engine

Does it feel like you're forking out for tools and the means to create some content for the Xbox console (or any platform for that matter)? Microsoft may have a solution for you with its independent developer self-publishing program for Xbox One. Heard of Unity? The popular, highly rated and expensive kit will be available for free to those who are signed up for the Microsoft program.

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Windows Phone sports Xbox Live integration where consumers can download and interact with their avatar and account, which pulls down gamerscore, friends and more. It's a strong selling point for the platform since the Xbox Live service boasts over 40 million subscribers. If Microsoft can successfully tap into that pool of consumers, Windows Phone's marketshare would pose more of a threat to Apple and Google.

An MSDN member has published a quick look at a GLQuake port for Windows Phone 8. Jmarshall23 (Justin Marshall) has not only thrown together the above video showing off some gameplay on a Lumia Windows Phone, but has added D3D11 support. The project is currently available to download and run to test out what's being developed. It's a strong foundation, especially since work only too place over the festive period.

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Unity as a company has one mission: help games developers be more successful. Unity is one of the top game development platforms, routinely seen powering the biggest games on a multitude of platforms such as Castle Warriors, Battle Bears, Max & the Magic Marker, CSR Racing, Temple Run and Shadowgun and now its the turn of Windows Phone to get in on the Unity action.

We recently sat down with CEO of Unity Technologies, David Helgason--freshly back from Unite 12--to hear why they are betting on Windows Phone 8 and why it is good news for developers and gamers alike. 

David tells us right off that they want to bring Unity to the platforms that matter most. Surprisingly their decision to bring Unity to Windows Phone was driven by an upwelling of requests from developers...

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The keynote address for Unite 12 has seen the announcement that Windows Phone 8 will get full support for the Unity engine.  Unity is a very popular engine and it was notably absent from the Windows Phone 8 announcement. The next version of the OS looks to be getting some excellent gaming support with native code and these powerful rendering engines.

The engine is used to power a host of games across and number of platforms and hopefully this means rapid porting of those games to WP8 devices. Unity is one of the top engines on the market so this support is pretty exciting for Windows Phone. 

Here is what David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies, had to say on Windows Phone 8.

 “Our mission at Unity has always been to provide solutions for developers to effortlessly bring their work to as many different platforms as possible. The Unity community has been asking for access to Windows Phones and have been eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 8. We’re happy to announce that we will support both.”

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Press Play, the game studio behind the Xbox LIVE games Tentacles (our review) and Max & the Magic Marker (our review), has released a beta version of their Unity porting toolkit (Fast Forward - FFWD) for Windows Phone developers who wish to port across a Unity game engine developed title to the mobile platform. 

"The framework has been used for creating the games Max and the Magic Marker and Tentacles for Windows Phone 7, and is currently being used by another project at Press Play."

Developers will be able to use this toolkit (released under the MS-PL license) to export assets in the Unity editor. Full 3D support is present for graphics, but physics are limited to the 2D Farseer Engine. What's great about the toolkit is that it enables developers to do most of the work in Unity 3D and then port it to XNA.

Head on over to GitHub to download FFWD and be sure to check out the wiki.

Source: GitHub, via: WPSauce; thanks David for the tip!

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