April, 2013

  

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Using the Windows Azure Cloud - Makes all your development dreams possible

    • 0 Comments

    Following on from Sarah Lamb great post at UK MSDN “Imagine a scenario in which you were able to add new levels to a platform game immediately after they have been built. Using a cloud backend makes this all possible, and when you can also track significant quantities of data to keep your game flow smooth and your players engaged, you give your title the best chance it has at being great at player retention.”

    I wanted to ask the following questions…

    How many of you use the cloud today in your gaming experience?

    Take a look at following video

    Now ask yourself the question again? 

    So this is how we see the use of games and apps on modern devices 

    image

    How do you see your consumers using devices, apps, services and infrastructure?

    What does Windows Azure Offer?

     image

    what you can do

     

    How many of want to use the cloud but not sure where to start?

    Simply go to http://www.windowsazure.com

    Windows Azure 3 month free trial

    • // Quickly build, deploy & manage applications.
    • // Use any operating system, language or tool.
    • // No obligation, totally free.

    your free trial contains

    Or if your a academic or student go to http://www.windowsazure.com/education

    How many are you just really interested in learning more about the cloud?

    One of the key features for mobile app/game developers is Azure Mobile Services https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/mobile/ which supports Windows, iOS, Android and HTML

    What does Azure Mobile Services offer?

     image

    Interested to hear what the thought leaders in the RU Gaming Industry think re: The opportunity of the Cloud?

    See the following summary document EU Cloud Gaming Conference 2013

    simply click on the image to download your PDF copy to keep.

    image

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Publishing your app to the Windows Store puts your work in front of millions of potential customers, in hundreds of markets around the world.

    • 0 Comments

    image

    Next week, I have been asked to present to a group of developers who are new to Windows 8. The group have been developing their first Windows 8 store apps and wanted me to cover the following topics.


    1) Design guidelines and how make your app look beautiful
    2) How to successful submit and publish your app to the Windows Store

    In this blog I want to discuss 2) How to successful submit and publish your app to the Windows Store

    image

    Firstly you need to use the correct type of App developers account

    image

    Individual app developer

    We use the term “individual,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean that only one person is working on the app (although that could be the case). Instead, it’s better to think of this type of account in terms of its capabilities.

    With an individual developer account:

    • You can create only Windows Store apps. (If you want to create a desktop app, you must create a company account.)
    • A few app capabilities aren’t available to you. Specifically, you can't use the enterpriseAuthentication, documentsLibrary, or sharedUserCertificates capabilities.
    • Developers based in the United States don’t need an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

    Company developers

    A company account can use the enterpriseAuthentication, documentsLibrary, or sharedUserCertificates capabilities. It's also the only way to submit desktop apps to the Windows Store. One thing to remember about company accounts: they can take a little longer to set up, because we need to verify that you represent your company.

    Here are the essential differences between these two account types.

    Individual account

    • Requires credit card to verify your identify
    • Restricted from using specific app capabilities
    • Cannot list desktop applications in the Windows Store
    • Costs approximately $49 USD (the exact amount varies depending on the currency of your country or region)

    Company account

    • Requires credit card to verify your identity
    • Requires additional verification through Symantec
    • Allows access to all app capabilities
    • Can list desktop applications in the Windows Store
    • Requires that your company is recognized as such in the country or region in which it is located
    • Costs approximately $99 USD (the exact amount varies depending on your country or region

    For more details see account types

    What types of Apps can you develop?

    Desktop app developers

    To acquire a desktop app, a user clicks a URL (one that you provide when you list the app) that takes them to a website. From there, the user can download or purchase the app.

    Enterprise developers

    If you are an enterprise developer, your apps probably fall into one of two categories: apps that you want to make available to a large number of potential users, and apps that are really only relevant to individuals within your company. If you want to make your app available to as many people as possible, your best option is to list the app in the Windows Store.

    OEM developers

    If you’re a developer working with an OEM to preinstall your app, you must follow specific steps to get apps listed in the Windows Store or make them available for imaging on OEM PCs.

    The following resources guide you through the types of Accounts types for Publishing your app to the Store 

    image
    To create an app package for the Windows Store
    1. On the menu bar, choose Project, Store, Create App Packages.

