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So there lots of exciting things happening at this years GDC! Microsoft will off course be having a booth and with lots of opportunity to meet the teams face 2 face or try some our coding challenges.
We also have lots of exciting announcement and have a great selection of sessions available to those attending and what's really cool is these will be made available online via Channel9 after GDC.
The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosystem Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, will discuss the future of gaming and the many ways game developers can create innovative game content and experiences for the entire Microsoft ecosystem, including Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.
Developing Games for Windows 10 The Windows 10 universal app platform is designed to enable game developers to create high performance games that can target the broadest range of devices with a single code base. Whether you’re planning the next AAA blockbuster, or building a mobile mini-game in your basement, Windows provides flexibility and power that you need. This session will introduce Microsoft’s latest game development tools, platform, services and ecosystem. Come see demonstrations, best practices and learn proven usage patterns that leverage DirectX and the WinRT APIs to target the Xbox and Windows ecosystem of devices.
Better Power, Better Performance: Your Game on DirectX12 Direct3D 12 enables new performance improvements for your game on Windows 10. Learn how to architect your game engine to best reduce CPU overhead, increase GPU efficiency, and improve frame-rate stability using the new Direct3D 12 API. Understand the fundamentals for building a fast-performing, efficient game engine on Direct3D 12 and where to find the best resources for diving deeper.
Gaming Consumer Experience on Windows 10 Gaming is a key area of focus for Windows 10 – especially PC gaming. Create Windows 10 gaming experiences that maximize exposure in the Windows Store and provide mechanisms for users to discover, download, play, and re-engage with your game. Understand how Windows 10 helps drive engagement using live tiles and notifications. Learn about the gaming experiences and Xbox Live social engagements made possible through the Game bar and the Xbox app on the PC.
New Opportunities for Independent Developers ID@Xbox is Microsoft’s self-publishing program for independent developers on Xbox. This talk will give developers an overview of how the ID program will work in the future, as well as provide guidance on the opportunities for independent developers across the Microsoft ecosystem.
Developing with Xbox Live for Windows 10 What if you had access to the largest set of game service functionality via Xbox Live? What if you had an SDK for enabling and accessing the Xbox Live gamer network, gamer score, achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer services from any Windows 10 device easily? What would your games look like? Through demonstrations and samples, we’ll examine the breadth of functionality and ease with which you can build and release a game that utilizes Xbox Live features.
Xbox Live Multiplayer: Introducing services for cross-platform matchmaking and gameplay Windows 10 brings Xbox Live multiplayer functionality to all your connected devices. Use Xbox Live services and developer-facing APIs to match-make gamers across any Windows 10 device and create unique gameplay experiences.
Fable Legends: Cross-device Gameplay with Xbox Live Not only does Windows 10 bring the power of Xbox Live to PCs, it allows for experiences to cross all of your connected devices. This talk explores the design, implementation, and other considerations of Fable Legends in building a seamless cross-device gameplay experience between Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.
Best Practices for Leveraging Cloud-Based User Stats and Achievements in Xbox Live Integrate your next-generation Windows 10 game with Xbox Live for cloud-powered experiences like Hero Stats, Achievements, and Leaderboards that can be updated independently from your game code. Surface the most engaging player stats from your game directly on Windows 10 and build powerful companion experiences through the Real-Time Activity service. Get tips on common configuration pitfalls, Xbox Live policy considerations, and how to avoid common failures during Certification.
Distributing Games Across Microsoft’s Phone, PC, and Xbox Marketplace Windows 10 is coming soon to a phone, PC, and Xbox near you — and with it, a streamlined approach to distributing and merchandising your game on Microsoft’s growing marketplace. Explore upcoming features that make publishing easier so you can reach more customers while increasing ROI.
Advanced DirectX12 Graphics and Performance DirectX12 enables next generation games to deliver better performance with greater flexibility and control. This technical session goes deep into the DirectX12 APIs you can use to reduce CPU rendering overhead, manage GPU resource usage more efficiently, and express the most cutting-edge 3D graphics possible across the spectrum of Windows 10 devices. Whether you are building a game for the phone, PC, or Xbox – you don’t want to miss this talk.
Sustained gaming performance in multi-core mobile devices Modern mobile devices and smartphones are reaching the computing capabilities reserved until recently for desktop PCs. Windows 10 phones and tablets with 8 CPUs and very powerful GPUs are expected soon. Despite significant progress in reducing power consumption these devices are able to draw more power under sustained load than can be safely dissipated with current passive cooling technologies. Windows 10 and the hardware it runs on are designed to safely handle such situations, mostly by reducing the system performance – which could affect game-play negatively. Learn to counter this effect by designing games that achieve sustained thermal-to-quality tradeoffs in these systems.
