Microsoft are a huge global company and are always hooking up with other big organisations to improve life through technology in so many areas. But, Microsoft also look after the little guys who just make games too – which is why we love them!
Ever since we started making Interference – our first ever game – they have given us so much help and encouragement along the way. Even though we are just two people making games as a hobby they couldn’t have been more encouraging and helpful. We got to know some of the evangelists and they would often call up and ask how things were going.
Back in 2012 when they were launching Windows 8 they set up a fantastic place in London for 18 months called Modern Jago – where developers, designers and artists could work and meet for free in a disused school in Shoreditch.
Sadly for us we couldn’t make use of it frequently as we live in Staffordshire – but Microsoft invited us to many free events there over the months.
We attended the Windows 8 Launch there, the Critter Awards and also the Future Publishing’s App Generator Awards where our game was one of the 10 winners. We were given lots of equipment (laptop, tablet, phone) which really helped with our app development at the time. We were very proud of being selected at the Windows Elite who were first to store with a Windows 8 app.
They certainly know how to put on a party too! There was always free food and drinks and unusual entertainment such as Mixology lessons, Oxygen bars and Make your own T-Shirt Sessions. They were also responsible for introducing us to the awesome Rayguns Look Real Enough band and the tiger onesie!
Since then we have both quit our jobs to become full-time developers and have been accepted on the BizSpark programme which gives us so much more help for our indie games studio. We gain Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN Subscription, $150/month of Azure Credits, Office 365 Developer, and Windows Store membership. We also get the ability to sign up for 4 Technical Support Incidents for our start-up.
This is saving us a fortune in storage costs each month as Interference – being a drawing game needs a lot of space! So, the first thing we did was to relaunch the web version of Interference – optimised to work on all devices. Then came the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) Windows 10 App – even though we are constantly being asked for an iOS and Android app by our players.
Nathan, our chief geek explains “Developing for Windows is so much easier than the other platforms because they have the best development environment in Visual Studio and in the language, C# a lot of annoying details are taken care of automatically like downloading something in the background is much easier to implement than in Java or other languages.”
So, our shiny new Interference Windows 10 App is now in the Windows store and the wok begins on the other versions…wish us luck!
PS Before that we are launching our brand new word game (on Windows first!) called Loose Vowels. Look out for announcements soon!