gdc2013

We can’t say whether there will be two Xbox Windows Phone releases this week just yet. But we can tell you – and show you – one very exciting game arriving for Windows Phone 8 on Wednesday. Originally announced back in October, Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour will finally arrive this week! Not only will it be the first Xbox Windows Phone first-person shooter, but it promises even more advanced multiplayer features than we saw in Asphalt 7 earlier this year.

During my recent trip to the Game Developers Conference, I stopped by the San Francisco Gameloft office for a quick tour. Lennon Arcaro, Gameloft’s Account Director was kind enough to walk me through the opening moments of Modern Combat 4. See our world exclusive hands-on footage after the break!

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Of all the offsite meetings we engaged in during GDC, the most pleasant place to visit was probably Electronic Arts’ suite at the St. Regis Hotel. Within that cozy location, Android Central’s Simon Sage and I met with Dan Tausney, PR Manager of Chillingo. As you might remember from our article about their most recent Windows Phone releases, Chillingo is the arm of EA responsible for publishing indie games from all over the world. They’ve been a major Windows Phone supporter and will soon be doing the same for Windows 8 as well.

Check out our hands-on footage with Contre Jour for Windows 8, see your favorite mobile Games Editor in action on video, and learn about Chillingo’s future Windows 8 plans after the break!

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While everyone here has played a game or used an app that offers some kind of in-app-purchase (IAP), most of us probably don’t give the mobile payment systems that work behind the scenes much thought. And yet developers certainly have to consider mobile payment systems if they’re going to accept payments from users.

At GDC last week, we had the opportunity to speak with Rain Rannu, the Co-Founder of Fortumo Ltd.  Fortumo provides mobile payment services for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8, Windows 8 and RT, and several other mobile platforms. They’ve recently teamed up with Microsoft to offer an exciting deal for developers who sign up to use Fortumo with their Windows products by the end of May.

Head past the break for more details and our video interview!

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Skulls of the Shogun has been an incredibly important game for Windows Phone and the Microsoft ecosystem as a whole. It’s the first Xbox Live game to cross platforms between the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. It was also the Xbox Windows Phone game that ended the game drought we faced earlier this year. After so many weeks without a new game, Skulls quenched many a Windows Phone gamer’s thirst.

We had the opportunity to speak with Skulls of the Shogun developer 17-BIT twice last year, first at E3 and later Casual Connect. Of course, that was all before the game launched. Now that Skulls of the Shogun is live and in players’ hands, Windows Phone Central jumped at the opportunity to ask 17-BIT’s lead programmer Borut Pfeifer about how the game performed and what players can expect in the future.

Head past the break for the full video interview!

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Galactic Reign was quite the revelation when it appeared on Windows 8 and then Windows Phone 7 and 8 last month. Here was an exclusive strategy game for Windows platforms with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer, and Microsoft basically forgot to tell anybody about it before release. But it’s definitely worth playing if you enjoy competitive strategy games. Check out our review to learn just how the game works.

One of Galactic Reign’s most unique aspects has to be its large-scale space battles. See, the fleets of ships that clash against each other in the game can number in the thousands. Instead of rendering these battles in-engine, the details about each side’s armada are sent to the cloud. From there, a cinematic video gets constructed and sent back to the game for players to watch.

The technology for those cloud space battles comes from Canadian developer Slant Six games. Last week at GDC 2013, we chatted with Paul Martin, Director of Technology and James Ricker, Cinematics Director about Galactic Reign’s videos and Slant Six Games’ experience working with Microsoft. Head past the break for the full video interview!

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Mobile Nations at GDC 2013 podcast

Simon Sage, gaming editor for Mobile Nations, joins Rene to talk about PAX East and GDC 2013, the state of mobile gaming in general, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone in specific, and the explosion of free-to-play titles. Also, Facebook's mobile event.
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One of the biggest surprises coming out of GDC 2013 for me was undoubtedly PowerA’s announcement that its MOGA Bluetooth controller SDK would be coming to Windows Phone. On iOS and Android, videogame controller accessories are becoming increasingly popular with core gaming fans. Such peripherals can add more precise control and a console-like experience to smartphones. Sure, they can impact portability but they’re great at home and other places where you’d be playing for an extended length of time.

Windows Phone has always been a bit behind on peripheral support. We don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard, for instance. But Windows Phone 8 does add the ability for apps to communicate with Bluetooth. That ability now makes it possible for hardware add-ons like the MOGA Pro Controller to work with Windows Phone 8 games!

Head past the break for full details on the MOGA Pro Controller and a hands-on video.

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Our recent trip to the Game Developers Conference focused mostly on games, as you might expect. But the hardware behind the software is fairly important too. For Windows Phone, Nokia is certainly the device manufacturer doing the most to grow the platform. But regardless of the handset maker, one hardware manufacturer provides the chipsets for all Windows Phone devices: Qualcomm.

We sat down and interviewed Michelle Leyden-Li, the Senior Director of Marketing at Qualcomm about the hardware that drives Windows Phone and Windows RT devices. Check out the video after the break!

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A couple of days ago, Microsoft announced a slew of Windows 8 games that would be launching over the weekend. Today several of those games are readily available to download: Shuffle Party, Samurai vs. Zombies Defense, Bejeweled Live, and Delicious – Emily’s True Love. The only one that hasn’t shown up yet is Temple Run Brave (based on that movie I dislike), but I’m sure it will be along sometime soon.

Head past the break to check out our hands-on demonstration of Shuffle Party from GDC, plus quick impressions and download links for the games that appeared alongside it.

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iOS screenshots

Bejeweled Live isn’t the only Xbox game coming to Windows 8 and RT this week. As another GDC celebration, Microsoft has just announced a horde of Windows 8 tablet and PC games that should start becoming available this weekend, plus six more that are planned for the future. Most of these will be Xbox-enabled, but we’re not sure about a few of them. The biggest news is that Windows 8 will have its own Temple Run game to brag about!

Head past the break for the full list!

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Back in February, PopCap surprised us by suddenly releasing Bejeweled Live+ exclusively for Nokia Windows Phones. Confusing name aside, that game is basically a mobile version of the phenomenal Bejeweled 3.

Well, it turns out that Windows 8 and RT were sorely in need of some Bejeweled love as well. Or should I say Bejeweled Live? Today at GDC 2013, we had the chance to talk with Jeff Green, Director of Editorial and Social Media at PopCap Games, who kindly demonstrated the Xbox-enabled Bejeweled Live for Windows 8 and RT.

Full video and more details after the break!

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Subway Surfers doesn’t look to be coming to Windows Phone anytime soon (the teaser image was just a hoax), but worry not. Windows Phone 8 will soon have a 3D endless runner to its name. Speaking of names, that runner is none other than the original game that started the genre craze: Temple Run from Imangi Studios! We knew it was coming, but this is the first time we’ve actually played the port for ourselves.

Not only that, but in celebration of GDC week, Microsoft is releasing a number of indie games for Windows Phone 8 today. Read on for actual Windows Phone screenshots, video demo and quick impressions!

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The Windows Phone Central staff covers all the big mobile events, such as Mobile World Congress and CES. But our gaming readers are probably most excited by gaming event coverage, such as last year’s Electronic Extertainment Expo and Casual Connect visits. Of course we’ll return to those shows again this year, but we’ve got a new one on the table too.

The Game Developers Conference - aka GDC 2013 - runs next week from March 25-29 in San Francisco, California. Your friendly neighborhood Gaming Editor and a handful of Mobile Nations staff will be there scouring for all the best Windows Phone and mobile gaming news.

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