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Games explorer missing shortcut customize option RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • The ability to customize shortcuts that is in vista was very useful for launching games with different command line arguments. In most areas of windows 7 the UI has been made more streamlined allowing users to achieve tasks shorter, except for the games explorer which takes a step backwards in that respect. I know you can still accomplish this by navigating to the directory where the shortcuts are located and creating your own, but this is not quick/efficient or easy for some users. I hope this feature makes it into the final version ;) .
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009 8:46 AM

All replies

  • This would be nice, a games folder that could be used for games.
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009 3:20 PM
  • Game Explorer is a great idea, but it needs a huge overhaul in order to be really useful.

    I use Valve softwear's Steam platform for most of my games, and currently have 42 games installed through it.
    In Vista, five of these games appeared in Game Explorer, but none of the shortcuts would work (as Steam games use "steam.exe -applaunch whatever" rather than the game's executable). In 7, none of them appear at all.

    I really want to use and enjoy the Game Explorer, but right now, for me, it just doesn't work.
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009 8:11 PM
  • Akame-san said:

    In Vista, five of these games appeared in Game Explorer, but none of the shortcuts would work (as Steam games use "steam.exe -applaunch whatever" rather than the game's executable).


    In vista you can change the shortcut  to add "steam.exe -applaunch whatever" through the customize option which is missing in windows 7. As for adding games that do not show in games explorer just drag and drop the executable into games explorer and it will create a shortcut for you. For steam of course you will need to navigate to where that shortcut is located and change the command line arguments since we do not have the customize option anymore.
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 1:43 AM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    Thank you for your suggestions. I will forward it to our feedback team.

     

    J

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:22 AM
  • All it would need would be an "add game" button under Options, which would then allow you to browse to your games actual executable file. Would definitely add usefulness to the Games folder, as right now there's really no need for it when having to go the "old fashioned" way of desktop shortcuts or the Programs list. 
    Monday, April 6, 2009 12:35 AM
  • I concur. I knew that some of my games weren't correctly added to the games folder but I still liked using it Vista. Now I tried to get some of my games working in w7 and to my surprise I couldn't find a way to change the settings in the games folder. As an example doesn't call of duty 5 work on w7 with its default settings in the games folder as it needs to run as admin, at least at the moment. I spent almost half an hour trying to figure out how the change the setting for my games in the games folder eventualy I had to accept that it doesn't exist. The only workaround I found was to set the actual exe file to run as admin. So far this is the only bad thing I have found in w7 and surely hope it is fixed.

    Monday, May 11, 2009 10:51 PM
  • I just went into Games Explorer and found that the customize option was missing.  WTH?  This is a seriously stupid move.  I don't know a single gamer out there that *doesn't* need to right click on the game at some point and either change the Target field to run optional command line settings or to run an older game in compatibility mode.

    Dumb dumb dumb.

    Please put this back in as soon as possible.
    Thursday, August 13, 2009 5:05 AM
  • I just went into Games Explorer and found that the customize option was missing.  WTH?  This is a seriously stupid move.  I don't know a single gamer out there that *doesn't* need to right click on the game at some point and either change the Target field to run optional command line settings or to run an older game in compatibility mode.

    Dumb dumb dumb.

    Please put this back in as soon as possible.

    I agree 100% this was one of the most useful features of the entire game explorer and now we get set back to manually going into hash named directories and messing with shortcuts? Come on... I don't care if 'market research' said you didn't need it, it was an extremely useful feature and I must admit I'm pretty irritated a good idea like that would be removed.
    Monday, September 14, 2009 11:41 PM
  • Yes, please return the functionality of games explorer that was in Vista, the loss of the cutomization has effectivly made games explorer useless for me in windows 7. I'm using the professional version.
    Saturday, October 24, 2009 8:19 PM
  • So far Win 7 has worked as it should, but there are some things that dont and this is one of them. I used the customize option to add my rcon log in for the servers I use. There are numerous reasons to use it, so I hope they add it back in, and we don't have to wait until a service pack for it to happen. Also as far as dragging steam shortcuts to the games folder, all the icons appear as the Steam icon.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:53 PM
  • MS removing what was without a doubt the most useful (and most needed too with some games) feature of the Games Explorer -- the shortcuts customization -- is puzzling me. Indeed, this feature was already implemented, worked correctly thus did not require any additional development time so why remove it? It's like having a new version of a software that would be actually less evolved than the previous one. Because it's exactly what the *new* Games Explorer is proposing: a gigantic step in the wrong direction. Windows 7 Games Explorer in its current state is totally pointless to me. In Vista, the customization feature was saving it from being completely useless. In Seven it doesn't even have this excuse anymore.

