What to Expect from Microsoft at GDC

What to Expect from Microsoft at GDC

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We at Microsoft look forward to GDC as much as you do.  We get to geek out with the best game developers in the world and learn how we can help you be successful.  We’re always working to provide the tools and technologies you need to target the broadest possible market for your apps and games.  This includes improving the capabilities of .NET, investing in partnerships and standards, and creating a more unified developer platform for Windows devices.

Microsoft’s own BUILD event is only a few days away (April 2nd – 4th), but we do have a few things to share with game developers this week.

During GDC you’ll see that we’re working to generate opportunities for game developers of all sizes.  We’ve produced hits of our own for Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone like Halo: Spartan Assault, Shuffle Party and Wordament.  We also offer top titles from big publishers like Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise; EA’s NBA Jam, Mass Effect and Bejeweled; and Gameloft’s Asphalt and Assassin’s Creed titles (to name just a few).

We’re generating opportunities for independent game developers as well.  We’ve improved merchandising and monetization choices for Windows and Windows Phone, helping titles like Hill Climb Racing and Dredd vs. Zombies enjoy higher in-app purchase revenue per download than their Google Play versions and well over a million downloads in less than a year, respectively.

We’re also improving the platform to make it easier to build or port amazing games to Windows and Windows Phone. Already games account for more than 30% of all Windows Phone Store downloads and nearly 40% of Windows Store downloads.  Windows developers have seen a 4x increase in In-App-Purchase revenue over the past year.  This week we’re sharing more about how you’ll build even better games.

For many years the most engaging and visually impressive games in the world have relied on our DirectX graphics technology.  During GDC we’ll share a preview of the next version of DirectX. During a pair of sessions on March 20, we’ll join with several of our software and hardware partners to explain how DirectX 12 will allow developers to squeeze every last drop of performance out a full range of hardware, including Windows tablets, phones, PCs and Xbox One. 

Middleware engines are another great way to maximize investment.  We’re working closely with several top middleware partners to make Windows and Windows Phone part of their offerings.

  • Corona Labs has announced the first beta of their Corona SDK with support Windows Phone. Developers can take the Corona coding challenge at the Microsoft booth.
  • Marmalade will, for the first time, be demonstrating support for Windows 8.1 apps at their booth (#2510).  Microsoft will also be at the Marmalade booth showing how to bring games made with Marmalade to Windows platform.
  • Unity developers can join Carl Callewaert (Unity) & Adam Tuliper (Microsoft) for their session:  “Your Unity Game in More Hands - How to Build for Windows and Windows Phone,” on Thursday, March 20 at 11:30 am. This is a great resource if you’re planning on taking advantage of the current offer for Unity developers.  You can also check out the Unity booth #1402, to learn more about how to bring Unity games to the Windows platform.

Attendees can stop by the Microsoft booth (located in the lobby of the South Hall) to learn more about everything we’re doing at GDC. While you’re there, check out our coding challenges.  By taking a challenge you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win prizes including an Xbox One, Nokia Lumia 1020, Dell Venue 8 Pro and more.*  We have 12 coding challenges for you to learn and have fun building games for Windows and Windows Phone. Some challenges focus on Microsoft technologies like DirectX, HTML5, C#/XAML, Live Tiles, Microsoft Ads and Project Spark, while others features solutions from Corona, Cocos2D-x, Facebook, Marmalade, Rapid2D and Unity.

Finally, we’ll explain how we’re doing more to help Independent developers get onto Xbox.  After launching last August, the ID@Xbox self-publishing program for Xbox One has more than 200 developers working on titles, with several set to launch in the near future.  We look forward to sharing more at GDC and inviting developers interested in the program to apply at www.xbox.com/id .

The Microsoft opportunity for game developers is only getting bigger. Xbox is welcoming more developers to the console. Games are the top revenue generating category for both Windows and Windows Phone, with In-App-Purchase surpassing Download-to-Own revenue on each.  We’re working to give game developers the tools and flexibility you need to be successful across devices.  If you’re at GDC, come by and see us in the lobby of the South Hall.  We look forward to sharing even more about the work we’re doing for developers during the Build conference in a few weeks.

Cheers,
Guggs 

* No purchase necessary. Open only to GDC 2014 attendees. Game ends 3/21/2014.  You will receive 1 entry for each Challenge you take, up to a maximum of 10 entries per person. Must be present to win. See aka.ms/code2win or the Microsoft Lobby Bar at Moscone South Hall for full Official Rules.

6 Comments
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  • Aarkham
    0 Posts

    @Nathan, are you more happy after being so rude? Do you really think MS needs this kind of support?

    "Apple is like 1300 USD, while Windows 8.1 runs on my Pentium D PC (worth $60 in chick market these days). I bought Windows 8 upgrade for $39."

    Good luck trying to develop something on a Pentium D and don't forget to run the Windows Phone 8 emulator in it.

    "You can develop Windows Phone apps in VS Express, with quite enough features. If you need auxiliary most VS features (code matrixes, performance measure analysis), you need to pay for it. If you are a student, you get it for free. If you are an MSDN subscriber or your company is partner, you get it for free."

    Nice that you can have a very cheap PC, you'll need the money for the paid editions of Visual Studio or the MSDN subscription. It's also fun that you search the cheapest PC but no the cheapest Mac.

