Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Typically, you develop an application for Windows Phone 7 by using Microsoft Silverlight and one of the managed programming languages—usually C# or XNA.
A Windows Store app using C++, C#, or Visual Basic, using XAML, is the preferred model for ports from Windows Phone 7. If you are familiar with Silverlight, you can port to a Windows Store app using XAML by using familiar languages like C# or Visual Basic, and a similar set of UI elements and APIs.
For more detail about porting a Windows Phone 7 application to XAML, read Migrating a Windows Phone 7 app to XAML.
However if your a game developer then you can move your existing Windows Phone XNA using Monogame.
Porting to Windows Store app using MonoGame
For some background you can read these posts:
During the ThreeThing Game event, Dean Ellis @InfSpaceStudios talked through the porting of a one of the teams Windows Phone game, Shear Carnage to Windows 8, the initial port took 7mins 47seconds, which is pretty impressive stuff!
Some of the key features, the team now need to work on now to get the app store ready is..
Overall this is pretty stunning for existing Windows Phone developers taking existing or new phone apps to both the Windows Phone Marketplace and Windows 8 Store.
1. Build a single, flexible app vs. many replicated apps. - For example, a book publisher should not publish 100s of apps, one for each book. Rather, the publisher should deliver a single app that allows the user to browse their full book catalogue.
3. Another very common reason for failure that is simple to fix is inappropriate Age Rating.
4. Ensure all app builders run the WACK before app submission.
5. Take advantage of App Fast Track (AFT) review where appropriate.
6. Familiarize yourself and app builders you engage with App Certification Tips on the Dev Center: Common Certification Failures and Guidance for Resolving Certification Failures.
7. Review apps locally before app submission with Store certification requirements in mind.
Windows 8 App Store Requirements – http://aka.ms/storereq
Resolving certification errors – http://aka.ms/storefix
This is a great starter kit developed by one of my colleague Petri Tapio Wilhelmsen who is a member of the Microsoft Western Europe team.
Petri has created an excellent HTML5 Game starter kit that will help you set up a new Windows 8 game project in short time, this is ideal for schools, colleges and University who teach game development with HTML5.
By using this starter kit you can get most of this functionality ready, for more details see http://digitalerr0r.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/html5-game-starter-kit-for-windows-8/ or look at the following quick guides below.
Here is a quick video to using the HTML5 Starter kit
5 Step Guide to Bulding HTML5 games with the HTML5 Starter Kit
Step 1a. You need to have Visual Studio 2012 installed on a Windows 8 device to use this. If you are a student and have access to Dreamspark.com (MSDNAA) or a MSDN Subscription you can download both products from there.
You can use the free version of Visual Studio 2012 (express) and can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads
The Release Preview can be downloaded for free here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview
Step 1b. Download HTML5 Game Starter Kit for Windows 8
Click on File->New->Project…
Give your project a name (here: Mitt Spill) and press OK.
A new project is generated and the structure will look like this:
Step 3. What we will do now is to add the HTML5 Game Starter Kit files to the newly created project. We just copy the content of the HTML5 Game Starter Kit folder to the project folder.
So, copy thse files from the HTML5 Game Starter Kit:
Navigate to your new game soludtion and open the project folder. Paste the files here, and replace if asked:
The project folder will look somewhat like this:
Step 4. Go back to your Visual Studio 2012 project and update if needed:
Step 5. Include the new files in your project. The last thing you need to do is to include the new files in your project structure from Visual Studio 2012.
Click on the button highlighted in the red circle below. It will show the files that exist in the filestructure but not in the project structure(dark gray).
Select the following files (hold control and click them):
Right click one of the files and select “Include in project”:
6. Test if it works. Congratulations, you are now having a working game project! Run the app and test that it works.
Whats in the starter kit?
Full screen mode
Snap view mode
Full screen with other app in snap view.
Remember! The example game is using CreateJS. It’s located under js/CreateJS. You can remove this folder if it’s not needed in your project. But if you do so, the example game will not compile.
Pre Order your Surface with Windows RT
Who says that pretty can’t be practical?
It’s time for a tablet that’s more than meets the eye. Powerful processing and beautiful design unite on Surface. Whether you’re working hard or hardly working, Surface’s integrated Kickstand and revolutionary Touch Cover let you work, play, and connect with others like never before. Plug into external displays like projectors and HDTV, and share your world1. Pre-loaded with Windows RT, Microsoft Office 2013 RT2, Xbox apps, and other essentials.
64 GB with Black Touch Cover £559.00 incl. VAT
32 GB with Black Touch Cover £479.00 incl. VAT
32 GB without Black Touch Cover £399.00 incl. VAT
Your order will ship by October 26 and arrive by October 30.
