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Game Devs Weigh In On Windows Phone 7

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the distant-third dept.

Cellphones 189

The mobile games industry has exploded over the past few years, driven largely by titles built for iOS and Android. The Guardian's games blog decided to investigate the pros and cons of Windows Phone 7 as a game development platform while it struggles to catch up to its predecessors. "... the easy portability of code between WP7 and Xbox, plus the wealth of online tutorials, libraries and community support, is a massive advantage, especially for smaller and less experienced teams. ... As with Xbox Live Arcade, the console's downloadable games service, Windows Phone 7 offers a curated experience, which means Microsoft controls the quality of games appearing on the device. ... [Steven Batchelor-Manning of Nerf Games says,] 'The App Hub offers a good peer review system, where other developers are asked to check over your game. This helps filter out both low quality and bug-ridden titles. We are always given a particular quality to aim for. Once it's got past this stage there is also a chance that Microsoft will veto against your game going on the platform. Ultimately, this prevents the market being swamped, but above this, there seems to be a layer of games by big publishers (EA, etc) that just step past the smaller developers in the queue. This is the biggest drawback of the system.'"

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I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662274)

I mean, I remember all the shovelware crap that had the "Nintendo Seal of Quality" on it back in the day.

And their remark about EA is spot on. They're responsible for most of the boring shovelware crap that clogs up the Live Marketplace today and makes it hard to find where the good stuff is hiding.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662416)

"Nintendo Seal of Quality" = "Nintendo Seal of We're Getting a Cut"

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (4, Insightful)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662764)

That the game could be crappy story/gameplay wise is one thing, but Nintendo would not allow what we see in the PC gaming world nowadays: games full of bugs that make you feel like you are some kind of quality assurance technician working for those companies. And let me tell you another thing, I wholeheartedly believe that the programmers back in the day had to work their ass off pulling stuff in really underpowered hardware, with no niceties. Before, a company was able to program with optimized assembly code something like Mario Bros 3 and today, in the age of awesome debuggers, code profilers, source control, object-oriented programming and what not, we get this products that are rushed out of the door. I guess we have to thank the Internet for that. With the XBox360 I saw how that patch craze is coming with a vengeance to the console world. Part of that Nintendo Seal of Quality is that they would not allow something like EA to exist. You could only develop up to five titles per year.

Other than that, with Nintendo you get the guarantee that you get a nice, clean and fun games with the system, plus more or less affordable hardware. You could get an original NES system with 2 controllers, zapper and two games for $100, and today the Wii is still the cheaper of the big three by $100. If you ask me which system I would get for my kids I would chose Nintendo without blinking. The other systems expose too much unnecessary violence, sex and gore and their kid users kind of remind me of that tech kid in the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. I have seen 10 year olds both in Canada and the US with stuff like Grand Theft Auto in their system, and since not all parents are created equal, then the kid that does have it is pretty much the cool kid in the block. That's like a big social issue to me.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662880)

today the Wii is still the cheaper of the big three by $100

Huh? I can pick up an Xbox 360 for $200 retail. Where can I get a Wii for $100? Because I'm still waiting for it to drop to that price.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665224)

that is the "arcade" version. You need to buy a bunch more to actually do anything with it.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (3, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662980)

You don't want your kid to be the cool kid?

Don't forget, the Wii has lots of games like "House of the Dead: Overkill" and "Madworld" and such. It's not all kiddie-friendly. It just isn't centered around frat-boy games.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663390)

It doesn't have "lots" of those kinds of games. It has a few of them, all of which have sold so poorly that the companies that put them out (let's keep it real, it's just Sega) aren't going to do any more of them.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663710)

Wii has more marketshare than anyone else.

The PS3 is catching up. I laugh at Kinetics and Sony's version of the wiimote as cheap knockoffs.

But again I am a nintendo kid of the 80s and 90s so that is where my loyalties lie. It has games for everyone and is playable for more than the just click buttons faster market that Sony makes games for.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664450)

The move controller isn't cheap, and is technically a better input device than the Wiimote. It's just a shame there haven't actually been any games for it worth buying (that I've noticed anyway).

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35665220)

But again I am a nintendo kid of the 80s and 90s so that is where my loyalties lie.

In other words, you're a blindly loyal fanboy. I grew up with Atari VCS, SMS and NES, but I have no problems putting the companies that made them behind me for something better.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35665072)

You forgot The Godfather and its garrote.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (1)

forsey (1136633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665100)

And don't forget one of the most violent games ever, Manhunt 2 [wikipedia.org] . Of the current big 3, it only came out on the Wii and featured skull cracking hammer motion control. So, as usual, it still comes down to the parents having to make sure the kids don't see what the parents don't want them to see.

Re:I don't know about this whole "quality" thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35664636)

And let me tell you another thing, I wholeheartedly believe that the programmers back in the day had to work their ass off pulling stuff in really underpowered hardware, with no niceties. Before, a company was able to program with optimized assembly code something like Mario Bros 3 and today, in the age of awesome debuggers, code profilers, source control, object-oriented programming and what not, we get this products that are rushed out of the door.

Games back then were also about a million times simpler. Making a 2D run and jump platformer like SMB 3 is a hell of a lot easier than making a 3D free-roam world with intelligent AI, realistic physics, photorealistic graphics, music that rivals or surpasses films scores, professional voice actors and a well written story.

Re:Learn your history (2)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663676)

The video game crash of 19843/84 was caused by a flood of buggy bad games on the market by shady vendors. They would also take other publishers work and copy them onto cheap cartridges. The seal was there by Nintendo because they forced everyone to license their games, and be produced by Nintendo. At least you knew the game was 1st market. Also they did everything they could to market the NES as a system that wasn't junk to separate it from the consoles and games mothers had got burned on before. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983#Long-term_effects [wikipedia.org]

So ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662290)

Once it's got past this stage there is also a chance that Microsoft will veto against your game going on the platform.

