Video Q&A with Jay from Drop Dead Interactive, for Gear Gauntlet on Xbox One
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Video Q&A with Jay from Drop Dead Interactive, for Gear Gauntlet on Xbox One
To celebrate my 2-year anniversary at Microsoft as a Sr. Technical Evangelist, I wanted to put my thoughts down in a blog post and discuss it in a video. This post also answers the question “Why Did I Choose Microsoft?” In today’s open-source, cross-platform world, Microsoft is becoming more and more relevant, from cloud services (hosting Windows and Linux servers) to mobile app services (supporting iOS and Android) and everything in between.
Jump to Video: https://youtu.be/bPnWf2HKVMw
Sometimes, people ask me “Hey, you are promoting Microsoft products just because you work for Microsoft?” I usually respond “Actually no, I joined Microsoft because I enjoy using and promoting Microsoft products.” You see, today’s Microsoft supports many operating systems, programing languages and platforms that crosses overs in way that turns competition into collaboration”
As a consumer, I started using DOS and Windows 3.1 when I first learned how to use a computer. I jumped onto Windows 95 along with the rest of the world. I picked up productivity apps like WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, but was introduced to Office products such as Word and Excel. Today, I have multiple devices running Windows 10, including my Xbox One!
As an enterprise developer, I have been using Microsoft software development tools and business applications for almost 2 decades now. My first real job was in the Summer of 1997 when I used Active Server Pages to develop database-driven web applications. Today, I’m using Visual Studio 2015 to work on everything from ASP .NET Core 1.0 web applications to Windows 10 apps/games, and even games developed in Unity. Having tried out other dev tools, I would happily admit that Visual Studio is arguably the best IDE out there. For a lighter code editor, there’s Visual Studio Code for PC, Mac and Linux users.
As an indie developer, I started making silly little games for Xbox 360 using XNA and C# within Visual Studio for Xbox Live Indie Games. I even got slayed by Indie Gamer Chick, but survived to write 2 articles for her blog (Earning Your Keep and Redefining Indie Success). I followed up my indie games with free dev tools for XBLIG developers around the world, which really got me involved in the dev community. Long before my colleague Dave Voyles and I joined Microsoft, he wrote up a couple of reviews on my dev tools (XBLIG Sales Data Analyzer and XNA Basic Starter Kit) before we had even known each other.
As a community leader, I created Facebook groups for Construct 2, Unity, and Xbox One. I wasn’t sure which would take off, but all three of them are very active today. I recently launched a new group for HoloLens, and also run a real-life Meetup group for DC/MD/VA developers using Microsoft tools, technologies and platforms. It’s great to see continued interest from my audience in everything form cloud services to game development tools.
I was even fortunate enough to get mentioned in the Official Xbox Magazine, in the same month that I was selected for the Microsoft MVP program and offered a job at Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist!
As a technical evangelist, I have been working with students, startups and developers all over DC/MD/VA, coast to coast across the US and around the world via in-person events and online videos. Looking for one of my videos? Head on over to MSDN Channel 9, where you’ll find plenty of videos for all things Microsoft and more!
So, why did I choose Microsoft? I followed my passions, and this is where it led me. 😎
To wrap things up, check out this video of me talking with my friend Frank La Vigne, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, on his YouTube Channel Frank’s World TV.
YouTube Video on FWTV: https://youtu.be/bPnWf2HKVMw
In my latest Channel 9 video, check out my other video with Frank where we discuss how to get started with game development!
Getting started with game development? Where should you start?
Watch me talk about game development with Microsoft Technical Evangelist Frank La Vigne! We’ll cover recommendations for both 2D and 3D tools, and various platforms including mobile and consoles.
For more frank talk with Frank La Vigne, check out our discussion on FWTV:
1. How many people were on your team to make Reagan Gorbachev?
A majority of the heavy lifting during the development of REAGAN GORBACHEV was done by myself and my brother Jake – we’re the two founding and primary members of our studio Team2Bit. We like wearing many hats and getting our hands dirty, and most importantly, handling a bulk of the workload ensures that our creative vision really comes across in our games.
1. How many people were on your team to make Days After the Storm?
From the very beginning “Day After The Storm” has been developed only by one person except for the graphics which have been created by a girl working only on this aspect of the game. For the more technical and curious we can say that we have used “GameMaker Studio” as framework to develop the game with the aid of GML for scripting purposes.
Being our first game it has been very challenging for us to create a story, thinking of how to develop the gameplay and all documentations that comes with it!
2. Do you contract out any of the work to part-time or temp workers?
Indeed, as mentioned above we have a very valid girl working part-time on the game who has a great portfolio and 5 years of experience in computer graphic which.
3. Have many games has Strange Beat published?
We are like the 2016… at the beginning of our journey, as individual we all had experience and published games and app for iOS and back in the days in flash however this is our first title as Strange Beat.
4. What other games have each of your team members worked on?
We have worked on a total of 4 games for iOS using “Corona” as framework; furthermore we all have created small Flash game for big brands such as Ferrero and Aprilia to mention two.
5. What advice do you have for your other indie developers at ID@Xbox?
Passion! Passion is what pushes us to create videogames, we love this medium. We have always been insiders in the gaming industry since the time we worked in game stores through the time when we had the opportunity to write review on some important magazine (ZZap! and The Games Machine italian version) and online (http://www.myplay.it) until now when we have finally decide to step on the stage and be part of the show.
If you have the passion for something and you believe in your idea, don’t give up and give your 100% even if you do not know how to use Unity, Unreal, Game Maker or any coding tool, what matter the most is believe in your capacity and be excited about your idea and the game you are making and be willing to learn and discover!
The ID@Xbox team is very selective, if you do not succeed it means that your game does not match the standard of the market and what people expect from an indi game nowadays. As mentioned is fundmental not to give up but to try to understand how to improve your game, graphic, gameplay etc… Keep in mind that ID@Xbox is a huge opportunity for us developers and it needs to have high standards to meet in order to be credible and make sure that the games released are what players want to play.
To conclude if we can give a suggestion, maybe because it is the first programming language we used, Turbo Pascal 3.0, read the code, try to improve it, maybe rewrite it and at the end your skills will improve.
6. Will you be bringing your products to Windows 10?
Indeed, after the initial release on Xbox One the game will be released also for Windows 10. It is a market we cannot ignore.
7. Any future projects you can discuss?
We are currently working on a second project called “Phollia” which is being developed in Unity 3D, the gameplay is much faster than “Days After The Storm”, at this stage we cannot say much but to give you a hint think of a game created by “Jeff Minter”!
8. Anything else you’d like to add?
We are extremely happy and proud of the trust given to us by ID@Xbox, this is a great opportunity that allows development teams without a “name behind” but with capacities and aspiration to see their own games released on a top platform such as Xbox One, what more could we ask? Thank you ID@Xbox!