An Interview with WP7 Developer Tomasz from Kalezo Studios

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

This is actually our first mobile game that we intend to publish through the marketplace. At 3, we wanted to create a company – today called Kalezo – and share all our game concepts with our audience.

However, we’re not that new to XNA nor Silverlight; we have already had our hands on this technology in several projects but with no perspectives at the time, now we’ve got a business plan.

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

Our first experience with XNA was when we tried the Game Design category of the Imagine Cup competition in 2009. Back then, we wanted to make games on Xbox 360 since it already worked with the platform. Therefore we’ve never stopped developing with this technology.

However, the process of making console games was way out of our reach as we still are students and we lack of resources… When we heard about a mobile device that will support XNA, we discussed the several opportunities offered by Microsoft and realized that it was easier to adapt and publish our games on WP7.

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

I don’t know if I can formulate this correctly but… I like entirely WP7 because it seems to be the best alternative out there. It is not an app centric phone, which means that it differs from all the other devices on the market and it is a great evolution since Windows Mobile 6+.

4) Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

I appreciate Microsoft’s new approach of free tools with the Express versions of the IDE Visual Studio. For our small company, these tools answer almost entirely our needs in our development process. Moreover, the TimeShare system offered by Microsoft France that allowed us to have our hands on the mobile and deploy plex on it, really helped us in improving the performance, game concepts and various aspects of the game that couldn’t be done through the emulator.

These opportunities also made us realize that we actually shared the same development software as the big game publishers; this puts us all on the same ladder in terms of tools.

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

We are still in the process of finishing and polishing plex. The preview doesn’t show you much of the real content of the game. We actually integrated the game with facebook, 2 functional game modes are ready to sell, an adventure mode exists with several galaxies – as the game is obviously taking place in space – , a high score ladder may see the light of day and we’ll probably add twitter into the party.

For the other games, I’ll remain silent on the subject. As I love nice surprises from game publishers, I’ll try to provide the same feeling to my future customers!

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

I know that Microsoft with WP7 is not in an app centric philosophy, I’d however suggest an enhancement in the app list organization because it is really not what people attend to see when they buy a smart phone. Microsoft will just gain lots of bad critics as the pin system is not the solution. If Redmond wishes to gain a larger part of the market (the advertising won’t suffice), they should improve that list and make something more design out of it.

Talking about the design, I don’t know if the “metro” design criteria for every app will be a good thing. It reminds me of a proverb: too much “metro” will kill “metro”.

7) Future Plans of you?

With Kalezo I see many opportunities and possibilities in forging a name in the gaming industry; that is why I hope that my future games will meet the high expectations of my team and especially the audience. I’m also looking forward into creating strong partnerships that will not only help me, but also my associates by achieving different rewards and etching a position into the market.

After our first experience in developing games on WP7, we’re also planning on spreading them on different mobile devices as Microsoft is not alone in the wild with their mobile phone.

It all seems quite harsh for us students, but we love challenges!

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