Students now have lots of options when it comes to language, framework and tools for creating their projects and assessments and this is now true for developing a game for Windows 8.

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GenerationApp provides design and technical consultations, video tutorials and technical articles that will help you each step of the way to getting your app in the store. We are here to help you take full advantage of this lucrative opportunity.

 

You can download a evaluation version of Windows 8 below

Download Windows 8

Downloads Visual Studio 2012

 

Or if you have a DreamSpark Premium account you can download the fill version of Windows 8 and Visual Studio for FREE

 

C# Developers

Unity
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Unity announced support for Windows 8 at their annual Unite conference. We are all waiting for more details to emerge but in the mean time lets learn a little about Unity.

Unity is a game development tool that has been designed to let you focus on creating amazing 3D games. Unity supports three scripting languages: JavaScript, C# (Mono), and a dialect of Python named Boo. All three are equally fast and can interoperate. All three can make use of cross platform .NET libraries from Xamarin which support databases, regular expressions, XML, networking and so on.

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MonoGame
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MonoGame is an Open Source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework. MonoGame allows XNA developers on Windows & Windows Phone to port their games to the iOS, Android and now Windows 8. Using MonoGame for Windows 8 you can take your XNA code and with a recompile along with some additional code to support store requirements create a game for the Windows 8 store. ARMED! which is currently available for downloads from the Windows 8 Store is a great example of what is possible using MonoGame.

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Follow this 3 part blog series on MonoGame that takes you step by step through the process from getting your development environment setup to getting your game Windows 8 Store Ready.

XAML/C#
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If your skills are based in XAML and C#, you have a great set of tools to create casual 2D games from scratch using Visual Studio and Blend. You can easily apply animations to text, images and shapes on the screen using the built in animation tool.

The animations you define can modify any of the objects attributes overtime including position to create movement, transparency to make things appear and disappear and skew to change the shape and so on.

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HTML5/JS Developers

HTML5/JS using Canvas   

The HTML5 canvas is great for creating games. In a game you generate or display graphics in real time and then change them at regular intervals based on user interaction or through physical properties that you encode into the logic.

Dave Isbitski has a great video post on the basics around creating a casual 2D game using HTML5/JS and the Canvas element. If you have HTML5/JS skills then you have what it takes to create basic games that draw  and animate sprites, keep score and play sound.

Cut the Rope was the first example of an HTML5/JS game ported to Windows 8. Download the game and try it out.

 

More great content from Dave

Getting Started with JavaScript Game Development on Windows 8

GameMaker
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YoYo Games, a Scottish startup based in Dundee announced that GameMaker: Studio, its cross-platform games development environment, will support Microsoft Corp.’s launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. GameMaker: Studio allows developers to create games in a single code base and then easily export with one button click and run them natively on multiple formats including HTML5, Facebook, Android, iOS, Windows and OS X. GameMaker: Studio for Windows 8 will be available for developers prior to October 26 while GameMaker: Studio for Windows Phone 8 will be available following device availability later this year.

CreateJS
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Frameworks are incredibly useful as they supply the infrastructure, scaffolding and utilities that most programs require and they shorten he development lifecycle considerably. For HTML5 game development you may want to consider CreateJS. For an example of the power of CreateJS check out the Atari developer site to see what GSkinner.com, Atari and Microsoft have reimagined using CreateJS.

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CreateJS is a suite of modular libraries and tools which work together to enable rich interactive content on open web technologies via HTML5. These libraries are designed to work completely independently, or mixed and matched to suit your needs. The CreateJS Suite is comprised of: EaselJS, TweenJS, SoundJS, PreloadJS, and Zoë. 

