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  1. Relief's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi there,

    I am still not a WP7 user (i am waiting for whatsapp and Mango), but there is a thing that makes me worried about the future of WP7 when it comes to developing games for different hardware. I have posted the text below in a feature request topic on answers.microsoft.com and i thought it would be interesting to discuss this with you on WPCentral and to read your thoughts about this. Maybe we could be an inspiration for MS to develop a new system.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is my first time here, but i want to explain and request a new system that should make it easier for developers and consumers to know if a phone can handle certain games.

    We all know that the coming year means new hardware for WP7. At this moment all the WP7 phones have Adreno 200, but the new qualcomm chips will have 205 and in the feature maybe 220. We also have a confirmation that Nokia will use dual-core chips from ST-E. So the future will breng us more advanced hardware.

    But as a developer how should you deal with the difference in hardware when developing games? How do i communicate this to the consumer that their device is not fast enough to handle the newest games.
    Should you just develop games that work with Adreno 200 to ensure the best compatibility, but this will mean that the graphics level of WP7 games will always stay behind the other platforms. We have all seen what Nvidia's Kal-El can perform and we all want that power in the future.
    Or devs could develop games specifically for new devices, but then you will have to keep a list of compatible devices and in the future with 30-40 or more devices thats a nightmare!

    To tackle this problem and to make sure that developers and consumers have a nice experience when developing and installing games, is to develop a system that recognizes what hardware you have and based on the hardware enables or disables the ability to install a game. This way developers wont have to keep a list of compatible hardware and they will only have to choose what chassis and hardware is comptabile. At the other end consumers will know that their hardware is too weak for certain games en maybe upgrade their phone this way Microsoft and their partners can sell more smartphones.

    The reason why i point out this problem is my experience with Android. The problem is getting bigger and bigger. We see now Xperia Only, Tegra 2 Only and Qualcomm ony games. Games are only available for certain SoC's and there is no clear communication about this to consumers.
    Other problem: lots of devs get negative ratings because people cant seem to get a game to work with inferior hardware. This is funest for developers who have a good working game that just needs better hardware. And i think the biggest problem is proper communication. When consumers know what to expect, they cant rate a game they cant play with low-ratings.

    With this system Microsoft should have a unique selling point to devs and consumers.
    Last edited by Relief; 06-04-2011 at 09:52 AM.
  2. HeyCori's Avatar
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    #2  
    What about scalable graphics to accommodate weaker hardware?

    Like in the olden days of split screen when the graphics were downgraded to allow the game to run better.
  3. Relief's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Figure 8 Dash View Post
    What about scalable graphics to accommodate weaker hardware?

    Like in the olden days of split screen when the graphics were downgraded to allow the game to run better.
    That would be really cool indeed and should be able to work with the above system. Its important to give devs choice of what hardware they want to support.
  4. jimski's Avatar
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    #4  
    Probably already built in to Marketplace. The WinMo Marketplace filtered apps by device and OS version, so certain apps would be visible for the Tilt2, but not the Fuze for example.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    Nokia Lumia 900 - OS: 7.10.8112.7 - Firmware: 2175.1002.8112.12084
    HTC Surround - OS: 7.10.8107.79 - Firmware: 2250.21.40500.502
  5. Relief's Avatar
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       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by jimski View Post
    Probably already built in to Marketplace. The WinMo Marketplace filtered apps by device and OS version, so certain apps would be visible for the Tilt2, but not the Fuze for example.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    There is no such filtering, because every app should work on every device.

    Games is a different experience. Current games work on every device, but future games could be working only on 2nd Generation WP7 Phones. And you cant expect a dev to keep up with all the phones and their compatiblity.

    Edit: filtering wouldnt be a good idea. Consumers will have to be able to find the game, but the installation should be blocked.
    Last edited by Relief; 06-04-2011 at 11:13 AM.
  6. jimski's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Relief View Post
    There is no such filtering, because every app should work on every device.

    Games is a different experience. Current games work on every device, but future games could be working only on 2nd Generation WP7 Phones. And you cant expect a dev to keep up with all the phones and their compatiblity.

    Edit: filtering wouldnt be a good idea. Consumers will have to be able to find the game, but the installation should be blocked.
    Yes, today every app/game works on every device, but maybe not tomorrow, so the tools are probably already there.

    And with the filter you could see every app/game. You just couldn't install it on a specific device if the specs were not compatible. Who knows, we may actually see that when Mango specific apps hit the Marketplace and devices start to get updated. Download may not be available till you update. Will all work in the background so nothing for the dev to do.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    Nokia Lumia 900 - OS: 7.10.8112.7 - Firmware: 2175.1002.8112.12084
    HTC Surround - OS: 7.10.8107.79 - Firmware: 2250.21.40500.502
  7. Relief's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by jimski View Post
    Yes, today every app/game works on every device, but maybe not tomorrow, so the tools are probably already there.

