Indie Developers vs. XBOX Live Apps. My Story.

When I first started development for Windows Phone I remember excitedly travelling down to Microsoft in London for the day as I had the chance to test out my Apps on a real live Windows development phone!  At the time I had several Apps that I had developed in Silverlight with a view to porting to Windows Phone (this one made it, this one didn’t!).

One of the things that I heard tell of on this day was “turn by turn game play over the XBOX live network”.  Great! Thought I and envisaged playing ‘Shove Halfpenny’ with my in Laws in Dublin.  “Ahhh, but Xbox Live is reserved for ‘la crème de la crème’” I was told.  And that was pretty much that.

It’s no secret that the XBOX Live games are indeed ‘la crème de la crème’ and it is difficult (though not impossible) for independent developers to develop a successful XBOX Live enabled game.

So I guess those words ‘la crème de la crème’ have always bothered me a bit and I started to daydream about opportunities for independent developers like myself.  (Indeed, this was the thinking behind my series of blog posts on Marketing for Independent Developers last year).

But now there may be a glimmer of hope for us downtrodden indies, the faint glint of a tool that might help us in our toil.  What if we could harness the thing that singly differentiates and at the same time exemplifies what is great about Windows Phone? What might I be referring to?

The “Live Tile” of course!

Yes, Live Tiles are great, but how on earth do you find them?  You maybe find an App you like the sound of, then read the description hoping for an indication that it supports live tiles?.

But now there is …

The “Live Tile Browser” tm

What is it? Well its free, so the easiest thing to do if you are that way inclined is to download it and have a quick play:

If you would like to read a bit more, or perhaps participate by marketing your own Live tiles through the browser app and its sister site ( there is another blog post with more information here: Live Tile Marketplace Browser

I would also really appreciate your feedback.  What do you think of the idea?  How can it be improved on?  Should MS be doing this?

Please let me know your thoughts.

Apps mentioned in this article:


~ by Ian on January 13, 2012.

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