For more details and to order see http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/pdp/productID.257929400?WT.mc_id=FY13WinHH
Check out the Surface Your tube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/surface
Follow Surface on Twitter @surface
Registration for the October incarnation of Three Thing Game are now open at the University of Hull. The week long event It starts on Monday 22nd of October with the "Amazing Thing Auction" with real fake money. Then on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th The students face the infamous 24 hour overnighter, this time with added Mono Game and Windows 8 fun.
The team from Mono Games and Microsoft will be on hand to help you port your game to Windows 8. The University of Hull we will have some Windows 8 systems set up for testing. There are some great prizes up for grabs and win even bigger, by getting your game into the Windows 8 Store before anyone else via a FREE Windows 8 store accounts via Microsoft DreamSpark.
Today MonoGame announced 3.0 BETA available for download.
MonoGame is an Open Source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework. The goal of Monogame is to allow XNA developers on Xbox 360, Windows & Windows Phone to port their games to the iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux and Windows 8 Store apps.
We have over a 100 first, second and third year students attending and University of Hull, lecture Rob Miles will be running a special XNA sampler in the week before the competition where students will get to grips with "skeleton code and get a understanding of Microsoft XNA”
Hull Students can find the registration form here. Simply compete it and return it to Rob Miles, with your registration fee.
Watch out for an update during the weekend of the 27th/28th and announcement of the winners and their games on the 28th.
So you want to build a game for Windows 8?
Well we want to make it as easy as possible for you to do so. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to compile all the resources you could use to develop a short course for your school, college or University students using Scirra Construct 2 and HTML5.
Example Course Schedule
Tasks to undertake
Topic to be discussed
Developing Games for Windows 8
Start your Portfolio:
· Start your design portfolio
Build a game:
· Create a Powerpoint based Storyboard for your game
· Build a simple game using a Construct2 tutorial and post it to a hosting site
· Beginner's guide to Construct 2
· Modify the game using art, sounds you discovered online
Create online presence
· Create a Blog (documenting your learning experience, and application creation, ideas reasons why your doing this)
· Generate a “professional” Facebook Page for your App
· Generate a LinkedIn account (to promote your employability)
· Create a YouTube Channel (for demonstrating your game/app)
Design Processes, you are required to meet with your assigned teams and discuss the following:
· Review what you should put in a blog with respect to game design
· What is a design portfolio?
· What are the available tools to make a video
· Review simple games
· User Experience Design Fundamentals
Before class make sure to read:
o The Windows 8 Store App Design Solution
o User Experience Design Fundamentals
o Applying User Experience Process to Windows 8 Store Applications
At the end of class session turn in:
· Turn in your Facebook baseline report
· Turn in your baseline Blog analytics
Discuss Design Principles in first three reading modules
Game Design for Slats:
Adding another level to your game:
Review of Treasure Map example
· Read: Introduction To Windows 8 Store App Design Principle: Do More with Less
· Turn in Documentation
Discussion about doing more with less, demonstration of design and implementation
Student demos of design considerations
In class lab:
· Students will gather design documentation from other students and then begin to break down the scenario implementation
Making a great app
· Discuss and experiment with scenarios
· Students will demonstrate and discuss their “platformer” games
· Feedback on games
· Discuss Windows 8 Store App Design Principle and Pride in Craftsmanship
· Quality software and how to create quality software
· Team Foundation Services
In Class Lab:
· Check-out lab component, modify and check-in modified component
· Addition of Scoring and simulated Leaderboard to your Themed game
· Marketing plan for your Game
· YouTube Video about your game
· Discuss what it means to be Authentically Digital
· Discuss Agile Design
· Selected Students Demo their Holiday game
· Review of selected YouTube Videos
· Discuss what a contract is and how to implement in it your code
· Selected students will demo their Holiday game
· Discuss “Promise” and “Then”
· Discuss Scrum approach to design
· Update your “Hello World” Game to incorporate the Search Charm
· Update your “Hello World” Project to Incorporate Settings Charm
· Expand use of “Promise” and “Then”
· Discuss Live Tiles and Notifications
· Selected students will demo their “Hello World” Use of Charms and how they implemented their code
· Code Profiling
· UML and Game Design
· Discuss Snap, Fill and Full Screens in Windows 8
· Selected Students demonstrates Promise and Then
· Designing for the Windows 8 Phone
· Selected Students demonstrate their Holiday Themed Projects
· Discuss the Submission Process
· Students run WACK test on their Projects
· Students are assisted in determining how to fix their WACK test failures
Get Windows Store account for FREE via DreamSpark
· Review of design process
· WinRT and what it is
· Selected Students will demonstrate their submitting games
· Students will consume an existing C# based WinRT project in their Hello World Project
· Introduction to C++
· Demonstration of how to create and write a C++
· Students will explore and implement a simple Module and then consume it in their “Hello World” program
· Creating an online leaderboards
· Discussion of Leaderboards and how to implement them using existing tools
· Selected students will demonstrate their games
· Class Evaluations
· All students will play the other student’s games and give feedback
Three Thing Game has now started 40 teams with 160 students in attendance across two computer labs at the University of Hull
here is a quick update of the day so far..
