The goal of this site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Today we gathered at Dolby HQ in central London to celebrate UK Indie games developers.
It was he chance of this years Greenshoots teams to showcase their brand new games.
Greenshoots is a programme from Creative England and Microsoft to support start-up game studios with bringing new and exciting game titles to the Windows platforms.
From underwater shoot ‘em ups and robot-infested puzzle games, to futuristic galaxy battles and crazy golf, the nine selected developers each secured funding of £25,000 to support the development of their new games for mobile and tablet platforms.
Greenshoots, which also includes workshops and business expertise from Microsoft, Creative England and industry partners, helps new and emerging companies to kick-start development of new intellectual property (IP) and reach a global audience. While developing their title for Windows 8 or Windows Phone, the programme encourages developers to push their game out across all platforms.
Ian Livingstone CBE, Creative England board member, said: “The UK has a wealth of creative talent that is the driving force behind the booming indie games industry. But in order to scale, these businesses need the right investment and support. I’m delighted that vital funding is being provided by a dedicated team through the Greenshoots programme to meet this urgent need. The resultant games benefiting from this essential funding speak for themselves.”
Jaspal Sohal, Creative England’s Head of Games and Digital, said: “These fantastic games are exactly what the Greenshoots programme is all about – supporting new and emerging games developers and seeing their ideas come to life. They are a prime example of what can be achieved with the right investment and support. We are proud to have worked with such a talented bunch of games developers whose passion has been evident throughout the whole process. Now get playing!”
Details of Greenshoots Round 2 will be announced in September.
Here is a quick video of the games from this years Greenshoot cohort http://youtu.be/X-BVQzgtulg
In order to take advantage of the different screen resolutions and pixel densities that your Windows 8 and windows Phone apps will be displayed at, you’ll need to output some of your apps’ bitmap assets at different sizes.
Why do you have create so many app icons?
This is simply related to the different in screen sizes, resolutions and pixel densities across devices, read these guidelines for scaling to pixel density.
Getting Started building Icons
To create all the required images for the current Windows Store application requires you to generate 44 images at specific sizes and which need to follow a defined naming convention for Window’s resource loader to supply the right image for the right device.
There a tool
Check out the Windows Store Image Generator.
The Window Store Image Generator simply allows you to upload one image which it uses to automatically generate the 44 images your project requires. You can then download them in one ZIP file and drag and drop into your VS project.
This tool saves at least a couple of hours of pixel resizing!
If your interested in how to build games for both the Windows & Windows Phone stores using WebGL & Babylon.js:
- Using WebGL to create games for the Windows Store
- Creating a HTML5 phone, tablet & PC game using the Universal Apps project for Windows Stores
- WebGL 3D engine called Babylon.js (www.babylonjs.com). This is an open-source engine
Using Cloud Services in your game
Why and how we migrated babylonjs.com to Microsoft Azure
If your interested in understanding more see the following links of how Ubisoft have implemented Assassins Creed:Pirates using WebGL and Bablyon.Js
- Engadget: ‘Assassins Creed: Pirates’ now available as a free-to-play browser game
- Polygon: Assassin’s Creed Pirates now available in web browsers
- The Next Web: Microsoft and Ubisoft launch 3D Web game Assassin’s Creed Pirates, built with open-source framework Babylon.JS
- Neowin: Microsoft and Ubisoft team up for Assassin’s Creed demo that runs in the browser
- Gamasutra: Ubisoft, Microsoft partner to launch Assassin’s Creed HTML5 demo
- WinSuperSite: Microsoft and Ubisoft Bring “Assassin’s Creed” Game to the Web
- BetaNews: Microsoft and Ubisoft embrace open source to bring ‘Assassin’s Creed: Pirates’ to the web
- Slashgear: Ubisoft teams with Internet Explorer for Assassin’s Creed race
- WinBeta: Ubisoft releases Assassin’s Creed Pirates in partnership with Microsoft, perfect for IE11
- TechTalkDC: WebGL Updates to IE11 Bear Fruit with Assassin’s Creed Pirates for the Web
- Click Online: Assassin’s Creed Pirates Now Playable in Browsers
- The Final Gen: Assassin’s Creed Pirates Browser Demo Available Now
- Dual Shockers: Assassin’s Creed: Pirates Available as Free-to-Play Browser Game
Registration is Now Open!
Registration for TechEd Europe is now live!
Take advantage of the Early Bird price of €1,695. This €300 discount is available through July 7, 2014.
Academic Faculty & Staff Discount €1,195
Help Spread the Word
TechEd Europe Registration is OPEN! Register by 7 July and save €300 for #TEE14 http://aka.ms/TEE14RegisterNow
Need to convince your boss to let you attend TechEd? We’ve got you covered. http://aka.ms/tee14cyb #TEE14
Discuss, Plan and Connect w/peers before getting to Barcelona. Start a thread on the #TEE14 forum! http://aka.ms/TEE14Forum
In case you’ve not yet heard, the Kinect for Windows announced pricing and availability in July of our new sensor and SDK (public beta)!
The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor pre-order is here!
It allows you to get your hands on the sensor ahead of the game. Developers who take advantage of the pre-order, while supplies last, will be able to start building solutions once the public beta of the SDK 2.0 begins in July.
For access to this exclusive pre order, click: http://aka.ms/k4wv2preorder
And if you haven’t done so yet, and want to receive the most recent Kinect for Windows news as it happens, please follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook.
So are you using Visual Studio?
Are you using Team Foundation Server?
Are you implementing any Application Lifecycle Management solutions that covers the range of software development activities from requirements capture through to development and onto testing and release into production.
Well if not.. why?
