Make Steam Look Prettier on Windows 8

So, Windows 8 is out! I’ve got something substantial written up on the new OS for gamers that’ll go live when they drag our servers out from the depths of the ocean, but in the meantime, if you’ve already got Windows 8 and are struggling to make any practical use of the Start screen, try this out.

It’s a program called Tile Creator (image from Reddit), and it lets you mess around with the number, and type, of applications you can pin to the new OS’ splash screen. For most of you, that’ll mean pinning your Steam games to it, so you can boot them up as soon as Windows 8 loads.

I normally skip past this screen as quickly as possible in order to get to the desktop, but now that this is around, I may just stick around. It does look rather pretty.

The program was created by XDA dev Argony-OT, and you can get it below.

[APP] OblyTile - Tile Creator for all programs [XDAdev, via Reddit]


    If the server outage has given us one thing to be weirded out by, it's seeing Mark's avatar next to my byline on this...


    And thus the author trolling has been killed :)

    hahahahaha people are actually using windows 8? hahhahaahahah

      Yep, at least 4 million so far ;)

        Yeah I love how all these fat nerds are shunning it, it's actually quite a good OS whereas there was Me and Vista god they were awful

          Because these 'fat nerds' know what they are talking about. Underneath the hood we know it's somewhat faster.

      You will one day. Tard.

        Nah cause you know having standards and all ;-)

          It's the cheapest windows upgrade in history, and on all accounts is reviewed favourably.. & I am confident you will one day interface with a w8 pc.

      Well yeah, I use it because it's faster than 7.

    TBH, I'm somewhat surprised MS don't have an official tool for this.
    Anyway, this should spruce up my start screen a bit, so thanks to the creator.

    I've been thinking of making a League of Legends live tile app, which updates to show the newest champ as the tile image, and maybe their news feed in the live tile too. Clicking on it would launch LoL. Would anyone else like that?

      Would be cool. But most gamers are avoiding Windows 8 like the plague.

        No we're not. Games don't run any worse than 7. Some of us have just fallen for Valves little whinge, you seen the main reason valve is very upset is that customers now have a point of sale before them and it will make them irrelevant eventually, it has nothing to do with "maybe/would be's" of the OS being closed at some date in the future, there is no evidence of that, that's just what they are trying to say because it makes them sound less like the money hungry d-bags they actually are.

        Last edited 31/10/12 2:59 pm

        If they are, I don't think they should be. Win8 has nothing but benefits for gaming (better performance across the board, tighter DX integration, etc)
        I mean, if their complaint is with regards to the start screen replacing the start menu, it becomes a rather moot point whenever running a game fullscreen, which (for me, at least) is most of the time.

          Glad to hear from somebody with rational, normal brain function in the comments section for once ;)

            Agreed +1

          I don't know if it's because of windows 8 or what, but ever since I upgraded to it my League of Legends FPS has improved greatly. So far I am loving the new OS despite all my friends avoiding it like the plague. Metro UI doesn't get in the way if you don't want it to and everything runs smooth as butter! Honestly I wouldn't want to go back to w7..

          What happens with 2 monitor setups? I need to know before upgrading

            Nothing different. Games still run on the main screen like in Windows 7.
            BTW, if you're confused about how 2 monitors and the start screen works, the start screen disappears when you're using a program/app, just like the start menu does, so you'll just see your desktop spread over 2 screens like in previous versions of windows.

            When opening the start screen, only your primary monitor is used. All other monitors remain on the desktop.

            When entirely on the desktop, the taskbar now (optionally) runs the entire span of all monitors, and you can even isolate programs icons to only be on the taskbar for the monitor on which the program is running (damn useful, but not to my preference).

              You can open the start menu on any monitor you want, every monitor has it's own start button in the bottom left corner. When you press the start button on the keyboard, it opens the screen on whichever monitor you opened it on last.

                Is that so? I must have only used my primary monitor out of convenience. My apologies for the poor information.

                Out of interest (I'm at work, away from my Win8 machine), what happens if you're on the desktop, no programs open, and hit the Win button on the keyboard? Does it open on the primary monitor, or the one in which the cursor resides?

