• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Learning to build a HTML5 Windows 8 game in 15 lessons


    So you want to build a game for Windows 8?

    Well we want to make it as easy as possible for you to do so. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to compile all the resources you could use to develop a short course for your school, college or University students using Scirra Construct 2 and HTML5.

    Example Course Schedule

    Class No.

    Tasks to undertake

    Topic to be discussed



    Developing Games for Windows 8

    • What is expected
    • Build your first Windows 8 Application
    • Build your first game using a tutorial
    • The Windows 8 Store App Design Solution



    Start your Portfolio:

    · Start your design portfolio

    Build a game:

    · Create a Powerpoint based Storyboard for your game

    · Build a simple game using a Construct2 tutorial and post it to a hosting site

    · Beginner's guide to Construct 2

    · http://www.scirra.com/arcade

    · Modify the game using art, sounds you discovered online

    Create online presence

    · Create a Blog (documenting your learning experience, and application creation, ideas reasons why your doing this)

    · Generate a “professional” Facebook Page for your App

    · Generate a LinkedIn account (to promote your employability)

    · Create a YouTube Channel (for demonstrating your game/app)

    Design Processes, you are required to meet with your assigned teams and discuss the following:

    · Review what you should put in a blog with respect to game design

    · What is a design portfolio?

    · What are the available tools to make a video

    · Review simple games


    · User Experience Design Fundamentals


    Before class make sure to read:

    o The Windows 8 Store App Design Solution

    o User Experience Design Fundamentals

    o Applying User Experience Process to Windows 8 Store  Applications

    Turn in:

    • Links to your :
    • Blog, YouTube Station, Professional Facebook and LinkedIn
    • Game on Arcade

    At the end of class session turn in:

    · Turn in your Facebook baseline report

    · Turn in your baseline Blog analytics

    · Quiz

    Discuss Design Principles in first three reading modules

    Game Design for Slats:

    · Snap

    · Fill

    · Full

    Adding another level to your game:

    Review of Treasure Map example


    · Read:
    Introduction To Windows 8 Store App Design Principle: Do More with Less

    Turn In

    • Add a level to your the beginner game
    • Create a Platformer game using the tutorial at: http://aka.ms/csudh495platformer2
    • Design thoughts on your blog, Link only, about how you will use a platformer for a Holiday theme game
    • Video on how to you created the beginning game
    • Facebook postings

    In Class:

    · Turn in Documentation

    · Quiz

    Discussion about doing more with less, demonstration of design and implementation

    Student demos of design considerations

    In class lab:

    · Students will gather design documentation from other students and then begin to break down the scenario implementation

    · Introduction of HTML5/JavaScript code for Windows 8



    Making a great app

    Turn In:

    • Using the Platformer you created using the tutorial at http://aka.ms/csudh495platformer2, modify the game to a theme and upload it to the Arcade, turn in the link
    • Post your design thoughts on your design issues and implementation
    • Video on why people should play your game
    • Facebook postings

    In Class:

    • At the end of class turn in scenario experiments
    • Quiz

    · Discuss and experiment with scenarios

    · Students will demonstrate and discuss their “platformer” games

    · Feedback on games




    Turn In:

    • Add a level to your game
    • Develop a marketing plan for your game
    • Post upgrade to the Scirra.Com arcade
    • Demonstrate how you will implement this game in Windows 8 using drawings, scenarios etc.

    In Class:

    • Check-in Modified lab component to Team Foundation Services
    • Quiz

    · Discuss Windows 8 Store App Design Principle and Pride in Craftsmanship

    · Discuss Game design using HTML5/JavaScript Hello World App

    · Quality software and how to create quality software

    · Team Foundation Services

    In Class Lab:

    · Check-out lab component, modify and check-in modified component



    Turn In:

    · Modifications to assigned HTML5/JavaScript code

    · Addition of Scoring and simulated Leaderboard to your Themed game

    · Marketing plan for your Game

    · YouTube Video about your game

    In Class:

    • Quiz

    · Discuss what it means to be Authentically Digital

    · Examine MS Project report of status of the HTML5/JavaScript Hello World App

    · Discuss Agile Design

    · Selected Students Demo their Holiday game

    · Review of selected YouTube Videos




    Turn In:

    • Report on Blog Traffic and YouTube Video

    In Class:

    · Quiz

    · Discuss what a contract is and how to implement in it your code

    · Selected students will demo their Holiday game

    · Discuss “Promise” and “Then”

