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Create a GDF file

Age ratings are required for some apps, typically games, in certain markets. If you want to submit ratings to the Windows Store for your app, you must provide the ratings information in an XML-formatted data file called a Game Definition File (GDF). Here, we walk you through creating and uploading the ratings XML data.

Important   The Windows Store displays only those ratings specified in the language resource instance identified as Neutral (NEU) in the GDF.

Creating a GDF file for your project

  1. Start the Game Definition File Maker tool by running GDFMAKER.EXE from the %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Kits\8.0\bin\x86 directory. You will see this default screen when it starts.

    Main window of the Game Definition File Maker tool

  2. On the File menu, click New Project to create a new GDFMAKER project for your game.
  3. Type a project name and project location in the New Game Definition Project dialog box. (Choose a folder location that is different from your Visual Studio app project.) Note that the Windows Store does not require you to select any additional languages; it only uses the ratings in the Language Neutral data that is created for each game project by default. Do not select any additional languages.
  4. When the project is created, you will see a screen that looks like this one.
    Note   The Game ID value is a unique GUID generated for each project, and will not be the same as the one seen in the screenshot.

    The Game Definition File Maker tool with a newly created project

  5. Click the Language Neutral option on the left-hand side of the application window under Localization Information.

    Localization Information area in the Game Definition File Maker tool

  6. Clear the Use Windows Experience Index check box.
  7. Click the Play Tasks tab, and then click the Add button to add a Play Task.

    Play Tasks tab in the Game Definition File Maker tool

    In the Play Task dialog box, accept all defaults and type the name of your game in the Path field. (For Windows Store apps, Windows doesn't use the data entered in this dialog box, but for the Game Definition File Maker tool, you must specify at least one play task per game localization to save your GDF file.)

    Play Task dialog box in the Game Definition File Maker tool

  8. For each Rating system your game supports, click the Add button under Game Rating Information section to bring up the Add Rating dialog box.

    Game Rating Information area in the Game Definition File Maker tool

  9. In this dialog box, click the rating system, rating, and ratings descriptors as certified by that ratings agency. (For further information on game ratings, read Obtaining a game rating certificate.)

    Add Ratings dialog box in the Game Definition File Maker tool

  10. On the Resources menu, click Build Script for Project. This generates a directory for each language you support, which in this case is NEU, as well as an .RC file and an .H file. However, only the XML file found in the NEU subfolder is required.

This process leaves many of the fields in the Game Definition File Maker tool blank. This is expected for a Windows Store app, because the Windows Parental Control system uses no fields other than Game Rating Information.

Uploading to the Windows Store

Once you create your GDF XML file, go to the Release Anchor for your app on your Windows Store dashboard and find the Age rating and rating certificates page. Go to the Game definition file section and upload the XML file created by GDFMaker.

Related topics

Windows game publishing requirements
Age ratings and rating boards



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