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3 years ago

Mobile Nations Monday Brief: December 26, 2011

3 years ago

Microsoft to disarm Xbox Live Avatars

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One of the cool features of XBox Live on your Windows Phone is the ability to pull your avatar into the mix. We see it in the gaming hub and featured on Xbox Live games such as Shuffle Party and now games like PES 2012 will even award 'em for gameplay--obviously they're becoming more and more important on WP7.

One customization component of your avatar is the ability to purchase and add props. We've seen everything from a light saber to a limited-edition Windows Phone prop available for your avatar to tinker. According to various reports online, one prop class will be gone with the wind starting January 1, 2012.

According to a post over at the Epic Games Forums (Gears of War):

Heads up! Starting on Jan. 1, 2012, the Lancer and Hammerburst avatar items will no longer be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. If you’ve purchased the items prior to Jan. 1, you will be able to keep them. A new policy goes into effect for all gun-like avatar items on the Marketplace, so get them while they’re hot.

There are already restrictions on your avatar prohibiting violence that causes blood, gore, dismemberment, decapitation, maiming or mutilation as well as prohibitions on sexual acts, allowing the avatar to excrete obscene bodily fluids or substances and acts of aggressive or threatening manners. Reportedly,  Microsoft will be amending this policy to prohibit "gun-like" avatar items on the Marketplace as well.

Some of these props, due to licensing issues, won't transfer over to your Windows Phone and you may not be impacted by this new policy as a result. Still, it seems ridiculous that we can shoot up enemy troops, blast alien hordes, and have our avatar wield a light saber that can slice through flesh as it was butter but our avatars can't carry a toy gun? What do you folks think: good idea to appeal to the masses (with children) or is Microsoft trying too hard to be like Nintendo? We've already seen their green-blood and "adult content" policy take its toll--is Microsoft going too far?

source: g4tv

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Suggestion Box Windows Phone app

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Microsoft has released an app for Windows Phone to complement the suggestion website that's up and running where visitors can submit and/or rate suggestions for the platform. Users are able to login with the website credentials (sign up should you not already have an account - can be achieved within the app), and are then able to contribute to the feedback queue while on the go.

Some highlighted features of the app include:

  • This app connects your Windows Phone to the Windows Phone Suggestion Box forum (http://windowsphone.uservoice.com)
  • Suggest new capabilities and features
  • Browse current suggestions (sortable by top ideas, hot ideas and new ideas)
  • Comment on submitted suggestions
  • Add up to three votes to suggestions

The Suggestion Box app can be downloaded from the Marketplace for free. 

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Running Dude

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Here's a challenging run, jump and shoot type game that will keep you on your toes. Running Dude is a retro styled game that has you running across a series of platforms to see how far you can make it before falling to your fate.

Running Dude is controlled by two buttons at the bottom sides of the screen. The right button controls your jump, the left controls your weapon. No need to worry about your running speed. It's automatic and set to fast.

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3 years ago

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 to feature Xbox Live avatar awards

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Avatar awards have been a popular feature in Xbox 360 titles for some time now. Basically, some console titles include unlockable items for player’s Xbox Live avatars. It’s a nice way to deck out your avatar without specifically buying avatar goods.

Of course, one of the hopes of Xbox fans who buy into Windows Phone is that mobile Xbox Live titles will eventually match their console big brother’s games feature for feature. Toward that end,  Microsoft teased the addition of avatar awards to Windows Phone games back in August (if not sooner). Yet no specific games or time frame has been mentioned… until now.

Avatar Awards, a little site run by our own reader DarkSynopsis, has happened across the first tangible evidence of a Windows Phone title with avatar awards. Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, sequel to this year’s PES 2011, looks to have both a shirt (in both male and female varieties) and a soccer ball prop for players to adorn their avatars. The ball will be easy to unlock (win a single match), while the shirt’s requirement of 50 wins sounds a bit more grueling.

We don’t know when PES 2012 is coming or whether other mobile games will include avatar awards before Konami’s soccer sequel debuts. At any rate, gamers who dig avatars (like me!) now at least know the feature is really happening in the near future.

