I’m usually not one for developing games for mobile platforms as I prefer to develop applications. However, this semester I took a module that required a group project which involved developing a game for schoolchildren aged 14-16. My idea was to create a very simple 3D casual game which they could play and hopefully interest them in computer science.
Part of our first coursework assignment was to produce a game business plan which we would have to let the stakeholders know what we intended to create through market analysis. While I was doing this assignment, I thought outside of the box and where I could take the game if we were developing it professionally and one of these was mobile markets as they are perfect for casual games. As a Windows Phone and Windows 8 developer, where better to start than those.
I got myself a copy of this book, Windows Phone 8 Game Development by Marcin Jamro, which runs through an introduction to the Windows Phone platform for beginners. The book also gives you an insight into the technologies available for developing applications and games for the Windows Phone platform including the managed and native sides to the OS.
One thing I like about this book is that it gives you everything you need to know about starting a game project for Windows Phone and doesn’t expect you to know about the platform. You’ll get a beginners course in developing a Windows Phone XAML & Direct3D game, starting with the user interface in XAML and C#. One chapter is solely devoted to teaching you how to use MVVM in your user interfaces which all Windows Phone developers should do. Before long, you’ll be a master at Windows Phone XAML user interfaces.
The second section is a little trickier as it delves into Direct3D and C++. Again, like the C# section, the book doesn’t need you to have a vast knowledge of developing using C++ or Direct3D as it explains it in detail for you! With this section, you’ll get an in-depth course into how to make the game using 3D graphics, native APIs (location services, sensors, etc), collisions, shaders, updating and most importantly, rendering the scenes.
It’s not all Windows Phone though. You are going to need some models for your game. As Blender is free, the book teaches you how to use it. You even get told how to import them into your Visual Studio solution.
The book overall is great for the indie games developers out there who are wanting to have a go at developing a game for Windows Phone 8 using native code than using a cross-platform tool. And out of this, you’ll have a fully working 3D game for Windows Phone which you can release to the Windows Phone marketplace to start earning revenue.
If you’re interested in the Windows Phone 8 Games Development book, you can pick up an eBook copy from Packt Publishing: http://www.packtpub.com/windows-phone-8-game-development/book