Tag Archives: indie games

Xamarin, Xbox One Dev Mode, Bot Framework and HoloLens @ Reston meetup

I presented Xamarin, Xbox One Dev Mode, Bot Framework and HoloLens at my Reston meetup group, DC-MS-Devs. Here is all the presentation material with the slides, links and my contact information. Each segment covered an overview + demo with input from guest speakers.


1 of 4: Intro to Xamarin

Download PPTX or view slideshow below for Intro to Xamarin

SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/shahedC3000/intro-to-xamarin-63161570

Xamarin is now a part of Microsoft and is included at no extra charge with any version of Visual Studio, even the free Community Edition! Build mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows all from Visual Studio using C#!

2 of 4: Xbox One Dev Mode

Download PPTX or view slideshow below for Xbox One Dev Mode

SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/shahedC3000/xbox-one-dev-mode-63161595

In addition to Xbox One dev kits for approved developers, anyone can now use a retail Xbox One to develop apps or games for Xbox One! Learn how you can get started today!

3 of 4: Intro to Bot Framework

Download PPTX or view slideshow below for Bot Framework

SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/shahedC3000/intro-to-bot-framework

Microsoft’s new Bot Framework allows devs to create intelligent bots to interact with users in a natural way. The possibilities of these new types of technologies get tremendously larger when coupled with Azure Services.

4 of 4: Intro to HoloLens

Download PPTX or view slideshow below for HoloLens

SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/shahedC3000/intro-to-hololens

HoloLens dev kits have started shipping! Learn how you can apply for one and get started with the HoloLens Simulator on Windows 10!



Strange Beat Q & A

In this Q&A, we have Alessandro Montoli of Strange Beat, developer of Days After the Storm.

ale_sb   daysafterstormtitle

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!

Battle High Q&A


In this Q&A, we have Matthew DeLucas of Mattrified Games, who recently released Battle High 2 A+ on Xbox One via ID@Xbox.

Matt DeLucas  MATTRIFIED_logo_square  Battle High 2 A+

1. How many people were on your team to make Battle High 2 A+?

This is always a tricky question to answer.  To create Battle High 2 A+, I worked by myself; however, the work I did involved mostly programming and designing and porting the game from XNA to Unity3D as well as Xbox One specific work.

The actual Battle High team, however, really involved about 7 people, including me at one time, all working remotely in our spare time.  That team, as of now, has disbanded and went separate ways, but the lead artist, Vanni Del Moral and creator of Point5Projects, has allowed me to continue to develop and work with the IP.


2. Do you contract out any of the work to part-time or temp workers?

Yes! I worked with a lot of talented individuals on Battle High 2 A+.  If you visit the credits page for the game – http://www.battlehigh2.com/credits.html – you’ll see I’ve worked with a variety of individuals from graphic designers, 3D artists, audio designers, and voice actors to bring this game to life.

3. Have many games has Mattrified Games published?

Technically Battle High 2 A+ is Mattrified Games’ second release, the first being the OUYA version of Battle High 2. I’ve also released other games on the Xbox Live Indie Games platform, but I didn’t release them as Mattrified Games.  Those games were Convextrix, Battle High:  San Bruno, and Battle High 2.

So if you count when I started Mattrified Games, LLC, 2; otherwise, it’s more like 5.  I’m hoping 2016 is the year I can release a new game outside of the Battle High 2 series – while doing updates for the game as well.

BH2A+ Title Hero Art 1920 x 1080

4. What other games have each of your team members worked on?

Sadly, I haven’t stayed in touch with the other Battle High 2 A+ members that closely.  I know Vanni has worked on some platformers such as The Hive and Bad Bots, which are discussed a bit on the Point5Projects forums – http://z11.invisionfree.com/PointFiveProjects/index.php?act=idx.

Also, an artist, Matteo Carlino, who did a lot of great work for Battle High 2, is working on a personal project called PaperBlade – https://twitter.com/paperbladegame.

5. What advice do you have for your other indie developers at ID@xbox?

  • Firstly, be organized. There are a lot of acronyms and emails and documents to keep track of, so the better you are organized, the easier the process will be.
  • Another is don’t assume anything or always test your game and if you can afford QA, you should as it’ll help save you time in the long run.  I didn’t have a huge issue with this, but there were a few things in cert that had I tested more carefully, it would have made that process go more smoothly.
  • Also, I made a fighting game and discovered there is an issue with some fightsticks – an issue I’m still waiting to be addressed unfortunately.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to email the ID@xbox team. Obviously, don’t abuse this and send 1,000 emails everyday, but ultimately, they really want developers in the program to succeed, and you shouldn’t feel anxious about sending an email with questions if you have them.  I say this from the perspective of a solo developer, who was hesitant to even apply as I felt I was too unimportant or small for them to bother with.