    And with the filter you could see every app/game. You just couldn't install it on a specific device if the specs were not compatible. Who knows, we may actually see that when Mango specific apps hit the Marketplace and devices start to get updated. Download may not be available till you update. Will all work in the background so nothing for the dev to do.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    You cant filter by hardware, only by OS. And thats whats gonna happen with Mango too and thats why we als need hardware filter. The least they could do is filter by hardware so people with older gpu wont see incompatible games. But it would be better if they could see it, but not install it. That will make the communication with consumerss more user friendly.

    Dont forget that WM6 MarketPlace is completely different from the WP7 one.
  8. Exomondo's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Relief View Post
    Edit: filtering wouldnt be a good idea. Consumers will have to be able to find the game, but the installation should be blocked.
    Just like on iOS. I'm sure this will be addressed when a version of WP comes out that ups the minimum requirements.
    BlackberryOS -> iOS -> Maemo -> WP7
    I don't have a device religion.
  9. starblade876's Avatar
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    #9  
    I'm fairly sure there is some filtering. I haven't tried, but I assume I still can't see, download, or install any Samsung or LG apps with my HTC Arrive (without homebrew or whatever anyway). Likewise, I'm pretty sure any other non-HTC phone can get at the HTC apps.
  10. Relief's Avatar
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       #10  
    Specific brand apps are not available on the market, so you wont find them.

    I asked Microsoft Holland about the filtering and they confirmed that there is only a Country filter. There is no manufacturer, no device or hardware filter.
    They also confirmed that when publishing an app or game for a specific country, the app/game wont be visible for other countries.

    So i hope MS will change their way of displaying games or apps and add some more filters. Especially the hardware filter, cause that will cause lots of problems in the future when there will be 2 or 3 different hardware available. And its important that the app/game should still be visible, but disabled. That way consumers can push dev's to make it installable with their hardware or country, instead of complaining at MS.
  11. Jay Bennett's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Relief View Post
    Specific brand apps are not available on the market, so you wont find them.
    I'm sorry Relief but you are mistaken there. We have specific brand apps for both Networks and devices on the Marketplace. For example I can see and download the 'Three' network app and specific apps for my Samsung phone, but not those for the 'O2' network or HTC devices that my father can use.

    I suspect that if this does become an issue we will see filtering as the answer as suggested in this thread, however I would definitely prefer to see hardware scaling if that is possible. Still, we'll find out come Mango if it turns out that some games require the new gyroscope.
  12. Relief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTBennett View Post
    I'm sorry Relief but you are mistaken there. We have specific brand apps for both Networks and devices on the Marketplace. For example I can see and download the 'Three' network app and specific apps for my Samsung phone, but not those for the 'O2' network or HTC devices that my father can use.

    I suspect that if this does become an issue we will see filtering as the answer as suggested in this thread, however I would definitely prefer to see hardware scaling if that is possible. Still, we'll find out come Mango if it turns out that some games require the new gyroscope.
    Ah sorry for my mistake. Well thats the whole problem to be honest. Shouldnt Microsoft implement this system before it goes wrong?

    Like somebody said, if you could scale the graphics by type of hardware, it would be perfect.
  13. oldpueblo's Avatar
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    #13  
    Just focus on making a fun game, seriously it doesn't have to look amazing on a small screen. I'm not going to hold the phone two inches in front of my eyes and stare in awe. :P It just reminds me of a friend who was complaining that he wasn't getting perfect DVD quality on a movie rip on a tablet. I calmly explained "It's because it's not a DVD, and it's not on a large TV with 5.1 surround sound speakers." If you want to have an amazing movie experience then go to the movies. It's a tablet! I sincerely hope games are made to work on all the devices, that's more important to me than one looking a little better on only one graphics chip. Serious gaming happens on consoles and PCs, let's leave it there.
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  14. Luisraul924's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by oldpueblo View Post
    Just focus on making a fun game, seriously it doesn't have to look amazing on a small screen. I'm not going to hold the phone two inches in front of my eyes and stare in awe. :P It just reminds me of a friend who was complaining that he wasn't getting perfect DVD quality on a movie rip on a tablet. I calmly explained "It's because it's not a DVD, and it's not on a large TV with 5.1 surround sound speakers." If you want to have an amazing movie experience then go to the movies. It's a tablet! I sincerely hope games are made to work on all the devices, that's more important to me than one looking a little better on only one graphics chip. Serious gaming happens on consoles and PCs, let's leave it there.
    Finally someone with a bit of common sense! Smartphone gaming isn't the epitome of mobile gaming, it doesn't need to look amazing to be fun.
  15. rpm5101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luisraul924 View Post
    Finally someone with a bit of common sense! Smartphone gaming isn't the epitome of mobile gaming, it doesn't need to look amazing to be fun.
    Yeah, mobile gaming is just that; gaming that is meant to be done while you have a few spare minutes on the way to work or while waiting around for something. No one is going to become a dedicated mobile gamer, go home, and spend hours and hours playing Fruit Ninja.
  16. Luisraul924's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpm5101 View Post
    No one is going to become a dedicated mobile gamer, go home, and spend hours and hours playing Fruit Ninja.
    Lol although that has happened.
  17. oldpueblo's Avatar
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    #17  
    Just to make one more point, would you rather only 50% of customers have the ability to buy your app/game, or 100%? :D

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