• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Adding Xbox controller support and input to your Unity3d game




    Xbox One Wireless Controller can work with your PC if you download one of the following driver packages:

    Note To use your Xbox One controller with your console after using it with a PC, you must re-sync the controller to the console. You can do this by using the wireless sync button or a USB cable. For details, see Connect a wireless Xbox One controller to your console.

    If you want to use an Xbox 360 Controller with your computer, you can use an Xbox 360 Controller for Windows. Or, you can use an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller together with an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows.

    Adding controller support to a brand new Unity project.

    Start up Unity, and go to File > New Project.

    Setting Up the Input Manager

    In order to set up Unity so we can easily access controller inputs from scripts, we need to properly set up the Input Manager.

    Go to Edit > Project Settings > Input to open the Input Manager.


    There are 20 total input buttons and axes on an Xbox controller, but for this demo we will only add the 4 face buttons, A, B, X, and Y, and the two joysticks. This is the most tedious part of the process, so if you’d like to skip it, I’ve provided a completed InputManager.asset file to download and use here:

    Add 8 new axes to the Input Manager by changing the size value. The first 4 inputs will represent the 4 face buttons. Open the dropdown menu for the first new Axis, and change the values to the following settings for the A button:


    For the next 3 inputs, input the same settings for the other 3 face buttons, except for “Name” and “Positive Button”. The button settings should reflect the values on the Unity3D Xbox Controller wiki:


    NOTE: Windows, Mac, and Linux all have different button values for the Xbox controller, as seen on the Wiki page. To make the process of switching between these platforms easy, the InputManager.asset file found in the Project Settings folder in your Unity project folder stores your input settings. If you create a separate InputManager.asset file for each platform, and store them in another folder, you can switch them in and out by replacing the file in your Unity project folder with the one for the desired platform.

    The last 4 inputs will represent the 2 axes on the 2 joysticks. For the first one, change the values for the following settings for the X axis on the left joystick:


    Input the same values for the next 3 inputs, for the left joystick Y axis, and the right joystick X and Y axes. Again, refer to the Xbox controller page on the Unity3D Wiki to find the correct axis values:


    Setting Up a Scene

    For this example we will create a simple scene to move a character around in. Add a plane with a collider as a floor, and add a capsule on top of it as a player. If the capsule has a capsule collider on it, remove the capsule collider and instead add a character controller component. Make sure there is a camera in the scene, and it is pointed at the objects in the scene. Finally, add a light into the scene so we can see our objects properly.


    Coding the Player Movement

    Next we will write a script to control our player. Create a new C# script called PlayerMovement, and open it in your editor of choice. Write the following code:

       1: using UnityEngine;
       3: using System.Collections;
       5: public class PlayerMovement : MonoBehaviour
       7: {
       9: private Vector3 movementVector;
      11: private CharacterController characterController;
      13: private float movementSpeed = 8;
      15: private float jumpPower = 15;
      17: private float gravity = 40;
      19: void Start()
      21: {
      23: characterController = GetComponent<CharacterController>();
      25: }
      27: void Update()
      29: {
      31: movementVector.x = Input.GetAxis("LeftJoystickX") * movementSpeed;
      33: movementVector.z = Input.GetAxis("LeftJoystickY") * movementSpeed;
      35: if(characterController.isGrounded)
      37: {
      39: movementVector.y = 0;
      41: if(Input.GetButtonDown("A"))
      43: {
      45: movementVector.y = jumpPower;
      47: }
      49: }
      51: movementVector.y -= gravity * Time.deltaTime;
      53: characterController.Move(movementVector * Time.deltaTime);
      55: }
      57: }

    Finally, add this script as a component to your Capsule, and press play to test out your game.

