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Windows Windows Defender SmartScreen alert on built games

Discussion in 'GameMaker Studio 2 Community Tech Support' started by Npmcguirk, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Npmcguirk

    Npmcguirk Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Hi GMS2 Community!

    I've recently finished up a vertical slice of a game that I want to share, and with my friends and family I've found an interesting hiccup in distribution.

    I've built and packaged the game as a zip file, and then provided the zip file for people to download. When this zip file is extracted, and the executable is launched, Windows security warns the user to not launch the executable.

    The exact message states:
    Windows protected your PC. Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.
    App: (My Game).exe
    Publisher: Unknown publisher

    I've tried looking up how to digitally sign my games for GMS2, but I haven't found anything for a few hours now. I've gone through some of the YoYo Games setup tutorials, but this hasn't alleviated the issue. Is this a known bug, a user error I've walked into, or something else entirely?

    Thank you for your time!
  2. Clemens van Brunschot

    Clemens van Brunschot Member

    Dec 28, 2018
    Hi there, @Npmcguirk. I think it is rather surprising that you did not get an answer yet.
    I am a beginner with the same question.
    So far I have learned that if you produce the ZIP package rather than the EXE your chances of getting along with your clients' Windows Defender are bigger.
    Maybe there is a way to get your app certified by Microsoft. I start looking into that: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/win_cert/windows-certification-portal.
    The Steam store works also with the ZIP package.
    The Windows Store seems to call for quite different packages.
    Have you learned more, please share with me and others here.

    EDIT: Maybe forget the certification. It is rather expensive to sign the exe file.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  3. gnysek

    gnysek Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    It's normal for ZIPs downloaded from web, which checksum isn't yet available on Microsoft side. It's a Heuristic antivirus solution.
    The Sorcerer likes this.
  4. Npmcguirk

    Npmcguirk Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Hi @gnysek, I think the issues is not that the antivirus is flagging an unknown application, but that there isn't any documented way to sign my apps. Other IDEs, like Visual Studio with SignTool, have a method to digitally sign published applications. And while there is an expense to getting the applications verified by a third party, it is possible.
    Because other professionally created games made with GameMaker Studio do not have these warning flags; Undertale, Downwell, etc.; it must be possible, but clearly it is not easily done.

    I still have not found an answer on how to take an executable created by GameMaker Studio 2 and sign it digitally so that it can avoid these antivirus warnings.
  5. NeZvers

    NeZvers Member

    Mar 24, 2018
    Have you tried compiling through YYC? I haven't checked that myself.

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