game development

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 8’s multiplatform game engine support has improved steadily since the mobile OS’s launch at the end of 2012. Developers have access to several middleware options: Unity, Havok, Marmalade, and Autodesk Scaleform, all in various degrees of commercial readiness. And now Havok has taken their support a step further with the release of Project Anarchy.

Project Anarchy is a complete end-to-end mobile 3D game production engine. It packs four of Havok’s core software releases into one powerful suite – basically everything you’d need to create a 3D mobile game. Games created with Project Anarchy can then be deployed to multiple platforms with a minimum of effort – including Windows 8. Full Windows Phone 8 support is scheduled for release later in the year, but developers can contact Havok now to request beta access.

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An interesting book has been released by Sams Publishing, which will be of great value to anyone who's looking at Windows Phone to develop games taking advantage of available technologies and hardware. The book, authored by Jonathan S. Harbour, claims (as does other learning material) to teach the reader how to develop a playable title in just 24 hours using Microsoft's free XNA 4.0 toolset. The book is set out in easy-to-digest chunks, with "Did you know?" tips and "Watch out!" alerts.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Develop fast, playable Windows Phone 7 games with XNA 4.0
  • Get and manage user touch screen input
  • Draw 2D bitmapped images, and bring them to life as sprites
  • Transform sprites using rotation, scaling, and velocity calculations
  • Detect and handle collisions between game objects
  • Create surprisingly realistic animation effects
  • Master sophisticated finite state programming techniques
  • Integrate GPS Location Services into your game
  • Make the most of Windows Phone audio
  • Read, write, and save game files
  • Create your game’s Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Implement realistic physics effects, including gravity and acceleration
  • Tweak gameplay to make your games more fun

The book is available to purchase as paperback or in ebook format, and prices start at just $25.59. Amazon is also stocking the resource at $23.85 (UK version from £13.36, available for Kindle too).

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