    "For games; you have Unity 3d and other middle tier engines ported for it. DirectX has head to head features set when comparing to OPENGL and even better in many regards. What is NOT possible in DX please enlighten us?"

    I have not said that OpenGL is better than DX, what I have said is that OpenGL is the standar in mobile games. If you want to help developers to port their games to Windows Phone supporting OpenGL would be a very good move. Please try to understand it, it´s not difficult.

    "Comparing XCode with VS is beyond the point. Even edge version of your XCode vs. VS2005 sucks in features. If you were by any mean comparing those, you don't have any idea what VS is and what kind of hardcore sh-t you can pull with it. "

    I do not like XCode, but it has some very good tools that Visual Studio Express lacks. You don't want that MS improves its products?

    "The market share, well Windows Phone not their yet, but it would be... The same claim your ancestors praising Sun Microsystem used to have back in the day. Now it just belong to back in the day.."

    I have nothing against MS or Windows Phone, if it increases the market share better for it. Where have I said anything about Sun? You have some paranoid thoughts.

    "Please don't come back on official Windows Blog, if all you have to spit is spiteful venom."

    I'll return here if I want to. I'm sure that you don't represent nothing at Microsoft and that you are not a typical Microsoft developer with your attitude.

  • Nathan
    63 Posts

    @Aarkham, thank you for trolling on Windows Blog and kissing your beloved Scroogle Google's ass.

    "An apple can be pricey, but a PC can be also. I'm not going to defend Apple, but if you want to take into account the price of the Mac you should also take into account the price of a PC."

    Apple is like 1300 USD, while Windows 8.1 runs on my Pentium D PC (worth $60 in chick market these days). I bought Windows 8 upgrade for $39.

    So yeah "pricey" you said?

    You can develop Windows Phone apps in VS Express, with quite enough features. If you need auxiliary most VS features (code matrixes, performance measure analysis), you need to pay for it. If you are a student, you get it for free. If you are an MSDN subscriber or your company is partner, you get it for free.

    For games; you have Unity 3d and other middle tier engines ported for it. DirectX has head to head features set when comparing to OPENGL and even better in many regards. What is NOT possible in DX please enlighten us?

    Comparing XCode with VS is beyond the point. Even edge version of your XCode vs. VS2005 sucks in features. If you were by any mean comparing those, you don't have any idea what VS is and what kind of hardcore sh-t you can pull with it.

    The market share, well Windows Phone not their yet, but it would be... The same claim your ancestors praising Sun Microsystem used to have back in the day. Now it just belong to back in the day..

    Please don't come back on official Windows Blog, if all you have to spit is spiteful venom.

  • Aarkham
    0 Posts

    Hello Rcroeder

    You have emulators for iOS and for Android. In the case of iOS I think that you could call it a simulator as it compiles for x86, but it usually works fine.

    An apple can be pricey, but a PC can be also. I'm not going to defend Apple, but if you want to take into account the price of the Mac you should also take into account the price of a PC.

    Apple and Google take a 30% cut of the profit.

    Maybe it's easier to sell in Windows Store than in a saturated market, but you should also think that there are much more users in the other markets and the profit can be greater.

    The problem with the fragmentation in Android is not as severe as you may think. Most of the things work. Please note that there are different resolutions, CPUs, GPUs, memory sizes ... in Windows Phone also.

    But my complaint that you have ignored is that Google and Apple provides the best tools they have for their developers for free and Microsoft only provides a very limited one. Google provides the SDK for Windows, Linux and iOS and Microsoft only for Windows 8. In the case of Apple they support the two latest OSs for development, more than Microsoft that only supports the latest.

    I also can not understand that they do not support OpenGL ES that is the standar in 3D mobile graphics. They do not have the market share that they have in desktop to impose it and I think that the number and quality of games in Windows Phone suffers a lot from this decision.

    Thanks for your attention

  • To Aarkham,

    I am not a Android or Apple developer so enlighten me. Are there full emulators running for Apple and IOS? What is the buy in cost for these platforms? Last I looked an apple computer was quite pricey. What is the cut on the profits for sale on Apple and IOS, I know that the profits from Microsoft are quite generous. I also know that Windows Phone are lacking app, which for a developer mean more profit that trying to sell a game in a saturated market. When developing for android, which of the eight or so android OS do you target and how do you test on over 11,000 different android devices. I know if I develop for one Windows Phone, more that likely it will work just fine on all of the others, Having all of the phones as emulators is also nice feature.

  • Aarkham
    0 Posts

    You must be joking when you say: "We’re always working to provide the tools and technologies you need to target the broadest possible market for your apps and games"

    Why is not OpenGL supported in Windows Phone so all the Android and iOS games can be ported easily?

    How can you compare the tools that Apple and Android offer for free with Visual Studio Express?

    How it's possible to require Windows 8 for development (Windows 8 Pro if you want to use WP8 emulator)?

    It's easy to see why there are much more games for iOS/Android than for Windows Phone. With the Windows Phone market share it's incredible that you don't try to addess some of this points.

    Thanks

  • You said:

    "We’ve produced hits of our own for Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone like Halo: Spartan Assault, Plants vs. Zombies and Wordament."

    Plants vs. Zombies is a hit of Microsoft's own?  Say what?  PopCap is a Microsoft joint?