Alright, in my last blog post, I showed you how to get your Windows 8 store package from your Gamemaker game. Now, I will show you how to take that package and publish it to the Windows 8 Store. To get started, go ahead and go to the Windows 8 Dev Center page in your browser. Now click on the Dashboard button in the top left. If you are prompted to login, go ahead and do so, and when you get to your dashboard, you should see something similar to this.
If you followed my previous blog post and already have your app name reserved, then you should see your app listed under “Apps in Progress”. Since you have already reserved your app name, go ahead and click on edit for your project, and you can skip down to step 2.
If you did not follow the previous post and have not already reserved an app name, go ahead and click on submit app, and it should take you to this page.
1. App Name
The first step here is to reserve the App Name for your app or game, so that no one else can take it. Go ahead and click on App Name and fill in your name at the next screen, shown below. I am just going to call mine Dummy App. If you are having trouble coming up with an app name, see this post by a fellow Technical Evangelist, http://thebitchwhocodes.com/2013/09/05/developers-guide-to-marketing-an-app-how-to-name-an-application/.
Go ahead and click “Reserve App Name” when you are ready, and then click save.
2. Selling Details
First thing we will do here is decide on our app’s price tier, whether or not it is free or paid. I am just going to select free for now, but this is up to you.
Next, we have to decide on which markets we want to put our app in. The simple answer here it to put them in all markets so that you will target the most amount of people. However, one thing to note if you are submitting a game to Korea, South Africa, Brazil, Taiwan, and Russia is that you are required to submit a Rating Certificate (as you will see later on). Getting the Rating Certificates for these countries is not too difficult, but I will not cover that part here. You can find more information on game ratings here, but for now I will just skip those countries. Therefore, I am going to click “Select All”, and then deselect the five countries I mentioned above. You can see in the following screenshot, that Brazil and Korea are deselected from the list.
And then Taiwan, South African, and Russia are deselected here.
Next we need to declare what kind of app we are submitting. I am going to choose category Game and then Subcategory Arcade, but choose according to your specific game.
We then have the ability to alter some of the hardware requirement, but I am just going to leave it at “Available to all Systems”. So after you have declared the category for your app, you can scroll down and click Save.
This is where you can choose to incorporate Windows Azure Mobile Services in your game. I am not going to cover any of that today, so you can scroll down and click Save.
4. Age Rating
Here is where we get into some of the details behind the game ratings that I mentioned earlier. First you can choose what Age Group your app is suitable for (3+, 7+,12+, etc.) 12+ is usually the safest bet here.
When you scroll down, you can see where you can add the Rating Certificates that I mentioned before. There are the 5 markets that require them (Korea, South Africa, Brazil, Taiwan, Russia) and then the rest are optional. Since I choose to exclude those 5 required markets, I can just scroll down and click save, but if you choose to get the certificates then you can upload them on this page.
This section is very simple. It just asks you whether or not your app uses cryptography or encryption. Since, mine doesn’t I will check No and check the confirmation statement, then click Save.
Alright, this is where we get to actually upload the package that we created in the previous blog post. It’s pretty simple, click “Browse to Files”, and browse to your .appxupload file for your app. It will take a couple of seconds for it to be verified, and then you can click Save.
Here is where you can make your app sound and look compelling to potential downloaders with a description, features, keywords, screenshots, and promotional images. Your screenshots must be must be a .png file that is at least 1366 x 768 or 768 x 1366 pixels and is not larger than 2 MB. Also, make sure you fill in the captions for each screenshot you upload.
Fill in the information accordingly, but the following screenshots show the information you can input with required inputs marked by a red asterisk.
Once you are done with that go ahead and click Save.
8. Note to Testers
This section is very simple. You can give special instructions to the testers of your app. For instance, a test login account if login is requirements, or to let them know of features that might not be obvious, etc. Once you are done, you can click Save again,
Once you have all 8 of those sections check marked, you can click on Submit for Certification and let the certification process begin. It might be a few days before you get the final notice from the store, so give it time.
CONGRATULATIONS. You just submitted your Windows 8 app. If this was your first time, you might have thought this was sort of tricky, but trust me, after you do it the first time, the next times are a breeze. Comment below with any suggestions or questions!