I'd love to get back into developing games for Windows but it just seems to be a swamp of bewildering technologies. All I want really is a way of loading a PNG and drawing it on the screen with hardware acceleration of some kind, and I want the game to run on any version of Windows and be available in some sort of App Store. I don't think that's too much to ask for!
But as far as I can tell I'd need C++ for DirectX and hope the user has the correct version of D3DX9_nn.DLL installed that I'm asking for just so I can simply load a PNG, or C# if I wanted to use Direct2D (not sure, there doesn't even seem to be a single book on Amazon on Direct2D). Should I stick to the Windows API I'm so familiar with, or learn Windows Forms or WPF? .NET? Glad I never bothered with MFC. And do I really need to make separate .exe files for a desktop and an AppStore version FFS! Using different versions of Visual Studio!?!?! I could have a look at Unity but it seems overkill for simple 2D games, or I've read up on SlimDX and SharpDX but do I want to risk committing to some technology that might go obsolete in the future?
I think whoever is in charge of this at MS should be told their number one priority is to make sure that it's a piece of piss to be able to write some simple game and the choice of technology is a no-brainer. Otherwise their AppStore is going to look like a ghost town. Oh, it does.
Rant over. Back to iOS development now for me, because Apple have made it just so easy.