    The customization in Windows 7 Games Explorer should be restored the way it was in Vista. We're not even suggesting an improvement since the previous version was already *improved* compared to the new one.


    Friday, October 30, 2009 7:56 PM
  • This feature does not seem like a difficult addition, which shouldn't have been removed in the first place. Please add it back because this is causing me pain and frustration. Certain games require target commands such as Battlefield 2142 to run widescreen and there is no way to add this in windows 7. The only way is manually editing the files associated with the games folder, and this is primitive and frustrating trying to get it to work.

    I am extremely disappointed with Game Explorer especially since Windows 7 is suppose to bring many gaming enhancements such as DirectX 11, better performance and system requirements in the explorer. Please bring back customization.
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 11:48 PM
  • I agree. Bring back customization
    Monday, November 16, 2009 6:49 AM
  • Costomisation is not only missing feature.

    For example i never saw any game (ene those with GDF registered during installation) showed me "SAVEGAME FOLDER".

    Why the heck this was removed? I am game developer and created GDFs for the games , and no one of registered GDFs  of that games showed SAVEGAME FOLDER in context menu, even if it was defined in GDF!

    It was very usefull feature, especially when u like to transfer saves from PC to LAPTOP and back with few clicks or when u test games during development and switching from one OS\Configuration to another.

    Now in damn Win 7 i need manualy search for save folders in old fashion way (((

    This should be restored too.

    Another thing that is missing - Description of game. Well its not missing, its just appears when Mouse Over for few seconds, and this isnt comfortable, i liked it in old Vista way.

    One more bad thing about Win 7 downgrade of Game explorer - i cant add (via GDF ofcoz which require compilation in Visual C++) and see more than 2 Shortcuts, in Vista it was 4 shortcuts.
    So basicly i can add now (via GDF, since manual way removed (( ) only DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 executables (index 0 and index 1), and if i add for example Editor and configuration tool as Index 2 and 3 they just not appears in list of context menu !! I dont know maybe its a bug, because i cant believe MS just limited that to 2 1st  Launch\File indexes in GDF!
    As about URL shortcuts im not sure if they limited to 2 as File shortcuts, because i never added more than 2 URL shorcuts into my GDFs, but probably its limited now too.

    Oh and most important thing i forget {LISTEN EVERYONE, ESPECIALY MS REPRESENTATIVES} :

    If u created any shortcut outside of Game explorer lets say for example for some game.exe that have crappy\ugly 32x32 or 48x48 icon, than u customised Icon of that shortcut via shorcut Properties (thx god this new generation of casual noobish Marketing stuff of MS didnt decided that this feature is useless and we still have it) and added shiny cool 256x256 icon.

    Ok we have now cool 256x256 icon on that shortcut on desktop, now lets try to drag n drop it to Win 7 Game explorer!
    Ooops??? Game explorer ignores Our customised 256x256 icon and shows only ugly 32x32 icon that WGE reads directly from exe!

    Want another example? Ok Just run your steam (im sure anyone have it), select any game from list, lets say LEFT 4 DEAD 2 and use Steam's feature "Create Desktop shortcut".
    Ok we got now Shortcut on destop with cool L4D2 icon.

     But as u know all steam protected games laucnhed via command line argument passed to steam.exe, so no matter which game u select, all shortcuts would point to steam.exe with different game id in arument like that "C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\Steam.exe" -applaunch 550 .

    Now lets put that shortcut ot Win 7 Game Explorer - oooooops, wtf again? Instead of L4D2 icon we have Steam.exe default icon!

    Now lets put 10 more Steam games - OMG all the games have Steam ICONS!!! Thats ugly and usability is broken (what was designers of WIN 7 thinking about?), now i need to read names to recognise which shortcut point to which game((

    Win 7 game explorer only uses MAIN ICON that it read directly from EXE, and its absolutely ignores any predefined icon + removed customisation metioned above = Ugly and uncomfortable WGE, which no one use anymore!