      Note Note

      If you’re running Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8, instead choose Store, Create App Packages.

      The Create App Packages wizard appears.

    2. On the Create Your Packages page, choose the Yes option button, and then choose the Sign In link.

      The Sign In dialog box appears.

      Note Note

      If you haven’t already established a developer account, choose the create an account link to display the page from which you can get an account.

    3. In the Sign In dialog box, enter your Microsoft account and password, and then choose the Sign In button.

    4. On the Select an app name page, choose from the list the App Name for the app that you’re packaging, and then choose the Next button.

      If you’re packaging an update to an app that you’ve already published, select the Include app names that already have packages check box to display names of published apps in the list.

      If no app names appear in the list, choose the Reserve Name link to open the Dashboard and reserve a name.

    5. On the Select and Configure Packages page, in the Output location text box, enter the location where the package files will be created.

    6. (optional) In the Version text boxes, update the version number of your app.

      In each field, you must enter an integer that’s between 0 and 65535, inclusive.

      Note Note

      If the Automatically increment check box is selected, the last field of the version number will increase by one each time that you package the app. However, the major version number typically shouldn’t increase unless you’ve significantly changed your app.

    7. In the Select the packages to create and the solution configuration mappings section, select the check box for each build configuration for which you want to create a package.

      The build configurations grid lists the possible platform architectures of the package (that is, Neutral, ARM, x64, and x86). In each row, a combo box displays the combination of the current Solution Configuration and Architecture choices that are relevant for that row’s architecture. The check box for the default platform is set to the current, active project platform. The combo box for the Neutral row show the Solution Configuration combinations that contain AnyCPU as the project’s platform. If no Solution Configuration combination is relevant, the entire row for that platform is unavailable for selection. One package is produced for each configuration that you specify.

    8. For each build configuration that you specified, choose the Solution Configuration that you want to build.

      When you package an app for the Store, you can specify Release or any custom solution configuration that you’ve created.

      A package will be created for each build configuration that you specified.

    9. Select or clear the Include public symbol files, if any, to enable crash analysis for the app check box.

      When the check box is selected (default), Visual Studio generates the public symbol files (.pdb) and adds them to the .appxupload file. The .appxupload file is created as part of the packaging process and contains two other files: .appx and .appxsym. The .appxsym is the compressed file that contains the public symbols of your app. When you upload the app and the .appxupload file to the Store, the Store analyzes the file and uses the public symbols to map crashes of your app. The resulting telemetry information about your app is published for you to review on the developer dashboard. For more information, see Submitting your app and Analyzing your apps in the Windows Store.

    10. Choose the Create button.

      When the packaging process has completed, the Package Creation Completed page appears.

    11. To verify whether your package meets requirements for the Store, choose the Launch Windows App Certification Kit button.

      Note Note

      This option is available only if you specified at least one solution configuration that supports local validation. For more information, see How to test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit.

    For more information, see Packaging your Windows Store app using Visual Studio 2012.

    image

    Troubleshooting packaging, publishing, and deployment errors (Windows Store apps)

    One or more errors or warnings might appear when you build, package, or deploy your app. The following page list the errors and warnings you may receive and provides guidance on resolution.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Top Tips for Windows 8 App & Game Designers

    • 1 Comments

    Next week, I have been asked to present to a group of developers who are new to Windows 8. The group have been developing their first Windows 8 store apps and wanted me to cover the following topics.

    1) Design guidelines and how make your app look beautiful
    2) How to successful submit and publish your app to the Windows Store

    I would like to share my prep material and resources in the following blog. The following is a good one stop shop for Windows 8 App and Game Designer/Developers looking to make the most of the Windows 8 UI/UX. For those who are new to Windows 8 the information will simply to help you get started on developing awesome apps and games.

    I will be producing another blog to cover part 2) How to successful submit and publish your app to the Windows Store

    So lets get started with Answering 1) Design guidelines and how make your app look beautiful

    The Information below is broken down into answering these specific questions.

    1. I want to Understand the Windows 8 Design Principles and Patterns?
    2. How to go about designing mockups and prototypes?
    3. I am really struggling… I need some help/inspiration with my App ideas?

