November, 2012

  

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone 8 SDK requirements

    • 3 Comments

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    What are the system requirements for the SDK?

    Here are the system requirements for the Windows Phone 8 SDK

    • Supported operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 64-bit (x64) client versions
    • Hardware: 4 GB of free hard disk space, 4 GB RAM, 64-bit (x64) CPU
    • Windows Phone 8 Emulator: Windows 8 Pro edition or greater, a processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)

    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.

    What new APIs and features can I leverage?

    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

    If your teaching or building app/games with the Windows Phone 7 SDK do I have to restart it?

    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.

    Additional Resources

    Check out the following videos from Build 2012 on Windows Phone 8 Development

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Cocos2D-X Support for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8

    • 3 Comments

    Cocos2d clip_image003

    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.

    GamingMiddleware

    Announcing in cocos2d-x community website: http://www.cocos2d-x.org/news/76

    clip_image005

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Register now for FREE Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows Azure Events

    • 3 Comments

    Windows 8

    image

    To book attendance at a devcamp, UX workshop or App clinic

    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8/appclinic.aspx

    To book a App Lab visit

    https://applabs.msregistration.com/Default.aspx

     

    Windows Phone 8

    image

    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 

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/techdays/events.aspx

     

    Windows Azure

    image

    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

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Developing a Windows 8 Application prototype

    • 3 Comments

     

    I have a had a number of questions last week, from some of the UK’s University Gaming Students and Academics re Windows 8.

    Over the past few weeks as part of my UK  tour with Aardvark Swift recruitment, I have been highlighting the opportunity of students building portfolio’s and publishing apps on Windows 8 Store to demonstrate their abilities to help them gain employment see the PowerPoint deck below.

     

    For more resources on Windows 8 development see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming

    If your interested in attending a free Windows 8 developer camp see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8

    Game/App prototyping

    One of the questions, I was asked last week was how can student use tools to develop prototypes and proof of concepts for academic activities, I wanted to share with you the following templates for PowerPoint. Using these templates, you can quickly put together a Windows 8 app layout and iterate on it. All elements in the set are based upon regular PowerPoint vector shapes, and are fully editable and customizable.

    As anyone who has seen one of my presentations, PowerPoint is a really great rapid prototyping tool its slide-by-slide approach allows you to present a flow and tell a story with your designs. You can even create basic clickable prototypes by adding hyperlinks between slides. Furthermore, PowerPoint is available on almost every computer, including the new Windows Surface devices that run Windows RT, and is fairly simple to get started with.

    Download the Templates For Free!

    The wireframing set is available as a .pptx file (for PowerPoint 2007 or newer) that you can download using the link below:

    It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  You can therefore use it any way you want, private or commercial, just as long as you distribute the resulting work under the same license and give proper credit to the original creators:

    What’s Included?

    Example grid page
    Example grid page displaying item previews arranged in groups.

    Example page displaying details
    Example page displaying details for a single group with previews for each item in the group.

    Example page displaying
    Example page displaying one item in detail.

    Example page displaying a list
    Example page displaying a list of items and the details for the selected item.

    Example of a Metro app
    Example of a Metro app in snapped view state.

    Example of an app
    Example of an app in fill view state.

    Collection of common UI controls
    Collection of common UI controls (part 1): button, text box, list box, check box, radio button, toggle switch, etc.

    Collection of common UI controls
    Collection of common UI controls (part 2): search box, date/time picker, slider, progress bar, scrollbar, etc.

    Grid view
    Grid view (with groups).

    List view
    List view and charms bar.

    App header
    App header, app bar, and toast.

    Message dialog
    Message dialog.

    Text styles
    Text styles.

    240 app icons
    240 app icons (part 1).

    240 app icons
    240 app icons (part 2).

    Touch gestures
    Touch gestures.

    What about using tools such as PowerMockup

    While you can build great prototypes with FREE tools and PowerPoint, you may find yourself wanting the templates to be in a format that is easier to search through.

    In this case, I can highly recommend taking a look at PowerMockup, an add-on for PowerPoint.

    PowerMockup provides a searchable library of wireframe elements that can easily be dragged and dropped onto a slide. Best of all, the tool allows you to add your own creations to the library and share them with others.

    Andreas Wulf, www.powermockup.com has created these FREE additions

    After downloading the files, switch to the “PowerMockup” tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon bar, click on “Import Files”, and select the downloaded .pmst files. Here is a screenshot of how it will look like after you have imported the templates:

    PowerMockup

    All elements, including the icons, are properly named and tagged, making them easily searchable.

    PowerMockup

    I hope you enjoy the set!