Saturday 27th October 1.00 pm XNA Rob Miles XNA session
Here is selection of Demos from Rob's presentation: http://www.robmiles.com/demos
You can find all the demos here.
Here are links to the some of the code we developed in the session, plus a bonus “coloured cloud” version.
You can find a video of the presentation here, from Mix 11 in Las Vega where is was first presented. You can get a free XNA book from here.
2:00 pm Mono Game Development on Windows 8 Presented in Lecture Theatre A by the MonoGame team and Microsoft.
Here is a copy of the presentation and I will make available Dean Windows 8 Store App demo of the 3D XNA tank via an Appx Package later today.
Channel 9 has 85 new videos on Windows 8.
There are over 30 in their “Introducing Windows 8” series. These are great starter and include all the necessary information for anyone wanting to get started on Windows 8 ( i.e. here’s what Share means, here’s what Search means )
There are also some really interesting video on the following subject areas which are great for students wanting to develop application portfolios
1) Enterprise Deployment - http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Introducing-Windows-8/Deploying-Enterprise-Apps
2) Understanding Windows Store
3) Accessibility videos
Don't forget Windows Build starts today 30/10/12
Stay tuned, because Microsoft's BUILD conference is rapidly approaching, and Windows Phone will be there. BUILD sold out in record time this year, and if you weren't one of the lucky few who got a spot, don't worry, because the entire event will be streamed live.
Build 2012 Redmond, WA, October 30 - November 2, 2012, 136 sessions Live Stream
At Build, we'll dive deep to cover all the areas you care about. How to design and build beautiful Windows 8 apps. How to sell your apps in the Windows 8 Store and make money. And much more. Join us on the Microsoft Campus for 4 days of extraordinary presentations delivered by the…
We're looking forward to going in depth with you on what's new in Windows Phone 8 for developers. Watch Channel 9 for session content 24-48 hours post-event.
With the announcement that you can run Hyper-V on the Windows 8 client. I have had a lot of questions regarding this? I did do a post back in August explaining the process of checking your PC estate for SLAT Support see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/08/31/if-your-thinking-of-installing-windows-8-are-your-labs-machine-capable.aspx
A number of people have reported simple having problems running Hyper-V on a Windows 8 client as it requires SLAT to run Hyper-V.
Running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 does *not* require SLAT but most institutions don't want to install a server OS as a desktop operating system. SLAT is a feature of the CPU. It is called “Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI)”, and has been called Extended Page Tables (EPT) by Intel and Nested Page Tables (NPT) by AMD.
You can use Wikipedia to look up Intel Nehalem and AMD NPT:
Processors that support SLAT
For AMD machines you can look up the supported models at http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/GPU120AMDRVICPUsHyperVWin8.aspx
Tools for testing for SLAT Microsoft’s Mark Russinovich has also created a really nice utility coreinfo.exe You can simply run coreinfo.ext and it will detect EPT and NPT (SLAT) support on your CPU.
To test your machine, simply download coreinfo.exe from Microsoft Sysinternals http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc835722 and use the coreinfo -v switch to list the features. An asterisk * next to a feature indicates that it is supported. A minus sign - indicates no support for that feature. Note: Coreinfo must be executed on a system without a hypervisor running for accurate results and under a administrator account on Windows 8. For example here is a screenshot from my Lenovo X200 series tablet
“*” means the feature is present
“-“ means it is missing
Alternatively, you can use Windows PowerShell to capture your specific CPU model this could be scripted to report the state of your entire PC labs or cluster estate the PowerShell command is gwmi win32_processor
NOTE: Be sure to include the specific family/model/stepping since different processor revisions may have different feature sets.
I had the pleasure of attending a fascinating meeting yesterday, the event had a number of commercial organisations and UK Universities discussing the following challenges which the UK education and employers face.
What was interesting is that the fact that in both academia and employment the most common measures of skills are qualifications.
Qualifications form a major part of employer recruitment strategies, especially screening candidates prior to interview. As a result, the majority of individuals prefer studying towards a qualification and over one half of employers say they would like to support their employees to gain qualifications.
So the debate is should Universities meet employers requirements of providing not only academic qualifications but also professional certification in the form of vendors certifications?
Should Universities provide more life long learning opportunities and tailored courses which meet the demand of employers or specialised around specific employer requirements.
Such as fascinating debate and discussion.. If your interested in the learning more about Microsoft Professional certification look at the following presentation.