Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blind WP7 game development

As I have already said in my previous post, I'm going to share my own experience about developing games for Windows Phone 7. Here is my first tip:
"Do you want to create games for Windows Phone? So, get the Windows Phone device!" 

I know that it's kinda obvious, but I'm sure there are people who think that they have the emulator and it is sufficient. I'm sure because I used to think like that.

About a year ago I decided to create a game for windows phone 7. Initially I thought about a tower defense game but I changed my mind quickly for certain reasons:
  1. I had no windows phone 7 device to test it. It was impossible to find out the right sizes for the cells on the field.
  2. It is a long way to get this kind of game ready and I wanted to try myself ASAP.
For these reasons I decided not to create the tower defense game. I started to work on a simple puzzle and the most of the time I spent on a different minor stuff. The game which supposed to be my little spy in the windows phone 7 game development world, became my child! I discovered that when you spent a bunch of your spare time on something, you start to appreciate it. It turned out that I couldn't allow to myself just throw this spy to the market without making sure that it is really good game. The lack of testing this game on the real device scared me. I was scared because I didn't want anybody said that my game is just a pice of crap. I still had no device to test it.

One day I saw a Microsoft announcement about the ScriptTD project. It was surprising because it's an open source project. That means that everybody who wants to create a tower defense game has now that opportunity.

I remember that I was even a little upset (I don’t know why) but the next moment I realized that actually this project is exactly what I needed. It solves the two main problems I mentioned above because:
  1. It's already tested on the real device
  2. I don't need to spend much time to get my tower defense game ready 
Time passed and finally I have bought the windows phone 7 device to be able to test my games. I spent some time on this game and this game became my child as well. I couldn't anymore rely on the fact that it was tested! I noticed there are so many things you might want to test but you can't do this without the real device: touch screen, gestures, sizes of the objects and many other. Without testing you have a risk to get many angry users because you literally created your game blindly.

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