    Source: http://designmodo.com/windows-8-wireframe/#ixzz2DGKTR0dv

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 “Power Up” Game Apps Competition & Imagine Cup

    • 2 Comments

    powerup

    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:

    1st Prize

    • One month’s free PR campaign for the developer and game from Train2Game (equivalent to 15 hours of PR support in the month).  Full details on the website www.ubelly.com/gaming
    • Commercial game app trailer created and produced by The Trailer Farm up to the value of £4,000
    • Up to 3 hours of mentoring sessions with Andy Payne (Mastertronic, AppyNation, Ukie Chairman) and Ian Livingstone (Eidos, Ukie Vice Chairman)
    • Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 Smartphone
    • £500 Visa Gift card courtesy of YoYo Games
    • Mentoring session of two hours with Jason Kingsley, Chairman of TIGA & CEO of Rebellion Studios

    2nd Prize

    • Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 Smartphone
    • £250 Visa Gift card courtesy of YoYo Games
    • Mentoring session of two hours with Philip Oliver, TIGA Board Member & CEO of Blitz Games Studios

    Timing:  Monday November 5th competition opens and closes on December 14th

    Power Up Competition

    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 andrew@microsoft.com

    • Your name
    • Studio Name
    • Email Address and Phone Number
    • Name of the Game App
    • Include a copy of your Store Certification email for the App you are submitting.

    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

    ImagineCup

    Games return to Imagine Cup, bigger than ever!

    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.

    Are you ready?

    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.

    Official Rules

    2013 Official Rules

    Worldwide Finals Prizes

    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!

    Calendar

    August 30, 2012
    Competition begins!

    March 15, 2013
    Deadline to register your team

    April 15, 2013

    Good Luck!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    iOS Resources for Windows 8 Developers:

    • 1 Comments

    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.  

    apple-ipad surface

    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

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Top tips for iOS devs building Windows Store apps

    • 1 Comments

    apple-ipad  Store

    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

    3/ Tools

    4/ Lotsa layouts

    5/ Controls

    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

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Building Windows 8 Store games with Unity

    • 1 Comments

    Unity_logi

    Microsoft is currently planning a number of events for Building Windows Store games using 3rd Party game frameworks

    Microsoft has a planned Unity Event which will be Live Streamed so you watch the live stream at http://channel9.msdn.com details of the event will be posted at https://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032536057&IO=RvvJnnxnVDNkhQ1yt1cwdQ%3d%3d

    You do not have to register for the live stream, just point your browser to Channel 9

    Join Unity and Microsoft for this free, all-day training designed to jumpstart your Windows Store game app development with the Unity engine.

    You will learn from Unity and Microsoft experts in a low-key, interactive way and then get hands-on time to apply what you’ve learned.

    Proposed Agenda 

    Day1

    · Overview and Introduction to the Windows 8 platform and the Windows Store

    · Introduction to the Unity engine

    · Unity + Windows 8 global business opportunities

    · End-to-end walkthrough of building a Windows Store game with Unity 4 

    · Learn how to tweak an existing Unity game to target the Windows Store

    · Learn to optimize and deploy your Unity project for Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8.

    · Learn about features to differentiate your games with Windows 8 integration, such as tiles and contracts

    · Tips & tricks for designing, reusing, and sharing code between Windows Phone and Windows 8

    · Case studies and Shared examples from Unity, Microsoft, and expert 3rd party developers

    · Discussions and Q&A from Microsoft and Unity engineering and product specialists

    Day 2

    · Bring your hardware and software and immerse yourself and your team into a full day of Windows Store game development using Unity platforms in a casual environment.

    · Meet other Unity Windows 8 developers, share experiences, and grow your development capabilities.

    · Meet members of the Unity and Windows evangelism team and get great advice on developing great Windows Store games.

    Live Stream

    If you can’t attend in person, watch the live stream of the event at http://channel9.msdn.com. You do not have to register for the live stream; just point your browser to Channel 9 or to our registration site on the day of the event.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone 8 JumpStart Training November 28-29, 2012 - Register Now

    • 0 Comments

    WinPhone8

    Microsoft Learning is thrilled to announce a new Jump Start for developers focused on building apps for Windows Phone 8.

    This special live online course is scheduled for two full days of fast-paced, demo-rich sessions led by my colleague and fellow Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Andy Wigley, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Strategist, Rob Tiffany. Andy and Rob are two of the most respected experts in mobile app development and are excited to help C#/XAML developers get the most out of the Windows 8 platform.

     

    image

    What: Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
    Date: November 28-29, 2012
    Time: 7:00am – 5:00pm PST
    Cost: FREE!
    Target audience: Application Developers who want a fast-paced, real-world understanding of how to leverage C# and XAML to build apps for Windows Phone 8

    ** REGISTER NOW **

    Help us spread the word with a blog post or a tweet like this one:
    Building Apps for #WindowsPhone 8 #MSJumpStart w/ @andy_wigley & @robtiffany 11/28! #wpdev http://aka.ms/WP8-Apps-JS @MSLearning

    What’s a “Jump Start” Course?
    Training specifically designed for experienced technologists whose jobs demand they know how to best leverage new, emerging Microsoft technologies. These advanced courses assume a certain level of expertise and domain knowledge, so they move quickly and cover topics in a fashion that enables teams to effectively map new skills to real-world situations.