This sounds different but similar to Apple's review process. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Re:So ... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662494)

Once it's got past this stage there is also a chance that Microsoft will veto against your game going on the platform.

This sounds different but similar to Apple's review process. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I wonder if the process is more open though or whether it's just as arbitrary as apple's.

Re:So ... (5, Informative)

Sc4Freak (1479423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662662)

It's "less-bad" than Apple. Microsoft unambiguously documents, exactly, everything that's required to pass certification. If your app fails marketplace certification, they point you to the section in the certification requirements document that your app violates. You can also ask for technical exceptions to the certification requirements for your app, but they're evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Re:So ... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664946)

I am not sure of the app hub concept. It's great to have peer reviewed game, but what if you come up with an original idea and a big publisher incorporates it in one of his games? They can rush it through the store by simply investing enough resources to polish it. That would work even without needing to bribe MS into putting the game in the fast lane. So you are better off putting the complete final version and hope it gets first to market. You get no advantages and all the disadvantages.

Re:So ... (1)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662788)

The XBox360 has a pretty neat procedure to allow independent developers into a market that has traditionally been pretty tight, so it's worth a read to see if they were able to implement it in the same way.

But I agree, when it comes to smartphones, the situation is much easier since anybody with a PC or Mac can get into the market easily.

Re:So ... (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663434)

I wouldn't say it's much easier. Or even easier at all, really. You can grab an Xbox 360 for $200 and a license to deploy code to it for $99/year. I don't know what the cheapest Windows Phone 7 you can get is, but I can't imagine it's much cheaper than that and even if it were, since we're talking about ease of development, you are basically looking at a single hardware target with 360 as opposed to at least a handful of targets for WP7.

Re:So ... (1)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665258)

No dude, I'm talking about XNA stuff.

Re:So ... (2)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662820)

This sounds different but similar to Apple's review process. Meet the old boss, same as the new boss.

FTFY.

"veto against"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663190)

Maybe they could also mandate for some things.

Re:So ... (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664836)

This sounds different but similar to Apple's review process. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The XBLA Review Process predates the Apple App Store. Other than that (and the fact that MS will tell you EXACTLY how not to fail) it is the same thing.

Astroturfing (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662332)

So many Win7 stories.

So many positive Win7 comments.

Please ./ moderators (below I don't know, 180,000?), MODERATE!

Re:Astroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662504)

MS is paying slashdot for premium placement. Expect more stories not less.

Re:Astroturfing (4, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664692)

Technically Microsoft do not have to pay for product placement on slashdot (and it seems unlikely that they would have done so and even more unlikely that this traditionally anti-Microsoft site would have acquiesced). Favourable articles about Windows 7 results in a large number of posts, and this translates into more ad views. Like it or not, Slashdot makes money by being controversial.

That said, the pro-Windows 7 comments (at least for the desktop version) are in keeping with the positive reception of the platform all over the net and is reflected in the increased sales of the OS compared to Vista. For this reason, claims of paid product placement and astroturfing seem highly unlikely. Obviously the recent douche who made incredibly obvious pro-Microsoft "astroturfings" under a variety of new accounts is the exception. But that was so blatant that it had to be a troll, rather than a real shill.

As for Windows Phone 7 (back on topic), often the people who have actually used it seem to report favourably on the platform. But like me, most people haven't even tried it and just assume that it will not be very good. I suspect that this is due one incredibly stupid mistake, and that was to not support copy and paste.

This was such a major (and publicly derided) problem on the first version of the iPhone that the lack of the feature in Microsoft's product just screams that the platform is unfinished. Whoever made that decision at Microsoft should be hung, drawn and quartered - and then sacked.

As with the original iPhone, it will be worth waiting for the next version of Windows Phone 7 before buying. Myself, I'm going to wait until Windows Phone 7 version 3.1 - that was the right strategy in the past!

Re:Astroturfing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662674)

Win7 for both mobiles and PCs is awesome, haven't you tried it yet? Linux and Android aren't bad for free but more discerning professionals will always choose Windows. Nothing wrong with paying a small fee for a highly-polished and rock solid platform. They have free 180-day trials at Microsoft, you should give it a try, you'll never look back.

Re:Astroturfing (2)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663154)

You can do anything at Zombocom. Anything at all

Re:Astroturfing (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662700)

Hey, it's nice to read some good news about an evil empire every now and then. Who wants to constantly read: Android Good! iOS Bad! Maemo Good. Nokia Bad. Freshen up the room a bit; no one wants to smell Apple's farts and Google's belches every day. Furthermore, you're an AC. Man up and post with a user name.

Re:Astroturfing (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663442)

Who wants to read the truth constantly? Probably a lot of people.

Re:Astroturfing (3, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664752)

The truth? You can't handle the truth! If we were speaking truth it would be thus: Apple is run by a control freak, Android is fragmented to hell and one of several products the parent company plays fast and loose with the rules for, WinPhone is dead last and will probably stay there, WebOS is nowhere to be seen ATM, and RIM is dead, they just don't know it yet!