    Really Microsoft, just take a survey and u will see that most of us, who used Windows Game Explorer in Vista and put there all Game icons from desktop, now dont use WGE and forced to keep all games shortcuts back on Desktop.

    WGE in Win 7 IS FAIL! The only option for MS is to RESTORE ABSOLUTELY ALL FEATURES OF GAME EXPLORER THAT WAS PRESENT IN VISTA and present it as update, otherwise its useless, even for games shiped with GDF (since half of features striped).


    Voodooman
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 6:22 PM
  • WGE in Win 7 IS FAIL! The only option for MS is to RESTORE ABSOLUTELY ALL FEATURES OF GAME EXPLORER THAT WAS PRESENT IN VISTA and present it as update, otherwise its useless, even for games shiped with GDF (since half of features striped).


    Voodooman

    I couldn't agree more.  Is there a way to even re-enable this via a reg hack?  Gotta wonder who the genius was that decided to remove the only useful feature that Windows Vista had.
    Friday, December 25, 2009 4:11 AM
  • This really is annoying. I had all custom boxart showing in vista via the game explorer editing programs available.

    Now I'm stuck with ugly default icons, some boxart, or generic steam icons. Plus no ability to add launch commands etc.

    I'm loving Win 7, but you really screwed up games explorer.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:27 PM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    Thank you for your suggestions. I will forward it to our feedback team.

     

    J


    Well, after all this time, I'm assuming they just decided to ignore it.

    Amazes me how they marketed Windows 7 as the "Gaming OS", yet ignore the gamers. Now that I think about it, all these "It was my idea" commercials show nothing but ordinary users who don't go past "Oh, it's pretty and has e-mail". Like the commercial where the woman proclaims "how nice it is to be able to run multiple programs at once because she couldn't do that before", when I ( and 99% of other windows users ) managed to run multiple programs at once in every Windows OS. Not one commercial with a gamer explaining why Windows 7 is built for games and that gaming on Windows 7 was "his idea". Maybe because it would be a five second commercial. Or maybe because noone wants to admit it was their idea.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 8:34 PM
  • I agree.

    Please restore the functionality from the Vista game explorer.  It was my favorite Vista feature.  The Game Explorer is not worth using if it does not list ALL of your games.  That's the point isn't it?  I guess I'll have to use a folder full of shortcuts or the Steam launcher. 

    I'm running out of reasons to stick with Windows.
    Monday, January 18, 2010 7:55 PM
  • Well, since the topic is Games Explorer, it's not like you'd have a whole lot of options for games with the Mac OS.  And WINE on Linux is "Fischer Price" (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't) at best.  So...what other options for games do you have?  I suppose you could buy a console.
    Monday, January 18, 2010 9:34 PM
  • There is a workaround that I can offer that I discovered as follows:
    1. Use VGEE (google it if you dont have it - and read NOTE below) to delete any games that need adjusting from Games Explorer
    2. Create a shortcut to your game in the Games folder (the one off the start menu - NOT the one in games explorer).
    3. Modify the attributes as needed, including launch parameters within the command line.
    4. Copy and Paste this link into your Games Explorer

    NOTE: VGEE is only partially capable of modifying items in Windows 7 games explorer at this time.  It has been my experience that you cannot set a command line string with VGEE and attempting to modify an item within games explorer after using the above procedures will certainly remove any attributes that you set in the command line.  If you want to use VGEE to modify and item in games explorer or add box art, etc. you should only do so on items that do not require any additional attributes set in the command line.  In these cases VGEE will work as advertised.

    At this point, if you have the know how, you can add your box art, etc. using registry hacks but this method is an easy and certain way to get the command line parameters set the way you need them.

    Another alternative for those who really want a workout you can download the GDFMaker which is availailable within the latest Direct X SDK.  This will allow you to set all the attributes for an item and post it to the games explorer by basically making a simple (simple being a relative term) installer package.
    Friday, January 29, 2010 5:10 PM
  • VGEE doesn't really help with this situation. For example, in Vista, you could add a second shortcut to start in DX9 mode, or DX10 mode, or other customizations. VGEE doesn't give this back, only allows modifications to the main command line. Games explorer in Windows 7 has become completely useless. The games update feature that was added, never seems to actually do anything either, it just says update check complete, I've never seen it actually find an update, nor does it give any kinda of useful feedback. They took away the most useful feature, and put something completely useless in it's place.
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 1:12 AM
  • Agreed.  The game update feature is useless.  I've never once seen it do anything.  You can still add your own shortcuts quite easily though.  But not being able to customize every icon in the Games Explorer is really crippling it, in my opinion.  Not only that, but from what I can see there is no way to just remove Games Explorer entirely (without some third part software or by performing major surgery).  Its there with its useless functions whether you want it or not.

