Tomorrow (April 20th) marks a Leda landmark – a whole year since the launch of the Arcade Collection for Windows Phone.

Five games. Over 130,000 downloads. Android versions in beta. Huge support from Nokia and various features on the Windows Store. Our very first expo. Way beyond anything I expected!

In another milestone, it’s just over three years since I first posted here. So now, three years plus on, with five launches behind me, what am I doing?

Creating a new resource library!

There are a number of reasons behind this: Firstly, since building the original versions of the Windows Phone libraries (which were essentially the guts of AstroSwag), there are load of features and refinements that I’ve wanted to add – skeletal animation, for example. Secondly, while these libraries ported over to Android ok, there were several bits of conditional code and work-arounds required – never idea. But the big clincher was the double-whammy from Microsoft of Windows Phone 8 launching on completely new hardware to the Windows Phone 7 (and therefore no path to upgrade), and the “official” cut-off of XNA.

So on one hand, we have the carrot of Monogame and with it the opportunity of breaking into new markets and arenas, and on the other, the stick of both Leda’s primary platform and development framework being phased out. No brainer, really.

The objective of the new library build is to create a single codebase in Monogame to target Android and Windows Phone 8 with minimum platform-conditional code. It’s going well – so far, the only time this has been necessary has been due to the fact that Monogame automatically handles landscape/portrait orientation on Android, but not on WP8, requiring manual rotation of the back-buffer and touch locations. A lot of the basics are in – simple drawables, improved collision handling (from Blade Force Rescue), bone-based objects and automated animation (from the Dream-Build-Play prototype). There’s still a lot more to do, but this is certainly a big step forward.

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