Microsoft Gamefest program announced: London, Seattle & Tokyo [Developers]

For those interesting in gaming and you didn't get enough nitty-gritty at the recent E3, you'll want to check out Microsoft's developer conference that focusing just on that topic, across the PC, Xbox and Windows Phone.

Specifically for WP7 devs, the conference will focus on "Avatars, QA, CPU performance, development best practice and DLC.". That last part is real interesting as it looks like Microsoft is rolling out Downloadable Content and microtransaction to Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone in Mango--this is all detailed in the talk "Keep Them Coming Back: Downloadable Content on Windows Phone". That should bring an interesting and exciting expansion of our mobile gaming universe.

The conference is held in London (July 14-15th), Seattle (August 22-23rd) and Tokyo (July 29th) and looks to be a blast.

Hit the jump to see the full Windows Phone session list!

Source: Microsoft Gamefest 2011; via: Next-Gen Biz

  • Ad-Ready Game Development on Windows Phone This talk from an independent game developer explores new business models where games monetize users play through advertising. Come hear real-world revenue and download figures, proving that it is possible to give games to users for free and still make money! The developer will also discuss the philosophy behind game development and how tightly game-design points (highly addictive, highly replayable, ads not intrusive, etc.) are integrated with successful monetization through advertising. Historic data and quotes from reviews enforce the business model, detailing how the developer evolved the model from "menu-only ads" to "ads everywhere in the game." Finally, listen to thoughts about where the future of game advertising may go, along with other highly accessible monetization strategies.
  • Avatars Anywhere with Windows Phone We have lived with avatars in our living rooms, but how about we can take them around in our pockets. Come explore what you can do today with avatars on your phone and also see future of avatars might look like when avatar gets powered by mobile.
  • Best Practices for Windows Phone Quality Assurance On any new platform, there usually exists a host of caveats, gotchas, and unique requirements that one needs to be cognizant of during development of a game. Any number of these, if not dealt with correctly, can prevent a game from shipping. Find out what some of these issues are, how to test for them, and how testing for Windows Phone differs from testing on other platforms.
  • CPU Performance Update for Windows Phone Supercharge your CPU performance, including using SIMD instructions coming with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS tools update. CPU bound tasks such as physics and other math-heavy operations require careful attention to get the most out of the platform. This talk teaches you how to avoid performance pitfalls, and how to get the most out of the runtime updates provided with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS.
  • Developer Postmortem: Babaroga’s Experience with Windows Phone This talk from veteran phone game developer Babaroga highlights the advantages of developing on the Windows Phone platform, as well as tips for transitioning from other platforms, and a collection of quirky lessons learned along the way.
  • From Start to Ship: Top Windows Phone Development Best Practices from the Trenches The Microsoft Advanced Technology Group (ATG) works with game developers worldwide to put the final polish on their titles as they get ready to ship. This talk highlights the common developer pain points for getting Windows Phone games through release, and details best practices you can use to avoid hitting roadblocks in your own titles.
  • From the Ground Up: Windows Phone Game Development Get a game development jump-start for the Windows Phone platform. Learn how to develop games in managed code with the XNA Framework; take advantage of the graphics, input, and audio hardware capabilities on the phone; and get a look at the opportunities available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
  • Keep Them Coming Back: Downloadable Content on Windows Phone Come learn proven approaches for dealing with some of the toughest hurdles in adding downloadable content and microtransactions to your Windows Phone games! This talk introduces the new in-game purchase API for Xbox LIVE titles on Windows Phone. We'll get down to the nitty-gritty of how the API is used in Beards & Beaks, a shipped game title. We’ll delve into a sample code framework that helps you implement game-side functionality not included in the SDK library, including the handling of file transfers, tombstoning, serialization, offline scenarios, localization, content ingestion, and fast content iteration.
  • Performance Patterns and Pitfalls for Windows Phone Games This talk will discuss many performance issues that we've discovered during the course of building our games. It will focus on many of the more esoteric pieces of performance "gotchas" that we've encountered. We will discuss how you can improve your startup time, and why it matters (including details on tombstoning). Included will be other less obvious performance pitfalls such as threading, and the benefits and pitfalls of using them on the phone and why reading from the flash might not be the most ideal situation. Other common performance pitfalls such as garbage and the difference between GPU and CPU costs will also be discussed.
  • Preparing For Success: Building Windows Phone Content Offline Using the XNA Content Pipeline In most games, the content created by artists and designers, and their tools must be significantly altered before it can be consumed by run-time systems. Preparing this content when the game project is built can result in faster and more efficient content loading at runtime. In this talk, we will demonstrate how to use the XNA Content Pipeline to prepare your content for run-time loading and for use in your XNA Game Studio game on Windows Phone.
  • Shiny New Features for Windows Phone Developers Learn about the game development features that are right around the corner for Windows Phone. Dive into new features like Silverlight integration, TCP/UDP sockets, and Gyro support, as well as performance and debugging tools like generational garbage collection, emulator enhancements, and a new code profiler.
  • A Tale of Two Platforms: Windows Phone and Azure Cloud Services Learn everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about building cloud services for your mobile title. This presentation will give an introduction to Azure development, concrete code, and examples showing "tracer bullet" approaches to working with cloud storage on Windows Phone. It also gives examples of how you can use Azure cloud services to add exciting and novel functionality to your mobile gam
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.