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3 years ago

2011: Lessons learned from a Windows Phone developer

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There's little doubt that Windows Phone game developer Elbert Perez has had his fair share of success. With over a dozen games in the Marketplace ranging from Armored Drive to Steam Castle to Impossible Shoota, Perez has definitely left an impression over at the Windows Phone gaming aisle.

He recently posted his thoughts on the past year, reflecting on lessons learned.  2011 marks the year Perez became an independent developer, his own boss, and he shared a few of these lessons.

  • "Better marketing is just as important as better game development." You need to aggressively market your game across several platforms to be successful. Perez notes the use of Twitter, blogs, and ad campaigns being among the many techniques he's used.
  • "Having a cash cow that can sustain your other games..." Perez earned over $61,000 in 2011 from his games but not every game performed equally. He points to a handful of titles that provided the income to allow him to experiment with other titles.
  • "Money is never consistent and you can only do so much about it." While 2011 was financially successful for Perez his revenue graph shows that what he earned was far from consistent. He recommends to either have a low monthly expense or a big enough savings to cushion against weak income.

Perez also touches on running his own business and how it was different from being an employee. He had to quickly learn about  accounting, invoices, expenses, taxes and other aspects of running his own business and being the boss.  There became a realization that a good amount of work involved in running his own business did not directly relate to developing games.

2011 was a good year for Elbert Perez and reflective of the potential the Windows Phone industry has for independent developers.  If you're looking for a model for success Elbert Perez isn't a bad choice.  Let's hope the successful momentum continues into 2012 and beyond for all our Windows Phone developers.

source: occassionalgamer

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 to launch in Sweden on January 23rd. Pre-order now.

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It's official - the Nokia Lumia 800 (our review) is set to be released into the wild in Sweden on January 23rd and you can pre-order it now.

The country has already seen the Samsung Omnia W being added to carriers, but now it's Nokia's turn according to an official statement. The Windows Phone will be on Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Three (Sweden), as well as a number of retail stores just three-weeks from now. The price tag of the handset is aimed to be around the 3900 SEK ($560) mark.

Source: Nokia, via: WinGadget.se

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3 years ago

'31 Days of Windows Phone Metro Design' series launches

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We previously covered 31 Days of Mango app development, a daily post on the best way to make apps on Windows Phone. Now we're kicking off the new year with a '31 Days of Windows Phone Metro Design' lead by Arturo Toledo, a Sr. User Experience Designer at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Design Studio:

"We usually refer to “Metro” as the UI design style Microsoft is using in their platform and the one Microsoft is exposing for developers and designers to create apps for Windows Phone (I’m focusing on Windows Phone in this series). But let’s delve a bit deeper into the term “Metro” and explore what it really means. To begin with, Metro is defined by two things: Metro Design Principles and Metro Design Language..."

The series looks to be pretty killer and we hope developers take note. One thing we have learned from user feedback here at WPCentral is that you folks are Metro-fanatics--if an app doesn't look Metro enough, a lot of you tend to rip it up in reviews. That's important for devs to remember when making apps as the more Metro it looks, the better the reviews tend to be (although there is room for going outside of Metro, see SoundHound, Shazam and Tweet It!).

Anyways, devs, bookmark and learn from this series. You ignore it at your own peril in the Marketplace as Windows Phone users have spoken: they want Metro.

Source: ux.artu.tv

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3 years ago

Mockup of Nokia 900 shows phone in new light

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Mockup of Nokia 900 shows phone in new light

A few days ago we posted the leaked "holiday card" from Pocketnow that supposedly showed bits and pieces of the Nokia "Ace" or 900 with AT&T branding. Those images could be faked as renders are notoriously easy to spoof and let's be honest...black slab Nokia phones are not exactly too difficult to imagine.

But assuming that leak is accurate, we can finally see what the phone would look like in all its glory. One of the readers at The Nokia Blog took matters into his own hands and assembled a "full" image from those leaked shots, giving us a full frontal shot (Wait, we're still talking about phones, right?). Incidently, it does look more and more like that "mystery" Nokia phone from the Microsoft promotional video is this phone, no?

Just off the cuff it looks like a modified Nokia Lumia 800 which is exactly what we're expecting. We'll admit though, it's hard to excited over a render even if it is accurate. Nokia phones are more about the quality in the hand and less about initial looks, so until we get our hands on one, we're going to remain less enthusiastic over this stuff.

The Nokia 900 "Ace" is expected to feature a 4.3" "clear black" screen, 16GB of storage, 4G LTE, front-facing camera and a 1.4GHz CPU. Launch is rumored to in March with an announcement next Monday at CES which we'll be attending.

