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Creating Casual Games for Windows 8
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Creating Casual Games for Windows 8

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This presentation was broken into two parts. The first part covers various approaches to creating games on mobile platforms with some details specific to Windows 8. The second part covers......

This presentation was broken into two parts. The first part covers various approaches to creating games on mobile platforms with some details specific to Windows 8. The second part covers strategies for creating successful mobile games including promotion and monetization strategies. While this talk was primarily to a Windows 8 developer audience, the talk was largely cross-platform focused, and parts of the second half on mobile strategy can apply to both apps as well as games.

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  • 1. Presented by Roger PetersAtlanta Windows Apps MeetupFebruary 4th, 2013
  • 2. Roger Peters (@SmartyP)Independent Mobile DeveloperAllMobileEverything.comSmartyPantsCoding.comSmartyP.net
  • 3. You can create games the same wayyou create apps today.Minesweeper Solitaire Alpha Jax
  • 4. • XAML, C#, VB, etc.• Visual Studio / Expression Blend• HTML5, EaselJS, jQuery, etc.
  • 5. More examplesBlackjack Metro Krashlander
  • 6. Pros• Utilize existing app dev knowledge• Leverage platform tools and capabilities (databinding, animation systems, etc.)• Apply learnings from game dev back towards app developmentCons• Platform specific investments• Rendering capabilities and limitations (3D rendering, frame rate, shaders)• Performance
  • 7. Code Share• Game resources and relative parsers (level definitions, image and sound assets)• POCO types, constants, and interfaces• Game logic (via Mono)Platform specific code investment• All view related layouts and definitions (ex: XAML, XIB, XML layouts)• Code-behind layer powering the device- specific view
  • 8. Create any game you want. Master theart of game creation and coding. I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1 (Xbox Live Arcade)
  • 9. • Update() / Draw() loop• Allocate all memory up front• Utilize sprite sheets for animation• Factor in elapsed time in game logic ex: move 200px per second: pos_x = pos_x + 200 * Elapsed.Seconds
  • 10. C++ & DirectX• Cocos2d-x• Box2D• etc.MonoGame [XNA]• C#, VB, etc.• Box2D.XNA• Farseer Physics Engine
  • 11. Fez, Xbox Live Arcade (XNA)
  • 12. Meat Boy, Xbox Live Arcade
  • 13. Pros• Built on basic game concept (update/draw loop)• Great for education• Performance• Large community of platforms and resources (Cocos2d-x, Box2d, Farseer, etc.)• Cross-platform support• CostCons• Very limited and low level operations• No integrated physics engine, editors, etc.• Do most things ‘by hand’
  • 14. Invest in tools that put creatingblockbuster titles within reach.Zombieland USA 2 Bad Piggies
  • 15. Unity
  • 16. Game Engines• Unity* (C#)• Rapid 2D (C++, uses Box2D)• Game Salad* Coming soon, part of Unity 4.x release timeframe
  • 17. Pros• Speed of game creation• Performance and optimization• Cross-platform support• Built in physics and animation systems• Mostly abstracted from platform• Very extensibleCons• Licensing costs• Learning curve• Dependent on cross-platform support of engine
  • 18. • Games which are monetizing the best are using a ‘freemium’ model. Users are cheap, don’t be stingy.• Industry leaders focus on RPI (return-per- install), ASO (app-store-optimization), and large scale user acquisition.• Cross-platform games have a larger potential user base, have their word-of- mouth and social marketing go further, and are less affected by market shifts.
  • 19. “Success is WherePreparation MeetsOpportunity” -Henry Hartman
  • 20. “Flashlight” earns $1400+/day today on iOS – notbecause it was revolutionary, but because it wasestablished in the market before it was oversaturated.
  • 21. Design• Never design for fixed screen sizes• Design for a higher resolution than necessary• Create assets in vector formats when possible (most important for 2D games)• Invest time in your marketplace assets• Don’t reinvent the wheel (utilize Unity Store, and other asset libraries)
  • 22. Monetization• Get familiar with in app purchases (IAP) • Consumables • Unlockables• Get familiar with IAP methods • Virtual currency • Virtual items• Reward users • Return visits • Leaving reviews • Sharing with friends
  • 23. Monetization (continued)• Sell, sell, sell • Ads (banner, full-screen interstitial) • Via in-app stores, pause screens, and popupsGeneral• Must go-wide for ‘freemium’ to work• Paid apps account for only 10% of downloads• Build an app network for cross-promotion and multiple revenue streams• Don’t annoy your users (limit ad frequency, etc.)• Spend time analyzing marketplace top charts• Read other games’ post-mortems
  • 24. JumpersRunnersTask-based games
  • 25. Currently #2 in all free games What’s the Word?
  • 26. To experiment with game ideas?• Use the practical approach – no big investment, and you get to see your game idea soonerTo start a new hobby? To learn somethingnew? Educational purposes?• Use the Hobbyist approach or hardcore approach – learn traditional game coding techniques, and how today’s best game shops create their gamesTo make money?• Building the game is secondary – understanding how to monetize is tantamount. Consider outsourcing, or leveraging existing game engines.
  • 27. Roger Peters (@SmartyP)Independent Mobile DeveloperAllMobileEverything.comSmartyPantsCoding.comSmartyP.net