Source: Avatar Awards; Thanks, 24AMonth, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Happy Holidays from WPCentral and Mobile Nations

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the staff at WPCentral and Mobile Nations! Here's wishing everyone a joyous holiday and that all your wishes come true.

We're taking a break today and spending time with friends and family. Stay safe, stay warm and enjoy the day. We'll be back tomorrow to keep you posted on Windows Phone news, views and reviews.

Merry Christmas

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3 years ago

Want really good graphics? Check out ARMED!

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Just caught wind of a new Windows Phone game that simply looks fantastic. ARMED! is a sci-fi turn-based, multiplayer strategy game. You are in command of a fleet of sci-fi tanks, turrets and robots with one goal in mind...crush your enemy.

Key features includes:

  • Five maps with unique artwork and tactical terrain features
  • Twelve offensive and defensive units to command into battle
  • Over fifty unit upgrades and special attacks to help turn the tide
  • Simultaneous turn online multiplayer with ratings and matchmaking
  • Live Tile updates with turn notifications
  • Track your rankings on the real time leaderboards
  • Scoreloop integration with photo profiles

While the main attraction of ARMED! is the mult-player mode, you also have a single player option to do battle with the CPU. The game is fantastically animated with the ability to zoom out and have a two-dimensional view or zoom in for the 3D table top view.

There's a lot to ARMED! and luckily there is a really good tutorial to walk you through the mechanics of the game. In just tinkering with ARMED! for a few minutes, the graphics are impressive and the game play not too shabby either.

There is a trial version available for ARMED! and the full version is running $3.99. It is a mango app for your Windows Phone and you can grab ARMED! here at the Marketplace.

via: wp7connect thanks Danny p for the tip!

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3 years ago

Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone beta [Developers]

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In case you didn't get the memo, the world now runs on achievements. I would say that it's rather superficial, but honestly that magic little sound my XBOX makes when it thinks I'm awesome is just plain addictive. Yip, most of us have this weird compulsion - whether it's beating that final boss in some ridiculously hard kill-em-all, or serving 20 customers in one level in Sally's Salon.

So why is it just for games? Well, a little while ago the great minds at Channel 9 decided that us developers deserved a piece of the pie too, and launched Visual Studio Achievements.

What more could we need?

Personally I think there needs to be a lot more achievements added, but besides that Den Delimarsky seems to have hit the nail on the head. He has just released the beta of Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone which you can use to track achievements plus compare yourself to others (for modern-day bragging rights of course). There is also Live Tile integration plus a load of other features he has planned. And quite frankly, it's beautiful:

So if you didn't have enough reason to be using VS Achievements before, you do now.

Den is currently running the beta for all who are interested, so I would jump on the band-wagon quickly before all the space fills up. As with all beta's run through the marketplace you will need to provide him with you LiveID and your phone does not have to be unlocked.

Hit up the link below for more details.

Source: Den by default

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Sleigh

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Windows Phone Game Review: Sleigh

Keeping with our Holiday Theme, Sleigh is a Windows Phone game that has you guiding Santa's sleigh through hill and dale to see how much hang time you can generate. Apparently, Santa's reindeers have gone missing and gifts have been scattered across the land.  You need to guide Santa up and down hills, catching air along the way and snatching up as many wayward gifts as possible.

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3 years ago

Developer Interview: Damian Karzon

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3 years ago

Clear Windows Phone discovered in Microsoft Lab

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The Verge was granted access to Microsoft's model shop where super-top secret prototypes are created. While the 3D printer used to create these prototypes is really cool, towards the end of the video (around the 3.36 mark).  It may not be an actual working Windows Phone but the clear case is definitely an attention getter.

The clear Windows Phone was created to highlight the screen and likely never got any further on the drawing board.  Still, how well do you think a clear cased working Windows Phone would go over?

via: 1800pocketpc source: The Verge (YouTube)

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3 years ago

Achieve home automation with Home Control for Windows Phone

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We previously covered Julien Schapmen, of Touch Xperience, who produced a homebrew solution for Windows Phone owners who desire to use their mobile phone to achieve home automation. From changing the channel on your television, to altering the colour of your LED room lights, the hack was pretty cool, but hadn't reached the Marketplace for the average user to download. 

