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Silverlight-based Gaming is about to explode

February 27, 2009

First Edition

When Silverlight 1.0 came out the focus was on media, graphics and animation.  The media capabilities of Silverlight have continued to advance and large scale projects have continued to impress.  Well-known Silverlight media projects include the Olympics, Democratic National Convention, and Presidential Inauguration.  Some of the newer projects include NetFlix Instant Watch, RAI.tv and CBS choosing Silverlight for March Madness.

Silverlight media features are continuing to improve with the release of the Smooth Streaming Beta along with upcoming H.264 support.

To find out what’s coming out next for Silverlight Media, attend or watch the What’s New in Microsoft Silverlight 3 session at MIX09.

The Sequel

Now Silverlight 2 (important notice the lack of “.0”, its just a 2) came on the scene and brought along the subset of the .NET Framework and WPF Features. Controls, Layout, Styles, Skins, Databinding, Services, oh my!

Full applications are now being written in Silverlight and a few of the recent ones I’ve enjoyed checking out include Colaab, BestFreeCharts and the Design Guidance and Controls from MSCUI

Now that Silverlight 2 has been released for a few months, architectural guidance is a hot topic. Prism v2, which is Composite Application Guidance was recently released from the Patterns and Practice group along with many articles about Silverlight MVVM.

If you haven’t already, check out Jamie Cool’s talk on Building Business Focused Applications at PDC08.

At MIX09, keep on eye on the following sessions:

The Triple Play

Now we’ve reached the topic of this post. Media is getting sharper, Applications are compiling, Silverlight is Fizzing and somewhat by its own accord Silverlight Gaming is shooting up.

There have been a few Silverlight 3 features hinted already by ScottGu that are significant, namely 3D Support and GPU Hardware Acceleration.

For more information on these features at MIX, go to:

Why do I think Silverlight-based Games are going to explode?

I’ve been watching the trends. 

First off, every designer or developer dreams of writing a game, right?  At least most of them dream of fun ways to use their talents of creation.  Imagine all of the .NET programmers given access to a simple framework that allows you to build casual games.  Yeah, that’s right that already happened. Now imagine you’re used to writing games with other technologies and you’re starting to see the power and opportunity of the .NET Framework.  That’s happening too.

Second, check out some of the recent movement; all of the Silverlight-based games listed on sites like Mashooo, Blue Rose Games and Farseer Games; the announcement of a new ad-based gaming site SilverArcade from Bill Reiss, and a third of the MIX09 10k contest entries.

Its also interesting to take a look at some of the more advanced game like Manic Miner, Shidonni and Shock.  These are not just your basic BreakOut game that was running on your Atari in the 80s.

Its going to explode, I tell ya. In a good way of course.

How you can get started

So now you want a piece of the action? Looking to fulfill that dream of creating a game?  You’re in luck because a lot of these people already doing it are sharing their knowledge.

Below is an interview with Nikola which demos the Shock game along with an explanation of the whitepaper:

Get Microsoft Sil

You have the power.

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