Game Developer’s Perspective: Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

A few days ago Microsoft confirmed some things that we’ve been hoping to be true for some time. First of all: Windows Phone 8 will indeed have support for C/C++! This is great news for a small studio like us who has a backlog of several awesome games coded mainly with C/C++. Windows Phone 7.x was lacking C/C++ support and porting our games there would have required a total code rewrite starting from the game engine itself. This isn’t a small task and would’ve probably taken months. Now we only need to do create some new graphic and audio implementations in addition to basic input handling.

It seems that the Windows Phone 8 won’t have OpenGL ES or OpenAL, but that’s ok since they should have support for DirectX 11. Windows 8 also supports DirectX 11, so in theory we might only have to create a Direct3D 11 renderer and implement audio support using XAudio2. We’re hoping that with these two components we can draw graphics and play sound both on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices. It’s exciting to see whether this will hold true, but we certainly hope it will and it seems quite likely.

So, Microsoft has a chance to make a developer’s life really really easy. We’re currently dreaming of a situation where we can run our games on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with only tiny code differences. In real world this all means that the users of these operating systems will have quick access to all the most popular apps and a lot of variety to choose from. So, you can definitely expect 10tons games on your Windows Phone 8 device in addition to your Windows 8 tablets, laptops, and desktop computers!