Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
Woot Studio , MC Funkypants and Plexi Pixel have just released a Platformer Game Starter Kit for Windows 8
You can find more templates and starter kits here.
Platformer games are always popular. Most of us remember the first time we made Mario hop over a mushroom or got Sonic to roll along bouncing off springs and into the air!
Woot Studio, MC Funkypants have just released a platformer game starter kit to help game developers build a platformer game without having to start from scratch. Run, jump, launch into the air! The starter kit gives you three levels you can use as a base to explore the code you would use to create your own game. Change up the levels. Change up the artwork and have fun creating your own world to explore.
If, like me, you lack artistic ability, you will appreciate the fact that PlexiPixel has created some royalty free art assets to go with it including characters, weapons, ships, effects, and accessories which you can download at the starter kit website!
The starter game kit include two games: Rubba Rabbit
and Gwendolyn the Lionhearted
The starter kit contains a Visual Studio example project of the two games that are built with the same engine. You can download the app and try it on Windows 8, it is a working game.
Want to learn more?
Have some fun creating your own world and take advantage of the fact someone else has done some of the heavy lifting for you! Don’t forget that Canadian developers who publish apps before mid June 2013 can get rewards through the Developer Movement!
Games are some of the most popular downloaded apps on mobile platforms and they are just plain fun to build! Get a jump start on building a cool game in person, or with some great online resources.
Finally, we can get serious about games! Join us at the Windows 8 Gaming Development Clinics, we’re visiting three cities: Edmonton, Ottawa, and Vancouver. We’ll cover core Windows 8 features, development best practices, and cross-platform guidance for deploying your games.
If you can’t be there in person, check out some of the great resources out there to help you get going with game development and have a little fun!
DreamSpark gives students access to free software and free accounts for the Windows Store but how do you sign up?
DreamSpark (https://www.dreamspark.com/) is a program that provides students with free Microsoft software. Chances are your school is already signed up for DreamSpark and all you need to do is create your own account.
To create your DreamSpark account go here
Enter your name, date of birth, password, and whatever email address you wish to have associated with your DreamSpark account. After you have completed all the required fields select continue to verify.
Now, DreamSpark wants to verify that you are in fact a student. There are three ways to do this
1. Get verified through my school – if you pick this option you will be presented with a text box, type in the name of your university or school. Then select your school name from the dropdown list
When you select a school, you are asked to enter your university email address. This is how DreamSpark confirms that you are in fact a student at that school. Your school’s email domain name (e.g. @CarletonUniversity.com) is stored in DreamSpark for every school that is registered for the program. If you do not have a valid school email address, or your school is not listed you will have to select another method of verification.
2. I have an ISIC card – if you pick this option you can type in your ISIC serial number or the ISIC/CIP number or your ISIC/NUS card number to prove you are a student.
3. I have a verification code – this option requires you to enter a verification code. But where do you get a verification code? You need to reach out to a Microsoft representative or possibly a school administrator. You can also try reaching out to DreamSpark support to ask about manual verification but scanning and emailing proof of your student status to receive a verification code.
Once you have created and verified your account, you can now download software and get codes to provide you with free Windows Store account and free Windows Phone store accounts so you can develop and publish your apps for free!
IdeaPress claims you can create a Windows 8 app from your WordPress.com or WordPress.org site without any coding! They are right!
As Windows 8 matures, more tools and templates are appearing to help developers and non-developers create Windows 8 apps. Today I decided to test one of those tools: IdeaPress. I’ll be testing it by creating an app from my personal WordPress.com site. If I get a chance I’ll try to do another blog with a self hosted WordPress.org site to see how that works.
The tool: IdeaPress
Note: For a limited time in Canada one of Microsoft’s partners, IdeaNotion, is offering 200 people a $50 Visa Gift card as a reimbursement for your Windows Store Developer Account when you publish an app using the IdeaPress tool. Email email@example.com with your blog URL to secure your Visa gift card.
You can choose
Note: IdeaPress tells you what image sizes are required for each logo or page. I used Paint to resize my images, you can also use free tools such as Paint.NET to resize images.
Note: Even though I uploaded the images for my tile and splash screen I got an error saying I hadn’t uploaded any images. As soon as I uploaded a Default Article Image (under Layout and Theme) the error message went away, so I think Default Article image is mandatory and you just get a misleading error message when you don’t provide all the mandatory images.
8. When you have a look and feel that you like, go to the App Generation tab.
On the App Generation tab you get to choose whether to Generate a Visual Studio Solution or an App Package.
Regardless which option you choose you will require a Privacy link.
Finally you can check the box that says you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions and choose Submit. IdeaPress will email you a link to your solution or package and you can start the process of submitting it to the store! No coding required!
So there you have it, if you have a WordPress.com blog site you can build and publish a Windows 8 app without writing any code!
NOTE: My first two attempts to publish to the store failed certification, thought I would share with you why I failed certification and how I fixed it. The first time it was rejected because they did not feel I had selected a suitable category. So i changed the category to Lifestyle since my personal blog covers a fairly broad range of topics. The second time I failed because to post a comment on a post you need to log in with a WordPress account. I did not mention that in my app description, and I failed to provide an account the store certification team could use to test that feature in the Notes to testers section. Once I made those corrections my app passed certification and is now published to the store.
Developer Movement is offering Double points for every Windows 8 app you publish until May 10th and you could win a $500 gift card!
The Developer Movement program which gives Canadian developers points for publishing cool apps to the store has a new challenge!
Until May 10th, for every Windows 8 app you publish
Let’s do some quick math:
So that works out to 16000 points when you publish your first app, so with one app you could get a
Publish a 2nd app and you would get another 10000 points. With 26000 points you can get
If you were on the fence about whether to build that app idea that’s been buzzing around your head, or finishing up and publishing that app sitting unfinished on your laptop, this is a pretty nice motivation to get coding.
Don’t forget students can publish for free, and there is a great Windows 8 Getting Started Guide at DreamSpark.com