    1. Understanding the Windows 8 Guidelines, Design Principles and Patterns?

    Image of generic app layout

    UX guidelines

    • How can I find design guidance for each control and Windows feature?
    • What guidelines should I follow to ensure a great overall user experience?

    Design principles

    • What foundations can I use to build my design?
    • How do I get started planning my design?

    Image of navigation pattern

    Navigation patterns

    • How do I organize my app?
    • How do I help people move from one page to another?

    Image of command buttons on app

    Commanding patterns

    • Where should I place common commands, like copy and paste?
    • What commands go in the app bar and what go in charms?

    Image of swipe interaction

    Touch interaction patterns

    • What touch gestures are available?
    • How do I make sure my app is great for touch interactions?

    Image of ads example

    Advertising patterns

    • How can I include ads without harming the user experience?
    • What requirements are there related to advertising?
    • How should I pick an ad provider?

    Image of branding example

    Branding patterns

    • How do I incorporate my brand into my apps?
    • Why is it important?

     

    Ok now I understand the UI/UX design patterns

    2. How can I go about designing mockups and prototypes? Check out the following Windows 8 Design Assets

    Design assets

    Download Adobe Photoshop (PSD) design assets that help you create great Windows Store apps.

    Hh975421.portal_assets_balsamiq_win8livetiles(en-us,WIN.10).png

    Balsamiq mockups

    Download mockups that help you sketch designs for your apps.

    Image of a section of content animating into place

    Animations

    Learn how to use purposeful animations to visually tie experiences together and tell a story.

    Hh770552.portal_design_principles(en-us,WIN.10).jpg

     

    3. Ok I am really struggling… I need some help/inspiration with my App ideas?

    Well here are some tips to building apps, these are grouped into section of types of apps ie Financial, medical, retail, games, entertainment, news, sport, productivity, shopping, travel and education. These sample provide a great starting point to getting your apps built.

     

    Image of a financial app

    Financial apps: SunGard (code sample available)

    Learn how you can build great retirement planning apps for Windows 8.

    Image of a financial app

    Financial apps: SmartSight

    Learn how you can build great financial analysis apps for Windows 8.

    Image of a medical app

    Medical apps: In-patient (code sample available)

    Learn how you can build great hospital in-patient apps for Windows 8.

    Image of medical app

    Medical apps: Manipal Hospital (code sample available)

    Learn how you can build great hospital management apps for Windows 8.

    Image of retail app

    Retail apps: Social CRM (code sample available)

    Learn how you can build great retail management apps for Windows 8.

    Image of point of sale app

    Retail apps: Point of Sale (downloadable white paper)

    Learn how you can build great point of sale apps for Windows 8.

    Image of games app

    Games

    Learn how a game can embrace UI design principles for Windows Store apps and simultaneously improve its users' experience.

    Image of entertainment app

    Entertainment apps

    Learn how to create great entertainment apps for Windows 8.

    Image of news app

    News apps

    Learn how to build great news apps for Windows 8.

    Image of productivity app

    Productivity apps

    Learn how to build great productivity apps for Windows 8.

    image of sports app

    Sports apps

    Learn how to build great sports apps for Windows 8.

    Image of shopping app

    Shopping apps

    Learn how to build great shopping apps for Windows 8.

    image of travel app

    Travel apps

    Learn how to build great travel apps for Windows 8.

    image of education app

    Education apps

    Learn how to build great education apps for Windows 8.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Scottish Developers welcome Microsoft's Mike Taulty and Andy Wigley 1st June Windows 8, Windows Phone and Azure Event

    • 0 Comments


    Vs2012_logo Win8_logo WinAzure_rgb WinPhone8

    On Saturday the 1st of June 2013, Microsoft Technical Evangelists Mike Taulty and Andy Wigley  will be delivering a day of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Azure and cross platform development sessions!

    The event agenda is a follows


    1) Windows 8 – The Developer Overview.
    2) Windows Phone 8 – The Developer Overview.
    3) Azure Mobile Services – Quick, Easy and Powerful Mobile Backends
    4) Architecting & Building Shared Code for Windows and Windows Phone.

    Times
    10am until 4pm,

    Where

    The event will be held in Microsoft's Edinburgh office, very close to Waverley railway station.