    · Discuss Scrum approach to design



    Turn In:

    · Update your “Hello World” Game to incorporate the Search Charm

    · Update your “Hello World” Project to Incorporate Settings Charm

    · Expand use of “Promise” and “Then”

    In Class:

    • Code Profiling Lab Outcome
    • Quiz

    · Discuss Live Tiles and Notifications

    · Selected students will demo their “Hello World” Use of Charms and how they implemented their code

    · Code Profiling

    · UML and Game Design



    Turn In:

    • Update to Themed Project to include Live Tiles and Notification
    • Update to “Hello World” Project to demo use of dynamic CSS

    In Class:

    • Quiz

    · Discuss Snap, Fill and Full Screens in Windows 8

    · Selected Students demonstrates Promise and Then

    · Designing for the Windows 8 Phone

    · Selected Students demonstrate their Holiday Themed Projects



    Turn In:

    • Addition of Windows 8 Snap and Fill solution for your Holiday Game
    • Addition of Dynamic CSS to “Hello World” project to handle Snap, Fill and Full

    In Class:

    • Results from the WACK test

    · Discuss the Submission Process

    · Students run WACK test on their Projects

    · Students are assisted in determining how to fix their WACK test failures


    Get Windows Store account for FREE via DreamSpark


    Turn In:

    • Design Portfolio for online evaluation by other students
    • Submit game to Windows Store evaluation
    • Begin Design process for a game based on seasons

    In Class:

    • Submit Hello World consuming the WinRT Project

    · Review of design process

    · WinRT and what it is

    · Selected Students will demonstrate their submitting games

    In Class Lab:

    · Students will consume an existing C# based WinRT project in their Hello World Project



    · Introduction to C++

    Turn In:

    • Design Portfolio improvements from Online Evaluations
    • Implement Seasonal Game Design

    In Class:

    • Submit simple C++ Hello World app

    · Demonstration of how to create and write a C++

    · Students will explore and implement a simple Module and then consume it in their “Hello World” program



    · Creating an online leaderboards 

    Turn In:

    • Addition of WinRT to your Seasonal Game

    In Class:

    • Quiz

    · Discussion of Leaderboards and how to implement them using existing tools

    · Selected students will demonstrate their games

    · Class Evaluations



    • Blog Analytics
    • Facebook Analytics
    • YouTube Analytics
    • Design Portfolio (online material only)

    · All students will play the other student’s games and give feedback

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Which Windows 8 PC is Right for You?


    Microsoft OEM (for "original equipment manufacturer") hardware partners are about to unleash a wave of new Windows 8 devices in all shapes and sizes. For consumers and businesses, that breadth offers you the chance to find just the right PC no matter what your needs.

    DellXPS SonyViao AsusVivoTab

    With the launch of Windows 8 rapidly approaching, a new wave of tablets, convertibles, hybrids, notebooks, Ultrabooks, and all-in-one PCs are set to hit the shelves later this month here is a quick run down of what Windows 8 devices will be available in the UK.

    Windows 8, breadth of technology bounty boils down to one thing for students and educators: choice.

    On Oct 26th Microsoft will be releasing Windows 8 and our OEM Partners will be releasing a number of new devices from small and slim tablets to big and beautiful all-in-ones, the new capabilities in Windows 8 have opened the door for a huge array of new and reimagined devices.


    So what types of devices will there be?

    The tablet

    For anyone on the go and far from a desk, tablet PCs provide a comfortable, versatile, and convenient computing experience. Support for multitouch is already giving Windows 8-based tablets a big boost. While consumers are looking for the convenience and flexibility of tablets such as the ASUS Vivo Tab RT, major OEMs are also designing tablet PCs with specific features to suit enterprise scenarios for example, the Dell's Latitude 10 tablet, which features fingerprint capabilities and a smart card reader for heightened security requirements.

    Convertibles and hybrids

    Touch is a convenient way to interact with a PC, and there are also times when people want the speed of a keyboard and the precision of a mouse. With new convertible PCs such as the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro and hybrids such as the HP Envy X2, users don't need to make an either/or decision. Both feature a traditional clamshell laptop design plus a touch screen that separates from the keyboard and transforms into a tablet.


    All-in-ones such as the Acer Aspire 7600U feature large, touch-sensitive displays that can either detach from the desktop station or rotate to lie flat.The Sony VAIO L Series that feature the X-Reality proceeding engine found inside BRAVIA TVs. Select models offer latest-generation "glasses-free" 3-D technology, turning your office PC into cutting-edge entertainment device.

