New this build: support for Windows 10 Universal apps, a new Construct 2 splash loader style, and the usual batch of bug fixes and tweaks. We've also decided to remove the experimental front-to-back renderer introduced in r207.
Export Windows 10 Universal apps
This release introduces support for exporting Windows 10 Universal apps, which can run on Windows 10 PC, tablet and mobile devices using the new Microsoft Edge browser engine. Edge has considerable performance improvements over IE11 and adds new features like Web Audio, gamepads support, and camera/microphone input with User Media. When running on a PC, Windows 10 Universal apps have the considerable advantage of now also being able to run windowed on the desktop like a traditional desktop app. Windows 8.1 Universal apps previously would only run in the tablet style fullscreen mode. This makes publishing a Windows 10 Universal app an interesting alternative to publishing with NW.js on Windows 10+.
Like the other Windows Store exporters, exporting for Windows 10 generates a Visual Studio 2015 project. To test it, you'll need to have joined the Windows Insider program, installed Windows 10 (and made sure it's up to date to the latest preview), and downloaded and installed Visual Studio 2015 RC. Then you should be able to open the exported project and test it! Remember this exporter is a first beta release so please report any issues to the Bugs forum following all the guidelines.
Note that exporting for Windows 10 is not available in the free edition. For licensed users, it's interesting to note that Microsoft have been hinting that Windows 10 Universal apps might be able to run on the Xbox One. If that becomes possible - and we must be cautious since Microsoft have not confirmed precisely how this works (it could be expensive/limited/only available to certain publishers), or when it could happen - then hopefully the existing Windows 10 export feature covers that. If not, rest assured we will make any necessary changes as soon as possible!
New 'Construct 2 splash' loader style
There is a new loader style in Project Properties called Construct 2 splash, designed by our artist Paulo Ricardo Reinehr. This shows a "Powered by Construct 2" style screen which looks like this. It's mobile-optimised and adapts to any size screen or aspect ratio. Projects published with the Free edition are required to use it, but licensed users can still change the loader style (or opt-in to use it if you want to help promote Construct 2).
Removed front-to-back renderer
The experimental front-to-back renderer in r207 was an interesting idea, but did not seem to work out in practice. We asked for feedback on the forum and there wasn't much good news. In some cases it could produce some measurable performance improvements, but it had a raft of problems: some devices ran far slower, some browsers didn't support it properly, in some cases it caused severe display glitches, and some users even reported it crashing the entire device forcing a reboot. A performance improvement isn't worth these other consequences, so we've decided to remove it for now. We might try to address this in future with a new implementation, but it would probably require some degree of rearchitecting and coming up with a new approach, and it doesn't look like it's worth the work right now.