6. Will you be bringing your products to Windows 10?

I’m not 100% sure.  I probably won’t bring Battle High 2 A+ to Windows 10, but I’d like to at least look into bringing future projects to the Windows 10 platform.  I just got a new PC with Windows 10, so it’s definitely something I can investigate.

My only hesitation is that I often design games that would be best on console – or with a controller rather – so I feel it’d be easier to just focus on Xbox One, but I know – or have heard – that developing for Windows 10 can make bringing a game to Xbox One as well as Windows 10 computers rather easy.

7. Any future projects you can discuss?

Sure! I have a plethora of ideas; however, most of my independent work is on the side so I can’t dedicate as much time to it as I would like.  Saying this, I have a few game ideas.

  • The first is a tactics RPG involving fighting game mechanics and merfolk.  My idea is that it’d be released in small chunks instead of one epic release.
  • The other is a mobile fighting game, but it’s asynchronous, involving building a branching attack pattern and seeing how it works against your opponent similar to Frozen Synapse.
  • The third project is a small mobile title based off my latest Ludum Dare release, Grominows:  http://mattrified.itch.io/grominows .  It’s a simple snake-like game involving dominoes.  I could see the previously two mentioned games on the Windows 10 platform for sure.
  • Finally, there is a 3D fighting game I’ve been wanting to do involving dessert-based fighters called CupKick; however, due to Cuphead, I may change this idea.

8. Anything else you’d like to add?

Now is a great time to be an independent game developer as more and more platforms are becoming accessible and engine are more affordable, but because of this accessibility, it’s also becoming harder and harder to get noticed, so I appreciate it when someone takes the time to give exposure to smaller developers and would like to thank you, so thanks!

Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px6T_EHr03k


Quad Interactive Q & A for Offensive Rising on Windows Phone

For today’s Q&A, we have Franklin Campos of Quad Interactive, developer of Offensive Rising. This game was built in Unity, then published on iOS and Amazon App Stores, and recently released on Windows Phone.

1. How many people were on your team to make Offensive Rising? Was it just you?
Yes, just me. However, I did contracted out some work to freelance artists and game music composers.

2. Do you contract out any of the work to part-time or temp workers?
Yes, I contract work to freelance artists and game music composers when I need commercial quality work. For example, 2D/3D Art and music. In addition, I modify 3D asset packs myself that I purchase from the Unity Asset Store.

3. Have many games has Quad Interactive published?
Quad Interactive has only made one game, Offensive Rising. However, the studio is currently working on our next IP game. The game should be ready early next year.

Download Downloadhttp://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/offensive-rising/933731b5-4da2-4ff7-b946-c28a46f6724c

4. What other games have you worked on?
Offensive Rising is the only commercial game I have worked on from start to completion. However, I did create a couple of small game demos a few years back Those game demos were created using DirectX 9. I started learning game development using DirectX 9 and C++. I have learned all the game development skills needed to make a game. For example, creating 2D/3D Art, Programming and editing sound. However, I’m still learning game development.

5. What advice do you have for your other Unity game developers?
My advice would be that if you really want to make games, you will keep on going and moving forward no matter what. It is hard to make games, it requires lots of skills, work and commitment. However, if you really want it? hard work is not an issue. Furthermore, try to make good games not just any game. Focus on good game presentation. For example, good graphics, cool characters, cool music and keep the game fun.

6. It’s great to see your game on Windows Phone 8… can you share some lessons learned that you would like to share with other developers?
If you are new to windows mobile 8 game development, I recommend that you test your game on a windows 8 mobile device before submitting to the store. In addition, read the documentation on porting to windows phone 8 found on the Unity website and on the windows mobile developer website. If you miss anything, fix the problem during your next update. For example, I need to update Offensive Rising and add support for the back button. The game must close from the first screen when the back button is pressed.

  1. Add support for the back button
  2. Replace the default icons on the Assets folder with your icons
  3. Enable ActivationPolicy=”Resume” on the WMAppManifest.xml
  4. Decide the minimum Memory RAM on the device that you want to target 

7. Any future projects you can discuss?
Our next game is coming along great. However, we don’t discuss our game development projects in the early stages of development. We can only mention that our next game is a 3D third-person type game. The game will be rated “E” for everyone.

8. Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, thanks for the meetups, the pizza and drinks. Your presentations are great. It is great to have a game/product on the windows mobile store. Our next game will be ported to the windows store and the windows mobile 8 store. :)

Offensive Rising Launch Trailerhttp://youtu.be/uxfoVcVpraM


DisclaimerThe responses in this Q&A reflect the opinions and experiences of the independent developer being interviewed.

Compulsion Games Q & A for Contrast on Xbox One, and more!

For today’s Q&A, we have Sam Abbott of Compulsion Gamesdeveloper of Contrast, which was recently released on Xbox One.


1. How many people were on your team to make Contrast?
Contrast was contributed to by a number of people, but our core team in the studio was 8 people. We scaled up very slowly from 1 at the start of the project, by bringing on people who were as passionate about the project as we were.

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