                  Hmmm, not sure. Pretty sure it just opens on the monitor it was last opened on, so the primary monitor if you've just booted up. I'm away from my Win8 machine right now too, on an old XP machine :/

                  I do remember that peculiarity - if you use the Win button on the desktop, it'll open on the last monitor it was opened on, regardless of where your cursor or focus is. On multiple monitors, it can be a little disorienting...

                  A quick tap of win+pg up will switch monitors too.

          Their complaint is the same as net spaces was. Namely no one will use us anymore and migrate to windows store.

          Or worse M$ will stop steam completely through creating a closed garden windows.

            Should also add business partners will be less likely to publish games through steam and M$ are likely to demand companies who publish in xbox 360 publish on pc only through windows store.

    "It lets you mess around with the number, and type, of applications you can pin to the new OS’ splash screen. For most of you, that’ll mean pinning your Steam games to it, so you can boot them up as soon as Windows 8 loads." But I can already do that with stock Windows 8. What the program seems to actually do is allow you to create tiles for programs/websites with custom pictures. I think I need to get it because it looks pretty awesome :D

      I thought stock Win8 did this, too. Plus, I can already do this by changing the icon of the *.exe for the game launcher... granted, that's only .ico files, but it's not difficult to convert.

        Windows 8 shows the program's icon inside a tile the same colour as your theme. Like this: So changing the icon of the exe won't achieve the same result this program does.

          That's strange... I don't remember my icons being shrunk like that... coulda sworn they all filled the tiles... but then again, I barely look at the start screen, so I could just be misremembering.

    Seriously Plunkett? You get out of the start screen as fast as you can to the desktop for reason.. What? its not faster or better than the new metro screen? You can load stuff you cant from the metro interface there? Metro actually looks better than the desktop! Or are you just trying to earn brownie points with the haters by bashing?

    Win8 so far has been awesome to use (if not confusing and frustrating at first). Only up to 4 negative points from my use so far so ive decided to put it on my HTPC as well. I prefer the metro screen to launch my games/apps/software, I find it much faster and easier to access.

      I really dislike how obsessed the media is with spreading FUD with regards to the start screen.

      Also, when Plunkett says he has written "something substantial", all it means is "more than 1 paragraph"


          What I dislike is when people in positions of influence spread opinions, often worded as though they were fact, with little to no justification.

          Another thing I dislike is passive-aggressive comments like yours, that attempt to belittle my opinions/stances on topics (or those of anyone else) without giving any justification or reason. What, of anything that I've stated (feel free to click on my profile and audit my entire comment history) lends itself to the conclusion that I "hate it when people have opinions that differ"?

          I couldn't care less what people's opinion is on it, as long as they're not spreading FUD which other less informed people then base their own opinions on. Tech journalists really need to learn about being responsible especially to the non tech types. Like with the whole 'Windows 8 doesn't have a start button'. Most of the articles about that fail to mention that there are in fact two start buttons, one in the bottom left corner as per usual, and one in the charms menu for touch screens, so you end up with people thinking there is no start button (which then causes them to think who knows what other worrying things) when there in fact is. Anyway, now that the general public is starting to use Windows 8, I don't think we have to worry about the media spreading FUD as much anymore, people will just find out for themselves how it works, they don't need to rely on second hand information from tech sites and people who used the previews.

    Yep. Thought I could hold back the wall but I'm taking the dive this afternoon. Love the idea of having everything neatly laid out infront of me instead of having a bazillion (yep that many) icons floating around on my desktop.

      How could you stand that much clutter? I've not had a single icon on my desktop since my first PC... and once I discovered Rainmeter, I couldn't stand the thought of cluttering my desktop with shortcuts when I could use the space to display useful information. Even moreso nowadays, where everything is only a few keystrokes away...

    Is it wrong that I use a mac and think win8 looks amazing, but my windows friends think its terrible?

    It seems like if you want to get some actual functionality out of win8 then you need to install a bunch of third party add ons. At its basics win8 is horrible. Yes, I have used it.

      Using it for 30 seconds in a store doesn't really count, you know ;P

    Is this automatic? Because I have 302 games.

    If anyone has had the chance to muck around with this yet, can i ask how the tiles have been separated into groups? (main, steam, games, shopping etc..) any help would be great

      Ctrl+Scroll down, or 2-finger pinch gesture to perform the "Semantic Zoom". From there, you can create and label groups

    Or you could opt in to the steam beta and run steam in big picture mode.

    Awesome. will have to try when i get home

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now