Today, I finally got my first Windows 8 app into the marketplace. It was certainly not for a lack of trying, however. I actually failed my first FIVE attempts, but I chalk most of that up to inexperience more than anything else. This post is meant to shed some light on the issues I faced, so that you might be lucky enough to avoid them.
1. Use the WACK (Windows App Certification Kit)
The first time I was denied, most of it was completely avoidable. There is an amazing tool called the WACK (Windows App Certification Kit) baked in to Visual Studio 2012 that will analyze your app package for all of the computer-verifiable issues your app may have. This includes things like:
- Forgetting to provide all of the appropriate icons.
- Accurately checking your capabilities vs. functionality.
- Performance metrics.
- Many more (the entire list can be found here.)
2. Don’t advertise outside of your app.
In my Settings charm menu, I included an About page. On this about page, I included a way to get a hold of me if you have comments, suggestions, requests, or discover a bug. I also included a mention that this same app exists in the Windows Phone marketplace, if you’re interested in that.
THIS IS APPARENTLY A BIG NO-NO.
2.3 Your app must not use its description, tiles, notifications, app bar, or the swipe-from-edge interactions to display ads
The elements of your app's description, such as screenshots, text, and promotional images must describe your app and not contain additional advertising.
This means that you cannot provide links to your other apps, because this is considered “advertising,” which I guess in its truest definition is accurate.
3. Be prepared for the challenge that Taiwan, South Africa, Korea, and Brazil will present.
More accurately, those four countries require a game to have an age rating verification, and the Windows Store doesn’t do a great job of warning you about this before you submit your app. (They also don't offer any guidance on how to accomplish it.) On one screen, you have the ability to choose from well over 80 countries.
On a completely separate screen related to game ratings, they subtly mention that there are four countries that require a game rating:
If you don’t put two and two together to make four, you’ll likely get denied for this, so take one of two approaches here:
1) Take the time to wait for the official ratings boards to get you a certificate that verifies your rating.
2) Submit your app without these four countries initially, and then update the app to support them once you receive your ratings.
Here's where you can submit an application for each country:
Brazil - DJCTQ
Korea - GRB
South Africa - FPB
Taiwan - CSRR
So, those are my simple lessons learned from my first Windows 8 app submission. I hope to have many more in the near future, and I’ll be sure to announce them here when it happens. If you would like to check out this app I’ve made, you can check it out here:
It’s an authentic re-creation of the video poker machines you find in every casino. I’d love your feedback, your requests for more features, and especially your positive reviews.
Let me know what you think!