In actuality you'll get "Android is teh shit because it is teh FOSS and thus is good (though not really, just the kernel and even then Google hasn't released the latest version) and isn't nor has it ever been fragmented (ignore those 4 versions on the shelves!)" "iOS invented everything and Steve is a God, never an asshat (ignore the arbitrary rules that don't seem to apply to itself) and their prices are NEVER high and are competitive with the other products (if you don't count the 60%+ profit margins that is) and is great!" and of course "WinPhone is a completely new idea and thus will take time (ignore all those WinCE versions behind the curtain!) to find an audience (who will run over WinPhone to get the latest iShiny) who will appreciate its ease of use and synergy (Oh God, if we don't get Halo running on this thing we're fucked! Is my resume up to date?) and like previous products simply needs to build momentum (like Zune) and find its niche (like Kin)" and finally RIM "We're not dead yet! we feel better, we really do! we feel happy, we feel happy" (bashes in back of head and throws on the cart)

So as you can see, reality and fanboyism and bullshit rarely do meet in the middle. So expect praise of the latest iShiny, Google Honeycomb Hideout, and WP7 which like WinCE will later be known as WiPe, as in you wipe your ass with it before finding an iPhone.

Re:Astroturfing (1)

norpy (1277318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663262)

I would think about it but I haven't been given mode points in what seems like forever, did the rules for getting them change?

Re:Astroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663636)

Haven't you heard? Only corporate sockpuppets get mod points now.

Re:Astroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663996)

A gift from me to you (the +1 mod, I mean; I have some points to burn).
Hint: post more often, whore a bit for some karma (the biggest reward seems to come from sending a scoop that ends accepted).

Seems they have no idea what they are talking abou (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662398)

... the easy portability of code between WP7 and Xbox,

How come i get the feeling they have NEVER programmed at all?

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (2)

Sc4Freak (1479423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662428)

It's not "easy", but it's much easier than other platforms. Porting between, say, Xbox 360 and iPhone is pretty difficult if only because the programming languages are completely different. Indie Games on Xbox 360 and WP7 both use C# and XNA, and if you have an Xbox 360 project it's literally just a couple of clicks and it compiles and runs natively on WP7.

Your game won't be *usable*, of course, since your game will be designed for a controller and not a touch screen. But it'll work.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (3, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662628)

Your game won't be *usable*, of course, since your game will be designed for a controller and not a touch screen.

I think that's the point. Who cares if you can port between two things that don't run the same kind of software? It's not like you're going to be playing Crysis on your phone. It's like having easy portability between Solaris and Android -- OK sure, but why?

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662818)

Just because you can't port a control scheme doesn't mean you don't want to be able to bring over your engine.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663978)

For games, not really, but for other apps it can be quite useful. I like being able to run all the Linux networking tools on my n900.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664290)

I think that's the point. Who cares if you can port between two things that don't run the same kind of software?

erm.. isn't that the point of "easy portability" - you can take one thing and make it work on both platforms. that's what they're touting here after all.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665114)

You're forgetting about Kinect. A touch screen phone or Kinect and a big TV are similar interfaces. Apps and game could possibly run on both. If a phone with a controller comes out, tons of games could be ported pretty quick. With better hardware in the future, perhaps all the games will be able to be ported.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662720)

Out of curiosity, wouldn't the game just crash then considering that you'll be creating objects to respond to input methods that don't exist? I don't know C# nor am I familiar with XNA beyond knowing about both of them, so this is a legitimate question.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663036)

Out of curiosity, wouldn't the game just crash then considering that you'll be creating objects to respond to input methods that don't exist? I don't know C# nor am I familiar with XNA beyond knowing about both of them, so this is a legitimate question.

Well it wouldn't build if you ported it directly since the interaction code would call into xbox-specific methods to deal with the controller. So your interaction code would have to be re-written depending on the device.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663418)

That's what I was thinking, but couldn't be sure being unfamiliar with Windows development environments. Honestly, I've only coded on Linux and Mac OS X. It's not that I have something against Windows, it's just I never had a reason to code on Windows. Maybe I might pick up a C# and and XNA book this weekend.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35664160)

To solve this problem, you can just create a "clone" of the project for a specific device (in practice it's a sort of symbolic link) and make a few changes to the classes that handle the interactions. You can also put in conditions for the compiler, but that's just personal taste.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663672)

Nope. XNA is designed to be compiled on multiple platforms. The controller input APIs are "available" in WP7, but don't do anything. So with the same codebase, you can run on pc, xbox, and WP7 without any changes.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662488)

... the easy portability of code between WP7 and Xbox,

How come i get the feeling they have NEVER programmed at all?

I don't know, it doesn't make much sense for you to get that feeling based on the passage you quoted.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (3, Insightful)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662736)

Windows = Keyboard + Mouse

XBox = Controller

WP7 = Touchscreen

I don't see much code being reused on quality apps, but it should lead to lots of mediocre games. Each game will work best on the platform targeted by the developer, and the quality of the ported versions will vary widely, but online tutorials are unlikely to have a positive effect.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662866)

Windows = Keyboard + Mouse

XBox = Controller

WP7 = Touchscreen

I don't see much code being reused on quality apps, but it should lead to lots of mediocre games. Each game will work best on the platform targeted by the developer, and the quality of the ported versions will vary widely, but online tutorials are unlikely to have a positive effect.

Why? Angry Birds (which is available on the desktop and on touchscreen smartphones) simply has the most basic interaction changed to work with a mouse instead of touch, other than that the functionality is the same. If this were porting between WP7, XBox and Windows then very little code would need to be changed.
Any well-designed game is going to benefit from having the physical-platform-agnostic code (i.e. AI, animation, game logic, etc...) not having to be changed at all when you go between platforms.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663688)

Did you really just try to refute the statement - I don't see much code being reused on quality apps, but it should lead to lots of mediocre games. - by pointing at Angry Birds?

That's freaking hilarious.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663908)

Say what you want about Angry Birds (I liked it better when it was called Boom Blox), but he's right. Most professional games will modularize the UI as much as they can.

A friend of mine ported one of the launch titles for the Wii, and they didn't have to change much outside of the UI and rendering code. Their biggest problem was Nintendo suddenly demanding that all launch titles have the "safety strap splash screen" put in about a week before the deadline. That meant actually having to dig into the code to insert it.

