Posts Tagged xbox

destinycomp16At this point I’m relatively certain most of the country is familiar with Destiny. And for those looking to augment their game a bit, Bungie has changed their Bungie Mobile Companion App to Destiny Companion.

Destiny Companion is meant to make it easier for you to monitor things like clan activity and special events from outside the game, and if you’ve got any Guardians of your own sitting at home it’s probably something you should take a look at. But where to start?

Continue reading Guardians on the Go – How to Connect to and Make the Most of the Destiny Companion App »

xblig_logosThe indie game development scene has been around for an incredibly long time; pretty much ever since people had the opportunity to program for themselves. However it wasn’t until shareware became a common method of distribution the 90s that it began to catch the notice of the masses, and even so, it took another decade to really take off. Throughout all of that there have been a number of successes and failures, as it is with most games regardless of their budgets or marketing strategies. No one remembers the duds, of which there are always many, but people tend not to forget games like Minecraft or Fez.

Microsoft even got in on the action when they made their Xbox Live XNA Game studio available. It wasn’t until 2008 that they brought Xbox Live Community Games (later dubbed Xbox Live Indie Games, or “XBLIG” for short) to Live users across the globe, but it created an environment full of possibilities for fledgling developers as well as people who wanted to get their games noticed. And now, five years later, a number of these developers have been making their way to the App Store. But why are they shifting their focus away from XNA development and on to iOS? We wanted to know. Luckily, Luke Schneider (Founder of RadiangamesBombcats, Ballistic SE, Fireball SE, Gobs of Fun, Slydris, Inferno+, Super Crossfire, Super Crossfire HD), Jesse Chounard (code monkey for Third Party NinjasHappy Piggy!, Hypership Out of Control), Mike Oliphant (Founder of Nostatic SoftwareSokoban for Beginners, Kung Fu FIGHT!, Quiet, Please!, Quiet Christmas, Ascent of Kings), Nick Mudry (Co-founder and CEO of Play NimbusBall 2 Box, Wobbles), Andy Gibson (Art Director at Team PeskyLittle Acorns), and Martin Caine (Founder, lead programmer, producer, and director for Retroburn Game StudiosAccelerate, Positron) were willing to share their thoughts on the matter.

 

Exodus

 

xblig_radiangamesOne theory behind this new focus on mobile devices is that iOS’ treatment of indies is a bit more welcoming. Not to say that Microsoft is terrible or that Apple is perfect, but there have been quite a few stories of Xbox Live Indie Game headaches.

Luke Schneider/Radiangames

Luke Schneider/Radiangames

“I felt like I was always fighting against the grain when Radiangames was focused on XBLIG,” said Luke Schneider on the shift away from XNA development. “I wanted to try to reach a broader audience and find more success. Though really it hasn’t been significantly different in terms of success on iOS.”

It was more a case of seeing the writing on the wall for Jesse Chounard from Third Party Ninjas. Once Windows Phone 7 came out it seemed as though Microsoft forgot all about their indie developers. “XBLIG developers actually lost access to some important features,” he said. “When the phone failed to gain traction, it seemed like the blame was placed on XNA.”

Nick Mudry and Play Nimbus came to a similar conclusion once the impending “death” of Microsoft’s service was announced. “We also moved away from XBLIG and to iOS because we were unable to develop with XNA for iOS,” he said

In this particular case, the discovery of Unity is what ended up tipping their hand. “We stepped up and started redesigning our game’s prototype,” said Mudry, “and it was done 10 times quicker compared to XBLIG/XNA.”

Jesse Chounard/Third Party Ninjas

Jesse Chounard/Third Party Ninjas

Not everyone simply jumped ship from one platform to the other, however. Mike Oliphant opted to stick around the XBLIG scene while expanding Nostatic Software’s reach to other platforms at the same time. “Last year I ported my game engine so that it also runs on top of Unity,” he said. “This gave me the ability to target iOS and Android as well.”

A smart idea that has the potential for a lot more exposure, although it also means more work to create all those ports, though he admits that more platforms ultimately means more users.

