Game Development chat update #AskMSDevs
Last week @msdevindia team hosted 2 hours of “Game Development” chat on Twitter with #AskMSDevs tag. I really enjoyed answering “game development” related questions from developers across the country.
We had a decent participation and I believe people have already started with their game development for Windows platform. Here’s some interesting facts from the Twitter based AskMSDevs chat:
Thanks everyone for joining the session!
Here’s some top queries and my answers.
1. How to start game development for Windows platform. Any tutorials available?
To start with game development one can go through a very nice MVA training “Gaming Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start” available through the following link: http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/gaming-engines-for-windows-8-jump-start
2. Considering performance for #gamedev What do you suggest C++/DirectX or a cross platform game engine?
Well if you really need high performance GPU based support for the game, you can choose C++/DirectX over cross platform game engines.
To begin with C++/DirectX game development, there’s another nice MVA course “Introduction to C++ and DirectX Game Development Jump Start” http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/introduction-to-c-and-directx-game-development-jump-start
3. For developing 2D games, there are #html5 game engines. Which one do you think is the best to start? And
Can I easily develop and publish the Unity 2D (made on v4.3 and above) to windows phone 8?
Construct2 from Scirra is a great engine to start with 2D HTML based game development. The first MVA link in this blog covers that. You can also look at GameSalad and GameMaker for HTML based game developments
Unity also introduced 2D based game development platform. A very nice video tutorial series is available here: http://indiedevspot.azurewebsites.net/2014/04/25/build-a-2d-top-down-game-zero-to-published-part-1/
4. Can we now develop Universal Windows game apps?
Yes, both Microsoft and Unity support universal game development targeting Windows Phone and Windows store. You can choose C++/DirectX or Unity to create universal games
5. What are the important things/aspects should I take into consideration/target before starting #gamedev?
In today’s gaming world, practically every type of game already exists. Therefore, to be successful you would need to think of unique ideas for games, or present an existing idea in a unique way.
Know your audience: It’s important that you understand the target audience. Analyze who and why people will play your game when there are tons of similar games out there. One way to stand out amongst the crowd is to have a “best at” statement. For example, this game is “best at” letting kids learn alphabets.
Truly knowing your audience will help you in building
- User Experience strategy
- Marketing strategy
- Monetization strategy
There are multiple dimensions of analysis before you start your game development.
One needs to apply “Design Thinking” before proceeding with any development. However, planning plays a critical role especially in case of game development where user experience is most important
6. While targeting a mob platform, what should I consider for best performance - Device memory or processor speed?
On Windows Phone device memory has higher priority over processor speed. In fact one can neglect the processor speed and focus solely on memory. Windows Phone comes in two segments based on memory 512 MB, low memory devices and 1GB, 2GB high end memory devices.
If you do not want to compromise great graphics and still want to reach low memory device consumers, you can have two separate builds. Follow this link to know further: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ujjwalk/archive/2014/04/16/game-apps-submission-for-windows-phone-8-low-end-devices.aspx
7. Is MS planning any new SKDs for Unity3D?
· Prime31 has released great plugins for Unity3D some are absolutely free and others are paid: https://prime31.com/plugins# Check out Windows Store and Windows Phone tabs
· BitRave has free Unity and Azure plugins http://www.bitrave.com/unity-windows-8-plugins/ and
8. How often should we provide updates?
This depends on the game, genre, target audience and most important “User Feedbacks”. It’s highly recommended to review and implement meaningful user feedbacks as soon as possible.
Traditionally, quality mobile game developers, who manage to retain most of their users put an update at least every 2 -3 months.
9. Once I have developed my game, how can I monetize my game?
Monetization strategy should be included in the beginning, at the planning stage itself. You can go for premium or freemium models. In my experience, I have seen premium games doing quite well provided there is some trial experience for end users.
You can also choose to go free with Ads and provide Ads free version at charge. However, what works best is IAP (In App Purchase) model for most of the mobile games.
i. Monetization and business models http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh465433.aspx
In case you have further queries, please feel free to reach out to me. Please do join my talk at Techgig tomorrow, 26th June 2014, 3:00 – 4:00pm IST, to know more about cloud based game development with focus on compute.