    Notebooks and Ultrabooks

    For anyone who needs to combine portability with power to compose and create using traditional keyboard and mouse input, today's notebooks and super-slim Ultrabook computers still offer a premium PC experience. Those who want a big display for movies or design work may want a full-size notebook such as the Toshiba Satellite U845W, with its true HD wide screen that is perfect for getting a great view of the action. Ultrabook form factor, such as the sleek new HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 or the razor-thin ASUS Zenbook PRIME UX21A Touch.

    Want to learn more?

    Do you want to learn more about all these new PCs? Check out the  Microsoft OEM newsroom highlights the latest hardware innovations, product news, reviews, events and other press materials for Microsoft products across a variety of devices.See http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/oem/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone 8 hardware unveiled



    Windows Phone

    Recently our device maker partners held events where they showcased their amazing Windows Phone 8 hardware for the first time. In case you missed the events, check them out below, or see the full line-up on windowsphone.com.

    ativs_main  HTCHomepageHerolumia820_main lumia920_main

    Nokia Event

    HTC Event

    Samsung event

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Build apps that Windows Phone users will love


    Windows Phone

    Windows Phone offers a compelling approach to bringing distinctive apps to its customers, offering an experience not found on other platforms. Similarly, the Windows Phone developer platform is designed to help you build apps that extend the experience throughout the phone in easily discoverable ways. Check out this podcast on designing great Windows Phone apps using our design team's philosophy of "fierce reduction" – making the most out of animation, pivots and other key Windows Phone visual elements.

    For even further guidance on how to build outstanding apps for Windows Phone – check out our favourites below.

    Windows Phone UX Guidelines

    Windows Phone Design Resources

    Design Day Event

    Windows Phone UX Style Design

    Designing Apps

    App Design Best Practices

    Prototyping in Blend

    Windows Phone Design Assets

    PSD Templates

    PNG Grid (Useful in Blend)

    SDK (contains Blend and icons)

    Windows Phone Tool Kit (contains extra controls for prototyping)

    Faculty and Student Resources

    FREE Windows Phone developer kit and store accounts from DreamSpark and teaching resources and curriculum from Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Developer Support

    Did you know you can visit our forums and connect with the community of Windows Phone developers to ask questions and get answers? For the top issues and answers being discussed, check out the following:

    Register and manage account

    Submitting and publishing apps

    Payouts and reporting

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Can't attend BUILD in person? Watch it live!




    Stay tuned, because Microsoft's BUILD conference is rapidly approaching, and Windows Phone will be there. BUILD sold out in record time this year, and if you weren't one of the lucky few who got a spot, don't worry, because the entire event will be streamed live. We're looking forward to going in depth with you on what's new in Windows Phone 8 for developers. Watch Channel 9 for session content 24-48 hours post-event.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    YoYo Games Gamemaker full support for Windows 8



    We are thrilled to announce the availability of YoYo Games support for building Windows Store games

    YoYo Games was founded in 2007 by a group of leading Games and Entertainment industry executives. The company, headed by CEO, Sandy Duncan (ex-Vice President of Xbox Europe), was created to support the founders' belief that a new generation of games development talent and devices was emerging and there was an opportunity to incubate and showcase some of the very best of this talent on these new and existing platforms.

    GameMaker is available today under a variety of licensing tiers, including a free tier, from the YoYo Games website (www.yoyogames.com) and has been downloaded more than 5 million times since 2007. In addition, GameMaker is the teaching product of choice for more than 5,000 schools and Universities worldwide. In September 2011, YoYo Games introduced GameMaker:HTML5, unleashing the games development talent of hundreds of thousands of gamers on the web. YoYo Games estimates that over 130,000 games have been developed using the YoYo Games platform.

    YoYo Games announcement - http://www.yoyogames.com

    YoYo Games Windows 8 Opportunity - http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio/multiformat/windows8

    YoYo Games Windows 8 Contest - http://www.yoyogames.com/competitions/windows-8

    Download - http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    ATARI and IE new CreateJS Libraries


    Are you teaching gaming or web development?

    Modern ‘Atari Arcade’ Experience Features Fresh Graphics, Social Connectivity and Tablet Touch Gameplay, Play Now for Free at Atari.com

    Atari, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and developers of interactive entertainment, has developed a partnership with Internet Explorer to launch the Atari Arcade. The browser-based portal is a next-generation collection of Atari’s classic games reimagined in HTML5 with fresh graphics, gameplay and integration with Facebook and Twitter.