I laughed at the situation, and then promptly flubbed the controller into the (expensive) Wii prototype box.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664622)

Did you really just try to refute the statement - I don't see much code being reused on quality apps, but it should lead to lots of mediocre games. - by pointing at Angry Birds?

That's freaking hilarious.

Well you can define 'mediocre' however you want but it's certainly one of the world's most popular games. And if you really want a XBox to WP7 example have a look at Full House Poker.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663018)

Well golly gee. Seems like all kinds of folks have been doing it wrong all along. Thanks for setting us straight with your mountains of expertise and knowledge and your 30 seconds of reasoning.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663096)

Any good engineer would abstract out interface to api calls, and map them that way. Hell, any game that allows you to have a custom or mutable control scheme would function like that, which applies to just about any game out there today. That means core mechanics and behavior remains unchanged regardless of what superficial control scheme you plaster on it. And btw, the code related to controls makes up a rather tiny portion of a game's code. In other words, you would be reusing the vast majority of the quality code.

Now what could impact how good a game is making sure your game works well for the given control scheme. That is the only part that will have an impact on a game's quality.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (4, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663650)

Right, because everybody knows that 90% of a game's code is in its UI and input system. Things like the game engine, AI, logic controlling elements in the game, resources, and netcode are completely irrelevant, right?

To be fair, WP7 doesn't support much in the way of netcode right now, and it's certainly not trivial to shift UI paradigms. However, that doesn't mean that the ability to use XNA, and resuse a lot of code as a result, isn't still quite valuable.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

forsey (1136633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665210)

This is absolutely correct. In fact this is already a solved problem as even different consoles (eg, XBox vs Wii) have very different input systems. This is why game developers typically abstract away the front end so that it's easy to have a different version for each console and input systems are often layered such that only the first layer or two need to be replaced for a different input system. The largest lump of code in many games, at least the games I worked on, was game play, AI and graphics/animation which are largely reusable with a few changes between systems, even systems as different as the Wii (No shaders, OpenGL like API) and the XBox (DirectX with shaders). With WP7 you would have even fewer difference making even more shared code.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662882)

Actually, "simple" programs using the XNA Framework port across almost automatically. Especially if you use one of the compatibility profiles that limits what you can call to things all platforms have in common. In-fact, using the compatibility profile almost grantees that what you write will work on PC, Phone, and Xbox without changes.

Re:Seems they have no idea what they are talking a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663176)

Actually, "simple" programs using the XNA Framework port across almost automatically. Especially if you use one of the compatibility profiles that limits what you can call to things all platforms have in common.

Microsoft wants you to stay investing in their own platforms. It's just as proprietary as everyone else.

Weird story (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662532)

To me the article read like a blatant fanboy story, but maybe I'm just jaded.

And then I got to this: "As with Xbox Live Arcade, however, Microsoft is set to run its own games promotions, to help market promising titles. The project kicks off this spring with a Must Have games season, which features six Windows Phone 7 titles, including Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, Hydro Thunder and Plants vs Zombies. "

Sure, those are promising titles - after all, they're already big hits on iOS and Android. But how the heck is this tied to the article's repeated meme regarding Windows/XBox-specific tools, and easy cross-development between XBox Live and WP7? It's certainly unlikely any of them were written in C#.

Re:Weird story (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662712)

Right now there are no known non-stock WP7 apps not written in .NET. That said, all of titles listed are not really big in terms of code, so I suspect that porting effort is not as big as one would think. There's also a way to have a shared codebase between .NET and mobile platforms that support C++, though you end up with a rather crippled language subset (basically like Java with no GC).

Re:Weird story (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662994)

Yeah... major astroturfing by Microsoft lately (including some newer Slashdot users to post happy messages), but the final sentence of the summary takes the cake:

Ultimately, this prevents the market being swamped, but above this, there seems to be a layer of games by big publishers (EA, etc) that just step past the smaller developers in the queue. This is the biggest drawback of the system.'

No... the biggest drawback of the system is that there are almost no customers to buy your app, so anything more than a quick port is uneconomical... and a quick port from iOS or Android (which is more important than XBox as a source of porting material) is impossible since W7 has no vanilla C/C++ and OpenGL ES.

Re:Weird story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663104)

Yeah... major astroturfing by Microsoft lately (including some newer Slashdot users to post happy messages),

Jesus, you really think MS would even bother to try to win /. over?!

Re:Weird story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663268)

Yeah... major astroturfing by Microsoft lately

Yeah must be, of course we all know MS doesn't even have customers, anyone purporting to be a customer that doesn't say bad things is an astroturfer. But that's not true of google or apple though, any article on them is truthful and naysayers are just jealous. why do you even bother posting on /.? most anti-ms retards like you ragequit or got lives (that don't revolve around ms bashing) ages ago.

Re:Weird story (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663288)

Exactly. Any article about WP7 game programming isn't complete unless it talks about the limitations of the sandboxed environment, and the crippled network access. I'd really, really like to see someone take some benchmarks and say, "oh, look, it's really just as fast and usable!" but no one has. And it's not. These are artificial limitations Microsoft has put into place.

Also, I love this quote from the article: "XNA is so widely used it's difficult to walk into a Game Development course at a University and not bump into a bunch of experts." Really? a game development course at a university is where you go for game building expertise? I know they are trying to portray it as easy to use, but come on.

All against MS? (3, Insightful)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662546)

Slightly off-topic

Recently there had been several stories about MS / WP7 and many comments are, kind of knee-jerk reactions against MS.

