Alright, we're going to be straight with you: you're not going to like this. See, Microsoft just showed us a pair of 3D games running on its ASUS Windows Phone prototype and built with its brand new XNA Game Studio 4.0, but wouldn't let us nab a single photo or video of the process. What we can tell you is that they exist, they work, and at least Microsoft tossed us some screenshots to wave in your face. The two titles are The Harvest (pictured), a good looking touch-controlled dungeon crawler with destructible environments, being developed by Luma Arcade; and Battle Punks, a less impressive one-on-one sword fighting Facebook game by Gravity Bear that's being ported over. We didn't get to see any full motion 3D camera moves, since Battle Punks is just composed of two characters duking it out, and The Harvest has a fixed camera and some pre-rendered elements, but there were indeed some real polygons being crunched before our eyes at a full resolution (no upscaling), alpha-rev, choppy framerate, and we were assured that full screen 3D was possible. We also got to see one of our first glimpses of universal notifications on Windows Phone: Achievement unlock notices (also pictured above) that slide down from the top of the screen in a black bar and then slide back, and can't be interacted with. Follow after the break for some more nerdy details, along with a video of VisualStudio in action, and screenshots of the two games are in the gallery below.
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Windows Phone 7 Series XNA screenshots
Microsoft spoke to the ease of its Direct3D development platform, which was built by the same folks responsible for the first-gen Xbox (though we're under the impression that most of the similarities end there). What we saw of The Harvest was built in "two or three weeks," mostly from scratch, and folks who've already built games for XNA in VisualStudio shouldn't have much trouble with a port from the sound of things: "very, very easy," said Microsoft. Right now developers can do their testing in Windows, but there should be a Windows Phone 7 Series emulator out for devs eventually -- though it's unclear right now if it'll make it into the upcoming XNA release scheduled for the coming month. Other details are up in the air like support for using a device's camera in game, along with that fancy pause and resume cross-platform function we saw demo'd at TechEd. One thing that's clear is that there's no fast track for porting OpenGL games to the Direct3D environment, but that's not stopping regular suspects like Oberon, Sega, Glu, EA, Popcap, Hudson Entertainment, Namco, Konami and Microsoft Game Studios from signing on. We'll have to wait until MIX for more details and hopefully some shareable demos! Below we have a video of that same platforming game we saw from TechEd being demo'd across platforms, though sadly with the save state sending disabled.