Continuing the series of posts that allow us to see what users have on their Windows Phone 7 handset we meet fellow MVP Mike McLaughlin.
Mike was awarded his MVP status back on 01 April of this year in the XNA/Direct X arena. So as you might expect he has quite a few games on his Windows Phone 7 handset.
Here is the info Mike sent me along with some background in his game development efforts and a list of what is on his Windows Phone 7 handset.
I first came across XNA in late December of 2009. What drew me to it at the time was that it gave me the opportunity, for the very reasonable investment of $99, to develop games for the Xbox 360 and sell them through the Xbox LIVE Indie Games market. Discovering that a life-long dream of mine (writing games for a console system) was possible was amazing. I got involved with the XNA community through participating in the App Hub forums (then called the XNA Creators Club) under my company name of Bob Taco Industries, released a game on the Xbox (which didn’t do very well but taught me a lot and was a lot of fun to do), and began writing a blog about things I’ve learned so I could share my knowledge with others. My blog can be found at http://geekswithblogs.net/mikebmcl/Default.aspx and mostly consists of samples of XNA techniques along with some recommendations and the occasional editorial piece. I’m also quite active on Twitter: @mikebmcl .
Before I got involved in making games and apps and helping others create games, I was a lawyer. But I wasn’t happy. When the real estate collapse hit in 2008 I decided it was time see if I could make a living doing something else. I had minored in Computer Science in undergrad and had always enjoyed programming. My knowledge was pretty stale (C on Unix platforms and a bit of experience with HTML and various scripting languages) so I did some investigation, bought a few books on C# and .NET, and started coming up to speed on modern technologies. I was also tinkering around with game programming using C and SDL on a Linux system I had. I discovered XNA when I started looking for a way to make games on Windows that I could share with people. It was a great way to get experience with C# and .NET and gave me a whole new direction to look in. When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, that made it even more exciting for me. Most of my efforts now are focused on developing games and apps with XNA and Silverlight for WP7.
So what’s on my Windows Phone? It’s a pretty eclectic mix. I have several email accounts. I have my two apps, Slide Tiles, a missing tile puzzle game, and My Parks, an unofficial guide to the US National Parks. I’m hoping to have significant updates ready for both of them this Summer.
I have quite a few games, in part as research and in part just because I like games and its fun to see the amazing things people are doing with XNA (and Silverlight).
For Xbox LIVE games, I have: Assassin’s Creed; CarneyVale; Fable: Coin Golf; Flowerz; Frogger; Fruit Ninja; Hexic Rush; ilomilo; Project Sunburst (Crackdown 2); Revolution; Rise of Glory; and Rocket Riot. I’ve demoed other games but haven’t bought them yet. The one that’s most prominent in my mind is I Love Katamari. I really enjoyed the Katamari games and expected to really enjoy I Love Katamari. But the accelerometer-based controls were frustrating for me. So instead I wound up writing an accelerometer sample that I shared on my blog to provide people with what I think is a good starting point for gyroscope-style accelerometer controls. I still think that I Love Katamari has a lot of potential and I expect that if they added a touch-based control option and adjusted the accelerometer controls to be less sensitive, e.g. by using a larger dead zone and adding something that Shawn Hargreaves, one of the XNA Team members at Microsoft, calls a power curve, that it would be a really phenomenal game.
For non-LIVE games, I have: Cascade; Chickens Can Dream; Chicks’n’Vixens; Decimation X2; Doodle God; flip3; Hypership; Impossible Shoota; Juggler; Krashlander; Neon Dodger; Old School Adventure; Pixel Man and Pixel Man Zero; PLATFORMANCE: Castle Pain; Popper 2 and Popper 2 Lite; SBARG; Slide Tiles; Unite; and Wordament. Wordament is my most recent addiction. It’s a really amazing demonstration of what developers can do with the network access that phones enable.
As for apps, in addition to everything that comes standard with a Windows Phone, I have: 4th & Mayor; Adobe Reader; Amazon Kindle; AP Mobile; the various AT&T-branded apps; bubblegum; Human Japanese; Imagewind (sadly pulled from the marketplace for now); IMDb; MSN Movies; My Parks; NASA Be A Martian; Netflix; Pictures Lab; QR Reader; Seesmic; TwitPic; Twitter; Weather and YouTube. Human Japanese is a beautiful app. I took a semester of Japanese many years ago and have always been interested in languages. I decided to download the trial of Human Japanese and was blown away with how good it is. It’s a pricey app, as apps go, but well worth it and the trial mode is really well done.
As I said earlier no surprise that a game developer would have their Windows Phone 7 loaded with games. I also have to agree with him about Wordament and how addictive it is. I mentioned it as my Windows Phone 7 App of the Week on Episode 15 of the Observed Tech PODCAST a few weeks ago.
Thanks for sharing what’s on your Windows Phone 7 Mike and welcome to the MVP Program.
So will you be next to show What’s on Your Windows Phone 7?