unity

If you're a game developer using Unity, Microsoft is hoping that you'll port your games to Windows and Windows Phone. Hosting a Unity game porting lab in Seattle on August 19, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 8 PM, a "team of Microsoft experts will be available to help you quickly get started with porting your Unity games to Windows and Windows Phone" at the Westin Seattle.

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Long ago, the gods of Olympus gave the world a dinosaur-themed fighting game called Primal Rage. Sadly, we lowly humans were not ready for its awesomeness, and so the creators never bestowed us with a sequel. There may have been a great flood in there somewhere too.

Still, humanity never forgot how cool it was to put two dinosaurs into a ring and make them duke it out. And so an indie developer named Gluten Free Games has taken up the torch to make a new dinosaur fighting game for Windows Phone called Jurassic Arena. It’s nowhere as good as Primal Rage, but it does have 10 dinosaurs, and it’s completely free (for now). Head past the break for our full review with video.

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Unity support has really helped some of the larger mobile games come to Windows Phone, even if we still get them later than other platforms. Case in point, Russian-publisher Nival has just published King’s Bounty: Legions on Windows Phone 8. King’s Bounty is a turn-based strategy series that started its life on Sega Genesis/Mega Drive long ago and continues to thrive on Steam.

King’s Bounty: Legions is exciting for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a serious strategy game and it’s free to play. More importantly, it supports cloud saves and cross-platform multiplayer via Facebook! You can start playing on Windows Phone and then pick up where you left off on Steam, Facebook, iOS, and Android. Read on for more impressions.

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First look at Solar Warfare for Windows Phone

A few days ago, we highlighted three children’s games for Windows Phone that two-man indie developer TegTap brought along to Apps World. All great games for kids, but older gamers in our audience will naturally crave a more substantial gameplay experience. Luckily TegTap is poised to bring just such a game to Windows Phone 8 in the next few weeks…

We’re pleased to bring you this exclusive first look at the Windows Phone version of Solar Warfare (not to be confused with Star Warfare!) from TegTap. A 3D sci-fi shooter with expansive levels, gigantic bosses, and lots of ship upgrades to unlock, Solar Warfare is poised to take shoot-em-up fans by storm. It will even feature MOGA controller support shortly after launch. Head past the break for our hands-on video and preview!

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Indie and mobile games go through various genres of the moment over time, sort of like how console and big-budget PC games have been stuck on First-Person Shooters for the last ten years or so. For the longest time, it seemed like every new small-scale release that came along was a tower defense game. Hardly anybody complained, due to the inherent joy of defending towers.

The new genre of the moment on mobile is definitely the endless running game. A slew of endless runners have recently flooded Windows Phone 8, including such high profile releases as Subway Surfers and Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Only one endless runner with 3D graphics sports Xbox Live features, though: Temple Run 2 from Imangi Studios (makers of Harbor Master). Does the only non-spin-off sequel to Temple Run stand tall above its competitors? Read on to find out.

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Remember back in June when Microsoft announced their collaboration with Unity and focused on helping developers create applications and publish for Windows platforms? Well, that effort has shown to be well worth the effort. As of today, Microsoft has announced that over 1,000 applications in the Windows Store have been created with the Unity platform.

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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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Unity Technologies have announced on their official blog that version 4.2 of the popular game engine is now available. Three new platforms are officially supported with this version, including Windows Phone 8 and Windows. We've previously looked at the beta program opening up to Microsoft's new platforms, but this marks as a huge step in the right direction for developers to create more advanced content for consumers.

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Unity, developers of the wildly popular gaming engine of the same name, announced yesterday at Build 2013 that they have struck up a "strategic partnership" with Microsoft to develop for Xbox One and Windows Phone 8. This collaboration with Microsoft means the development of new development tools geared specifically for both platforms, "including support for many next-generation features like enhanced Kinect gestures and recognition, multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass and cloud stuff."

In addition to opening up the development floodgates to both platforms, the new partnership will also benefit those who choose to develop games using the Unity engine.

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Over the weekend, we wrapped up our ‘How Microsoft can save Xbox games on Windows Phone’ series with a Microsoft video interview that we’d been saving for just such an occasion. That video focused exclusively on the Xbox Windows Phone issues raised in our editorial series, but it didn't exactly put our concerns to rest. All we Xbox enthusiasts can do is keep pushing the editorials and issues with Microsoft until finally the right people realize the need for improvement and start effecting changes.

And while many of those issues have yet to be resolved, I’d be hard-pressed to claim that Windows Phone gaming has not improved since the debut of Windows Phone 8. Game development is easier than ever, and many companies who ignored Windows Phone 8 are now onboard for 8. When we sat down to talk with Microsoft's Larry Lieberman, Senior Product Manager and Casey McGee, Senior Marketing Manager, our first subject of business was all those recent advances that make Windows Phone gaming better than ever.

Head past the break to learn just how things are looking up and see the second part of our video interview!

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A handful of weeks ago Unity opened up early beta access for apps on the Windows store, enabling developers to try out the tools available. We were all wondering just when the company would open up the beta program and cover Windows Phone 8 development. That time has arrived, folks. It has been announced on the Unity blog that version 4 of the engine now covers Windows Phone 8.

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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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One of the big advantages for developers on Windows Phone 8 is the ability to use new gaming engines to drive the graphics. Unity is such an example, and it’s used by many gaming houses for development. The problem previously was that developers would have to rewrite their games specifically for Windows Phone with degradation in performance and appearance. Between the time and the final product, most developers walked away.

We’ve been anticipating the first Unity-driven game for Windows Phone 8 for some time and that day is evidently upon us. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore tweeted today that Drift Mania Championship 2 is the first game on Windows Phone to feature the Unity engine. The game runs for $1.99 with no trial and weighs in at 200MB.

The game itself is your typical racer game, complete with car customizations and head to head battles, but it also features the whole ‘drifting’ sub-genre where through controlled skids, you drift through turns. Doing so will get you points and doing it with flare even more so.

Peep our hands on video after the break...

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The Unity team (behind the Unity video game engine that powers a number of popular titles) has announced on the official blog that the Windows Store apps early access programme is kicking off. With Unity 4.2, developers will be able to create games for computers and tablets running Windows 8 and RT, publishing them on the Windows Store.

This opens up the floodgates for both developers and consumers to connect with Unity-powered content, but what about Windows Phone?

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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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It’s a bit late in coming, but at last we have an official wrap-up of our time spent at Casual Connect Seattle this year. Unlike the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which is a console-focused event, Casual Connect centers around casual games – a ‘genre’ or subset found mostly on smartphones, tablets, and PCs.  As such, we ventured forth in hopes of scoring some juicy Windows Phone games coverage as well as gauging the casual gaming industry’s feelings towards Microsoft’s smartphone platform in general.

Head past the break to see what we learned, plus links to all of our exclusive Casual Connect coverage!

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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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Unity Technologies, the company behind the Unity gaming engine, previously announced they would be 'skipping' Windows Phone 7.x due to a closed environment being present, much like Epic Games with Unreal. For those who have games built using said engines this was a fairly confusing situation, especially since Microsoft is actively pushing the mobile platform as a gaming platform.

Current gaming development is aided by both Silverlight and XNA. Cue Press Play, developer of the Xbox LIVE games Tentacles (our review) and Max & the Magic Marker (our review), who have announced in a Facebook post that they will be releasing their Unity 3D porting toolkit to the community as open source. This move will enable developers who have built games using the Unity engine to bring across their titles to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Check out the post in full detail below. Good news for both game studios and consumers alike, bravo Press Play. Let us hope that we see some exciting titles brought over to fill up the catalogue of games.

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