    Register Here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Scottish Universities Game Jam

    • 1 Comments

    Rapid2DLogo   scirra-logo-01 clip_image006clip_image008

    On the 3rd 4th and 5th of April, The Windows Games Ambassadors hosted the Scottish Universities Jam at the University of West of Scotland ‘UWS’ in Glasgow. The event was an intense weekend of game development based on Windows 8 games with a focus on students developing a portfolio of Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps. Our goal of the event was simply demonstrate the opportunity of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 importantly getting created games into the Windows 8 and Windows Phone stores.

    The event was planned/developed/implemented by simply ensuring the Windows Games Ambassadors are networked with home and local Universities. After the recent Windows in Academia Event http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2013/04/10/windows-in-academia-presentations.aspx we worked with one of the attendees Dr Daniel Livingston and Michael Cameron @busypixel Windows Games Ambassador at his local institution to develop the Game Jam.

    The Event 

    The event was a mixer of lectures by Academics and the Scottish Windows Games Ambassadors with the aim of boosting students confidence in their own abilities as developers (This has been cited as one of the key reasons student won’t publish apps to store’ WGA Survey 2013) by guiding them through the development process of a Windows Store or Windows Phone 8 app.

    Students were able to use any development tools available to them that can create Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 apps, a variety of development tools were used such as; GameMaker, Construct 2, TouchDevelop, Rapid2D and of course Visual Studio. Once the games had been developed, students were shown how to set up their free developer accounts and publish to the Windows 8 Store.

    The GameJam started off with a brief overview of the Windows 8 Development process and answering any queries before the theme of “Mythical creatures” was set, from there students demonstrated their creativity and enthusiasm to develop some truly brilliant apps.

    Huge thanks to YoYo for providing free GameMaker Studio licenses for use at the event and for a time limited period after the event to ensure GameMaker developed apps could be submitted to store.

    The event was held at the University of West of Scotland. The organisation and the venue at the University was great, huge thanks to senior lecturer Daniel Livingstone from UWS and Michael Cameron Windows Games Ambassadors who lead the event use of the University resources during the Easter Vacation period for all the attendees at the University.

    The Results

    While there were of course issues during development – much like at any GameJam, students were able to push past them and demonstrate their ability to thrive under the constraints of time.

    As the end of the GameJam drew closer and students had started to add finishing touches to their games and submit them for certification.

    The completion of the Windows GameJam at UWS has reinforced our views that students have the ability to create some great games. Confidence is key, and if a student is willing to try then I think they will be pleasantly surprised with what they can achieve. As part of the confidence issues we are planning to develop the Windows Games Ambassadors into figure heads with guest blogs on both the Faculty Connection, Student and Ubelly resources.

    Below is a selection of the games that were created more information on each one as they arrive in store and ideally guest blogs about the individuals and their portfolios will be developed.

    clip_image010

    Unicorn Space Command

    http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/unicorn-space-command/0619cb06-5e86-4002-bfb8-9accf68d9f1f

    clip_image012

    Holy Diver

    http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-US/app/holy-diver/84921736-c997-4750-9199-76df6ed8c317

    clip_image013
    World Scrapbook

    http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-US/app/world-scrapbook/c06328d2-7929-4a87-a2f5-69bf92ff1a35

    clip_image015

    Monster Cards

    http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/monster-cards/7bb4e7fc-2e73-4d12-a756-44061c62a439

     

    Key points

    The event focused on the development of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 so build once deploy to all strategy using 3rd party frameworks which allows cross platform publishing.

    The event was long enough to produce store ready apps for Windows 8. Students and academic were impressed with the variety and choice of 3rd Party toolsets available.

    one student commented ‘I haven’t used GameMaker since School and its AWESOME!’

    The Windows Games Ambassadors will be holding additional lectures and time allocation for students to get these apps store ready across the UK So if your interested see http://www.windowsgamesambassadors.co.uk

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Build your next great Windows 8 Game using these FREE Resources

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    image Simply visit http://wootstudio.ca/win8platstarter 

    1. Download your free Visual Studio for Windows 8 for all the tools you will need.        

    2. Download the Platformer Game Starter Kit.

    3. Mix it up and build your own epic game using FREE Art work

    4. Open a Windows Store Developer Account.

    5. Let us know about it and we can even give you free advice on making it great and help pass store certification.

    6.Publish it to the Windows Store.
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UNITY, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Azure

    • 23 Comments

    Win8_logo Unity_logi
    WinAzure_rgb

    Over the past few weeks with the Public Beta of Unity for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have had a number of questions about the opportunity of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and UNITY3D.

