WinSource Interview: Elbert Perez a.k.a. Occasional Gamer

WinSource Interview is a weekly series of developer interviews. Check out our previous interviews here.

If you read our site, and other Windows websites, you’ve probably heard of Elbert Perez a.k.a. Occasional Gamer. He is a Xbox Live Indie and Windows Phone game developer. He is one of the more open developers you’ll find on any platform. On his website, occasionalgamer.com,  he regularly posts download and game play statistics from his games. Elbert was kind enough to talk to us about Windows Phone, Xbox Live development, and working for Microsoft.

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You currently have 15 apps in the Marketplace, which one was the hardest to create?

Hardest one to create was Paradox Exit because I had to integrate farseer physics into it and do tons of optimizations to get the engine running in such a big world. Also since it is a randomly generated world there as a lot of trial and error in generating the terrain.

How does developing for Windows Phone and Xbox compare?

I prefer Windows Phone development because it does not have the quirks that xbox has, especially with floats. It has a better GC, and certification is much easier since I don’t have to rely on community peer review which can be slow if you are not a popular game. Also I monetize better on Windows Phone.

Did feedback from reviews you received from the XBLIG version of Impossible Shoota impact the changes in the WP version?

The XBLIG and WP7 versions of Impossible Shoota are totally different games. They were called the same because I reused art assets from the XBLIG. Also design principles on the phone are totally different from the Xbox.

Will you be bringing any of your apps to the Windows 8 marketplace?

Nothing planned right now, since porting over games from WP to Win8 is a rewrite. I might as well create new games from scratch.

Do you prefer developing games, or applications with a practical use?

I prefer developing games of course! That is my passion, but if given the chance to write a practical app that will have an impact in people’s lives then I might go for that.

Have you developed for other platforms outside of Windows Phone and XNA?

Before doing XNA, I was working on games using Direct X 9 and C++ for Windows.

Which handset do you currently use?

I currently have the HTC Titan 2. Of course I love it!

Any new ideas on the horizon you’d like to tell us about?

I got things in motion that I am not prepared to talk about just yet :)

If you could offer one tip to Microsoft for improving the developer experience for Windows Phone, what would it be?

Microsoft is doing a great job with Windows Phone development experience. They do need to make the reporting in AppHub not lag 1 week behind :)

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Thanks Elbert! You can find all of Elbert’s Windows Phone games here, with 15 to choose from there is bound to be something for you!


  • I like Elbert a lot. He is sort of what I aspire to be, a self-sufficient indie game dev.