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A quick overview of how awesome our app has become

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First off, our apologies for not updating this blog recently. We've been quite busy, and we'll be posting regular updates showcasing what's new again. We have a twitter bot that highlights some of the changes we've been making.

Except a re-cap post for website updates that haven't made it to the blog yet in the near future.

For now, lets take a look at the itch.io desktop app: itch. You can download it here.

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In case you weren't aware, we provide a desktop application for installing and managing games from itch.io. Unlike other game stores, it's completely optional. Many people download games in their browser, and we'll always continue to support that, but we encourage everyone to use the app because it provides things the browser doesn't: resumable downloads, automatic updates, automatic install of dependencies, and reduced download sizes with game patching.

The last we wrote about the app in this blog we were at version 18. We've just launched version 23.1.0.

The past year has shown us a lot of new adoption: close to 200 thousand games are now being downloaded per month by app users. Nearly 100 thousand users on itch.io have installed the app.

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What's new

An updated home screen. The app augments the website by embedding it and adding additional options and alternate layouts where appropriate. The new home screen looks like our homepage, but a bit more streamlined. Additionally, only games available on your current platform show. (The app supports all three platforms BTW, now's a great time to get into gaming on Linux!)

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Prerequisite installation. Game developers on itch.io use all kinds of technologies to build their games. Sometimes these tools come with additional dependencies and managing them can be a pain. The itch.io app now will automatically install Microsoft C++ Redistributable where necessary, and we'll be able to support new dependencies with ease.

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Roll back to previous builds. Games that takes advantage of itch.io's refinery toolset tend to get frequent updates. Sometimes an update might not do exactly what was intended, so it's now possible to roll back to a previous build of the game. (And don't forget to report the bug on the game's message board, okay?)

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App manifests allow game developers to provide additional information about how their game runs. Although the built in heuristics will generally pick the right executable, we recommend a manifest file for custom configuration or if multiple executables are bundled with a game. Learn more about manifest files.

UI and performance upgrades. Various parts of the app have been rewritten to provide a much better user experience, along with less errors and more speed. Larger game libraries no longer slow down browsing. More browser games, like Twine games, now work perfectly when downloaded and played offline. Game patching is significantly more reliable, and many bugs and feature requests have been addressed.

You will now automatically be logged into your itch.io account in the app's browser when logging into the app. The app also now respects your two factor authentication settings.

Build notifications for developers. When pushing a new build of a game, developers will now receive an notification when then patch is ready to be distributed to everyone running the app.

Looking forward

We see the app as a core part of the itch.io experience. We will continue to push the app forward with new functionality and better integration for developers. We look forward to some of the new features coming very soon:

  • A brand new optimized patching system. Expect significantly reduced patch sizes
  • A better updater and installer for the app itself. We'll be using the same technology we used to distribute games to distribute the app and its updates

Follow the development

The app and all the tools around it are completely opensource. You can follow development, and even contribute yourself:

Thanks and enjoy!

What is itch.io?

itch.io is an open marketplace for independent game creators. It's completely free to upload your content. Read more about what we're trying to accomplish and the features we provide.

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