10 Burning Questions with Andrea Tabacco, Developer of GRIDD

What’s that? Another round of 10 Burning Questions? That’s right, and today we have Andrea Tabacco, developer of GRIDD which is an amazing 2D shooter that’s easy to learn and difficult to master. If you’d like to check out more games by Andrea, you can check out the AntabStudio website as well as Facebook page.

1. How did you get started with Windows Phone?

It was a “natural” step for me, I already developed some XNA games and published 3 on Xbox Live Indie Games and when the Framework was ready to support Windows Phone I definitely wanted to try it!

2. What phone do you personally use?

I mainly use a Samsung Omnia 7.

3. What was your biggest challenge in developing the GRIDD for Windows Phones?

Well, the developent of GRIDD was quite easy and enjoyable but I have to say that I had to work a lot on optimization for the dynamic background lights effect.

4. Do you have any ideas for any more games on the way that you’d care to share with us?

Oh I have lot of ideas and wishes for future games, mainly I can tell you that a there’s a “GRIDD 2” in 3D that is almost done but due to the fact that it’s developend with the Unity3D Engine. I can see it being more probable on Windows 8 platforms.

Some other info I can share is about the Drop01 project that you can find here. As you can see in the page info this was mainly a prototype I used to build some tech; not sure about the publishing but I can say that from what’s going on behind the scenes, in a not so near future,
this project will propably be restyled and evolve to a more complex “next gen” tablet game.

If you want to see a few seconds of the tech footage there’s something showed in this Microsoft presentation starting at around a minute.

5. Monetization: in terms of driving revenue, can you tell us about your experience, your strategy, and the overall potential?

In general my strategy has always been this: make something simple, accessible and funny as much as easy to play BUT with a development process that should never take more than 3 months (depending on the complexity and features you want to add).

This I think is the safer way to make sure you’re going to gain something; of course there are exceptions but most of the times it depends on how much well done marketing you can do (and some luck also helps).

Specifically for GRIDD I can say it was developed not just to be published but also to participate to a Microsoft WP7 contest; happily it was first paced so I got a good part of the revenues from the prize.

6. What do you want to see in Windows Phone 8?

I want to see POWER :P ..no, seriously, I would be pleased to see tablets as an evolution of Windows based notebooks; it would be very nice to have a good unificated marketplace in order to extend and in some cases to give a new life to PC games market.

In general I think it’s cool to have a lot of low priced applications and casual games but given the capabilities of new hardwares I would like to see something to promote the developent of what we could call “AAA mobile titles”, specifically designed for touch screen/accelerometer based platforms.

7. Do you develop for other ecosystems and how does Windows Phone development compare to those?

I developed for PC and Xbox as well as for Android and iOS platforms. For sure I find very straightforward the Windows phone development given my PC background; I also like how in the last few years Microsoft shared a lot of high quality tools and learning stuff to make very pleasant the XNA/Silverlight experience.

The only thing I can complain about is the lack of third party softwares to make easier the development of complex games (there’s no UDK, no Unity, etc.)

8. If you could give one tip to fellow Windows Phone developers, what would it be?

I would say “take care of your design and tune!”, I mean, a good design is needed to create something that isn’t just funny for you to develop; for what I can see from the tons of applications and games around in the marketplace.

I have to say that not everyone seems to focus on designing a global enjoyable experience. We should always ask ourselves what could make the application/game more comfortable, appealing and possibly addictive.. most of the time. I found that just few good tweaks can improve a lot the quality of what you create.

I know this sounds a lot like everything and nothing at the same time but it’s a very deep and complex side of the development; I just would like to remind to never forget to focus about that :)

9. Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.

I’m a usual super hero all day long, but in the night.. I become a Game Developer!

10. Tell us your favorite Olympic sport!

Uhmm, well, have to say I enjoy basketball a lot.

Thanks Andrea! You can download GRIDD from the Marketplace here for $1.99 or a free trial.

Are you interested in taking part in Developer Appreciation Month? Let us know by contacting us with the subject “Developer Appreciation Month”. We’d love to feature your app.