Source: The Nokia Blog; Thanks, Leo, for the tip!

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3 years ago

MTV Video features Windows Phone

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MTV Video features Windows Phone

Yet another cameo by a Windows Phone has surfaced. This time in a MTV Video Premiere from the music video "We Are Young" by the group fun.

Around the 0:29 mark you'll see a bar patron texting on her Windows Phone (an HTC Titan I believe). Then in a fit of rage she hurls the phone into the air and a slow motion bar fight/food fight ensues.  We're not sure if a stunt double was used in shooting this video.

If I'm not mistaken, there's also a Fruit Ninja reference around the 1:50 mark.

Thanks, Will, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Ninja Shooter

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Ninja Shooter is a simple, yet challenging Windows Phone game that is brought to us by XIMAD. Ninja Shooter continues the never ending conflict between Pandas and Ninjas.

Ninja Shooter joins other XIMAD games such as Pandas vs. Ninjas, Ninja Breakout and Kung Fu Tic, Tac, Toe. Ninja Shooter is a nicely animated game for your Windows Phone and includes a local leaderboard and three game speeds.

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3 years ago

Hackathon winner Duudle now available at the Marketplace

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If you recall, way back in November one of the events at Nokia World was the announcement of the Hackathon winner. Hackathon was a development contest where 40 developers had 40 hours to create an app for a Nokia Phone. Visiarc won the contest with their Windows Phone game Duudle. Why the recap? Well, Duudle is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Duudle is a Pictionary styled game for your Windows Phone where you have thirty seconds to doodle a picture describing a word. Then your opponents have to guess the word from the doodle. The quicker they correctly guess the word, the more points earned.

Duudle is a multi-player, turn based game that is played online much like AlphaJax or SpellIt. You'll need to register (free) with Duudle to play online when you first launch the game.  If you signup with your Facebook account, you'll automatically see your Facebook friends who are Duudle players.  You then pick up games against your Facebook friends or in random games to make new friends. Being turned based the game takes on a relaxing pace giving players up to seventy-two hours to complete their turn.

There is a free trial available for Duudle with the full version running $2.99. You can find your copy here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Peter, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Monday Brief: January 2, 2012 - The Making Of

3 years ago

Xbox Live: Chickens Can't Fly will have avatar awards, a little rooster says

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Last week we learned that Konami’s upcoming sports Xbox Live title Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 would feature unlockable avatar awards in the form of a t-shirt and soccer ball. Now UK website Electronic Theatre is reporting that another impending title, Chickens Can’t Fly, will have avatar awards as well. They don’t say what the game’s avatar items will be, but it’s nice to know it’ll have something for our precious avatars.

Chickens Can’t Fly is the Xbox Live sequel to indie hit Chickens Can Dream from developer Amused Sloth. Players steer a falling chicken down a trench filled with all sorts of deadly hazards (and tasty corn). Think of it as a reverse Doodle Jump, but with powerups you can store and use later.

Chickens Can Dream is no longer listed on the Marketplace, but you may be able to grab it here (for free). Chickens Can’t Fly is due on Xbox Live sometime around February or March.

UPDATE: As one of the developers indicates in the comments section of this post, the avatar items will be patched in with the first title update rather than being included at launch.

Source: Electronic Theatre

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3 years ago

Beware fake Spotify app in Marketplace

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On December 20, a fake Spotify app surfaced in the Marketplace.  It is published by a user called khanamish and is selling for $.99, as opposed the official Spotify, which can be downloaded for free.  Other signs to look for to differentiate between the two are that the real Spotify is listed with a capital "S" in the title and uses the Spotify logo, whereas the fake one's icon actually has the word "Spotify" as its icon.  The fake also only has two reviews, one of which flat out calls it a scam.  We're not exactly ready to do that ourselves, but we will question the developer's motives and tell you to steer clear of it.  At the very least, why pay when you can the official app at no cost?

Khanamish has two other apps in the Marketplace, Stock Today and AllSportz.  Both have the same look as the Spotify rip-off, but both are free, so maybe they are legit.  We're not looking to make trouble for any devs, but khanamish's Spotify app is dubious and warrants being called out.  If anyone out there has used this or any other app by this developer, we'd certainly like to get your feedback.

Thanks to Den for alerting us to this!

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3 years ago

Full page Ad for Samsung Focus Flash appears in Sunday's LA Times

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Well, it's nice to see AT&T kicking off the new year by once again promoting the Samsung Focus Flash. We guess the low-priced Windows Phone gets more advertising priority than the Focus S or HTC Titan--a decision we're not exactly thrilled with, but we suppose we'll take what we can get.

