Windows Phone 7– Game Development Experience

06Dec11

I got a Windows Phone 7 to play with for a while and these are some notes about the experiment.  I just did a tick-tac-toe based on this blog post changed a few things tho (like the use of extension method for checking for wining and replaced by bit shifting 😀 ), but I wanted to have some code to fall back to just in case.

NOTE: I have an android phone, and had an iPhone for a while in the past, so my expectations about this phone are probably based on them.

As soon as I connected the phone to my computer it prompted me to install the Zune software, after installation you get this:

Capture

restarting my machine? we are not in 1999, this shouldn’t be a requirement.

Also when I was trying to install some game, the phone displayed a message about the fact that some installations require re starting the phone. Very strange

Rather randomly on an LG –E90099 I get the error that the phone is pin locked (it isn’t 😦 ).

If while trying to debug to your phone you get an error, “The application could not be lauched for debugging. Verify that the application is installed on target device” that, for me , meant that the phone was locked (ie dark screen) Make sure you can see the menu and try again

Capture

After these initial errors, I pretty much moved pretty quickly.

I  am quite surprised by this, but at least for game development  (with xna) this little trial has been incredibly painless.

Regarding the phone OS,  there are some aspects that I really dislike:

  • A lot of screen is wasted, for example if i search online for something, I can only see about 2 to 3 results.
  • The facebook integration (I dont want facebook). Probably it can be turned off?
  • Figuring out how to un-link the hotmail account to the phone is quite tricky (it might be just me)
  • Having to restart your phone after installing an app is just not acceptable.

Things I liked about the phone

  • Dealing with text in general is superior at least to the android experience. ie writting texts and email was a good experience
  • Generally fast and non cluttered

In general my perception of the phone has improved after trying it . And I have to add I m pretty impressed by the Zune software, it looks good, it worked flawlessly. Comparing to iTunes and Samsung Kies it’s way ahead.

I like XNA, and the fact that it was so transparent to deploy a game to the phone was really nice.

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