Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform is working to combat developer criticism about its perception as a closed ecosystem.
One major step in this, announced at the Build conference, is that devs will now be able to convert their existing Windows32 games to the UWP format, but while keeping support for third-party services such as Valve’s Steamworks.
UWP games will also support mods – although, for the moment, these will have to be approved by developers in a manner similar to the Steam Workshop, rather than allowing users to go in themselves and mess around with code.
"The mods where we’ll probably have some discussion, is… if I actually go in and reorder the code or inject code paths the developer didn’t originally intend, the problem is [that] I don’t know if that modification is to fix a broken game, or to add some kind of phishing tool to the game so that now it’s capturing my passwords as I’m typing them into Chrome,” Xbox head Phil Spencer explained as to the limited implementation for modding (via PC Gamer).
"I don’t know as the developer, or more importantly as the consumer, which of those it is. So I would always try to find an endorsed path by the game creator to say: ‘Here’s how we want people injecting code and modifications into the game’ and us supporting that, which we will go do.
“This idea that things can kind of run amok on the machine, and put, I’m going to say, malicious code – not saying mods are malicious, but it’s hard to differentiate."
Devs will also be able to design custom overlays for their game on UWP, opening up the ability to run tools such as FRAPS over the top of titles once they have been converted to the platform.
Also new for UWP games will be support for V-Sync and G-Sync, plus exclusive full-screen support for Windows 10 titles.
"This allows these games to take advantage of the common services and technology in both Xbox and Windows 10, things like platform-specific features like Live Tile support, notifications," Spencer said of the benefits of converting to the UWP format.
"We have consistent input support with controller and mouse and keyboard across all of our devices, and distribution in the Windows Store or any other store."
Picture: Giraffe Mod for Grand Theft Auto IV