    Cannot spare the two day on the 28th and 28th

    The first UK in person -  Windows Phone 8 DevCamps will be help in London on Friday 14th December and Saturday 15th December.

    Booking details here:

    14th December, Modern Jago
    Event ID: 1032536241

    URL: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032536241&Culture=en-GB&community=0

    Phone: 0870 166 6670 ref – 6241

    15th December, Modern Jago
    Event ID: 1032536242

    URL: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032536242&Culture=en-GB&community=0

    Phone: 0870 166 6670 ref – 6242

    The Windows Phone 8 Camps have been designed to show you how to build a Windows Phone 8 app. You can tailor the day to make it as personally productive and rewarding as possible. You can work on your own projects with assistance from Windows Phone 8 experts, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone 8 related topics.

    The Windows Phone 8 Camps will cover an introductory overview session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as the Windows Phone 8 application lifecycle, new Windows Phone 8 controls such as the LongListPicker, a high level view of the platform – i.e. how .NET and the Windows Phone Runtime APIs work together and the choice around implementation technology, new Windows Phone 8 features such as the Speech API, app to app communication with file and protocol associations, lock screen notifications and in-app purchase, how to make the most of the new Tile templates, and how to make best use of the tooling – the role of Visual Studio and Expression Blend. We’ll also cover how to share code between a Windows Phone 8 app and a Windows 8 app.

    In addition, you will learn how you can publish your Windows Phone 8 app into the Windows Phone Store.

    The Windows Phone 8 Camp will kick off at 9am and officially finish at 6pm or 9pm for the hardcore attendees.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    XNA inside UNITY3D for Ludum Dare Student/Institutional Entries

    • 0 Comments

     

    Unity_logi XNA

    I was having a chat with a number student early this morning at the Inter Uni Game Jam 2012 re Gameathons and Hacks they have attended. Ludum Dare seems to a great and popular online competition for rapid prototyped games. However it was clear from the discussions students building XNA were severely hindered due to the nature of Lumun Dare and its 1000s of competitors, the reason being, is that the majority of the competitors will only play games Online that don't have to be complied so Flash and Unity web player games are really popular.

    As I discussed in a previous blog  Flash .SWF games can be ported to Unity using UniSwf see http://www.uniswf.com

    So we got onto discussing XNA to Unity or as its called UnityXNA which is simply a straightforward way of getting XNA games running in Unity3D. This was a rather interesting discussion with Ph.D student Luke Shares a member of the DevSoc team had actually already been experimenting with this and built a solution for the DevSoc 1st years for Lumun Dare entrys and we compared his work from Barnaby Smith, MVI Networks who has released a solution on GitHub at https://github.com/mvi/UnityXNA

    What's rather interesting is that MVI Networks solution, make Zero code changes to the original XNA game code. Barnaby has used a mixture of new code and some code from MonoXNA to implement XNA emulation by having a game object with a script attached run an XNA game performing updates and drawing.

    A great walkthrough and analysis of UnityXNA can be found here http://darkgenesis.zenithmoon.com/xna-to-unityxna-and-beyond/

    Also if your interested in seeing the XNA Platform sample running in Unity you can see the game in your web browser here and download the source here.

    Implemented so far:

    1. Basic game loop and GameTime calculation.
    2. ContentManager loads Texture2Ds, SoundEffects and Songs, each wrapping the relevant Unity3D object.
    3. SpriteBatch Draw implemented using a draw queue, specifically created for the purpose. Currently supports colour tinting, source rectangles, and sprite effect flip modes.
    4. SpriteBatch DrawString has limited support, rendering the text in the correct position and with the correct colour.
    5. Support for playing Songs through MediaPlayer and playing SoundEffects
    6. KeyboardStates emulated for a limited set of keys which are mapped from their XNA values to Unity3D KeyCodes.
    7. Zero code changes to the game needed to run Platformer sample

    Known issues, immediate areas for improvement:

    1. SpriteFont is not supported, all DrawStrings render with the default GUI Label font.
    2. Frame rate is currently vsync’d at 60 frames per second. When vsync is disabled GameTime is not calculated correctly.
    3. Windows Media Audio (.wma) is not supported by Unity3D, so I’ve converted the sample audio files to Ogg Vorbis (.ogg).
    4. Keyboard input is currently limited to a small set of keys, more mappings between XNA Keys and Unity3D KeyCodes need creating.
    5. Mouse, gamepad and touch input are not currently implemented.

    So this is yet another way of getting your XNA Assets running as an Awesome Windows 8 or WindowsPhone 8 store application.

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