Before someone screams astroturfing, let me say that I use whatever tool is right for the job. Mostly I do data-driven applications (WinForms, PHP, MVC, Java, whatever) against the database server that will deliver the most bang for the buck (my client's buck, not mine) so I have used Firebird (the OS incarnation of Paradox), SqlLite, MySQL, Postgress, MS SQL and (gasp!) even Oracle!

Now, I don't think MS gets, even now, how that works. Calling stored procedures in MS-SQL from any VisualStudio framework is a royal pain in the ass. They tout DRY but I can't think why you have to jump through loops to get stored procedures to work in their frameworks; I have many complex queries in SQL to list records, why would I want to repeat the same SQL statements in an MVC app and in a WinForms app against the same database? The surest way to achieve DRY is to use stored procedures and let each app handle only the presentation of the data.

Having ranted against MS, I kind of like MVC 3 and the new Entity Framework, not quite up to speed on it, but so far I kind of like it and that has predisposed me towards looking at WP7 and see what has MS learned from past failures, which last year I would not have thought about at all.

Now, in a site supposedly rife with developers of all kinds, shouldn't we be more open about investigating and then adopting or rejecting new technology?

Please don't construct this as an advertisement for WP7, I'm simply saying, maybe one should look at it before dismissing it out of hand. I did some work in Symbian and (the pain!) Objective-C, so I don't think my eyes will pop-out if I look at WP7.

Re:All against MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662580)

must be new around here?

Re:All against MS? (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662760)

yeah, he/she must be new. I paid for a subscription, like an idiot, and this guy/gal comes in and registers and gets a lower user number than me without paying a dime. Damn you /.!

Re:All against MS? (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663796)

You must be new here.

Re:All against MS? (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664172)

Relative to you, YES. Only been here for about a year, maybe two at the most.

Re:All against MS? (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662754)

I have used Firebird (the OS incarnation of Paradox)

Firebird is an OSS fork of Interbase. It doesn't have anything to do with Paradox, aside from the fact that both Interbase and Paradox were owned by Borland.

Calling stored procedures in MS-SQL from any VisualStudio framework is a royal pain in the ass.

Out of curiosity, what do you find hard about it? (especially in comparison with other similar frameworks, say, JDBC)

Please don't construct this as an advertisement for WP7, I'm simply saying, maybe one should look at it before dismissing it out of hand.

Right now there are more problems with WP7 from user side than there are from developer side. Sure, you can write an app - but do you actually want the phone to run it on?

From dev perspective lack of C/C++ is a surprisingly big deal. On every other mobile platform, you can reuse existing C and C++ libraries as-is, and there are a lot of them. On WP7 it's .NET only, and even then it's not quite the same as desktop version, so there's no guarantee that your favorite library will work.

Re:All against MS? (0)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663216)

Thanks for the correction. I still think of Interbase as an off-shoot of Paradox, which at the time, seemed to me the most wonderful database. (He, he, that hints at "Get off my lawn, youngster!") having previously used B-tree Filer (by TurboPower) because dBase was horrible.

Your second point, when using Linq or Linq-to-SQL, if you have a complex SQL statement (i.e. it creates a temporary table) it balks and refuses to accept it, claiming the temporary table is illegal. I had to re-write a stored procedure so that parameters and results are returned to VS and afterwards change it back so that it uses the temporary table in order for it to work. I had better experiences with Entity Framework, but then, I haven't yet done any serious work with it.

Then, working with two or three servers (development, sandbox and production) is a nightmare. The dataset gets thrown out of kilter and refuses to load in VS (not work, it does compile and work) making further development harder. If I change the body of ConnectionString (not the Name or other attributes, just the server name and log-in parameters in the connection string) the dataset refuses to load in the development environment, until the conn string is returned to the original condition. Maybe, I'm doing something wrong, but this weekend I had to unzip my backup to get a dataset to show up in VS 2010 after changing only the server, the user and password being the same and other parameters remaining untouched. Moving from VS 2008, to VS 2010, to Eclipse to whatever, maybe I'm assuming things I shouldn't in VS, but it seems to me that a the contents of a connection string should not drive the behavior of the IDE.

Quite frankly, I don't miss much C/C++, I do like C# and I specially like the new Razor syntax; it promises a lot of flexibility and compactness. I have done some VB .NET programming and the verbosity kills your productivity (IMHO) while Razor stays out of the way. But again, I'm still in the testing grounds and not producing anything yet, but so far. I like it.

For WP7, specifically; I haven't touched it. But as I said, between MVC 3, Razor and EF; I'm inclined to give it a shot, perhaps it would be worthwhile. Would I mind only .NET development? No, if it fits the project being developed and if it helps it along instead of hindering it.

Let me tell you a good one. In .NET 4 (yes the bleeding edge!) and previous incarnations, if you put a DatePicker in your forms (.aspx, WinForms. etc.) and the target is say, Spanish, when you tab from one DatePicker to another, the cursor goes to the month (remember, in Spanish we are talking about dd/mmm/yyyy) instead of the day field; if you try to put in 31 in the day field (first one) when the month is, say, September, it will not let you. So this makes it clear that internally the framework is still working with MONTH first, even when it doesn't make sense. One would think a multi-national company as MS could get this right after so many years, but no; we still have to struggle with small shit like this day in and day out. So much for internationalization.

Re:All against MS? (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663354)

Your second point, when using Linq or Linq-to-SQL, if you have a complex SQL statement (i.e. it creates a temporary table) it balks and refuses to accept it, claiming the temporary table is illegal. I had to re-write a stored procedure so that parameters and results are returned to VS and afterwards change it back so that it uses the temporary table in order for it to work. I had better experiences with Entity Framework, but then, I haven't yet done any serious work with it.

