For our next interview we are talking with Peter Lindgren. He is the developer for a game you’ve probably heard of: Duudle. The game itself is a cross platform, multiplayer, drawing/guessing game. You could say he beat DrawSomething to the punch. Check out what Peter had to say.
1. How did you get started with Windows Phone?
We were invited to the Hackathon 2011 at the Nokia World event in London. As we know there would be experts from Microsoft on site, we decided to develop our very first Windows Phone 7 app, a social draw-guess turn based game, Duudle. We had developed for pretty much every platform there is out there and to make a long story short, we won the Hackathon and were mighty proud to receive the biggest award in Hackathon’s history, a solid 50,000 € check.
2. What phone do you personally use?
I use a Nokia Lumia 800 (powered by Windows Phone 7).
3. What was your biggest challenge in developing Duudle for the Windows Phone platform?
Developing the app in C# and Silverlight was a breeze, and we managed to get the stuff together really quickly. The challenge was more after. Social gaming means playing with your friends, and they statistically friends have a phone running Android or iOS. Then there is no portability and you just will have no base of code or assets but need to rewrite the app from scratch.
4. Monetization: in terms of driving revenue, can you tell us about your experience, your strategy, and the overall potential? (We know this is a touchy subject and confidential issue, but we appreciate any details you’re willing to share)
Even if it’s still early days for Windows Phone the lesser number of users compared to Android and iOS translates in lesser monetizations options. We see excellent conversion rates and ad revenue climbing, yet with the number involved you need to make the most out of everything and you will still struggle to see the numbers add up. That will change over time though.
5. What do you want to see in Windows 8?
I want to see how well Windows Phone 8 integrates with Windows 8.
6. How does developing for Windows Phone compare to other platforms such as Android and iOS? Do you prefer one over the other?
In so many ways developing for Windows Phone is just a nice experience. But developing a cross-platform app is when it all becomes terribly painful. As I said before, you will just need to rewrite it all, which is a waste of resources in the first place. But once done it gets even worse, you then have two platforms to maintain and support, which as well will slow down future development of your cross-platform app.
7. If you could give one tip to fellow Windows Phone developers, what would it be?
My tip to Windows Phone developers would be to combine XNA and Silverlight to boost performance.
8. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you as a developer.
Traditionally we have been a business and productivity focused company, with a cloud based approach to mobilize documents among other things.
9. Any major announcements on the horizon you’d like to talk about?
Yeah, we’re pretty excited about the HD version of Duudle for tablets that we’re working on.
10. Is there anything you wish were different about any of the major platforms? Any road blocks you experienced during development for the three?
The most frustrating and annoying thing is the level of fragmentation. A recent global study found 3,997 distinct different Android devices across 599 distinct brands. Each of these having different hardware, Android version, screens size and resolution. Different screens size and resolution is manageable, but the worst thing is that only a single-digit percentage of the devices run the latest Android version. Put simply, this means that as a developer you need to cope with old and buggy Android versions. The majority of devices run over two year old software. When iOS introduced the retina display it added some complexity, but pretty much all devices (that you need to care about) run the latest version, without any platform orphans. On Windows Phone 7 fragmentation is not an issue at all, and I hope Microsoft will keep it that way. From what we’ve heard that is the case in theory. We will see how the Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 story will unfold in a developer’s daily and practical life.
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.