What you see to the side though is a full-page ad in today's LA Times. That's a pretty popular, widely read newspaper and full-page ads are fairly eye catching (not to mention expensive). Hopefully it will pay off for AT&T and Windows Phone but as we mentioned, we couldn't help but wonder why they're not pushing the giant Titan nearly as much--seems an easy sell with that 4.7" screen.

Thanks, Lawrence F., for the tip and scan!

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3 years ago

New Xbox LIVE games for 2012: Bullet Asylum, geoDefense Swarm, Tamagotchi & Age of Zombies

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We like it when leaks happen. We like it even more when they come from Microsoft and are out in the open. Yes, on the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone 7.5 page, Microsoft lists a bunch of games, most of which we already have or know about. But in the post, they also slip in a few new titles that get us excited:

Bullet Asylum - From UberGeekGames, Bullet Asylum was first announced for WP7, Xbox 360 and PC way back in late 2010. Looks like the Missile Command meets bullet-hell game will finally see the light of day soon though. We're not gonna lie, this looks awesome.

geoDefense Swarm - geoDefense by Critical Thought remains one of our favorite tower defense games so we're stoked to hear of a sequel not only in the works, but evidently close enough to release that Microsoft is listing it. Swarm is available on iOS and is a proper sequel to the game, so nice to see it coming to our neck of the woods.

Tamagotchi - No word on the specifics here but anyone familiar with those little Japanese electronic-pet games knows what to expect. The image below is from an iOS version from Namco, which may be the port here.

Age of Zombies - This one is from Halfbrick makers of Fruit Ninja, so you know it has to be good. Available on iOS and Android, this is your typical arcade shooter/adventure game. No doubt this will have some great humor and will be an excellent casual game.

No word on release dates for any of the above but we're hoping for sooner than later as these look like some strong titles.

Source: Microsoft; Thanks, Gatlyn, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Pandora player MetroRadio gets a new look with latest update

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We like the little competition between MetroRadio and Radio Controlled for best 3rd party Pandora app and while the latter still has more features, MetroRadio's v3.1 update is looking quite nice.

As you can see above, the player itself now features the album art as a background which works weill with the minimalist layout and design of the app. The program's icon also got a refresh and looks a lot sharper now. Other changes include:

  • Added Live Tile for the main app, and for each individual pinned station.
  • Cleaned the player Interface.
  • Better Station-Adding experience.
  • Adding Coming Up for next songs in the player.

Nice changes for sure and it should make fans of this app quite happy. Can't wait to see what else is coming. Pick up MetroRadio for free in the Marketplace here.

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3 years ago

Reddit app Baconit now available internationally

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The other week we mentioned the new app Baconit from Quinn Damerell as being one of the first Mango-enabled Reddit.com apps for Windows Phone. Not only that, it's quite slick with a Metro UI and a ton of options for an initial-release.

One snafu at the time though was the app was only available in the US. This however wasn't intentional on the dev's part but was instead a hiccup in the Marketplace which has now been rectified. So if you were looking to try it out, you'll want to head back to the Marketplace to give it another go. Did we mention the app was completely free with no-ads and a Live Tile? Pretty great stuff if you're a Redditor like ourselves.

Version 1.4 should be entering beta real soon as well. That version will fix a couple of issues in v1.3 as well as bring new features. Grab the current release here in the Marketplace or click-n-zoom the QR code below to get your Reddit-on.

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3 years ago

Supreme Shortcuts goes to v2.0 with new features [Homebrew]

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We covered Supreme Shortcuts before, the homebrew app over at XDA by MJCS that allows you to add shortcuts to virtually anything on your Windows Phone. Unlike similar apps in the Marketplace, Supreme Shortcuts go waaay beyond what those offer by giving access to deeper level settings. How many shortcuts can you create? As of version 2.0 you can pin 71 settings/menus/apps. That's why it's supreme and now version 2.0 is out and looks even better:

  • Major UI overhaul
  • Ability to select: Accent Color (both stock and custom), Library of stock Icons, Library of your own Icons, Library of stock Backgrounds, Library of customized Backgrounds

Sure, you probably won't even use a 1/4 of these but being able to have a shortcut to Internet Sharing for us is enough to sideload this free app (though donations are encouraged). If Supreme Shortcuts sounds like something you want, head to the source link below for more info, including a list of all the shortcuts.

Source: XDA Forums

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