Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

Be careful about how you use Guide.IsTrialMode in an XNA Game Studio 4.0 game for Windows Phone

Be careful about how you use Guide.IsTrialMode in an XNA Game Studio 4.0 game for Windows Phone

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My colleague Michael Klucher posted an item on his blog earlier this week that I wanted to link to in order to hopefully help raise visibility for it.  In his post at http://klucher.com/blog/trials-and-tribulations/, he describes a performance issue to be aware of when developing Windows Phone games using XNA Game Studio 4.0 and the Windows Phone Developer Tools.

Here is a quick summary of the key points in his post:

  • On Windows Phone, calling Guide.IsTrialMode can be expensive (~60 milliseconds per call), so it should not be called every frame in your game code.
  • This performance problem only manifests itself when a game is downloaded from the Windows Phone Marketplace – you will not see it when running your game in the emulator or when using Guide.SimulateTrialMode on a device during development.
  • This performance problem does not occur on Xbox 360, so pay particular attention to how you are using Guide.IsTrialMode if you are porting a game from the Xbox 360 to Windows Phone.
  • You should consider checking the trial mode state at startup and at key intervals during your game instead of every frame.  For example, if you have a functionality-limited trial mode, you could check the state at the end of the last level that is a part of your trial experience and determine whether or not to unlock subsequent levels.
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