We recently visited the local IGDA chapter as guest speakers due to the recent release of Spareware. As we were the first local company to develop a console game, we shared with other developers our thoughts about the development and mostly the things we liked about it to encourage them to do the same. Now we'll share those with you too.
#1 Single platform
Some of the people not involved in game development may not realize how different types of phones or customizability of PC makes life difficult for developers. There's so many resolutions, drivers and GPUs to take into account and you somehow with limited time, budget and people have to make your game compatible with most of them.
As we developed Spareware for Xbox One, we only had one type of hardware to worry about. It gave us so much more time to focus on the actual gameplay and polishing. It was very relieving for us especially after we'd done so many mobile games in the past with so many different phones to take into account.
Then there's of course only one type of controller to worry about, instead of the multiple options that the PC has.
This part was surprisingly great. There's not that much we can talk about this, but what we can say, is that the list of specific requirements helped with the development. As we had to send builds for certification, they also tested it and sent us bug reports of things we may have never been able to notice by ourselves. Support from Microsoft was amazing as they answered us very fast if we ever had problems or content to send.
#3 Easier discovery on Xbox One
People are already very aware that Appstore, Google play and even Steam are over saturated at this point. There's so many games released on these platforms every day, that many just disappear under the flood. When it comes to consoles Xbox One was the best option when it comes to visibility too. Their store gets about 4-10 new games per month, so our game was going to linger on the new releases list for longer.
#4 Overall support from Microsoft
Microsoft also was there to help us with the visibility by uploading our posts on their sites and tweeting about Spareware. They also really helped us by delivering a lot, and I mean a lot of review codes to ambassadors. The amount of review codes we got to send out ourselves was too more than enough.