Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform is looking like a sure winner for developers after Telltale Games came out in big support of the platform. This is the first big video game developer to announce these kinds of plans, and we expect an influx of similar announcements in the months after the Anniversary Update and E3 2016.
Surprisingly, Telltale said the Windows Store has a wider reach than Steam because of its 125 million users versus Windows 10’s over 300 million.
“We have a single toolset we use to build content for all those platforms. So we’re kind of always in the state of porting. The studio builds the game with our toolset. And then that same code base cross-compiles to every single platform we’re going to support,” said Zac Litton, Telltale’s VP of Tech.
When it came to porting Minecraft: Story Mode to Windows 10, Litton said it only took a few developers and three months to port the game. That’s great to know as larger companies would not want to focus too much on a port if the plan is to release the game alongside other versions at the same time.
“We started with a PC DirectX 9 engine version,” said Benn Herrera, senior software engineers, “and the Xbox One DirectX 11 with Xbox extensions engine and sort of combined these build configurations to create a desktop DirectX 11 version—and then did the UWP version. So that first initial step is one not a lot of developers are going to have, because most of them are going to probably be starting from DX11. So if you skip that part, the transition to working with UWP was fairly straightforward.”
With all Minecraft: Story Mode games available on Windows 10 right now, Telltale plans to port all its previous and future titles to the Windows Store in the future under the UWP initiative. We hope other developers follow Telltale Games’ push to support UWP and the Windows Store because that would surely make for a better gaming platform.
Telltale’s talk about the Windows Store having more reach due to the over 300 million Windows 10 users might not be entirely true. Steam has 125 million users, all of which are gamers and are always willing to purchase a title — the same can’t precisely be said for the 300 million users on Windows 10.
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