    Atari Arcade shines in Internet Explorer, but also works well in other modern browsers. Because of the quality of the IE experience, an ad-free version is made available to all Internet Explorer customers when they play Atari Arcade.

    In celebration of Atari’s 40 year anniversary and the upcoming launch of Internet Explorer 10, classic games like Asteroids, Pong, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Centipede, and others have been developed with new graphics and gameplay features. Like the arcades that first popularized gaming, players can go head-to-head with friends in competitive, real-time battles for high scores and leaderboard placement in the next evolution of Atari fan favourites like Super Breakout and Combat.

    Atari Arcade demonstrates what’s possible when you couple HTML5 along with a fast and fluid browser that is perfect for touch, which is precisely what you get with Internet Explorer 10. Now together with Internet Explorer and HTML5, we get to see some of our favourite games jump into the next generation of gaming on the web – which is pretty fantastic.”

    Atari’s new platform will grant developers access to CreateJS, a suite of tools for creating cross-browser, cross-device HTML5 gaming and media experiences. This new offering will give developers a platform to publish and monetize games with the ability to utilize features like Facebook integration.

    Atari has released a promotional video for the event in which game industry luminaries Nolan Bushnell and Grant Skinner provide their perspective on 40 years of video games and HTML5’s impact on future development. The video may be viewed at: http://youtu.be/3qaF9-W2Dvg.

    Visit the Atari Arcade now at Arcade.Atari.com.

    For more information about Atari games and the latest news:
    - Visit our website: www.atari.com
    - Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/atari
    - Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/atari
    - Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/atari

    For more on Internet Explorer, please visit http://www.beautyoftheweb.com/

    For developers http://atari.com/arcade/developers/

    Check out the JavaScript libraries. Atari also produced an SDK to supplement the CreateJS libraries. Visit www.atari.com/arcade. Make sure to visit the Developers tab for links to the developer resources and enjoy this behind the scenes video.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Want to create a HTML5 game for Windows 8? And publish it to the new Windows Store?



    HTML5 Game Starter Kit for Windows 8


    This is a great starter kit developed by one of my colleague Petri Tapio Wilhelmsen who is a member of the Microsoft Western Europe team.

    As you can see from my previous posts were aware many of the apps that are submitted to the Windows Store are failing certification because they didn’t know that a Privacy Policy was needed, or that the game/app had to implement a snap view and so on. This kit will help you with the most important things.

    Petri has created an excellent HTML5 Game starter kit that will help you set up a new Windows 8 game project in short time, this is ideal for schools, colleges and University who teach game development with HTML5.

    By using this starter kit you can get most of this functionality ready, for more details see http://digitalerr0r.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/html5-game-starter-kit-for-windows-8/ or look at the following quick guides below.

    Here is a quick video to using the HTML5 Starter kit

    5 Step Guide to Bulding HTML5 games with the HTML5 Starter Kit

    Step 1a. You need to have Visual Studio 2012 installed on a Windows 8 device to use this. If you are a student and have access to Dreamspark.com (MSDNAA) or a MSDN Subscription you can download both products from there.

    You can use the free version of Visual Studio 2012 (express) and can be downloaded here:

    The Release Preview can be downloaded for free here:

    Step 1b. Download HTML5 Game Starter Kit for Windows 8

    Step 2. Start Visual Studio 2012 and create a “Blank App” Windows 8 JavaScript project:

    Click on File->New->Project…


    Choose JavaScript as the language and the template “Blank App”:

    Give your project a name (here: Mitt Spill) and press OK.

    A new project is generated and the structure will look like this:

    Step 3. What we will do now is to add the HTML5 Game Starter Kit files to the newly created project. We just copy the content of the HTML5 Game Starter Kit folder to the project folder.

    So, copy thse files from the HTML5 Game Starter Kit:

    Navigate to your new game soludtion and open the project folder. Paste the files here, and replace if asked:


    The project folder will look somewhat like this:

    Step 4. Go back to your Visual Studio 2012 project and update if needed:


    Step 5. Include the new files in your project.
    The last thing you need to do is to include the new files in your project structure from Visual Studio 2012.

    Click on the button highlighted in the red circle below. It will show the files that exist in the filestructure but not in the project structure(dark gray).


    Select the following files (hold control and click them):

    Right click one of the files and select “Include in project”:

    6. Test if it works.
    Congratulations, you are now having a working game project! Run the app and test that it works.

    Whats in the starter kit?



