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!
To book attendance at a devcamp, UX workshop or App clinic
To book a App Lab visit
Windows Phone 8
Register here for 14th https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032536241&Culture=en-GB
Register here for 15th https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032536242&culture=en-gb
Register here for six steps of Azure http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/azure/default.aspx
For more other sessions see http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/techdays/events.aspx
IT Pro Events
Covering Windows 8, Windows Server, SQL Server
Register Here http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/techdays/events.aspx
For all other UK Technical events and road shows and Webinar sessions
Register click here
For the last few days, I have been touring gaming departments of University's in the North West of England.
As part of the tour we have been hosting a number of presentation including employability, CV and portfolio development guidance by the team from Aadrvark Swift Recruitment and then I have been discussing and demoing the opportunity of Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Azure. Finishing the events with awareness of competitions such as Search for a Star and the Imagine Cup.
A number of questions, students have been asking are around the use of 3rd party frameworks vs. native game development and the opportunity on the new Windows platform. I have done a number of blog posts about the opportunity on Windows 8 see here.
As your all aware Native code offers a number of benefits related to code reuse, and it opens up opportunities for game engines, physics, animation, audio libraries, and more.
The following organizations are announcing Windows Phone 8 support:
If your interested in Windows Phone 8 development check out the following Video from Build.
· Designing awesome XAML apps in Visual Studio and Blend for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
· How to Leverage your Code across WP8 and Windows 8
· Windows Phone 8: HTML5/IE10 for Developers
· Windows Phone 8: Application Model
· Windows Phone 8: Native C/C++ Game Development
· Windows Phone 8: XAML Application Development
· Windows Phone 8: In App Purchase & Developer Center
· Windows Phone 8: Critical Developer Practices for Delivering Outstanding Apps
· Windows Phone 8: Networking, Bluetooth, and NFC Proximity for Developers
· Windows Phone 8: Making Money with Your Application on Windows Phone
· Windows Phone 8: Maps, Location, and Background Execution for Developers
· Windows Phone 8: Performance & Optimization for Developers
· Windows Phone 8: Photo and Lens Apps
· Windows Phone 8: Tiles, Lock Screen, and Notifications
· Windows Phone 8: Using C++ in your Applications
· Windows Phone 8: Using the Speech API
· Windows Phone 8: Wallet and Deals for Developers
· Windows Phone 8: App to App Communication
Interested in more details re Windows Phone see http://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2012/10/30/new-tools-for-windows-phone-8-save-developers-time-and-money.aspx
If your interested in Windows 8 Development
· Bringing existing C++ code to Windows Store apps
· Developing a Windows Store app
· It’s all about performance: Using Visual C++ 2012 to make the best use of your hardware
· Graphics at the core of Windows 8 and your app
· The Future of C++
· Powering your apps with Microsoft accounts
· Core technologies for Windows 8 games
· The power of C++ - Project Austin app
· Designing awesome XAML apps in Visual Studio and Blend for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
· Xbox Live on Windows 8 Deep Dive
· Developing a Windows Store app using C++ and DirectX
· DirectX Graphics Development with Visual Studio 2012
·· Graphics with the Direct3D11.1 API made easy
· Diving deep into C++ /CX and WinRT
·· Performance tips for Windows Store apps using DirectX and C++
· Tips for building a Windows Store app using XAML and C++: The Hilo project
· From zero to hero! Building a Windows Store game in HTML5
· Building mixed-language apps
Resources for iOS developers available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj680134
Last week at Build, Aaron Hillegass, an existing well known iOS developer, who has worked for Apple and is the founder of Big Nerd Ranch an iOS training and consulting company, presented tips for iOS developers.
In his presentation he discusses his Top 10 tips.
1/ You already know how to build apps
2/ Embrace Microsoft design
4/ Lotsa layouts
6/ Model driven
7/ Use contracts
8/ Leverage Trials and Store APIs
9/ Live Tiles
10/ Help is on the way (Windows 8 for iOS developers – Training)
To view this excellent presentation simply click the link http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/3-128 or watch the video below
We pleased to confirm that cocos2d-x for Windows Phone 8 is also now available.
