Introducing the Steam Community Viewer

In my free time, I’ve been developing a Windows 8 app to view Steam-related information (news, deals, community profiles). I just got notification that my new app was approved and listed on the Windows 8 store.

You can search for it directly in the Windows Store or see it online.

A brief description of the app is below:

The Steam Community Viewer allows users to search for Steam Community profiles to view profile details, game lists, game statistics, achievements, friend lists, group lists, and more. All data is obtained through public and Valve supplied methods. This application is not associated with Valve Software.

This is just a first release, but I’m hoping to add a lot more functionality as I continue to develop it.

Make sure to use the support email address listed in the store if you need any assistance. Additionally, you can tweet me @babelshift.… Read more

How to get supported display modes using SharpDX

Below is a short bit of code that will use SharpDX to enumerate the valid display modes on all adapters (video cards) and all outputs (monitors) for the computer that is hosting the application.

There are a few caveats with this:

  • Do not run this if you are using the Windows RT device simulator from Visual Studio 2012 or you will get exceptions (remote/virtualized instances aren’t supported by some of the DirectX used here)
  • This only shows interlaced and scaling display modes (there are Stereo and StereoDisabled modes for some outputs)
  • Keep in mind that this is every adapter and output on your computer, so if you want just the default adapter, you’ll have to make some changes
  • Windows Store Apps are always in full screen, so any display mode that you apply to the active device where the resolution is less than the desktop resolution is going to look stretched (there are reasons to do this, however)

References:

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Why did my application fail Windows Store Certification?

I just finished watching a presentation on a broad overview of how to setup a Windows Store Developer account and submit applications to the store for certification and sale. Here are some guidelines that I found useful to follow in order to minimize the chances of having your application rejected during certification. The speaker noted that you will most likely fail certification for the first time, especially if it’s your first submission. Annoying, but I guess things have to be very specific to succeed.

1. The application must function in full

  • You must provide a test account for any required logins in the “Note to Testers” fields
  • Your application must not consist primarily of “Coming Soon” and “To be released later” content
  • Your application submission details must not contain false information or false screenshots
  • Your application must allow the user to control audio properly

2. The application needs to meet performance guidelines

  • Your application must launch in <= 5 seconds
  • Your application must suspend in <= 5 seconds

3. The application may or may not require a privacy policy

  • If your application indicates that it requires internet connection, you need to add a privacy policy in the application’s settings and provide a URL during submission

4. Your application must be localized as defined in your app manifest

  • Application chrome and content
  • Application metadata
  • Any and all screenshots and promotional images

All of this information was found from the slides presented in the Build 2012 presentation: “Windows Store: how does it work?”… Read more

Making Sense of Windows Store Developer Accounts

I found it rather annoying having to dig through pages of documentation regarding publication of Windows Store Apps just to figure out what kind of account I needed to create. So, here’s a quick table to see the comparison at an extremely basic level.

Individual Developer Company Developer Enterprise Developer OEM Developer
DreamSpark / Student Account Capable X
Submit Modern UI (aka Metro, aka Windows Store) Apps to the Windows Store X X X X
Submit Desktop Apps to the Windows Store X X X
Create Account with SSN (US only) X If registered as Individual
Create Account with EIN (US only) X If registered as Company X

One other thing to note is that Individual Accounts cannot use the following “app capabilities.”

Reference: Publishing your app to the StoreRead more