Howest Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) is a leading academic institution in game development. With the current shift in the gaming industry, from standard retail to instant downloadable deliveries, they decided to take advantage of the new reimagined Windows 8, as this is the ideal platform, running on several device types, with touch or standard mouse and keyboard. Several student games – built in XNA – have been ported via Monogame to Windows 8.

Today, at the launch of Windows 8, DAE has - for the first time in history - made student games available in a commercial online store. Download them now from the Windows Store.

Some Hero Game
Some Hero Game
Influence
Influence

Quantum
Quantum

Binary Puzzle
Binary Puzzle

These gaming Apps announce the start of a new era – an additional flagship for the school. As from now, the best student work will be published only into the Windows Store. You, as a Windows 8 user, will soon have a large variety of short, free games while students will get a reality check prior to graduation.

A win-win for all. Enjoy playing!


Where did we start?

During the Imagine Cup 2012 finals in Sydney, the game “Influence” was installed on a Windows 8 tablet. At that time the game was running as an XNA application in Windows 7. The bright visuals and look and feel were astonishing – though native features of touch and rotation not yet build in. To give users the best experience converting the game to a Windows 8 game was a must-do.

That is where the journey started.

The best student projects have been selected. Students were encouraged to convert the XNA game via Monogame to Windows 8 game. Although lots of documentation on porting 2D games is available, porting 3D XNA games introduced a series of new obstacles. With the hard work and dedication of the lecturers and students, they succeeded in successfully bringing 4 games to the Windows Store – and there are even more games to come in the following days.


Imagine Cup

Since its foundation in 2006, Howest – Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE) has built up a strong international reputation. High quality training is the standard, proven by a consistent top performance in Imagine Cup – Microsoft’s worldwide student competition. 6 years in a row, Howest students have been selected to participate in the worldwide finals with every year a team in top 5. This year team Hotfix reached the 3rd place with game “Influence”!


Want to build apps for Windows 8 too? Check out the homebase for Belgian Windows developers: http://msdn.be/apps.