    Unity is popular cross-platform game engine with a built-in IDE developed by Unity Technologies. It is used to develop video games for web plugins, desktop platforms, consoles and mobile devices, and is utilized by over one million developers.

    Unity in education is primarily used to create mobile and web games, but can also deploy games to consoles or the PC.

    The Unity game engine was developed in C/C++, and is able to support code written in C#, JavaScript or Boo. It grew from an OS X supported game development tool in 2005 to the multi-platform game engine that it is today which now supports Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

    Unity Plugins for Windows 8 and Azure Mobile Services

    A number of 3rd Party Unity assets are presently being developed to provide full support for Windows 8 and Windows Azure.

    One of these plug-ins is developed by Bit Rave. Bit Rave have extensive experience working with the Windows 8 platform capabilities, and as part of that we decided to build a library for Unity to make Windows 8 integration easier for everyone.

    Bit Rave are  currently looking for people interested in joining a closed beta.  Send an email to contact@bitrave.com if you want to participate.

    Win8_logo

    So what important about Windows 8 features?

    Live Tiles

    Live Tiles are what makes your Windows experiences come to life.  Bit Rave Live Tiles allows you to update and manage Live Tiles from within Unity.

    LiveTiles

    For more information on Live Tiles check out Guidelines and checklist for tiles and badges on MSDN.

    Square and Wide Tile Support

    With both square and wide tile, Bit Rave makes it trivial to support both.

       1: LiveTiles.Update(newSquareLiveTile);   
       2: LiveTiles.Update(newWideLiveTile); 
    Text and Images

    With support for text tiles and image tiles, there are lots of options.

       1: LiveTiles.Update(newTextLiveTile); 
       2: LiveTiles.Update(newImageLiveTile); 

    And for Unity Pro users, you how about a screenshot on your live tile!

       1: LiveTiles.Update(newLiveTile);
    Rotating Tile Updates

    You can also manage rotating tile updates with just a few lines of code.

       1: LiveTiles.Update(newTextLiveTile); 
       2: LiveTiles.Queue(newImageLiveTile); 
       3: LiveTiles.Queue(newTextAndImageTile); 

    Snap View

    Windows 8 comes with a variety of devices, all with varying different screen layout capabilities.  Bitrave's Snap View library helps you implement responsive applications for all changes in UI without having to leave Unity.

    SnapView

    To learn more about the view states, check out Guidelines for Snapped and Fill Views on MSDN.

    View Changes

    Register for snap, filled, and full screen views with the following line of code.

       1: SnapView.RegisterForViewChange(OnViewChanged);
    Orientation Changes

    Register for orientation changes with the following line of code:

       1: SnapView.RegisterForOrientationChange(OnOrientationChanged);

    Charms

    Charms covers both the settings charm, and the share charm for sharing content from within your app.  For integration with the Search charm, it has it's own component appropriately named Search.

    Charms

    Settings Charm

    Setting is how your users find your help, your privacy policies, and find out further information about yoru application.  You can trigger the settings charm manually with a single line of code.

       1: SettingsCharm.Current.ShowSettingsUI();
    Share Charm

    Sharing is one of the key components of Windows 8 applications.  Sharing allows your application to interact with other applications who can consume the content.  You can allows your application to share with your favourite social media client, or maybe share an image with a photo manipulation app.

    Bit Rave for Live Apps allows you to share seamlessly.  To register content for sharing, it can be all done in a single line of code!

       1: ShareCharm.Current.RegisterTextShare("Title",   
       2: "Description",    
       3:  "Hello World!");

    Or maybe you want to share an image from within game:

       1: ShareCharm.Current.RegisterTextShare("Title",   
       2: "Description",    
       3:  imageTexture2D);

    And for Unity Pro users, how about sharing a screenshot from a camera!

