Like many other services, GOG is preparing its vast library of games, alongside its GOG Galaxy client, for the upcoming Windows 10 operating system. GOG, a site providing a wide variety of DRM-free games from classic titles like Deus Ex to today's popular games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, launched in 2008, so it has seen its share of OS changes, starting with Windows 7. Still, there's a heap of work to be done internally, but the company said that it's made satisfactory progress with a few minor issues. The overall goal of the project is to make sure that its entire list of games will be playable on the new operating system.
So far, the most noticeable difference in the new operating system is its compatibility layers. The tech team said that it's better than Windows 8's performance when that OS came out, but it's too early to tell if it's actually a better system than past iterations. However, that doesn't mean the GOG team can stray too far from its normal process of working with a new Windows system.
"In our case, preparing for a new operating system involves three stages: evaluation, investigation, and finally the fixes," the company said. "At the end of this process we can determine whether a game is good to go, in need of further work, or in a few sad cases -- a lost cause (at least for now)."
The first phase involves "smoke testing," which sees the entire catalog of nearly 1,200 games, launched via the company's new GOG Galaxy client, as well as via traditional installer programs. Each game is then tested using the team's own methods.
"When we finish the initial smoke tests, our QA and Tech teams start re-checking and thoroughly investigating all the games that had problems. In the end, we're able to decide which games are compatible with Windows 10 and which are not (either at all, or without further work from our Tech team) based on the severity of the reported issues," a company representative added.
There are obviously various problems that arise during each check, but the team encountered two main issues. For one, games utilizing the Windows Multimedia API, or WindowsMM wrapper, in conjunction with CD audio, don't work from time to time because the game will not connect to its Windows Media library. GOG said that the fault is on Microsoft's end and that the bug should be fixed in time for the Windows 10 launch. In the meantime, the team created a custom fix if the bug persists after launch.
The other problem involves the DirectDraw API, the software used to support hardware accelerated 2D graphics.
"Some games face serious performance problems most likely resulting from imperfect DirectDraw backwards compatibility in Windows 10," we were told. "In some cases, using a custom DirectDraw wrapper helps, but this is a major issue that also broke compatibility with a lot of our games on Windows 8."
There are bugs similar to the game not connecting to its Windows Media library, and GOG said that Microsoft will have most of the bugs squashed before launch. However, there is always a possibility that new problems will arise when Windows 10 is finally installed on your computer.
GOG said that its preparation for Windows 10 is only half of the work. The company will continue to create fixes and investigate incompatibility issues after July 29 until all of the games in its catalog play nicely with the new operating system.