January 10th, 2007


Stop it. Just stop it.

It's probably not as bad as it feels, but I just read a post:


which describes what Windows Vista means to folks who like making small games in their spare time.

Microsoft has created a brand new part of the Operating System (well, really the Window Manager, but since they've been able to bundle everything along with the OS, it hardly seems worth it to make a distinction) called the "Game Explorer".

If I were to make a game and put it up on my website (which I've done before, and intend to do again), you might try downloading it and installing it. But then there'd be all sorts of alarmist dialog boxes discouraging you from the insane prospect of installing software on your own machine.

And, let's say I don't go through any special effort to integrate with Vista. (Because, really, it's just Windows, right?) My game's not going to show up in the Game Explorer, so you might get confused about where to find it. Not terrible, but all of a sudden, my game's a second class citizen on your machine. Ok, shame on me for not keeping up with the Microsoft upgrade treadmill. I really ought to have learned how to write games for Microsoft Windows Vista.

So, let's say that I do go through the obstacle course of installing my game into the Game Explorer. We're talking about a game I wrote myself, in my spare time, with money I'm spending out of my pocket. I'm not talking about a professional commercial game with EA funding. So, perhaps I wouldn't be interested in paying the Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) to evaluate my game and grant me a rating. You can bet that a game without an ESRB rating is going to fall into a ghetto in the shadier back corners of the Game Explorer.

What am I going to do about it?

Well, a few things. I'm going to gripe about it in public, for whatever good that does. I'm going to avoid upgrading to Vista for as long as I can - and I haven't yet heard of any actual features in Vista that I want, much less need. I'm also going to spend some time today making sure that my current after-hours project feels comfortable in a MacOS X environment.