We can now turn our heads to an unofficial Switch King client for Windows Phone - Home Control. To be able to use the app, you'll need a Switch King server and Telldus Live service set up. There's a free trial available that allows full functionality for up to five (5) devices. To attach more home devices, you'll need to fork out $2.49 (£1.99).

Check out the video after the break for an app demonstration (as well as some funky music), and download Home Control from the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Exclusive: Bug Village to break the freemium barrier on Xbox Live

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As the Windows Phone game library continues to grow, a few types of games remain conspicuously absent: role-playing games, first-person shooters, and freemium games. The first two are well-established genres (on other platforms), but the term freemium is a bit different. It’s not really a genre, but a business model. Freemium games are free to play but also have optional (or semi-optional) premium content for users to purchase. There hasn’t been a proper freemium Xbox 360 game yet, but they’re quite common on PC and iOS: Farmville, Smurf Village, and even many MMO games utilize the freemium business model.

Windows Phone kinda-sorta has a freemium game already: Haypi Kingdom. However, Microsoft shot down its in-game transaction model, forcing players to email the developer outside of the game in order to purchase coins. The neutering of Haypi Kingdom raised the question: when, if ever would the big MS officially allow games with microtransactions on Windows Phone? That’s surely the number one thing keeping Zynga away from the platform, after all.

The times they are a-changing, my friends. WPCentral is pleased to announce that a freemium game is officially coming to Windows Phone, and it’s an Xbox Live title to boot! That bleeding edge title is Bug Village, first announced back in August and from the fine folks at Glu Mobile (with porting duties handled by Babaroga). Bug Village really is an important title for the platform. Gamers might remember how Microsoft’s own Beards & Beaks included paid DLC, but the game itself costs money. Bug Village establishes the freemium model for the platform, making it more than a simple iOS port.

What kind of game is Bug Village? Why, it’s a city-building game, much like the aforementioned Smurf Village. The object is to build the biggest and best village with the help of your faithful insect army. Building things costs resources, of which there are two types: acorns and coins. While players can obtain acorns through normal gameplay, coins will cost real-world money. Bug Village has another goal on top of just building: to unlock Achievements! There are 200 GamerScore worth of Achievements to earn. We were previously told freemium games would be limited to 100 GamerScore, but Microsoft recently decided to allow all mobile games the full 200 regardless of business model.

We’ve just scratched the tip of the iceberg on Bug Village’s payment model and features. To find out more, check back next weekend for our Glu Mobile Xbox Live Developer Interview.

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3 years ago

Add a twist to your messages with MyTextTwister

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Need to spice up your text messages? Want to drive your friends crazy with upside down text messages? Want to do the same with Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live posts?

If you do, check out MyTextTwister over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. MyTextTwister adds a creative touch to your messages and posts with text effects such as inverted, rounded, leet speak, and lots of ASCII art effects.  A recent update to the app added a holiday theme to the available art effects.

MyTextTwister's interface is simple. You have one field to enter your text in a normal fashion and a preview field to show the effected text. Just below these two field is where you choose your Twisting Logic. Down below are buttons to add ASCII decorations, send the text to your SMS client, email the text or send it to a Facebook, Twitter or Windows Live.

It is noted in MyTextTwister's Marketplace description that sending ASCII arts and text effects relies on your service provider's support for sending 16-bit unicode text SMS and the receiving phone's support to receive such messages.

MyTextTwister is an interesting Windows Phone app to give your text messages and social media posts a unique flare. MyTextTwister is a free, ad-supported mango app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

AT&T Samsung Focus S Giveaway Winners!

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AT&T Samsung Focus S Giveaway Winners!

It wasn't easy but we've look through all the entries in the Samsung Focus S giveaway and have identified the winning entry. The contest called for readers to submit thier WPCentral lockscreen wallpaper in this Forums discussion. We were simply amazed at the quality and number of entries submitted. Over 270 entries were submitted and picking the best was tough.

First, we would like to thank AT&T for providing the Samsung Focus S (they were impressed with the quality and volume of entries as well) and the WPCentral Accessory Store for providing the prizes for the runner-ups.  To find out who won, you're gonna have to head past the break.

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