Oh, L2S, and frankly I think even EF, don't play all that well with stored procedures, but then stored procedures and ORM are inherently conflicting approaches (ORM implies logic in the model layer, which is then separate from data layer, otherwise why bother with objects?). Yeah, I know that EF advertises stored procedure support. I've never tried it personally.

If your system is mainly SP-centric, and on app side all you need is data that is already processed on the database, you will probably do far better with plain ADO.NET (+ typed datasets for Intellisense convenience) over L2S/EF. You can still do small in-memory LINQ queries over them, too.

Then, working with two or three servers (development, sandbox and production) is a nightmare. The dataset gets thrown out of kilter and refuses to load in VS (not work, it does compile and work) making further development harder. If I change the body of ConnectionString (not the Name or other attributes, just the server name and log-in parameters in the connection string) the dataset refuses to load in the development environment, until the conn string is returned to the original condition.

This sounds tricky to help with (since it wouldn't be easily reproducible), but it would still help if you log it as a bug [microsoft.com] .

Let me tell you a good one. In .NET 4 (yes the bleeding edge!) and previous incarnations, if you put a DatePicker in your forms (.aspx, WinForms. etc.) and the target is say, Spanish, when you tab from one DatePicker to another, the cursor goes to the month (remember, in Spanish we are talking about dd/mmm/yyyy) instead of the day field; if you try to put in 31 in the day field (first one) when the month is, say, September, it will not let you. So this makes it clear that internally the framework is still working with MONTH first, even when it doesn't make sense. One would think a multi-national company as MS could get this right after so many years, but no; we still have to struggle with small shit like this day in and day out. So much for internationalization.

This is curious, because WinForms Calendar and WebForms DatePicker are completely different controls, and validation sequence logic is obviously also separate for both. I suspect it's not really an issue of working with "month first", though; more likely, the validation in both cases is a simple DateTime.Parse and see if it throws; and it probably auto-tabs away from the month field as soon as you type two digits, which triggers validation. So any invalid date input would trigger this, it's just that it's much easier to run into it with a day-first date format.

Anyway, this is a UX defect, and also worth logging on Connect as such. Worst case, it doesn't get fixed, but someone will keep it in mind for future UI frameworks.

As far as internationalization goes... Microsoft actually spends a lot of resources there (for some entertaining stories, read Michael Kaplan's blog [msdn.com] - he's the MS guru when it comes to internationalization issues, particularly text and input related). Still, keep in mind that most of its workforce is in Redmond, and the majority of those are Americans. Awareness of the sheer scope of internationalization aspects only truly comes when you're from a non-majority culture, and run into various minor but annoying nits in your daily use of the products that target the majority and are ignorant about the differences. I wish somethimes they'd force all employees to run custom locale, with English as base, but with various tweaks (like date format, or decimal separators, or currency symbol & its position), changing them every now and then. Now that would flush out problems real fast, when managers get annoyed with Outlook misbehaving etc :)

Re:All against MS? (1)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665248)

Thanks for your reply and comments. As someone else pointed in a previous post, the documentation is not entirely clear, so perhaps indeed I'm doing something wrong.

Re:All against MS? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665158)

Your second point, when using Linq or Linq-to-SQL, if you have a complex SQL statement (i.e. it creates a temporary table) it balks and refuses to accept it, claiming the temporary table is illegal. I had to re-write a stored procedure so that parameters and results are returned to VS and afterwards change it back so that it uses the temporary table in order for it to work. I had better experiences with Entity Framework, but then, I haven't yet done any serious work with it.

You're doing it wrong. Linq to SQL is Link to SQL(Server). Its not named well, but its not meant to go to other databases. You (or someone you get one from) is supposed to write a query provider to the DB in question, so they can be optimized for each target source. The abstraction happens at the layer you use LINQ, not the layer LINQ uses to get to SQL.

If you get on Bing and search for LINQ to Oracle, you'll see there's at least a few Oracle providers.

I do agree the docs aren't all that clear on it. Custom query providers are not particularly hard to write, and its a very handy abstraction to have.

Honestly, I think most of your complaints are more related to shoddy documentation and the learning curve. While I haven't seen the Spanish problem you talked about, I've seen weirdness like that before when I made a mistake and was setting a culture and not a locale, as an example.

Re:All against MS? (1)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665222)

Thank for the pointer, I'll look it up.

Re:All against MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662782)

Connecting to MS-SQL, executing a sproc, and returning a strongly typed result is drop dead simple from .Net 3.5 (VS2008) onwards with LINQ to SQL or LINQ to Entities.

Re:All against MS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662858)

Please don't construct this as an advertisement for WP7, I'm simply saying, maybe one should look at it before dismissing it out of hand. I did some work in Symbian and (the pain!) Objective-C, so I don't think my eyes will pop-out if I look at WP7.

Welcome to the world of being the non-dominant platform. I know it must be strange for a Windows guy, but everything you are saying applies exactly the same to anyone considering, say, Linux as a desktop OS.

Re:All against MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662930)

How about if you want to develop for wp7 then you just go ahead and do that. If it is so great then you should just be able to rake in the cash that the rest of us poor deluded souls must be leaving on the table. Or you could just fuck off and stop worrying about what other are coding for.

Re:All against MS? (1)

r3x_mundi (1356467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663566)

Now, I don't think MS gets, even now, how that works. Calling stored procedures in MS-SQL from any VisualStudio framework is a royal pain in the ass. They tout DRY but I can't think why you have to jump through loops to get stored procedures to work in their frameworks; I have many complex queries in SQL to list records, why would I want to repeat the same SQL statements in an MVC app and in a WinForms app against the same database? The surest way to achieve DRY is to use stored procedures and let each app handle only the presentation of the data.