       1: ShareCharm.Current.RegisterTextShare("Title",   
       2: "Description",    
       3:  cameraObject);

    And you can even trigger the UI manually from within game:

       1: ShareCharm.ShowShareUI();

    Settings

    With your Microsoft ID following you between machines, you can now take advantage of Roaming Settings.  Use roaming settings to synchronise high scores and game files across machines.  Bitrave Settings let you do all this simply and easily without having to leave Unity, and also supports Local Settings for non-roaming preferences and data.

    Register for updates to settings data with the following line of code.

    Roaming Settings

    Roaming settings go with you, and all it takes is just a line of code to set them.

       1: RoamingSettings.SetValue("high-score", hiScoreValue);

    And just one line of code to retrieve.

       1: var highScore = RoamingSettings.GetValue("high-score");
    Local Settings

    Local settings act just like roaming settings, but stay on a single machine when you don't want them to roam.  You set and retrieve them in the same way.

       1: LocalSettings.SetValue("high-score", hiScoreValue);

    And just one line of code to retrieve.

       1: var highScore = LocalSettings.GetValue("high-score");

    WinAzure_rgb

    Azure Mobile Services - https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/mobile/ iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone

    Azure Mobile Services allow you to take your application to the cloud quickly and easily.

    And now you can access Azure Mobile Services directly from your Unity code.

    Initialise

    Initialisation is just as simple as you'd expect.

       1: var service = AzureMobileServices("url", "token");
    Insert

    Insert an item into your Azure database in a single line of code from Unity.

       1: service.Insert<ToDoItem>(myItem);
    Update

    Update items in the Azure databsae with just one line of code from Unity.

    service.Update<ToDoItem>(myItem);

    Delete

    Remove items from the Azure database in 1 line of code from Unity.

       1: service.Delete<ToDoItem>(myItem);
    Query

    Query items in your Azure Mobile Services from Unity.

       1: service.Where<ToDoItem>(p => p.Category == "Exercise", MyCallback);   
       2: public void MyCallback(List<ToDoItem> items)    
       3: {    
       4: ...    
       5: }

    NOTE: await / async will be available when supported by Unity.  Until then we are using callbacks.

    Lookup

    Lookup items in your Azure Mobile Services from Unity.

       1: service.Lookup<ToDoItem>(myItem, MyCallback);   
       2: public void 
       3: MyCallback(ToDoItem item)    
       4: {    
       5: ...    
       6: }

    NOTE: await / async will be available when supported by Unity.  Until then we are using callbacks.

    ,Win8_logo Unity_logi

    Microsoft recently ran an full day of events to highlight the opportunity of Windows and Unity.

    You can watch the content below and get access to all the materials at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Camp/Building-Windows-Games-with-Unity?d=1

    Introduction to the Windows 8 platform and the Windows Store

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Construct2 HTML5/JS Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Games

    • 0 Comments

     

    WinAzureConstruct scirra-logo-01

    Construct 2 supports publishing Windows Store games

    Don't have Construct2

    For one week you can purchase Construct 2 Personal and Business Edition licenses with a 40% discount see https://www.scirra.com/blog/111/spring-sale-40-off?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=LinkToBlogPost&utm_campaign=BlogSubscription-22-4-2013

    Discount on Construct 2 till 29th April 2013

    If you're looking to upgrade your Personal license to a Business license, there has never been a better time! The normal cost of upgrade is $280/€229/£180, with a 40% sale discount the new cost is $168/€137.40/£108.

    If you would like to upgrade your Personal license to a Business license:

    This sale will run until 6pm BST on Monday the 29th April. If you want to take advantage of this sale, make sure you arrange purchase of a license before this date.

    Getting started with Windows 8 Game development couldn't be easier

    There a new Game Templates for Windows 8 appearing every day,  here are the 9 templates, available on GitHub built by fellow evangelist Chris Bowen. Chris has developed nine AWESOME game templates with features like the Windows 8 object, a “Pause" layer, snapped view support (with game pause), touch support, and some project property updates.

    These can be downloaded for FREE from Github

    Additionally we have lots of academic curricula materials available at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty

    Using Templates

    If your interested in Construct2 and game development for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 you can download all templates as a ZIP, or get individual templates below, just click the link and choose “View Raw”, which will let you save the template.

