Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
The day that I decided to participate in Imagine Cup 2010 is not exactly clear. Having heard of the Imagine Cup Global Competition event through friends and the Microsoft Student Partner Program, I had always thought that maybe it would be fun to give it a try. At the time, we did not know how much of an experience we were going to gain from Imagine Cup but it is definitely more than just fun we had when looking back. Welcome to part one of ‘The Imagine Cup Journey’ blog series, I am reflecting back on my own journey from the start of the project to the emotional rides myself and the team members experienced during the entire process. What we learnt, what we had become, and what we are all doing now has been greatly influenced by the Imagine Cup competition put together by Microsoft. Let the journey begin, again.
The exact turn of events that transitioned into the start of our team’s Imagine Cup project is not entirely defined but the major points are still vivid in my mind. I remember sitting in my Signals and Systems Electrical Engineering class at McGill University and the professor talked about how polarizing lens had changed the way we are able to view images that was once not possible. He mentioned that the theory behind polarizing lens had been around for many years but the application is only now coming into form and that is it is up to us future engineers to turn theories into applications that can advance human life. I recall walking away from that class quite frustrated because I wanted to apply my knowledge in creating something that can help society. I wanted to be part of something special and influential in shaping the future of technology. This was the start of my Imagine Cup path, having the mind set of wanting to create innovative technological applications that may one day change the world.
Title: Impossible Shoota
A fantastic game that really demonstrates the standards that Microsoft set out for their hardware manufacturers to have. The rich graphics are displayed throughout all Windows Phone 7 devices in this new accelerometer based shooter game. Having played many shooter games ranging from handheld devices like my TI-83 calculator to the modern day consoles, I have to say this vertical spacecraft shooter game brings another element of game play. With the smooth maneuvers using accelerometer to tilt the object left and right, touching a location anywhere on the screen will have the Starboxer spacecraft teleport to the location you tapped. This function allows you to get in and out of tight situations quickly without having to navigate through the enemies. Do not start thinking this is an easier game now that you are able to teleport throughout, the amount of enemies and game pace increases as you progress through the levels. With no final boss levels in the game, the challenges will become more difficult as enemy fleets become denser.
The game provides a great simple and quick experience but extremely addictive. The objective is to continuously shoot all objects in the spacecraft path and collect the enemies’ orbs to power up. The leader score board gives the game a social element that challenges not only yourself but those that play. Without any extra in game life, each game play is a new entry in the scoreboard thus making the experience both frustrating and addicting. Impossible Shoota is a free download that is worthy of many hours of game play.
Learn how to create your own great games by downloading the free resources at "Dream Spark" You can get started in creating great games just like Impossible Shoota by downloading Visual Studio, XNA 3.1 Game Studio, and Windows Phone 7 programs. Try out the tutorials and lessons from Channel 9 news: "Window Phone 7 Development for Absolute Beginners" and learn the differences in development platforms between XNA and Silverlight environments. The demo tutorial is presented by team members behind the "Unite" Window Phone 7 application. The video dissusses advantages and disadvantages in development and design between XNA and Silverlight platforms.