As the Windows Phone continues to gain traction in the mobile phone market, the Windows marketplace appears to making the process for adding apps easy for developers. The marketplace passed the 100,000 app mark last month, and one indie developer’s statements help explain why the phone may see increased success.
Brian Calder of Tiny’s Fury Studios, which recently released Monster Katz on the Windows market, was pleasantly surprised by the process. Calder, who has experience working with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone, said Tiny’s Fury was planning on launching its premiere title on the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) marketplace, and wanted to have the game on multiple platforms. Since, Calder did not have a lot of time to code multiple versions of the game, he decided to try just one first, and “we realized we could port our code to Windows a lot easier than we could port it to Android or iPhone.”
The ease of the process was a combination of the tools and the support the Windows Phone team provided. Calder said the certification process proved exceptionally simple compared to the XBLIG certification. “We took about two months to get the game certified on XBLIG and it took us two weeks to get it through Windows Phone certification,” he said. “Same code base. Just in the matter of the Windows Phone, it is a dedicated pipeline, and you can pretty much expect to get in there between five to ten days.”
“It really turned out that the Windows Phone port was ridiculously easy for us,” Calder said. “Kudos, to XNA and the Windows Phone team guys for that.”
Although, the game could get on the marketplace easily for the indie studio, the small potential market was a possible deterrent. However, with the small market share the Windows Phone has, Calder felt his title could make a bigger splash. “While [the Windows Phone market] was really small, we anticipated that in a small market, maybe we have an opportunity to get a little bit more noise around us,” he said. “Maybe it only has two percent, but of those two percent, there are some pretty passionate gamers out there and people really, really love their Windows Phone.”
“We don’t want to go chase devices,” he said. “We want to be on products out there that people want to play.”
Even beyond the simplicity and the easy transition to the Windows Phone, the end product proved exceptional as well. Since some of Calder’s family owned Windows Phones, he was able to play test the game ‘in-house.’ Calder said his wife and Tiny’s Fury’s creative lead, Anna, owns a Lumia 900 while his daughter has a Samsung Windows Phone. The two ‘in-house’ screens with different sizes proved to be “actually pretty cool.”
“Ann’s [Lumia 900] has a huge screen; it’s a gorgeous screen,” Calder said. “The game just looks incredibly fantastic on the phones. The neat thing was, we also play tested on the smaller phones, and it played equally well there, so, we were actually pretty happy with the way the game looked on a Windows Phone of all different sizes.”
You can get Monster Katz here or by scanning the tag below.