    Auto-Runner
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Side-scroller with player constantly running, having to jump between platforms.
    Auto-Runner

    Driving Game
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Top-down driving around a track with bordering objects.
    Driving Game

    Infinite Jumping
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Vertical game where player automatically jumps and must reach new platforms.
    Infinite Jumping

    Physics Catapult
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Fire catapult at structures with physics behaviors for impact/gravity.
    Physics Catapult

    Physics Puzzle
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Click/touch objects to remove to clear puzzle.
    Physics Catapult

    Platformer
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Jump between a variety of platforms (static, moving, one-way).
    Platformer

    Top-Down Shooter
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Top-down view, move player and fire at targets.
    Top-Down Shooter

    Turret Defense
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Add turrets to maze to fire on targets as they pathfind to their goal.
    Turret Defense

    Vertical Shooter
    (click “View Raw” and save)
    Vertically-scrolling game player and targets both moving and firing.
    Vertical Shooter

    Connecting your game to Windows Azure Cloud Services

    There is FREE plug-in for Construct 2 which makes it easy to integrate the power of Azure Mobile Services into your games for Windows 8. Saving to the cloud is a great way to seamlessly store data for achievements, leaderboards, save games, user data and lots more see http://www.scirra.com/forum/plugin-azure-mobile-services-for-windows-8_topic64265.html 

    We would love to hear about your experiences of building Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Games with Construct2.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Certification exams for TechEd Europe attendees sign up now 50% off!

    • 1 Comments

    TechEd13 image

    As you know from my previous blog posts and presentations A Microsoft certification confirms to everyone, employers, clients, and your peers. That you're a technical expert with proven skills and abilities.

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    Find the right IT certification

    Click a category and you’ll see your certification options below.
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    At TechEd Europe

    In the Certification Center at TechEd Europe 2013, you'll have access to onsite training, Exam Prep sessions, and practice tests, as well as the assistance of MCT Ambassadors who have passed multiple exams.

    So take this opportunity to gain certification and also sit two exams for the price of one or simply take the 50% discount. This opportunity is only available to registered TechEd 2013 attendees.

    Learn more and sign up to take a Microsoft Certification exam at TechEd Europe.

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    Register today and start planning your ideal conference schedule! Register for TechEd Europe

    More resources

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151404444143549&set=a.382083588548.167649.318852903548&type=1&theater

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    Event Site: http://europe.msteched.com/Certification

    Not attending TechEd Europe - take your second shot exam now

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    Retake an exam for free before May 31 and save 15% on certification packs*

    Prove that you have the knowledge and skills in the most current and specialized technologies and solutions by earning a Microsoft Certification. Passing the exams needed to demonstrate those skills can be tough, but for a limited time, you’ll get a free second chance to succeed.

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    STEP 1 – REGISTER for your Second Shot voucher.
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  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The power of 3D interaction

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    leia-hologram

    Ok who has ever watched STAR WARS and wanted a 3D princess Leia Hologram?

    Holograms are often thought of as an optical novelty that can produce pretty 3D pictures, but they are capable of doing much more than that. One of my colleagues Dr Dave Brown has been continuing to explore natural user interaction with 3D data on a 2D displays specially using Microsoft Windows 8 devices.

    As we know user interaction with a user interface can be in 2 or 3 dimensions. Dave work aims to build an orientation-independent user interface for a holographic display, which would naturally lend itself to the type of display being used.

    Example of 3D Holographic Experience created for Windows 8

    2D interaction is pervasive with the availability of multi-touch enabled displays, and 3D interaction is becoming more accessible with products such as Microsoft's Kinect for Windows and the Leap Motion controller.

    For example, a vertical screen behaves as a "virtual window" onto the world such as in a first-person 3D game. A horizontal screen on the other hand, behaves as a "virtual table" for viewing and manipulating objects, or as a view from a third-person game looking "down" onto the world.

    Princess Leia Hologram

    Viper Hologram

    Viper Hologram

    Raptor Hologram

    Raptor Hologram

    Globe Hologram

    Globe Hologram

    All Windows 8 apps now support both landscape and portrait modes. Dave work has been developed to support both horizontal and vertical modes, and since he uses specify orientation using vectors he can also specify any intermediate angle.

    For more details on Dr Dave Brown work see http://drdave.co.uk/page/projects

    So if you are working on any interesting 3D project we would love to hear more?

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