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Difference now between "Windows Store" and "WP8" platforms

Discussion in 'Windows' started by mbowen89, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    I'm trying to understand in the latest release what the difference is when choosing Windows Store with the universal build, versus just WP8...

    Under Windows Store, when it builds it for Windows Phone, it will only work on phones with WP8.1? Should I just build separately for WP8 platform which will work on WP8.1 inherently and then Windows Store separately so I don't block any devices?
     
  2. Dustin-Horne

    Dustin-Horne

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    WP8 will build for Windows Phone 8.0 while the Universal actually builds two projects (One for Windows Store and one for Windows Phone 8.1). The Windows Phone 8.1 build is much much closer to the Windows Store build... in terms of the framework it's nearly identical now, but you need to separate projects to debug on the appropriate devices and publish to the appropriate store.
     
  3. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    Two separate projects meaning the two it creates under universal right?

    Will the universal WP8.1 build still run on a WP8.0 device that hasn't upgraded?
     
  4. Dustin-Horne

    Dustin-Horne

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    Yes 2 projects in Universal, and no I don't believe a Windows Phone 8.1 project will run under 8.0. The Windows Phone SDK and API are updated in 8.1 and it's been brought more in line with the version of WinRT that Windows Store Apps 8.1 run.
     
  5. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    Ok. So what are most people going to do? Make a WP8.1 build AND a WP8.0 build? Or just assume everyone has updated to WP8.1?
     
  6. Dustin-Horne

    Dustin-Horne

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    If you want your game to work on both 8.0 and 8.1 then you need to target Windows Phone 8.0. If you want to take advantage of new features in 8.1 then you need to target 8.1. Keep in mind that at some point Microsoft will no longer allow submissions in 8.0 and you'll have to use 8.1.
     
  7. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

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    One more thing to note: WP 8.1 player has some improvements that is not available for WP 8.0 - multithreaded renderer to be exact. It increases performance non-trivially. If you're already publishing to Windows Store, it might be worth doing both WP 8.0 and WP 8.1 build and upload them both to the store - it will accept two packages and will choose between them when user downloads the app according to his OS version.
     
    Dustin-Horne likes this.
  8. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    If that person was to upgrade to 8.1 after buying my 8.0 version of the game, and I update the game would it then install the 8.1 version instead, keeping the same playerprefs, etc? Or is it almost like two completely different games?
     
  9. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

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    It would not update from 8.0 to 8.1, as it would be a different app. The only way to update it would be to reinstall it after upgrading OS.
     
  10. pumpkinszwan

    pumpkinszwan

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    Is this confirmed by Microsoft anywhere? Don't WP8.1 packages have to have a higher version number than WP8 packages, and therefore the store would detect a higher version and prompt an update?

    I might publish a separate WP8.1 package for my game and test this out.
     
  11. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

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    You could try it out. I just can't see how it would work with saved application state - WP 8.0 and WP 8.1 apps store data in totally different ways.
     
  12. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    If I'm going to be releasing a new game, is there really any reason to target just 8.0? I mean, I'm guessing that 90% of people will do the upgrade to 8.1 when it shows up on their phone and probably already have... right?
     
  13. Starsman Games

    Starsman Games

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    I was aiming for 8.0 to try to target as many un-patched devices as possible, but I have no 8.0 devices left to test and for some reason the build was crashing during MS certification, so I am now in the process of getting it all working as a Universal 8.1 app.

    I would say not to try to target 8.0 if you don't have a device to test the version with.
     
  14. Dustin-Horne

    Dustin-Horne

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    there are likely a lot of performance improvements and otherwise when targeting 8.1 but if you're really concerned about the market saturation level then target 8.0 since the app will still run on 8.1.
     
  15. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    OK, thanks.

    FYI, let me give you a little comparison... I'm lucky if I get 1 or 2 downloads on my current game that I release for WP8 a month or so ago. I get at least a couple hundred a day on iTunes, and then of course Google and Android follow. I actually do way better on PS Vita than WP... I'm pretty disappointed.

    Is the Windows Store better than WP8 you think, market wise?
     
  16. Starsman Games

    Starsman Games

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    I have no actual experience yet, I'll find out eventually, but more people have Windows 8 machines than they have Windows Phones. Best I can do right now is estimate.

    Question about your game: Is it Farming USA? (Googled your user a bit) If so it seems that it is not compatible with the Lumia 520, or at least the store think it is not because it wont show in my 520 with 8.1. It does show in my Lumia 1520. Keep in mind that the bulk of the windows phone devices out there are 520s, because they are dirt cheap. If the game cant run in it, you are cutting a huge chunk of the potential market.

    With universal Windows Store, though, you will be targeting a much larger market. Most PCs will likely be able to run it, and more people own Windows 8 computers than they own Windows Phones.

    If you are not going to support low memory devices like the 520, then definitively just go Universal. If you want to get as much of the potential WP market, though, get yourself a prepaid 520 to test with. They are dirt cheap.
     
  17. pumpkinszwan

    pumpkinszwan

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    Firstly, I'd say target 8.0 as you'll get more downloads. Not everyone will upgrade, and updates do take a while to roll out. You'd be amazed at how many people don't upgrade their phones and apps.

