Cool stuff about the Xbox launch. You will need to stick with my blog as I show you how to work with C++ and Direct2 or Direct 3.
You have got to create apps, and a good way to get started is to use the entry path of Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone.
Let's take the Nuremberg 1561, the Alien attack, a little idea that I got from the goofy UFO Space Alien beliefs.
What is the story? Well, you or I have to make it up. Then you or I have to determine the tool to use, Unity is one, Unreal engine is another, or it might be within your scope to make your own engine. How do you determine which way to go? The costs will be real either way. Choose one and you pay Unity, but you can also hire people who know how to use the engine. If you make an engine, then you may want to start with existing code sets.
Well for Nuremberg 1561 we will start with a series of "bootstrapping" steps, now "bootstrapping" is a term that we used to use instead of boot or booting for computer systems, but it also referred to a way to raise your efforts up without external help. So if you are like me, you might have a few dollars available from one of the programs in 2013 called "Keep the Cash". How do you compete with the big games like Halo or EA Sports? You do what has been the process for the past 40 years since Pong, (oh dear God has it been that long?).
How do you get started? First you need to prototype your initial idea, in this case you could use Construct 2. Then you get it certified, in this case you now have a discoverable copyright. (Excuse me while I do that.)
So with the UFO invasion: Nuremberg 1561 (TM), which I have copyrighted, but there are plenty of ways that you can get your own "big" picture idea, mining the UFO mythology is certainly one way. In my copyrighted titles: UFO attack:Nuremberg 1561; UFO Attack: Padua 1611, UFO Attack: Cambridge 1691; UFO Attack: Philadelphia 1760; UFO Attack: Paris 1893; UFO Attack: London 1861; UFO Attack: Bern 1904; UFO Attack: St. Petersburg 1908; UFO Attack: Pittsburgh 1918; UFO Attack: Pasadena 1961
If I start off with Construct 2 (http://www.scirra.com) then I would have a 2 dimensional prototype that I can work with quickly and be able to export to a number of platforms. All a good thing, but limits to getting it on the Xbox eventually since I think that these stories could be scalable and immersive.
But what about scale? The construct 2 tool is pretty good, but it has certain drawbacks, not many, but some.
With this many games, I would definitely consider building my own game engines as I do not see my invasion games being a shooter game, but rather a puzzle game where you would be working with the science of the time to defeat the aliens. Each of the timeframes have some major science being developed, but not in a finished state, except for the first attack in Nuremberg. The others are Galileo (Padua, Italy), Isaac Newton (Cambridge), Ben Franklin in Philadelphia, Lots of stuff going on in Paris in engineering and science in 1880, London would be James Clerk Maxwell in 1894, Bern would be Albert Einstein, The late Czar timeframe had science of many things especially with respect to metal formation and the big comet strike, Pittsburgh had Compton and his X-Ray work definitely the stuff of aliens, and then the final attack against Pasadena where Feynman uses his QED physics to stop the evil aliens once and for all.
Well, we got to do our design, so that will require the use of the concepts of UML, usediagrams, activity diagrams and class diagrams, then we get layers, sequence diagrams for more detail, and then test management. All of this test suite stuff could be purchased separately, but it is included in Visual Studio Utlimate. Then we need to have a tool that we can use to mock up our 3D, do graphical programming and then connect with our Azure or Cloud based servers.
That is a lot of stuff to learn, but that is the goal over the next 10 weeks.
XAML/C++ could be used to do advertisement apps, social apps while using existing C++ code. COM or DLLs would be used to keep the code highly usable, because we are utilizing the management tools in TFS and Visual Studio this allows us to keep an eye on costs. If an investor wants to see our design processes, we have that all laid out for them.
Of course you will need an accounting tool, Quicken or similar can be used for those kinds of things.
Scalable, sure, you have kept track of your design with respect to the highest layers, this is the kind of work effort that usually pays the best. Your team can do testing in a disciplined manner, and you can deploy new changes when bugs appear quickly. You can make changes to your app quickly and without the pain of long hours because you and your team know the state of you product dynamically.
Ok, you might have to put in some long hours, but when the big check opportunity shows up, you will have a great system that is well laid out. Then you just sell the final product, the game, not the engine, you keep the engine.
This is the way you get to be one of the studios that Microsoft, Sony, or others come to for the big jobs.