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Is WP7 Development Harder than XBLIG?

Is one platform harder to develop for than the other? Inquiring minds demand to know!

I got asked an interesting question recently on Twitter... "So, how would you rate the difficulty of WP7 development compared to XBLIG?". While I answered the question in a short 140 character Tweet, I feel like there is more to tell to this story.

I would definitely not say one avenue is more challenging than the other, it is really just different challenges and different nuances with each environment. Some concepts are similar (Storage devices vs IsolatedStorage) while others are unique to their own environments (Avatars, gamepads, touch input, tombstoning, space bees). A lot of reading and asking questions and making dumb mistakes was required to figure this stuff out.

My game engine (controls aside) is essentially unchanged from Hypership XBLIG to Hypership WP7. Overall the engine and the gameplay it allows are the guts of the game and you won't have to redo that when switching between platforms. Because this can remain essentially unchanged, it would be hard to say one game was harder to make than the other because the games are the same game.

Putting together a game on WP7 after releasing several XBLIG wasn't harder. There was still a lot to learn but it was just like learning the XBLIG specific stuff the first time around too. If you develop a game for one platform, you should be able to develop for the other without too much trouble. In fact why wouldn't you? The work to port a game is significantly less than doing the original and gives you a new collection of gamers to sell to.

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