Interview with Aaron Woodman re: Games on WP7

An interview was conducted yesterday with Aaron Woodman, Director of Windows Phone Product Management. He discussed the next generation of mobile gaming on the Windows Phone 7 platform. I’ve written up the salient points which will give some more insight on what we can expect from WP7 from the eyes of gamers.  The video has been uploaded to Windows Phone 7 Backstage (You’ll need to join to view the video, but you get access to the forums and other video interviews).

  • For launch, multiplayer gaming will mainly focus on turn-based action. That is, fast-paced real time gaming won’t be possible straight away and is planned for a future release of the development kit.
  • GamerScores will increase whether you’re playing on your Xbox or your WP7. You don’t have two separate Live accounts where one is for the phone and one is for your Xbox. This leads to user Avatars. The very same avatar you have on your Xbox 360 will be imported to your phone automatically. The avatar isn’t a copy, it’s the actual thing. Therefore, any changes you make will be reflected on both platforms.
  • WP7 is not designed just for users with Xbox 360s. The Live features are there for those who have access to both, but there are plenty of games for non-Live users. If you decide you want a Live account, you can create one straight from your phone. Easy!
  • There was also a question what type of games will be allowed in the Marketplace (e.g. Mature/18+). It seems that it will be judged on a per-game basis by a panel, assuming it also passes the Marketplace guidelines given to developers.
  • Not much information was given, but a new update system was hinted at. Details will be revealed over the next couple of months. However, updating games for the time being is done by visiting the Marketplace and checking for any new updates. The reason this method is being currently used, as opposed to being notified of updates, is because if the user has many apps, there’d be a barrage of update notifications, even for apps that you haven’t used in a while.
  • Micro-transaction based games won’t be available to third party developers at launch.
  • If you’re playing a game and you get a phone call, the screen greys out and you can take or reject the call. The game doesn’t exit and isn’t ‘minimised’. Instead, it remains, partially viewable, in the background until you resume. No information is lost since the game is effectively in a paused state. Smooth!
  • There was a mention of being able to type emails quite quickly using the device. Whether this hints at a novel method of input, or if it’s simply because the layout is nicely designed remains to be seen.

Those are some of the main points discussed in the interview. Check out the full video here.

@keyboardP

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