Coco2d-x is one of the most popular and open source 2D game engine worldwide, and used by 570+ game apps crossing iOS/Android/Windows8. A
With cocos2d-x for Windows Phone 8, game developers can quickly develop new game apps, and easily migrate the existing game apps from iOS/Android and Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8. You can download the latest version at here, and please share its broadly to your game partners.
Announcing in Build keynotes: see http://www.buildwindows.com the keynote http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/1-001 includes some lovely demos of the frameworks if your interested in this is 1hour 30 mins in.
Announcing in cocos2d-x community website: http://www.cocos2d-x.org/news/76
This competition is aimed at the growing number of indy game developers in the UK.
The prize structure has been developed around the strategy of supporting the indie game space in the UK and fostering a vibrant and successful industry by giving developers and their titles the best chance of success through profile and discoverability. If your a winner you will get support and assistance in the form of a PR campaign, mentoring with industry leaders & a professionally produced video games trailer.
There will be first and second prizes as detailed below. All ten game app finalists will be invited to an Awards Ceremony hosted at Dolby’s London HQ in January 2013. In addition to the awards ceremony itself; there will be a chance to discover the latest audio technologies and listen to a guest speaker discussing the challenges involved in delivering a great audio experience.
The prize(s) will be as follows:
Timing: Monday November 5th competition opens and closes on December 14th
To be in with the chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes, after successfully submitting your app to the store, follow the steps below to enter the competition.
Send the following details to firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no limit to the number of entries, all entries need to be received by 11.59PM GMT 14th December 2012.
Please see below for all Terms and Conditions and further details at http://www.ubelly.com/power-up-competition/
Don't forget if your a Student game developer then enter your Games in the Imagine Cup
Games are an important part of Imagine Cup. But this year we’re increasing the prizes dramatically and holding Games Local Finals in many countries. Games teams can even be chosen as the National Team for their countries and win a free trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, to compete for the top prizes!
So do you have an idea for a gaming experience that could transform how we play? Imagine Cup is where students can make it happen and share it with the world!
Create a game on your favourite gaming platform: Windows (PC or touchscreen), Windows Phone, Xbox Indie Games, or Kinect SDK. Embrace your love of gaming and show us what you can do.
Be fearless: Use the Microsoft platform to change up an existing genre, make something crazy and new, or deliver a killer new visual style. Let your skills in game design, art direction, and storytelling run wild. Take the first step and you never know what could happen. The future of gaming is in your hands!
Win Bigger with the Windows 8 Boost! If you're one of the three Games Competition winners at the Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, and your project includes a Windows 8 Store App, your team will win an extra US$1,000 thanks to the Windows 8 Boost! Please see the official rules for details.
Register now and Get Started! Then join us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest scoop on our contests and even more ways to win.
2013 Official Rules
1st Place: $50,000 (USD)
2nd Place: $10,000 (USD)
3rd Place: $5,000 (USD)
And a free trip to St. Petersburg for all finalist teams & mentors!
August 30, 2012 Competition begins!
March 15, 2013 Deadline to register your team
April 15, 2013
Shape the Future is a high profile digital inclusion programme from Microsoft which has so far extended the new era of digital learning to 21 million students in 56 countries.
The UK’s first Shape the Future project was launched this week, in partnership with Intel and RM, and with keynote speeches from Dr Vanessa Pittard from the Department for Education and Joice Fernandes (Global Shape the Future lead) amongst others.
The Shape the Future website is live and any school in the UK can take advantage of this flexible and affordable 1:1 device programme to help their students realise their full potential. The suite of devices includes robust classmate minibooks and tablets, a good range of laptops running Windows 8 and Windows 8 slates.
For more information visit the website and facebook page for Shape the Future
The following infograhic summaries the reasons we need Shape the Future – and what the UK’s first programme offers.
Last week UK Technical Evangelist’s Simon May and Andrew Fryer presented a number of sessions at TechDays Online.
TechDays online is dedicated online UK event covering Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 and Private Cloud.
