So. I had this great idea twelve months ago. Let’s create separate tracks of competition within the Game Design challenge so that we could more fairly distinguish those games that ran in the web browser from those that ran on Windows and/or Xbox, and at the same time introduce a potential third track for mobile gaming. Both of these ideas came to fruition and we now have what you see in today’s Imagine Cup competition – XNA for Windows and Xbox, Web with Silverlight or HTML5 and Mobile for either Zune or Windows Phone 7.

Great!

But wait. That means a tad more work. So, trying to keep my sanity, I went out and recruited (along with some very smart cookies in Microsoft who helped point me to the right people) three sub-captains to help out with questions, advice and judging. Three awesome individuals who have expertise that I don’t. Three people who are keen to help, who are excited about the prospect of aiding students make the best games they can.

All three should be now actively participating on the official Imagine Cup forums so this is the “official” introduction to them so you know who you’re dealing with. So, here we go – in their own words…

CHRIS WILLIAMS (US)

Chris Williams is a Principal Consultant for Magenic and the author of the super-mega-bestseller Professional Windows Phone 7 Game Development: Creating Games using XNA Game Studio 4.

He's also a DirectX / XNA MVP, MCT, MCSD (.NET) Early Adopter, MCAD, INETA Director of Community, freelance game developer (Heroic Adventure!, Legends of Threa), frequent conference speaker, vintage arcade game collector, INETA Community Champion and plays a pretty mean plastic guitar in Rock Band.

When not doing any of the above stuff, he can often be found working on his next book (Hacking The Kinect) in a Waffle House. He likes 'em scattered, covered and chunked.

PETER FOOT (NEW ZEALAND)

Peter is the founder of In The Hand Limited, a company providing award-winning software components for the .NET Compact Framework to assist other small to medium enterprise developers. Peter, along with three other MVPs, is a director of APPA Mundi Ltd, a software consultancy specialising in mobile solutions built with the latest Microsoft technologies.

In 2007 Peter co-authored the Microsoft Mobile Development Handbook published by Microsoft Press.

Peter established the 32feet.NET shared-source community project bringing Bluetooth and IrDA technologies into easy reach of .NET developers. Peter has also been an active contributor to other shared-source initiatives for the .NET Compact Framework.

Prior to working with Windows Mobile, Peter led a test team for a UK mobile internet portal on the UK's first consumer GPRS service. Peter holds a BSc in Computer Science.

LAURENT BUGNION (SWITZERLAND)

I work as the Director of UX Integration Development for IdentityMine, one of the leading companies (and Gold Partner) for Microsoft technologies such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight, Surface, Windows 7 and generally User Experience. I was IdentityMine's European branch's first employee, based in Zurich Switzerland, where I live with my wife Chi Meei and my two daughters Alise and Laeticia.

In October 2008, the book "Silverlight 2 Unleashed" that I wrote was published at Sams. This book is a complete tutorial about Silverlight and filled with code samples and illustration in full color. In 2010, "Silverlight 4 Unleashed", an expert book about Silverlight 4, was published.

Privately, I code in ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight and WPF. I blog on http://blog.galasoft.ch and write on http://www.galasoft.ch where I publish articles, prototypes and demos related to the mentioned technologies. In 2008, I earned a MCTS for WPF. 2011 is my 5th year as a Microsoft MVP (Silverlight, Client App Dev).

(Apologies to Laurent for calling him French!)