This isnt an MS specific thing...its true for many ORM frameworks. In the MS world, most ORM frameworks sit on top of ADO.NET, but their abstraction is so much, that a lot of database features become hard to access. However, using ADO.NET directly, calling Stored Procedures, or using other database features (e.g. full-text search) is fairly easy to do.

My own personal preference (and im not saying it suits everyone or everything), is not to use a "heavy" ORM framework or abstraction layer to "hide" the database or its features and functionality. I use the old ADO.NET typed datasets to cache data in memory, helper classes to automate the simple CRUD operations based on the meta information in the dataset, and the more complicated data operations (multiple joins, searches, complicated updates) happen in database views or stored procedures. For me, its a good compromise between both worlds (ORM vs direct database access).

As one of those devs... (0, Troll)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662588)

As a WP7 app/game dev, I think the platform is stellar. For apps, it's trivial to make things smooth and impressive that integrate well with the look and feel of the rest of the phone. And that look and feel is miles ahead of what I've seen on Android and even a lot of iPhone. It's also trivial to go crazy with it and make something really unique that doesn't integrate at all, though that would probably be harder to get through the app verifiers.

Games are different. You're forced to write them with .NET and the XNA framework. For most of the casual games you play on phones this isn't really an issue, and writing with .NET can actually reduce dev time. But if you plan on writing anything really impressive that pushes the envelope like we've seen happening on iPhone and Android, you're probably going to be out of luck. The inefficiencies of .NET really start to add up, and some common things like memory mapping just aren't possible with it. I predict this will change in the future -- they just won't remain competitive without loosening up and allowing native code.

The gaming platform itself is pretty great. It's very easy to port games between PC/360/WP7 -- if you make it on one platform, you might as well make it for all of them and increase your sales. Your games can integrate with Xbox Live, so you've got all your friends and achievements right there which can be a huge factor in drawing in users.

Re:As one of those devs... (2)

Osty (16825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662746)

As a WP7 app/game dev, I think the platform is stellar. For apps, it's trivial to make things smooth and impressive that integrate well with the look and feel of the rest of the phone. And that look and feel is miles ahead of what I've seen on Android and even a lot of iPhone. It's also trivial to go crazy with it and make something really unique that doesn't integrate at all, though that would probably be harder to get through the app verifiers.

Microsoft has always been great at building developer tools, and the Windows Phone 7 SDK is yet another example. Silverlight is a natural fit for apps, and XNA works well for games (modern games haven't gone straight to the hardware for at least a decade -- the power comes from hardware acceleration, and the phone provides that).

That said, not all is well in Windows Phone 7 land. The SDK has some very arbitrary limitations, like not allowing you access to the camera except through a task that spawns the stock camera app. No AR apps for Windows Phone 7 Series Phone Smartphone phones. Barcode/tag scanning apps are still possible, though inefficient, as they have to spawn the camera task, wait for you to take a picture, wait for the app to resume, and then process the saved picture. I could scan five barcodes on an iPhone or Android phone in the time it takes WP7 to scan one.

No doubt the SDK will get better, but that's too little, too late. WP7 was already so far behind, it couldn't afford to launch without parity with iOS and Android in areas like direct camera access. These are things that are simply expected to be available these days, and not having them is a huge limitation that will prevent developer adoption.

And just a quick note on the games front -- independent developers only get XNA access, but major third-party developers can write native code (and access Xbox Live, just like Indie vs. Arcade games on Xbox). In other words, Unreal or RAGE tech on WP7 is just as possible as it is on iOS or Android. It's just that it's not going to come from the 14 year old programming in his room upstairs.

MS is going with the wrong strategy.. (4, Insightful)

goruka (1721094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662616)

I don't understand why they focus so much on developers porting XBLA games, when they should be caring about iPhone or Android developers porting their games and applications to WP7. I can understand that they will not run Java on their system to avoid problems with oracle, but nothing avoids them from offering C++ / ObjC, which are both available on Apple and Google platforms. This allows a much larger amount of developers (and middlewares such as Unity) to offer the same on WP7 as everywhere else.
By forcing everyone to use .NET , I think developers will just keep writing their code in wathever is supported by the market leaders (Java, ObjC and C++), as they will not ditch their entire codebases to please Microsoft.

I'm waiting to see where XBL goes on WP7 (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662694)

I'm looking at getting rid of the iPhone later this year and going to Android, but if MS increase services through XBL I may go with that.

I already have a lot of games on XBL, plus use it for Movies & TV, if any of those services can be used on my phone I'd probably be persuaded to go with that.

Currently though the models of phones don't really excite me.

Re:MS is going with the wrong strategy.. (1, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665188)

.NET is a framework. The .NET runtime is bytecode like Java.

You can write XNA and Silverlight apps in C++, if you like.

I suppose someone could make an ObjC compiler for the .NET runtime, but seriously, who other than an Apple zealot can deal with ObjC?

Its about limiting quantity (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662660)

Just like back in the day when Nintendo limited the number of games any one developer could have on the market at once, I suspect Microsoft wants to limit the number of titles (so that the money consumers spend on games gets spread over fewer titles, thus more profit per title). I suspect they also want to keep a lid on the number of free/near free titles (the more free options there are, the less likely it is that people will buy the expensive premium titles since the free ones give them enough things to play)

Re:Its about limiting quantity (1)

avatar139 (918375) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664900)

Just like back in the day when Nintendo limited the number of games any one developer could have on the market at once, I suspect Microsoft wants to limit the number of titles (so that the money consumers spend on games gets spread over fewer titles, thus more profit per title). I suspect they also want to keep a lid on the number of free/near free titles (the more free options there are, the less likely it is that people will buy the expensive premium titles since the free ones give them enough things to play)

Of course that only worked for Nintendo because they were the dominant player in the market at the time during the glory years of the SNES!