Designing games for a Windows Core World How can your game take advantage of the broad reach of multiple form factors shipping with Windows 10, and provide the best experiences to your target audiences? Can a one-size-fits-all design approach succeed or should you tailor the experience to each device? We will discuss and demonstrate the design implications of Windows Core game development scenarios from casual to AAA games, as well as some common pitfalls with an appropriate checklist to mitigate concerns around legibility, input schemes and content density. This talk also examines user engagement expectations and how to map usability goals to user trends for each device.
PC Games for Windows 10 Windows 10 brings new features for developers targeting the phone, tablet and desktop PC gamers. In addition to DirectX 12 and improved access to modern features, there are better tools for developing, debugging, and profiling games. Learn how your new Windows PC games can take advantage of Windows 10 capabilities and get tips on making your current Windows games work great on Windows 10.
So what things should you start to learn?
The key thing for windows is the use of Universal apps which give you the opportunity of getting your games across the entire Microsoft ecosystem from Microsoft’s Phone, PC, and Xbox and the sessions above will be ideal starting point on your universal journey. It's pretty clear that the way to go with Windows 10 from a developer's perspective is Universal Apps. You get a great development experience, good API coverage, tooling that makes cross-compilation easy, and now you can go from Raspberry Pi 2, to Phones, Tablets, Xbox One, the cloud and beyond.
So if your interested in Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi sign up to the Windows Developer Program for IoT.
Microsoft announced the Windows Developer Program for IoT and put Windows on the Intel Galileo board. Today Windows gets even better for IoT and Maker scenarios by supporting makers on a multitude of other devices.
It's pretty clear that the way to go with Windows 10 from a developer's perspective is Universal Apps allowing you to run an app on a 88inch surface hub, windows phone or even IoT device.
We live in a time where we can imagine the impossible and make it probable. Hello and welcome to the 2015 Imagine Make It Happen Event! This unique event brings together influential Tech Speakers, Students and Start-ups redefining the rules to make their dreams a reality.
Morning Sessions:9:30 AM-1 2:30 PM
Registration at 9:00 AM
Being a Start-up takes just the right amount of ‘crazy’ and some strong core skills. Our morning sessions with a key note from Dave Coplin Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK, are designed to help you get lean, keep investors keen and get your Start-up seen, as well as nuts and bolts workshops on how to scale, how to be productive and more.
Afternoon Sessions: 1:00 PM- 18:00 PM
Registration at 12:30 PM
Calling Students and futurists of all ages, to come and be inspired at the Imagine Cup 2015 UK finals. The largest Student Technology competition in the world. Yes it is a competition but more importantly it is a celebration of student innovation, the power to not just look into the future but to change it for the better.
The half day event is an educational and inspirational afternoon that showcases the field of Computer Science through a celebration of student innovation! It will consist of exciting demonstrations that will showcase 12 of the most innovative student start up’s in Tech for Apps & Games & talks from Cambridge professor’s and Tech Industry experts. We hope to inspire students to consider fantastic opportunities available to them in becoming the next generation of Computer Scientists.
At the Microsoft UK HQ we are heads down currently creating the agenda for the day that as well as talks, will consist of breakout sessions where students can learn to code, test out the start-ups Apps & Games, meet the Xbox team and learn about the Microsoft developer tools.
Do you have questions about Imagine Make It Happen? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Ben Kosky : email@example.com or Lisa Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org
Register your place now at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/imagine-make-it-happen-tickets-15650107894
James Mintram and I will return for an advanced course, “Developing Games with Marmalade and C++ for Windows and Windows Phone.” If you want to build on the skills you learned in Creating Your First Marmalade Game, join us on February 26.
We’ll learn about building the game, deploying it to a device, and including features, like "game save" and leaderboards. We’ll add a cloud back end, and we’ll explore monetization. Plus, we’ll look at best practices for game ads, packaging, and publishing, as we integrate with Windows platform-specific features. Bring your questions!
Register now! (http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/developing-games-with-marmalade-and-c-for-windows-and-windows-phone)
Developing Games with Marmalade and C++ for Windows and Windows Phone
Date: February 26, 2015 Time: 9am‒1:30pm PST Where: Jump Start training with live Q&A Cost: Free!
Marmalade Developer offers
One of the coolest new technologies enabled by Windows 10 is Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s most advanced holographic computing platform. There will be more shared about Microsoft HoloLens at Microsoft’s Build development conference (tickets are sold out, but sessions will be streamed and made available as video on demand), and in the meantime you can learn more here: http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/
If you’re interested in developing for Microsoft HoloLens, you should head here: http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us/get-ready and scroll down to the “contact us” link on the right hand side of the page.