Martin Caine of Retroburn Game Studios was initially drawn to XNA because of the development tools and allure of the Xbox 360 hardware support, but it didn’t seem like he would get a whole lot of publicity on the platform. “I had heard of the limited exposure and low download figures,” he said. “I’m now just focusing on getting one game released but plan to release it across many platforms including iOS and XBLIG.”

Andy Gibson and Team Pesky actually did things the other way around when they prototyped Little Acorns on XNA, then ended up developing it for iOS once the basic framework was in place. After a few iterations the team brought the squirrel-themed platformer back to Xbox Live.

“Personally, I was really pleased to get Little Acorns out on XBLIG,” Gibson said. “The game feels great, has a good level of polish and an added split-screen co-op mode to celebrate Mr. Nibbles making it home.”


Continue reading Second Home – Xbox Live Indie Developers on the Shift to iOS »

Boxthebag Review

Boxthebag Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Boxthebag is a virtual boxing app that uses the iPad’s front-facing camera to help users get into shape and unleash their inner fighter.

Read The Full Review »

Lately Microsoft has been making serious strides in the iOS development space.  One such example was their recent release of the official Xbox LIVE companion app, My Xbox LIVE.  At first the tool was mainly for viewing Xbox LIVE messages, gamerscore and avatars, but now things finally seem to be taking a turn for the more interactive.

As part of their sixth update to the application, functionality has now been patched in to actually remote control and interact with the console from the iPad.  Granted the remote control abilities are limited to multimedia playback and they do not apply to the iPhone version, but at least it is a baby step towards Microsoft eventual SmartGlass feature set.  It remains to be seen if the My Xbox LIVE software will actually be the vehicle for launching the initiative down the road but as far as we are concerned, any kind of convergence across the platforms is a move in the right direction.

Either way, if you own an Xbox and an iPad there is really no reason not to check the app out anyway, considering it is free.  Give it a look.  Who knows?  You might be surprised at what you find.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-07 :: Category: Games

This Week at 148Apps: June 4-8

This week, 148Apps was all about Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012. Take, for instance, Carter Dotson’s report on new Xbox 360 features that may allow iOS integration: “At Microsoft’s E3 press conference, they revealed an interesting new feature that will integrate smartphones and tablets to the Xbox 360. Called SmartGlass, this is designed to operate a second screen during games, movies, and TV shows. This means that hypothetically, a game could display a map on the tablet screen, or even integrate interactive game elements like maps and play-calling in sports games.

Read more about this latest innovation at 148Apps.com.

Our kids-centric site, GiggleApps, reviewed Give A Day HD, which, as reviewer Amy Solomon states, “is a thoughtful children’s book app that helps create discussions between children and their adults about the world bigger than their families, as this app brings the topic of less fortunate children to the attention of young readers. This app is also available as an app for iPhone as well and is also part of the PlayTales Reader application.”

Read Amy’s complete review at GiggleApps.com.

$1.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-03-26 :: Category: Books

And finally, 148Apps.biz covered the big news that Google acquired iPad app QuickOffice. Writer Kevin Stout states, “Quickoffice, the mobile document editing software (that particularly handles documents from the Microsoft Office suite well), has been acquired by Google. Announced on Google’s official blog, Google plans to intergrate Quickoffice‘s technology in to their own Apps product suite.”

Read Kevin’s full post at 148Apps.biz.

Our week that was is now did and done. If you’d like to keep up with the latest reviews, news and contests, all you have to do is click the links to follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook. That wasn’t so hard, was it? I didn’t think so. See you next weekend, fellow chupacabras!

Call of Duty ELITE Review

Call of Duty ELITE Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Track Call of Duty multiplayer statistics, and manage some elements of the Modern Warfare 3 experience.

Read The Full Review »
My Xbox Live Review

My Xbox Live Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It may say iPhone and iPad in the app description, but as soon as "My Xbox Live" is fired up we're immediately using a Windows Phone 7 device, and I love it. Some, however, might not.

Read The Full Review »
GameTapp Review

GameTapp Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
GameTapp delivers gaming reviews, news, and videos. But how useful is it, really?

Read The Full Review »
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