Somehow I don't think Ballmer and co have quite figured out the idea that while they can fool themselves by pretending Windows Phone 7 is actually just Windows 7 on a phone the reality is that even corporate customers are opting for BlackBerry OS devices over any kind of Windows Mobile based device at this point!

C# is irrelevent ; only C++/GLES matters (5, Insightful)

FryingLizard (512858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662758)

"Professional" mobile games (i.e. by commercial dev companies) are almost universally written in straight C/C++ with minimal ObjectiveC / Dalvik wrappers to get to the phone hardware.
If you have a hit title, do you -really- want to have to rewrite the whole thing from top to bottom to port it to other platforms?

I spent several months a few years back working hard to convince my employer (a certain US carrier) that going ahead and launching a J2ME-based mobile platform (in the last 00's - this is post-iPhone, people) was would elicit nothing more than mockery (and, at best, shovelware) from the developer community. My employer subsequently canned the idea, and I like to think that my steely knives helped kill the beast.
My main argument was that forcing developers to rewrite significant portions of code almost guarantees you won't get major titles, regardless of your hardware lineup.

One of the smartest things Google did with Android was the NDK; I recently ported a top-10 iPhone 3d game (written 99% in straight C/++) to Android NDK and including my getting-to-know-you time I was done in 3 weeks. Was scorchingly fast on the Galaxy Tab compared to iPad.

The frank reality is that iOS is very obviously the largest mobile platform for developers, and others (Android, WP7, WebOS etc) must make it as easy as possible to port titles over.
Google did a marvellous job of adding this capability; NDK gives you plenty enough bare metal to port easily from other platforms.
I've not looked at WebOS ;-) but it appears they were smart enough to provide a plain-vanilla C++ and OGLES environment for games.

Android and iPhone can handle running native code apps just fine. If WP7 can't make itself a viable (easy!) porting target like Android, it's going to be spending a lot of Saturday nights at home watching TV waiting for the phone to ring.

Re:C# is irrelevent ; only C++/GLES matters (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662970)

"Professional" mobile games (i.e. by commercial dev companies) are almost universally written in straight C/C++ with minimal ObjectiveC / Dalvik wrappers to get to the phone hardware.

And these "professional" developers (i.e. commercial dev companies) you speak of will have access to native code development the same way they do on the XBox as outlined in the Partner Application Development Policy.

Re:C# is irrelevent ; only C++/GLES matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663132)

whereas on android, everyone has the same api access.

Re:C# is irrelevent ; only C++/GLES matters (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664074)

Are you sure? Because according to
http://thetechjournal.com/electronics/mobile/undisclosed-and-confidential-partner-docs-of-windows-phone-os-7-exposed.xhtml

"Native apps are restricted to OEMs and mobile operators in order to extend the experience and functionality specific to a phone or network"

Re:C# is irrelevent ; only C++/GLES matters (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664276)

The NDK is great. It's too bad Google haven't gone that extra inch and allowed / encouraged apps to target LLVM bitcode instead of native instructions. Even ARM processors have differences in their instruction sets and who's to say all tablets are running ARM anyway? Apps could be compiled natively from the bitcode when they're first installed meaning no loss of speed. It's even possible the Marketplace itself could compile the app natively for the target device based on which device was asking for it.

Funnily enough Google are using LLVM (and Clang) for Renderscript (a CUDA / OpenCL / DirectCompute like API) in Android 3.0 which makes me wonder what's going on. They recognize the benefits for one area but not where it would make most use.

Re:C# is irrelevent ; only C++/GLES matters (2)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665232)

XNA games can be written in C++, Visual Studio just doesn't include the templates for it. You can also easily do the platform bits in C# (which is, frankly, easier) and call directly into the C++ whenever you need.

XNA is .NET, and you can write .NET code in C#, C++, F#, Ruby, Java, Perl. There are LOTS of languages that can compile to the .NET bytecode. All of them can access the Silverlight and XNA libraries.

I think the knee-jerk anti-MS reactions on here unfortunately keep some people from actually looking at the platform and seeing what is there.

WHAT THE FUCK ?? WINDOWS 7 ON A PHONE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662928)

How the fuck did they do that? And why?

I swear MS seem awfully stupid, and this just blows that away to an even more awfully stupid level!! What comes after awfully stupid? That's what MS is.

Re:WHAT THE FUCK ?? WINDOWS 7 ON A PHONE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663102)

What comes after awfully stupid? That's what MS is.

Probably something along the lines of thinking that windows 7 is the same thing as windows phone 7.

Obligatory negative comment about Microsoft (0)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663212)

With inner snarky addition!

Something Something Astroturfing... (-1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663336)

Something Something Astroturfing...

Too much karma... (4, Informative)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35664030)

...so I'll burn a bit here :)

I am an indie game developer working mainly with XNA. I have published a few XBox Live Arcade titles, plus a few WP7 ones. The ease of portability is really high. The only difference (granted, this is not necessarily trivial to implement) is the input devices, which are the first thing I wrap away because for various reasons it is useful to have a game that works well in Windows with kb + mouse. When porting to wp7 no additional code is required. Usually lighting and shaders will be toned down (not much to do, just set different techniques in the stock shaders) and models and textures must be reduced in detail, both for storage and rendering performance.

In the end this is the reason why our games will keep ending also in the wp7 marketplace even though sales are not as high: the development costs for porting are so low that even few sales result in a gain...

Irregular verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35664320)

Windows Phone 7 offers a curated experience, which means Microsoft controls the quality of games appearing on the device

Microsoft curates, Apple stifles

Irregular verbs (1)

JerryQ (923802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35665040)

Windows Phone 7 offers a curated experience, which means Microsoft controls the quality of games appearing on the device. Microsoft curates, whilst Apple stifles ;-) Jerry
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