Microsoft HoloLens runs on Windows 10, so you should also get started with the Windows Insider Program, and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Bring your best games to the Windows and Windows Phone Store and you could win* up to $10,000. Build a creative new game, or port one you’ve already made and you could win these prizes:
First Prize: $10,000 USD Second Prize: $5,000 USD Third Prize: $3,000 USD 10 Honourable Mention Prizes: $1,000 USD each
Contest winners will be announced on or before May 11, 2015. Winners will be contacted directly with details on how to collect their prizes.
Entries can be submitted between 12:01 a.m. PT on January 21, 2015 – 11:59 p.m. PT on March 20, 2015.
Developers can submit games made with any technology. You can submit original games or port existing published games (from an alternative platform like Android, iOS, Amazon Kindle, Blackberry, etc.) to the Windows or Windows Phone platform in the Windows Store during the Entry Period.
Submissions will be judged by a Microsoft panel on the following criteria:
Create or port your game to Windows Store or Windows Phone or both.
Submit your game to Windows Store or Windows Phone Store. You will first need to create a developer account on Windows Dev Center, and register for a free account that you can use to publish to the windows stores. Allow sufficient time for certification and to get your game published to the store.
Apply to the DVLUP challenge with your published game link, between January 21 - March 20, 2015.
Contest is open to Windows Developer Center account holders 18+. Other eligibility restrictions apply. Games must be published in a Windows Store after 12:01 a.m. PT January 1, 2015 and before 11:59 p.m. PT March 20th 2015 to be eligible.
For complete details, see Official Rules
For frequently asked questions, see FAQ
For more information, see the DVLUP challenge
Orleans is a framework that provides a straightforward approach to building distributed high-scale computing applications, without the need to learn and apply complex concurrency or other scaling patterns. It was created by Microsoft Research and designed for use in the cloud. Orleans has been used extensively in Microsoft Azure by several Microsoft product groups, most notably by 343 Industries as a platform for all of Halo 4 cloud services, as well as by a number of other companies.
Latest Orleans technical report
Repository of community add-ons to Orleans
Orleans was created by Microsoft Research and designed for use in the cloud. Orleans has been used extensively running in Microsoft Azure by several Microsoft product groups, most notably by 343 Industries as a platform for all of Halo 4 cloud services, as well as by a number of other projects and companies.
Microsoft Research project Orleans simplify development of scalable cloud services
In this episode Chris Risner and Haishi Bai are joined by Sergey Bykov, Principal Development Lead at Microsoft Research on project Orleans - a framework to simplify development of scalable cloud services. In this episode Sergey discusses the motivation for building project Orleans, describes the concepts you need to know and demonstrates how you can quickly get started using it.
Using Orleans to Build Halo 4’s Distributed Cloud Services in Azure
This talk will detail how the Halo 4 team at 343 Industries used the Orleans technology from Microsoft Research to build the cloud services that power the Halo 4 blockbuster title. Attendees will learn about the paradigm shift that the team went through to think about building cloud-native services using Orleans and how that transition resulted in their ability to rapidly design services that are simpler to maintain and evolve as well as being easier to conceptualize. Participants will leave this talk understanding how to use Orleans to build highly-concurrent, stateful services that scale-by-default. Participants will also learn how the virtual actor concept makes it easier to reason about and achieve fault-tolerance in the cloud.
Building Real-Time Services for Halo
Video about 343 Industries building real-time services using the Orleans framework
Download and Try Orleans via Github
Session at Build 2014: Using Orleans to Build Halo 4’s Distributed Cloud Services in Azure http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/3-641
Get hands-on with the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor
The lovely folk at Microsoft have given us access to a whole bunch of hardware, room to play and promise to keep you fed and watered while you have fun learning, hacking, voice commanding and gesticulating with the incredible Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and latest SDK.
What to expect
The event will take place at Microsoft HQ in London, Cardinal Place (Victoria, London) 5 mins walk from Victoria Train Station
We'll provide the food and drink (and some really cool giveaways) so you can have unadulterated hacking focus to build your Kinect based apps, games or anything else in whatever ways you dream up.
Event Start: Saturday 21st March 10:00am Event End: Sunday 22nd March 18:00pm
What do I need?
To use the official Microsoft Kinect for Windows v2 SDK you'll need a Windows PC with the following minimum requirements.
It is advised you download and install the SDK prior to the event available here
Everyone is welcome with the hardware/platform of your choice but the main expertise available will be on the official Windows SDK.
Space is limited to grab your ticket now!
Register Now http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kinecthack-london-tickets-15373679088
There’s a new trend in gaming called cloud gaming. What’s cloud gaming all about? Think of the cloud. Now, think of gaming. The UK is a hotbed for great games innovation, and Microsoft is committed to helping startups and independent games developers accelerate their route to market.