- TFS has strong version control, with an ALM element, and also supports GitHub. - The platform offers integrations for Eclipse, JIRA, MS Project, as free Add-Ins. - It’s possible to have unlimited VU’s for Load testing as long as you have Visual Studio Ultimate - There’s an option to have customisable Process Templates, and the user can also customise Burndown charts through Reporting - In terms of Release Management, Workflows can be added using PowerShell - Team Rooms can be used for enhanced collaboration, such as requesting feedback - Excel can easily be used for bulk update to TFS, which is useful in migration
Here’s just a few links you may find useful to learn more about Visual Studio, TFS and ALM:
We all use apps or games on daily basis.. we usually just download these from a apps store on the device we own, but how many of you actually share your experience or feedback with developers or with other consumers.
Here some quick reason why feedback and ratings are so important in today app culture.
From a Developer Perspective
Download the quick guide for developers http://aka.ms/Xfdfgv
You won’t always get a reaction like this! However taking user feedback on board and updating your app accordingly will enhance the overall app experience and attract more downloads. Walking in the shoes of your user is not always easy so use the feedback function to gain insights and knowledge which you may not be able to foresee.
Download the Rate my App code
From a Consumer Perspective
Download the quick guide for consumers http://aka.ms/Gr6dse
Microsoft UK Azure Evangelist Steve Plank is running a webinar every week called Azure Weekly.
The event runs every Tuesday from 12:30 – 13:30 (UK timezone) and is aimed at the techie who has not yet had any/much exposure to Azure but who just wants a leg-up to get started.
This is a more practically focused session than a theoretical/architectural session and is mostly based around the following demos:
* Creating a Microsoft Azure WordPress website
* Creating a Microsoft Azure ASP.Net website
* Creating a Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine
* Creating a Microsoft Azure Mobile Services (with Android client)
* Creating a Microsoft Azure Cloud Service
* How to sign up for a free Microsoft Azure Trial subscription
If you miss it one week – just come the next week.
You can ask questions throughout and there will be a short slow at the end for Q&A as well.Note: Unfortunately, we’re not in a position to deal with detailed individual problems. For example if you are getting an unexplained exception or error message and it’s not something that is immediately apparent, we encourage you to use the usual channels – Internet searches, blog-posts, MSDN/TechNet documentation, YouTube, Channel9.msdn.com, Vimeo, Microsoft support and other technical resources.
Later the same day, any relevant questions that were asked, plus the answers, will be sent out by email and for those that can’t wait that long – they will also be tweeted.
Click here to register for the FREE seminar.
Fortumo is making carrier billing on Windows Phone and Windows 8 available to more app developers.
Fortumo have launched a custom version of our Windows in-app purchasing SDK for developers using Unity to build their apps.Integrating carrier billing to your Windows Phone or Windows 8 app built with Unity is now much faster, with no additional development effort needed. Here’s what you need to do to start accepting mobile payments with Fortumo in your app:
Sign up at our homepage and create a Windows in-app purchasing service (note that the same service can be used for both Windows Phone & Windows 8 apps);
Once you have created a service, download the Windows billing library for Unity from your Dashboard;
Integrate the Fortumo Windows in-app purchasing SDK into your app. You can find the guidelines in our Developers Portal;
Make some test payments – if everything works, you’re good to go!
Fortunio are also offering developers up to $25,000 to cover your integration costs.
You can also check out the campaign that Unity is running to get additional benefits for bringing your apps to Microsoft platforms.
If you have any feedback or questions regarding carrier billing on Windows Phone and Windows 8, get in touch with Fortumo via firstname.lastname@example.org
prime, one of the most popular providers of plug-ins for Windows and Windows Store, make it easier for you to implement in app-purchases, use Live Tiles, monetize via ads, and connect to Azure storage. Starting today, through June 2015, you will be able to get all these plug-ins for FREE:
Windows Store 8.0 and 8.1
Windows Phone 8.0 *
Handling trial and in-app purchases
To get Live tiles, toast notifications
Metro Essentials plug-in
To give you access to the Microsoft Ad SDK
Microsoft ads plug-in
For easy access to Azure storage
Microsoft Azure plug-in
*Note that Windows Phone 8.1 support and corresponding free plug-ins will be coming soon.
To take advantage of this offer and get your free plug-ins, visit the prime website; free plug-ins will be marked as ‘Download Now.’ Please provide your name and email so prime can send you the license, then just import the plug-in into your Unity project.
You can see installation and other information at Plug-in Documentation. Also visit the prime YouTube Channel for videos on how to get set up. For technical questions and support, please use the prime support forums.
Don’t forget about the Unity Developer contest with over $100K USD in prizes. Game submissions will be accepted through July 20, so be sure to download your prime plug-ins and publish your game to have an opportunity to win.
The Unity 5.0 lowdown
There’s plenty to look forward to in Unity 5. Thanks to UNITY Teleporter demo you can see just how versatile our new physically-based shader is. Plus, get an overview of what you can expect from it here.
New GUI this summer
Learn about how the new Unity GUI and with less scripting required.
What’s in the pipeline from UNITY?
Simply subscribe to the UNITY Blog
Microsoft benefits for studios small and large
Want to win up to $50,000? Bring your content to Windows Store or Windows Phone Store and you could. Get going, the deadline for submissions is July 20. Don’t forget we also making free software, devices plus marketing and technical assistance available to Unity devs.
All you have to do is apply…
Unite 2014 early-bird ending soon
You need to hurry if you want to secure your 15% discount on tickets to Unity conference in Seattle. If you’re planning to attend, don’t forget to check out the porting lab events Microsoft are running in conjunction with the event.