    Full screen mode

    Snap view mode

    Full screen with other app in snap view.

    About page

    Privacy Policy

    Remember!   The example game is using CreateJS. It’s located under js/CreateJS. You can remove this folder if it’s not needed in your project. But if you do so, the example game will not compile.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Six Steps to Windows Azure - Registration open for 8th and 9th November




    Six Steps to Windows Azure – Starts on 8th and 9th November:

    Six Steps to Windows Azure programme which offers a series of free technical events and online sessions on the Windows Azure Platform. The programme aims to guide developers and IT professionals currently building apps or considering the cloud on how to take full advantage of Windows Azure.

    Our upcoming events will cover both the technical and commercial aspects of adopting Windows Azure.

    We will be launching a brand new web site with the full list of details and registration. Register now for the following events.

    Windows Azure in the Real World - 8th November 2012

    Get started with Windows Azure by seeing how companies have implemented real world solutions for different types of Azure workload. Join us if you currently building applications, considering moving to the Cloud and want to understand how to take full advantage of the Windows Azure Platform.


    Advanced Topics in Windows Azure - 9th November 2012:

    Join us to tour the latest features of Windows Azure from Media and Mobile services to Windows Azure Active Directory. The day will explore the opportunities Windows Azure offers with Windows 8 and the latest Phone Toolkits (iOS, Android and Windows Phone).


    What’s next? Here are the upcoming themes. Registration will open shortly.

    Windows Azure - Architecture and Design (13 November)

    Integration with Mobile and the New World of Apps (4 December)

    Open Source Development (15 January)

    HPC (4 February)

    Big Data (24 February)

    For more details of Azure in education including FREE Curricula see http://www.windowsazure.com/education

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    2013 Faculty Fellowship Program


    Microsoft Research Redmond is seeking applications from EMEA for the 2013 Faculty Fellowship Program (targeted at early career faculty members nominated by their institution).

    Each year since 2005, Microsoft Research has recognized innovative, promising new faculty members from a number of research institutions to join the ranks of Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows. This program now encompasses more than 50 academic researchers whose exceptional talent for research and innovation in computer science identifies them as emerging leaders in their fields. The selected professors are exploring breakthrough, high-impact research that has the potential to help solve some of today’s most challenging societal problems.


    2013 Faculty Fellowship Awards

    In April 2013, the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship grant recipients will be selected from applicants from four regions: Latin America and the Caribbean; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; the United States and Canada; and Australia and New Zealand.

    Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowships Help New Professors Succeed

    The road to tenure can be a bumpy one for early career professors in any field. Most find their first few years filled with a seemingly endless process of writing grant proposals. For the professors who are selected as Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows each year, this “overhead” is considerably lessened, allowing them to concentrate on the business of pursuing their research with minimal distractions. Microsoft Research selects a handful of top early-career professors in the field of computer science and provides them each with a cash award.

    About the Program

    Microsoft Research seeks nominees who are advancing computing research in novel directions with the potential for high impact on the state of the art, and who demonstrate the likelihood of becoming thought leaders in the field.

    The future of computing in academe rests with its newest faculty. In these early-career professionals lie the seeds of tomorrow’s great innovations. However, while recognized faculty with well-established reputations are able to attract the financial support necessary for substantial research programs, new faculty often struggle to secure adequate support to allow them to realize their full potential.
    Because new faculty are so vital to the future of academic computer science, the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program identifies, recognizes, and supports exceptional new faculty members who are engaged in innovative computing research. The objective of this program is to stimulate and support creative research undertaken by promising researchers who have the potential to make a profound impact on the field of computing in their research disciplines.

    Microsoft Research will select fellows this year from nominees from four regions: Latin America and the Caribbean; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; the United States and Canada; and Australia and New Zealand.

    About the Awards

    Each fellowship includes a cash award. The Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows also have access to other Microsoft resources, such as software, invitations to conferences, and engagements with Microsoft Research. Microsoft awards Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship grants each year; awardees are selected by April.

    The Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Awards program provides recipients considerable freedom in planning the focus of their academic research. The funds can be applied to a wide variety of uses to pursue novel research. Examples of possible research areas include, but are not limited to: interdisciplinary research, scientific computing, bioinformatics, computational biology, software engineering, and other areas where computing transforms the discipline and advances the state of the art.


    This is a great opportunity and we hope for many strong applications from across EMEA.

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