cross-platform

Microsoft hasn't pushed gaming enough on Windows Phone, which has been adequately covered in our series of editorials by Paul Acevedo. We've gone into some detail as to who Microsoft can save Xbox Games for Windows Phone, but it seems the company does have plans to tackle the issue. Still aiming for the "Three Screens" goal, Microsoft is looking to release some titles in the future to take advantage of cross-platform support.

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Rdio Updated for Windows Phone 8

The popular cross-platform streaming service Rdio has just released an update to their app to make it Windows Phone 8 friendly. Microsoft has done an excellent job with their home grown Xbox Music service but at present it is still not cross platform and that can be a sticking point for many users.

Rdio will allow streaming playback through the web, a range of mobile devices and also though music appliances like Sonos. Read on to check out some of the changes.

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We last looked at PhoneGap, the Adobe-owned open source mobile development platform, when version 1.3 arrived which included support for Windows Phone. Adobe has now released 2.0 and further expands on the feature set provided to developers who wish to build apps that can easily be submitted to multiple platform app stores.

Using HTML5, CSS and Javascript, PhoneGap allows those who do not possess the knowledge of mobile platform native code to create and release apps for all the supported operating systems. So what's new in version two-point-oh? The team have implemented a new command line interface for building iOS apps, which removes issues surrounding Apple's Xcode tools, adds more support for enterprise app development, includes enhanced user guides and documentation, as well as security and stability improvements.

Cordova WebView is also present, which allows for the integration of PhoneGap as a larger native application. Listed with the new features is "Windows Phone support", which we're slightly confused at since it was added in version 1.3. We've reached out to the PhoneGap team for clarification just in case there are some incredibly useful features added. We'll update the article once we've received a reply.

Source: CMSWire

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Just before summer started, Dallas-based Sickhead Games announced they would be porting their popular indie strategy title ARMED! to Windows 8 and iOS. They weren’t lying, as ARMED! Preview is now available on the Windows 8 store.

Why the ‘Preview’ moniker? As most PC users know, Windows 8 hasn’t been officially released yet. Lots of people are running preview builds in the wild though, and ARMED! Preview is meant for them. The build is free and basically functions as a public beta; you can submit feedback through the Sickhead website. Not a bad move, as it’s best to test online multiplayer games as much as possible before you start charging for them. Also note that the promised cross-platform multiplayer between ARMED! on Windows 8 and Windows Phone has not gone live yet, but it’s still in the works.

In other ARMED! news, Tom Spilman from Sickhead (pictured with a goatee that puts my own to shame!) recently guest-starred on episode 074 of The Metro Developer Show podcast.
Tom shares tons of great development details about the game, widely considered to be the most technically impressive game on Windows Phone. The podcast also has lots of general Windows Phone discussion, so it's definitely worth a listen.

Windows 8 users: get ARMED! Preview here. As for Windows Phone gamers (the finest folks around), the mobile version of ARMED! costs $3.99 and offers a free trial with full multiplayer support. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

             

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Sickhead Games’ ARMED! stands out as one of the most impressive indie games in the Windows Phone lineup – in fact, it even outdoes just about every Xbox Live title in graphics, UI, and multiplayer features. Even the title is extra exciting, with not only capital letters, but also an exclamation point! Why Microsoft hasn’t picked up ARMED! for Xbox Live status remains a mystery, but Sickhead continues to support their title, both with updates and plans to expand to other platforms as well.

Head past the break for the full scoop!

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HeyWire (see website) is a cross-platform app that enables users to text each other for free from the US and 45 other countries.  It sends SMS over any internet connection from iOS, Android, "dumb phones," and now, Windows Phone. 

"We are very excited to provide the only free texting app in the Microsoft Marketplace -- a platform that Gartner predicts will capture the number two smartphone spot by 2015," said HeyWire founder and CEO Meredith Flynn-Ripley. "This was an important service for our company to bring to consumers, which continues HeyWire's mission to facilitate free global communications amongst groups of friends. Now, WP7 users can send and receive text messages with friends on multiple devices, quickly and easily."

HeyWire not only lets you connect across mobile platforms, but Twitter as well.  It has a simple, straight-forward user interface and can be downloaded for free here. Thanks, Amir, for the tip!

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Microsoft’s BUILD Conference is currently underway in Anaheim, California. The event primarily centers on Windows 8, which we’ve already reported features the beloved Metro UI. Windows 8 also shows an increased gaming focus over previous versions of Windows, with strong Xbox Live (formerly known as Games for Windows Live on PCs) integration. Clearly Microsoft wants the Xbox Live experience to be seamless across Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8.

Here’s where things get interesting for mobile gamers. During the second day of BUILD, Microsoft announced that there will be cross-platform gaming between Windows 8 and Windows Phone. They demonstrated this with Tanks (unclear if that’s the final name), a Broiled Earth-style competitive game. According to Techin5, there was no visible lag as players took turns blasting away at each other (note that it is a turn-based game). Tanks has a clean, cartoonish art style that should appeal to casual gamers on PC and Windows Phone alike, assuming it comes to market.

We’ll let you know if any more Windows Phone-related announcements escape from the conference.

source: Techin5 Thanks Jubbing for the information!

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Scoreloop coming to a WP7 near you

Scoreloop has announced that they will be supporting Windows Phone 7 and will be including the platform within their cross-platform social gaming system. Why is this big news for developers? Social games developed for WP7 will have the ability to allow players to compete against Android or iPhone owners.

The basic breakdown of what features the social "middleware" offers are cross-platform leader-boards, challengers, or virtual currency that developers can implement into their games for all mobile platforms. Opening up not only a much larger audience for players to engage with (or against), this will help bring the different operating systems together and make it more attractive for developers on other platforms to bring their projects to WP7.

Platforms that are currently covered by Scoreloop include Android, Bada, Airplay and iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch). As for WP7, Marc Gumpinger, CEO of Scoreloop said, "WP7 is an important step in our goal to encourage and support connected gaming across the entire mobile landscape. As the first cross-platform social gaming ecosystem to add support for WP7 this means we can offer the largest reach, greater revenue potential and increase the impact of developers using the Scoreloop SDK," 

This is exciting news for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 as a whole. Scoreloop is expanding rapidly, and for them to show support in the OS should hopefully hush some critics about the appeal of the software and devices to not only front-end users, but also the developer community. Currently Scoreloop are providing a limited number of developers early access to their SDK before publishing it to the public.

Source: Gamasutra

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Remember when we discussed the debut of Haypi Kingdom, the first MMO for Windows Phone 7? We were surprised to see a free to play game that is supported by microtransactions make it onto Microsoft’s mobile platform. After all, doesn’t Microsoft prohibit microtransactions in Windows Phone 7 games?

Developer Haypi Inc. kindly straightened out the matter for us. As it turns out, microtransactions are indeed forbidden on the platform. That’s why games like The Sims 3 that have lots of optional purchasable content on iPhone don’t offer the same downloadable content on WP7.

So how does Haypi Kingdom manage to sell players in-game coins for real life money? PayPal! You see, coins aren’t purchased through the client itself. When a player decides to make an optional coin purchase, the game launches an external web browser. Purchases are made through PayPal’s site, not the actual game, so Haypi Kingdom isn’t breaking any rules. UPDATE: The workaround has been removed - currently there's no in-game method for purchasing coins.

Haypi Kingdom’s payment model works the same way on Google’s Android platform, where microtransactions are also prohibited. Before coming to Windows Phone 7, Haypi Kingdom had already made a name for itself on Android and iPhone.

To read more on this ground breaking game and the Press Release from Haypi, follow the break.

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