On the day Andrew and Simon had a number of requested to publish the decks those decks are now here available for you to click through and download if you so wish.
Windows Server 2012
For a list of more IT professional events see http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/techdays/default.aspx
In response to my blog What are the key things I should check before submitting my app to store? Follow this 7 step guide.
I was introduced to the following academic institution, Howest Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) Howest is a leading academic institution in game development. With the current shift in the gaming industry, from standard retail to instant downloadable deliveries, Howest decided to take advantage of the opportunity of allowing students to develop portfolios within the Windows 8 Store.
Windows 8 has been the ideal platform, simply because it runs on various device types, with touch or standard mouse and keyboard. It support various development languages XNA via Monogame, C++\DX, HTML5 and various 3rd party gaming frameworks.
Howest has Several student games – built in XNA and ported via Monogame to Windows 8 which are now available within the Windows 8 Store. With the launch of Windows 8 Howest has made for the first time in its history student games available in a commercial Store.
As part of this year courses that have more game currently passing store certification. Are you or your institution considering allowing students to submit their apps or are you on their behalf submitting their apps to the store?
You can Download the Howest apps from the Windows Store
Some Hero Game
The availability of the Store and gaming announce the start of a new era for online CVs and portfolios. Howest from now will publishing their best student into the Windows Store. You, Windows 8 user, will have soon a large variety of short, free games while students will get a reality check of being a software publisher prior to graduation.
How did Howest consider doing this?
During the Imagine Cup finals in Sydney, the game “Influence” was installed on a Windows 8 tablet. Students were encouraged to convert the XNA game via Monogame to Windows 8 game. Although lots of documentation on porting 2D games is available, porting 3D XNA games introduced a series of new obstacles. With the hard work and dedication of the lecturers and students, they succeeded in successfully bringing 4 games to the Windows 8 Store – and there are even more games to come in the following days.
Imagine Cup Exposure
6 years in row, Howest students have participated in the worldwide finals with every year a team ending up in the top 5. So if you have talented students make sure they enter the Imagine Cup see http://www.imaginecup.com
Publishing Apps to Store
So if your interested in getting your students apps into store, the following is one of the most common reason why Windows 8 Apps fail store certification.
The default templates in Visual Studio include the ‘internet client’ capability, so unless you change the default manifest, you will need a privacy statement.
Where can I find some examples?
The Microsoft game Wordament which has you log in with a userid to play the game and posts high scores uses the Microsoft Online Privacy notice found here.
Can I have a code example for adding it to settings?
Here are the system requirements for the Windows Phone 8 SDK
If you have already been developing for Windows Phone 7 note the new requirements
1. You need to be running a 64 bit Windows 8 OS to install the Windows Phone 8 SDK.
2. If you don’t meet the requirements for the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will install and run but the Windows Phone 8 Emulator will not function and you will not be able to deploy or test apps on the Emulator. see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/10/24/hyper-v-list-of-slat-capable-cpus-for-hosts.aspx for details on SLAT
The emulator uses Hyper-V under SLAT so if you try to run a project in the emulator and Hyper-V is not enabled, you will be prompted to turn on Hyper-V. Turning on Hyper-V will require you to restart your computer.
If you visit the Windows Phone Dev Center you’ll find all documentation and samples for the Windows Phone 8 SDK.
Here are a couple of new features here just to whet your appetite
No. Apps built for Windows Phone 7.5 still run on Windows Phone 8, so finish and publish the apps using your free developer account from http://create.msdn.com via http://www.DreamSpark.com
If you want to leverage some of the new Windows 8 features, you can do that in your next release.
Check out the following videos from Build 2012 on Windows Phone 8 Development
The iOS Resources page (www.interop.windows.com) is now live on dev center. This is a great starting place for iOS developers to begin their Windows app building.
The page currently has numerous articles, including:
- Installing Windows 8 and dev tools on Macs
- Getting started guide for iOS developers
- API mapping index preview which maps iOS APIs to Windows 8 APIs saving developers’ time when porting over apps
- An introduction to C# for Objective-C developers
- iPad design case study