    I've also noticed that setting Games Explorer to Menu rather than Link on the Start menu can cause it to not pick up on a newly installed game right away.  Sometimes, not always, you have to right-click and select Open in order for it to detect the game.  I never had this problem in Vista (I'm not saying Vista was better than Win 7 by *any means*).  I always set mine to menu because I don't want yet another window open in the background when I'm gaming...I have enough gargage going on without that.
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 1:19 AM
  • There is a workaround that I can offer that I discovered as follows:
    1. Use VGEE (google it if you dont have it - and read NOTE below) to delete any games that need adjusting from Games Explorer
    2. Create a shortcut to your game in the Games folder (the one off the start menu - NOT the one in games explorer).
    3. Modify the attributes as needed, including launch parameters within the command line.
    4. Copy and Paste this link into your Games Explorer

    NOTE: VGEE is only partially capable of modifying items in Windows 7 games explorer at this time.  It has been my experience that you cannot set a command line string with VGEE and attempting to modify an item within games explorer after using the above procedures will certainly remove any attributes that you set in the command line.  If you want to use VGEE to modify and item in games explorer or add box art, etc. you should only do so on items that do not require any additional attributes set in the command line.  In these cases VGEE will work as advertised.

    At this point, if you have the know how, you can add your box art, etc. using registry hacks but this method is an easy and certain way to get the command line parameters set the way you need them.

    Another alternative for those who really want a workout you can download the GDFMaker which is availailable within the latest Direct X SDK.  This will allow you to set all the attributes for an item and post it to the games explorer by basically making a simple (simple being a relative term) installer package.
    This only works for .exe files.

    Is there a way to get this to work for say, .bat files?

    For example:
    I have Age of Empires II/The Conquerors Expansion installed on my PC. There were some color issues with the game. I also had issues with my PC freezing when the game would load.  I suspect it was a scaling issue, but I'm no expert on this..

    Anyway, I created a batch file that would close explorer.exe and launch the Age of Empires II .exe, and upon closing the game, explorer.exe would start up again. This fixed the color issues and so far I haven't had my PC freeze up.
    (source: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistagaming/thread/a1763d12-11e2-498f-9b23-122792b14f74 )

    So I created shortcuts to these batch files in the Games Explorer folder. I would like to add the box art, genre of game, etc. But VGEE only opens .exe files.

    edit:
    nvm, I got it to work.
    In the App Path, browse field, I simply added the location of my batch file manually, instead of hitting the "browse" button.

    The exact way I went about this, in more detail, is (in case anyone else is wondering):
    I created a shortcut of my .bat files in Start Menu> Programs> Games

    On loading Vista Game Explorer and picking "Load Game Information" the batch file shortcuts wouldn't show up, so I exited Vista Game Explorer Editor. Then I dragged the shortcuts I created of my .bat files into the Games Explorer folder.

    Then when I went to Load Game Information from Vista Game Explorer Editor, I saw my shortcuts. Hit edit, and the rest is straight forward. Hit Update Game Info, etc.
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:24 PM
  • Microsoft does not get that games need to be launched with parameters or switches and compatibility options. GIVE US BACK THE DAMN CUSTOMIZATION. WILL 7 SP1 FIX THIS OR NOT?
    Monday, June 28, 2010 7:32 AM
  • I consider myself a "late adopter" of new Windows features. Probably I'm too used to old OS work-modes, like WinNT, or XP. However, it is until today that I found that the Customize feature is missing AND it was a GREAT addition to the Windows mix.

    Please consider it putting it back. This is because we, gamers, usually configure so many game start options in command lines that are otherwise very difficult to set into registry lines.

    That's a customer oriented feature that eases our lives and brings satisfaction.

    Monday, August 2, 2010 5:08 PM