    Secondly, about downloads. I recently released my current game (Game of Clowns, link in my signature) on Android. It's the first time I've published anything outside of the Windows platforms. Currently the WP8 version has ~7,000 downloads, and the Android version has 54 (of the LITE version, with no sales of the full version). The Windows version has been out ~2 months and the Android one about half that.

    I haven't bothered with iOS because of the cost and poor submission process. I will revisit that if I figure out any ways to improve my Android figures.

    I think with Windows you have more chance of being noticed (my game has been featured in the store repeatedly), whereas with the larger stores of iOS and Android you can get lost in the noise. Of course if you pick up momentum in those bigger stores you'll get far more downloads because the marketshare is so much bigger.

    If you need some help with marketing on Windows Phone, consider the following:
    • make sure you have all the relevant images in your submission so you can be featured in the store
    • try to get your game reviewed on WPCentral (and mention it in their forums)
    • send a nicely written (non-spam, non-fake review) press release to WMPowerUser. They will publish any article you submit as long as it's of good enough quality and not spammy
    • consider making the game free for a day via MyAppFree (I got about 2,500 downloads in one day from doing this, and it boosts your overall rankings)
    • give players incentives to rate and review your game. I give a free bonus level.
    • If you use ads, consider AdDuplex.. Basically your game shows ads from other games and in exchange your ads get shown in other games.
    Try to get in contact with your local Microsoft developer evangelist. They may be able to help you get your game featured in the store, which will boost your downloads.

    As for the Windows Store, it's utterly terrible compared to the WP store. Nobody is downloading from there. That said, it can't hurt to create a Windows Store version.
    NOTE: if you use the same package/app name in both stores you will automatically get a universal app regardless of what versions you target (you can even include WP7 version in this).
     
    theANMATOR2b and MrEsquire like this.
  18. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    Thanks for the info, I will reference this when I update my game next and release my next one as well.
     
  19. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    It looks like 62% of the market is still WP8 not 8.1 as of 9-30-14: http://stats.unity3d.com/mobile/os-wp.html

    That seems crazy to me... The Lumia I have is updated to 8.1 so I can't even test it for 8.0...

    I think I'll just do 8.1 only I guess... anyone else had any more insight since September?
     
  20. pumpkinszwan

    pumpkinszwan

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    Carriers (and to some extent Microsoft) have really let us down with updates. It was supposed to work more like iOS, but it never really worked out, and now devices get updates months after the first rollouts if at all!

    WP8.1 is totally backwards compatible, so you can still target 8.0. For improved testing you can use WP8.0 emulators in Visual Studio (get Visual Studio Express for Phone for free if you don't have it). It's not quite the same as testing on an actual device, but if there is any real issue in your game you'll find it in the emulator.

    And don't forget the Windows Phone beta system where you can get testers to download a beta and test it on real devices for you.
     
    theANMATOR2b likes this.
  21. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    So targeting WP 8.0 is actually the best bet probably, as I will get both 8.0 and 8.1 users. I'll just need to find someone with an 8.0 device to test for me I guess.
     
  22. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

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    You should be able to test 8.0 apps on 8.1 devices. There shouldn't be almost any difference between how the same application works on different OS versions. Also, remember that your users will download the application with both WP 8.0 and 8.1.
     
  23. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    Oh ya, gotcha. I wasn't putting it together in my head, even though I know that building for 8.0 it can be downloaded on 8.0 or 8.1, I was thinking I couldn't test it on my 8.1 device for some reason.

    Thanks for the insight again!
     
  24. MrEsquire

    MrEsquire

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    Thanks for the thread information, I also confused myself for the first time, issue was to do with plugins also, some plugins these days only work on WP8.0 but broken in WP8.1, seems authors are failing to support 8.1 therefore causing some issues for development.

    I may just try and target WP8.0 and see if all works correctly on my WP8.1 phone.

    huum some thought needs to be taken
     
  25. DanglingNeuron

    DanglingNeuron

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    I started as Windows Developer, so my games were first released on Windows Phone 7, 8/8.1 and Windows 8/8.1. Then I ventured into Android since it was so easy to publish.. Now trying to publish on iOS and it feels darn complicated.. (have bought a mac mini and ipod/iphone) but the whole xcode and provisioing profiles and stuff is making me go crazy.

    Anyway .. numbers:

    Windows Phone does WAY better than Windows 8 in terms of downloads.. My games make most of the money on Windows Phone. Android and Windows 8 pitch in tiny bits (Android better than Windows 8)

    But its really hard for downloads to come by on Android for me. Maybe because the store is too saturated and because I don't know the right avenues for marketing on Android. Numbers of 2 of my games just for comparison.

    Air Soccer Fever:
    Windows Phone = 3.341M (3 yrs) , Windows 8 = 478K (3 yrs), Android = 257K (2 yrs)

    Hyper Cell:
    Windows Phone = 100K (10 months), Windows 8 = 31K (10 months), Android = 3.5K (10 months)

    Getting very lose to release first title on iOS... but lets just say. its not easy :)
     
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