Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

If you are not familiar with Slot Machine for Windows 8, or Slot Machine Mobile for Windows Phone 8, these apps are casino-style slot machine simulators in which players receive free coins every few hours to spin the reels and possibly win more coins.  Slot Machine features a leveling system where players receive ‘experience’ for each spin, and as levels are gained, additional machines become available, more bonus coins are awarded, and the maximum bet amount per spin can be increased.  Additional coins are available for in-app purchase, and all player coins are stored ‘in the cloud’, updated in real-time, and available across all the player’s Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. Since the launch of these apps, we’ve been asked by a number people how we store player coins ‘in the cloud’.  We do this by using Windows Azure Mobile Services from Microsoft.  Mobile Services offer a powerful-yet-simple way for developers to leverage the power of the Azure infrastructure for their mobile applications.  It currently supports most major mobile platforms, Windows 8/Windows Phone 8, iOS with the support Android coming soon. [Android is currently ‘unofficially’ supported via a partnership with Xamarin] How we got started We first started by developing Slot Machine for Windows 8.  As we were developing, we were primarily focused on how we would store user’s coin balances and make them retrievable across all their Windows 8 devices.  We considered several options, including using client local storage and leveraging Windows 8 native support for roaming profiles, and also using some existing servers we had to host the balances, but those options were either too ‘opaque’ for us (in the case of client-side data stores – we couldn’t troubleshoot issues), or too expensive (hosting our own servers – yikes!).  Then we happened upon a post from Scott Guthrie talking about the brand-new Mobile Services.  He claimed that you could be up and running with an enterprise-class back-end infrastructure in minutes, and he was right!  In less than a half hour, we had a functional server-side service tied to our prototype client.  The development took just a few simple steps: 1) Create a new Mobile Service in...

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