Interview with Windows Phone Indie Developer Elbert Perez

My first time buying a Windows Phone was about a week after the HTC Arrive launched on Sprint last March. Since that time, there’s been a big increase in the number of apps that appear in the marketplace. One of the first games I tried out was called Armored Drive and it’s developed by Elbert Perez. Elbert is an indie developer who has 14 (yes, 14!) games in the marketplace. He truly is a game making machine.

Elbert has been pretty vocal online about his successes and his challenges with the marketplace and earning money (he also posts about upcoming devices showing up in his analytics). All of his games are free and supported by advertising. I know a lot of people often complain about the high prices of games that are Xbox Live titles so I thought it would be great to interview a guy who gives us WP7 fans awesomely fun FREE games. Below is my interview that Elbert so kindly agreed to.

You currently have 14 games in the marketplace which
is a lot for an indie developer. On your site you’re pretty candid
about your experiences developing games for Windows Phone. What kind of success have you seen on the Windows Marketplace and what kind of challenges are you experiencing?

“I’ve been seeing some awesome success with getting players to
download my games. The free-ad supported business model is really good
at getting people to play your game for the one big reason that it is
FREE! :) Also now that I have 14 games on the marketplace I can easily
cross promote my games and give attention to new and up coming games
that I have. The biggest challenge for me is having consistent income
from the ad revenue, right now microsoft pubcenter (the ad provider I
am using) is somewhat inconsistent on a month to month basis which
makes it really hard to budget my money from month to month.”

All of the games you have are pretty varied in terms of the theme. You have zombie, space and racing themes mixed in with quite a few others. What inspires you to create a game?

“Since this platform is a fairly new one and the gaming genres have
not filled up, I do my research in what types of games have not been
over saturated yet in the marketplace during that time. It also
depends largely on what I am feeling to make that time, especially if
I was influenced by a recently played game, or a game that has been in
the back of my list. For actual game design inspiration, I try not to
be a revolutionary when it comes to games, I just take what is a well
known play style or genre then adapt the gameplay to work really well
on the phone.”

Has there been a particular game that you’ve had the most fun creating?

“Nom Nom Worm was the most fun for me because I was able to tap into
childish things and create a colorful and fun yet simple game.”

What advice could you give to someone who wanted to start developing on their own for WP7?

“Go to and take the tutorials and samples there. It
helps that you know fundamental c#/.net concepts but not necessarily.
Also there is a awesome video tutorial here
that I worked on and I am actually in the video tutorials :)”

Have you developed any games for other mobile OS’s? Why or why not?

“I’m sticking with WP7 primarily because I am already proficient
with the technology and know my way around it inside and out. Also
since WP7 is the newest kid on the block getting your game noticed is
1000x easier than iOS or Android. The returns might not be great right
now but I am putting a stake in the marketplace before transitioning
to oher OS’s. There is no rush for me to port over to iOS or Android.”

Are you using a non-developer Windows Phone at all? Any catch your eye?
“I’ve always used commercial phones, I have a samsung focus at the moment.
I’m eyeing the Titan because it has such a large and beautiful screen.
I’m also waiting on the Nokia 900 which should be the killer WP7 phone here in the US.”
Does anything about the future of WP7 excite you as a user? What about
as a developer?

“Well, I’m excited about the potential market growth of WP7 which
should bring in more customers then bring it more revenue :) As a User
I am excited to see what WP8 will bring to the table now that WP7
Mango is eye to eye with Android and iOS.”

What are some of your favorite apps on WP7?

“The top apps I’m using is the Twitter Client and Slick Deals. As
for my really favorite app, that would be Armored Drive. :)”


You can browse all of Elbert’s games on the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can also visit his site to learn more about him.

Let us know how you like his games in our Windows Phone Forums.


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