GDK Build

Is there any planned/existing support for MonoGame GDK packaging? Targeting Xbox Series / Xbox One, specifically (GDKX).

Do you mean Native C/C++ compilation?

That is part of the developer stuff once registered, I cannot remember how you gain access to it though… if it is, you can @ Tom Spilman for advice or search the forum for it…

Honestly, not really sure. Either some sort of native compilation, a C# wrapper for GDKX, etc. Presumably the same as however the XDK packaging worked. We have poked around the forums and such but haven’t found anything definitive (only a few posts saying to ask Tom about it personally). We are ID@Xbox members, but could only find Unity-related (Unity XDK or GDKX plugins, etc) downloads within the NDA downloads (along with just the normal XDK/GDK stuff). Over the last couple years I’ve attempted to contact @Tom a few times (via DMs here, Twitter, and email, if memory serves), but haven’t heard back. Presumably he’s quite busy, or maybe we’ve just been trying to reach out in the wrong channels or some such.

We were pursuing an XDK build back when launching Muffed on Xbox, but were unable to get access/guidance, so we ended up having to build via the UWP packaging (the way you would for the self-publishing titles). Doing so came with a lot of headaches: limiting to 4GB ram, deployment stuff was quite finicky, etc. The worst by far being the giant UWP-mandatory “Permission Needed” popup (which we didn’t know about prior to release), that led to us being review bombed at launch. Luckily, we were able to contact those users and add a bit of “this isn’t us” messaging and what not to eventually remedy the review bombing (those users updated their reviews), but really the damage had been done (and still is for any new user to a large degree - since all we can do is hope they can see a message behind the popup that says “Muffed doesn’t collect user data” with a link to our docs about it).

At any rate, given this experience, it’s obviously a pretty undesirable way to package future Xbox games, and packaging via XDK is sort of a moot point now, so we’re now looking to see if GDKX is a choice for MonoGame packaging and how we’d go about getting access to it.

Not sure what ‘pop-up’ is being referred to, your docs page is as helpful as the title implies, vague…

What is the exact request being made?

I smell a ‘check boxes not being unchecked’ scenario…

Either that or the VOCs from the decking I spent all day oiling…

If you can, try to not write a wall of text, that would be helpful too.

Sorry, I guess I didn’t consider this really needing to explain the situation outside of the context of those that had been exposed to it. The pop-up looks like this (pic below), and appears when the game is run until the user selects “Yes” (accepts the terms).


More explanation on how we tried to deal with this, if interested: The black that appears at the top and bottom of the popup (at least on a 1080p display) is a semi-tranparent black over the game screen (maybe 80% opacity or so). So when the game first loads we render the text “Muffed does NOT collect user data. More Info: https://muffed.kelsam.net/xbox” in bold white text there in hopes that those that see this popup and are concerned about it can also see that message above it (albeit, faintly) and will check out that docs page to gain some confidence that we’re not farming user data or whatever else.

To get access to a GDKX build option (and/or a basic guide on what is necessary to setup a project targeting GDKX). Is that what you mean?

We had thought that at first too, but found no such setting in Partner Center (where you manage your Xbox titles). We contacted our ID@Xbox account managers and dev support team about it, and they told us the pop-up is mandatory for UWP packaged games. They were really nice about it, even saying we could blame them in our docs page and what not, but essentially said there was nothing they could do to get rid of it as long as Muffed is a UWP build. It may be a new-ish policy, not sure. Muffed was our first Xbox release (April 2021).

Sorry for this. I tend to overcommunicate in these kinds of scenarios in an effort to provide as much hopefully-helpful context as possible (in this case, talking about our experience with UWP to explain the reason we want to move to GDKX builds, since without it the obvious answer here is “just target UWP, it easier and doesn’t require anything special”).

Have you, or for that matter, your users read the message beyond the title?

Have you ever played an XBLive game? have you tried, I dunno, playing an official XBOX game?

I can see why you have been ignored by all channels…

Long story short, Tell your users to read the message and move on with their lives… the same goes for you.

If you want to remove the message, remove XBLive from your game.

I’m really not sure what information you’re building these assumptions from.

We play MANY Xbox games, and have never seen this notice outside of XBLIG/Creators Program releases.

The Xbox Live features we have integrated are mandatory for ID@Xbox certification (you cannot release a game on Xbox without certain things like user sign-in, etc). So removing it is not an option.

We take the business side of our work very seriously. We have all the legal resources necessary for our projects (EULAs, privacy policies, etc). We credit everything we use that we didn’t personally create, even down to CC0 sound effects and .NET itself.

We’re not trying to circumvent anything legal-wise, only bad UX. ID@Xbox has told us there is nothing about Muffed specifically that requires this notice/pop-up, and that it would be removed if it were not UWP-packaged. This pop-up causes real-world problems between us and our customers (or potential customers). Thus, we are trying to find ways for our future games to not be UWP-packaged, and still be able to use MonoGame.

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That’s ok then, continue as you were :sake:

Is there any planned/existing support for MonoGame GDK packaging? Targeting Xbox Series / Xbox One, specifically (GDKX).

I’m interested in this as well. I’m still targeting the Creators Program at the moment but I’m looking to transition to the ID@Xbox program in the future.

It may be a new-ish policy, not sure. Muffed was our first Xbox release (April 2021).

I think this has always occurred for UWP builds. It was there when I started releasing UWP games on Xbox in June 2018.

Simply showing the gamertag (which is a store requirement for the Creators Program) is enough for the pop up to occur for UWP games.

After reading store reviews for many UWP games over the years it is clear the pop up leads players to inaccurately believe the game is requesting more permissions and accessing more data than is normal as they do not see this screen for the majority of games they play (as most Xbox games are not UWP builds).

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We have plans for GDK support on PC builds of MG that will share some code with the Xbox builds of MG. Just nothing to share yet.

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Really wish I knew how to contribute code wise to move things forward, but it is way above my experience level, that, and an uncomplicated guide on how to help would not go amiss…

[Something more than just look at the GitHub code and make a pull request]

Alternatively, we need a push for some sort of fund or find some kind of fund that supports coding projects with no demands in return or expectation of ROI, some kind of funding evangelists who appreciate community efforts for things like this…

Hmm…