An Interview with WP7 Developer Dirk from Dino Games

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

Of course. I’ve been a programmer all my life, started at the age of 12 years and did not stop until now… that makes 25 years of coding. Most of what I have done was for my daylife job, so I don’t think these applications really play a role here. I started to create games for PC some years ago and with my very first game "Tanx" I won a contest. From that time on I never stopped working on game related stuff. The first years I did everything in Delphi with several frameworks. But when I heard about XNA two years ago and the possibility to develop for the XBox 360, I immediately switched over. So far I made one game for the XBox 360, which can be downloaded in the XBox Live Indie Channel (GemChase is the name). Since the XNA framework supports the Zune platform, I put all my sparetime in creating games and apps for the Zune and later the Zune HD. Through the years I made about 10 different games/apps for the Zune. One of my games was promoted by Microsoft itself on the GameFest 2008 in Seattle. They used Valgards Fate to showcase what you can do with XNA on the 1st and 2nd Gen Zunes. Here is a list of the games and Apps I made for the Zune(HD):

– 4ToWin (a connect 4 clone)

– GoldChase (a spooky pseudo 3D pacman clone that uses raycasting)

– Running man (action game)

– Suicide Squad (action game)

– Metronome and Metronome HD (yeah, a metronome ūüôā )

– Valgards Fate (RPG)

– Acceleroid (action breakout clone with a twist)

– A Beanstalk Tale (platformer)

– Drum Machine (drum kit simulator with metronome)

– Pink Mist (sniper game)

I have some other projects in the works that have not been announced yet.

2)Why did you choose WP7 as a platform of your choice?
 Well, I think its obvious ūüôā I have so many Zune projects that just need some tweaking to be able to run on the WP7 that I just had to chose WP7. But away from that I am absolutely excited about the phone itself. It seems to be the phone I ever wanted. I am currently an iPhone user but the WP7 will definitely be my future phone. Its in so many ways superior to the iPhone. It’s great that Microsoft enables us hobbyist developers to create games and Apps for this platform.

3)Which one do you think as the single most feature you liked in WP7?
Away from the cool developer support I like the live tiles very much. They are a really nice innovative feature.

4)Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?
Indeed I am. MS did a great job with XNA 4 and the whole native Silverlight support. The only thing I would like to have is the support for additional hardware features of the phone. For example I don’t understand why we cannot access the cameras. It would be a nice feature and also would it open new possibilities for developers. I hope MS will add further hardware access to the tools to make them perfect.

5)What are the Apps you are developing now in WP7?
 Currently I am creating five games/Apps for the WP7 platform which I want to have finished at device launch in October.

 A Beanstalk Tale, Metronome, Drum Machine, Acceleroid and a dice game/dice roller are the first games/Apps that I will release. More projects will follow later this and next year. For example Pink Mist and Valgards Fate will hopefully be the released in the end of 2010/beginning of 2011.

Other Games video can be found here link1,link2.

6)In what way Microsoft can improve their WP7 or What does WP7 lacks from?
 Well, its a bit hard to say at this point because it still is not final. Copy&Paste and Multitasking are things that might calm down some people, but the tombstoning of Apps together with push notifications works great for most scenarios. And they announced Copy&Paste to come soon, too. So basically I don’t know how they can improve it until I hold a device in my hands and test it myself.

7)Future Plans of you? 
I want to utilize the 3D capabilities of the WP7 in one or more of my future projects (in fact, the dice app already uses it), since the ZuneHD XNA has been limited to 2D only. My first goal is to get all my projects ported to the WP7 marketplace and when this is done I want to start using Silverlight, too.

Apart from these questions,Other things you want to share with the community?
If MS will do it right, this OS can revolutionize the phone market. Take part in this success story and either create Apps/games or consider trying this OS out yourself. Don’t listen to all the negative articles which are written by iPhone or Android fanboys. I have an iPhone myself but I am really excited about getting my own WP7 device because I already know that it beats the iPhone in many ways.

Thanks Dirk for your valuable thoughts with our community.Expecting more Apps and Games from Dino Game in the future.

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