Watch the videos from the event available at http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/The-Game-Blog
"In this talk, Lee provides a introduction to the day and give an overview of where Microsoft see the Cloud Gaming opportunity”
"In this talk, James will share Illyriad Games' experiences and insight into how to attract the players, retain them and improve their gameplay experience by using metrics, analysis and modeling. The talk will explain how even a tiny indie can use CRM techniques such as cluster segmentation, deep dive analysis, predictive analytics and realtime decisioning to improve the experience of not only an individual player, but all your players."
"Karl helps apps engage and retain hundreds of millions of users as a Product Owner and Customer Success manager at Capptain which was acquired in 2014 by Microsoft. Prior to that he managed strategic partnerships at Myriad Group which is part of the billion mobile software club."
"Chris has 25 years of professional software development experience in games and tools, and has founded several technology start-ups. In 1997 he designed the real-time strategy PC game "Beasts and Bumpkins", published by EA. He later built the commercial 3D engine and editor toolkit "DX Studio", used by both indie studios and industrial simulators. More recently he worked with Ian Livingstone to reboot the retro Fighting Fantasy game books on modern devices. He now builds social games, the latest of which being the popular word game "WordBog", and offers consultancy for cloud gaming development."
"Richard Conway has been programming since his ZX81. Since the inception of Azure he's been smitten by the cloud and learning to use all of the resources it can offer. He works for Elastacloud (yes you can probably guess what we do!) and loves using technologies which scale (Big Data and Big Compute). He's one of the founders of the UK Azure Users Group which now has registered members in the thousands and sets up monthly meetings, conferences and hackathons showcasing really cool cloudy tech. His most recent fascination is with machine learning and although his aging and addled brain struggles to keep up with the maths it's way cool! In this talk Richard will cover some of the ways that gaming companies can build in analytics capabilities in an infinitely scalable way and using the power of the cloud (or as much as your wallet and Azure will scale to!). He’ll be covering some patterns he’s used in gaming in the past using both Microsoft’s analytics platform services and Elastacloud’s own Azure-based analytics service Brisk."
"Gateway Interactive are Microsoft Venture Accelerator graduates and have developed cloud based services for their new title on mobile and console."
"Lemon Moose Games Ltd has developed a number of successful titles which have been distributed across a total of 8 platforms and numerous marketplaces, this session will focus on the new opportunity of containerization of application with Docker."
" As Director of Product Management, Sam provides a link between Mediatonic's games, their audience and the wider marketplace. Commercially responsible for the success of their titles, Sam works closely alongside internal teams and external publishers (in 2014 this includes Microsoft, Square Enix and Bandai Namco) to guide projects toward business opportunities while ensuring players remain engaged and delighted within compelling virtual worlds. Mediatonic work with the world's finest entertainment companies to create original games-as-a-service that connect millions of players across the globe. In this talk, Sam will share how game development can be de-risked by employing the cloud to uncouple art, design and engineering co-dependencies, to understand the needs of audiences and to release seamless, instant updates across multiple platforms."
"Thore Graepel is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Professor of Machine Learning at University College London. His research interests revolve around large-scale applications of machine learning including skill estimation, user modelling, recommender systems and game AI. Thore is one of the co-inventors of the TrueSkill algorithm for ranking and matchmaking used in Xbox Live, and has also contributed to various aspects of user modelling and recommendation in Microsoft’s services. More recently, his work on estimating personality and other user attributes from social networking data has received a lot of attention. In multiplayer online gaming one of the key questions is how we can match players together that are a good fit and hence will have a great gaming experience together. Different aspects such as existing social connections, personality, quality of connection, and skill can play a role. In this session I will focus on the skill dimension and explain how the TrueSkill system works out the individual skills of players from the observed game outcomes. I will discuss the impact on the quality of matchmaking and give some good practice advice for competitive matchmaking. Time permitting, I will discuss some future ideas for matchmaking including personality based matches."
For the next four weeks. Make a potentially life-changing commitment to yourself, to us, and to your friends, family, and colleagues, sit down every day, and learn.
We want you to know your stuff, so the challenge is chock full of great courses spread across eight different learning challenges. Pick an area that interests you, regardless of your job title. Dive right in on Day One with the introductory stuff and, by the end of February, you'll possess some serious eye-opening knowledge.
We want you to show off your training. You can easily share your involvement through social channels, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Each learning challenge comes with a badge you can use, and we have a full set of forums you can join. Oh, and I should mention both regional and technology leaderboards! Plus, Know it. Prove it. learning challenges are full of MVA courses, and you get the digital certificate of completion for each course you finish. Get involved, show your success, get help if you’re stuck, and rock it.
Well, what are you waiting for? Grab this opportunity to launch your year off right. Join the challenge to better your technology skills. Don’t lose yourself to the day-to-day forever! Be a rock star in the KiPi Band!
See you on launch day, February 1! Register now so you’re ready. See you there!