Here is a short overview of each of the libraries that compromise CreateJS:

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EaselJS provides straight forward solutions for working with rich graphics and interactivity with HTML5 Canvas. It provides an API that is familiar to Flash developers, but embraces Javascript sensibilities. It consists of a full, hierarchical display list, a core interaction model, and helper classes to make working with Canvas much easier

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TweenJS is a simple tweening library for use in Javascript. It was developed to integrate well with the EaselJS library, but is not dependent on or specific to it. It supports tweening of both numeric object properties & CSS style properties. The API is simple but very powerful, making it easy to create complex tweens by chaining commands

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Consistant cross-browser support for audio is currently a mess in HTML5, but SoundJS works to abstract away the problems and makes adding sound to your games or rich experiences much easier. You can query for capabilities, then specify and prioritize what APIs, plugins, and features are leveraged for specific devices or browsers.

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PreloadJS makes it easy to preload your assets: images, sounds, JS, data, or others. It uses XHR2 to provide real progress information when available, or fall back to tag loading and eased progress when it isn’t. It allows multiple queues, multiple connections, pausing queues, and a lot more.

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Zoë is an AIR application that converts SWF animations to sprite sheets. Simply drag a SWF onto the application, and Zoë will automatically detect the required dimensions for the images in your sprite sheet, maintain any frame labels present in your SWF (for controlling playback), and export a sprite sheet. Other advanced features are also included.

Visit the CreateJS website for more information and to download the libraries.

Chris Bowen has written an excellent 4 part tutorial on how to create a 2D casual game using CreateJS. He takes an XNA/C# tutorial called Catapult Wars and ports the game to Windows 8 using Create/JS.

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ImpactJS
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ImpactJS is a JavaScript Game Engine that allows you to develop cross platform/browser HTML5 Games. The Impact developer license costs $99 and includes:


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Jesse Freeman
, well known for his blog, conference appearances and book on HTML5 Game Development, has recently joined Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist based in NYC. His book on developing HTML5 games using ImpactJS is available on Amazon.
Jesse writes on his experience in using ImpactJS for game development on Windows 8 in this blog post.

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Construct 2 from Scirra
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Construct 2 is a ground breaking HTML5 game engine from Scirra a UK based start up located in London. It lets anyone make games - without any programming experience.
Construct 2 is suitable for people who:

  • Want to start making their own games
  • Want to make production quality games
  • Want to rapidly prototype new games
  • Want to move on from old tech like Flash

Construct 2 is available at 3 price points:

  1. Free – £0
  2. Personal – £79
  3. Professional – £259

The Free edition has a limited number of sound effects and events and is useful in evaluating the product. The Personal edition is for individual developers. The Professional is for development teams. Those editions do not have any limitations.


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Construct 2 supports building games for Windows 8. There is a great tutorial that can help you get started here.

C++ Developers

DirectX
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C++ and DirectX development offers the greatest power to developers. A DirectX app typically combines programming logic, the DirectX API, and High Level Shading Language (HLSL) programs, together with audio and 3-D visual assets to present a rich, interactive multimedia experience. Visual Studio includes tools that you can use to work with images and textures, 3-D models, and shaders without leaving the IDE to use another tool.

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Epic Games Unreal Engine 3
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Unreal Engine 3 is under the hood of many of the best computer and video games. From entertainment software to training simulations, the Unreal Engine provides the platform and tools needed to develop cutting-edge 3D projects.

Epic recently announced the availability of the Unreal Engine 3 for Windows 8 Game development. From the press release:

Epic Games, Inc., in collaboration with NVIDIA, today presented the first public demonstration of Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) running on Windows 8 and Windows RT during Asus’ press conference at the IFA 2012 electronics trade show in Berlin.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I hope that it gives you a sense of the breadth of support for languages, tools and frameworks available to all developers wishing to take advantage of the huge opportunity that game development offers on Windows 8.

Rapid2D C++ Framework

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Rapid2D is the only Game Engine that has been specifically designed for the production of Windows 8 Apps. The Rapid2D engine can be used to produce apps for Windows 8 PC, Tablet and Windows Phone 8.

Rapid2D has a unique GUI interface that makes games production fast and accessible to both the experienced and novice developer. Rapid2D is designed to be intuitive allowing the fast production of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 applications. The engine uses the widely uses C++ for scripting.