of overlays that handle the analysis of performance will likely have to be rewritten or fade away entirely. 3rd party integration by popular apps will be gone (mumble overlays), and I suppose the issue I care most about is if a developer doesn’t fix something or support a new OS down the road… well yeah.
Okay so unsigned vs signed, bytecode and all that. Is there anything to cover in this survey post (more indepth posts are possible later but this topic of discussion is occuring on multiple forums and keeps me pretty constrained). Some people like fullscreen. Currently the fullscreen solution that people on the windows app store have seen is borderless widescreen. Okay that’s cool for a lot of reasons. Alt tabbing is easier for one because the desktop stays present in memory while true fullscreen mode reduces how much it retains so that it can designate more resources to the fullscreen app. What does that mean? Well, depending on the circumstances, you’ll typically see better performance on the fullscreen app vs the borderless full windowed app… at the cost of alt tabbing (i prefer full screen as I don’t alt tab all that often). Additionally, things like AMD’s crossfire don’t currently work in borderless widescreen (unless using mantle which err is obviously not a choice for MS backed games).
So time for some more actual technical talk because fullscreen can be confusing. Starting with Direct3D 11.1, Microsoft started recommending developers to not use CreateSwapChain anymore to uhh well create a swap chain. Instead they wanted people to use CreateSwapChainForHwnd., etc etc. No big deal, just a suggestion. We don’t really need to get into too much on what SwapChains are for but you can read about them here: http://www.directxtutorial.com/lesson.aspx?lessonid=111-4-3 . What is important though, is Microsoft has decided to intentionally (as it’s mentioned as a note, not a bug) on their MSDN site: if a Windows Store app calls CreateSwapChain with fulls screen specified, it’ll intentionally fail. They don’t want you using fullscreen anymore. Period.
So why are they doing this? Well universal app systems are more portable (between windows phone, xbox, and PC). That’s a major plus and no one should be upset about it. It also gives the developer/publisher a lot more confidence in the environment that it is running. Major plus all around. Cheats will be harder to implement. A major win for gamers.
I suppose on a tangent, I’m wondering what their primary goal is. To push people to Windows 10 or to Push people to the MS store. It seems that they’re going for both at the same time which is likely to cause far more pushback. If they want gamers to jump to Win10 for these games, then put it on Steam as regular apps (ideally) or at least as containers on steam that then use the App store system. It’ll increase the eyeballs. If their goal is to get people to use the store, then I wonder why they didn’t start with win32 apps and then once people got into the ecosystem started pushing more on the locked runtimes shrug.
And no, I’m convinced the system to some degree will be circumvented, but ultimately it will still be a far larger inconvience than other DRM (which this is only partially a focus of the app store). Personally though, if you have a legit OS from MS (in this case it’d be win10) and a legit copy of a game, is it worth invoking the wrath of the licencer to circumvent their protection? Probably not.