An Interview with Adrian Tsai from Micron Game Studios

1) Have you developed Apps for any other platforms before? If Yes What are they?

Yes, I’ve developed applications for Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Xbox 360. A few months ago I released Metropolitan Melbourne, which is a train timetabling and scheduling app for Windows Mobile 6.5, designed to help commuters on Melbourne’s train networks. It was even featured on WMPoweruser previously.

On the Xbox 360, I was the developer of NextWar: The Quest for Earth. I’m currently working on a port of NextWar to Windows Phone 7, and hope to see it released by the end of the year.

2) Why did you choose WP7 as a platform of your choice?

Microsoft has done a great job of integrating their technologies between Xbox and Windows Phone – NextWar started out as a game on the Xbox 360, and a port to Windows Phone 7 was made much easier because XNA and .NET run on both platforms. Besides that, I’m a long-time Windows Mobile user, and I know that my next phone will definitely be a Windows Phone 7!

Given the quality of Windows Phone 7, I think it’ll be a big player in the smartphone arena in the coming years. It really does represent a great opportunity both for consumers and application developers like myself.

3) Which one do you think as the single most feature you liked in WP7?

Coming from WM6.5, I really like the new “Metro” UI in WP7. I think it really looks great, and is a vast improvement over WM6.5 and indeed even over competing smartphone operating systems. On the technical side of things, the .NET framework and XNA is simply amazing – they allow for “write once, run anywhere” applications – as evidenced by NextWar, which runs quite happily on both the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7.

4) Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

Yes, Microsoft has done a stellar job providing the tools and documentation necessary for application developers to express themselves. Through the official Windows Phone Developer blog and other social media channels, they’ve been able to keep in touch with the community and keep developers up-to-date on the latest developments. When it comes to tools, I have almost no complaints – which surprised even me, considering I’ve been using the tools since the initial CTP release early this year.

Microsoft has also been very co-operative in providing prototype hardware and other hardware tools to assist in development. The prototype Windows Phone 7 devices which Microsoft provided me were instrumental in testing and development of NextWar.

5) What are the Apps you are developing now in WP7? Details on the Apps?

I’m currently working on NextWar: The Quest for Earth for Windows Phone 7. It’s a port of the Xbox 360 version, and aims to bring the full Xbox experience right into the palm of your hand.

NextWar is a top-down, 2D Tower Defense game. Enemies spawn on the map, and the aim of the game is to construct towers to attack and destroy the enemies before they can reach your HQ. The strategy of the game lies in how, when, and where you construct your towers and purchase your upgrades. NextWar features 10 skirmish missions and a campaign mode, retro Tron-style graphics, and fully supports the multi-touch capabilities of Windows Phone 7. NextWar is set for release this coming holiday season, simultaneously with the official launch of Windows Phone 7.

6) In what way Microsoft can improve their WP7 or What does WP7 lacks from?

I think Microsoft really needs to focus on achieving feature-parity with the rest of the rival smartphone operating systems out there. Basic things like copy and paste and Bluetooth tethering are currently missing from Windows Phone 7. And as good as the browser is, it can’t compare in terms of speed and featureset to rival smartphone browsers. Other OS’s have had a several-year headstart on Windows Phone 7, so Microsoft needs to work hard to catch up in terms of features.

7) Future Plans?

I will definitely continue development for Windows Phone 7, but right now my focus is on completing NextWar in time for the Windows Phone 7 launch. I have some more ideas for Windows Phone 7 games floating around after NextWar, and we’ll see if any of them come to fruition!

Apart from these questions, Other things you want to share with the community?

If you’d like to know more, you can follow me on Twitter or visit my website:

Thanks Adrian for sharing with us. All the best for your future works.