    Adding Player Number 2

    Adding support for multiple controllers is a great way to include local multiplayer in your game. To add more controller inputs, add more axes to the Input Manager. Repeat the same process as before, except when entering the “Positive Button” values, include the number of the joystick. For example, instead of “joystick button 0”, write “joystick 2 button 0”. Similarly, for the left and right joystick axes, change the “Joy Num” dropdown value to reflect the correct joystick number. Finally, when writing the “Name” value for the buttons and joystick axes, add a suffix which denotes the joystick or player number. For example, instead of “LeftJoystickX”, write “LeftJoystickX_P2”. Remember to change all of these settings for your first set of inputs as well.


    After changing all of the input settings, you will have to make some changes to the PlayerMovement script as well. Make the following changes.

       1: using UnityEngine;
       3: using System.Collections;
       5: public class PlayerMovement : MonoBehaviour
       7: {
       9: private Vector3 movementVector;
      11: private CharacterController characterController;
      13: private float movementSpeed = 8;
      15: private float jumpPower = 15;
      17: private float gravity = 40;
      19: public int joystickNumber;
      21: void Start()
      23: {
      25: characterController = GetComponent<CharacterController>();
      27: }
      29: void Update()
      31: {
      33: string joystickString = joystickNumber.ToString();
      35: movementVector.x = Input.GetAxis("LeftJoystickX_P" + joystickString) * movementSpeed;
      37: movementVector.z = Input.GetAxis("LeftJoystickY_P" + joystickString) * movementSpeed;
      39: if(characterController.isGrounded)
      41: {
      43: movementVector.y = 0;
      45: if(Input.GetButtonDown("A_P" + joystickString))
      47: {
      49: movementVector.y = jumpPower;
      51: }
      53: }
      55: movementVector.y -= gravity * Time.deltaTime;
      57: characterController.Move(movementVector * Time.deltaTime);
      59: }
      61: }

    After changing the script, duplicate your player object, and move it to the side a bit, so it’s not overlapping the first player. Select the first player, and look at your PlayerMovement component in the inspector. Because we made joystickNumber a public integer, we should be able to change it directly in the inspector. Change one player’s joystickNumber to 1 in the inspector, and change the other player’s to 2. This should allow you to control each player separately with 2 controllers.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    A start-up is not a Game! Some help.. to get started on your game dev journey


    So are you new Game Developer? what type of startup do you want to be?

    Type 1 - Ambitious: want to be worth £20M+ minimum in 3 years.

    Type 2 - “Game Changing”

    Type 3 - Build/leverage new technology/ business model innovations

    So what type of games do you make?



    So where are you in the Start-up journey?


    How Start-Up Funding Works ?


    So what's required to become and investable start-up?

    Team, Tech & resources that is FIT for the task of creating an awesome company

    Product that is the best solution FIT for the target customers problems.

    Business Model that is FIT to be scaled.

    Team, Tech & resources that is FIT for the task of creating an awesome company

    Product that is the best solution FIT for the target customers problems.

    Business Model that is FIT to be scaled.

    Sources of Help

    Microsoft BizSpark http://www.bizspark.com

    Microsoft Venture https://www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/london

    Capital Enterprise; www.capitalenterprise.org

    Meet-up - http://www.meetup.com

    Mobile Academy- http://themobileacademy.org.uk/

    Makers Academy- http://www.makersacademy.com/

    GoGowo- http://www.gocowo.com

    Skills Matter- http://skillsmatter.com/

    Start- up Britain - http://www.startupbritain.org

    British Library- www.bl.uk/bipc

    General Assembly- https://generalassemb.ly/locations/london

    Innovation Warehouse- http://www.theiw.org

    IC Tomorrow - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/ictomorrow

    UCL Decide- https://www.ucl.ac.uk/decide

    Start-up Weekend- London- http://london.startupweekend.org/

    Launch 48- http://launch48.com/

    Mobile Collective http://mobilecollective.wordpress.com

    3 Beards- http://www.3-beards.com/

    Tech Hub- http://www.techhub.com/events/

    Dreamstake- http://www.dreamstake.net/events

    Capital List Get Together- http://www.capitallistblog.co/our-monthly-monday-get-together/

    Funding Games Development & Beta Testing

    Grants & Awards General

    Technology Strategy Board ( R&D Funding) - http://www.innovateuk.org - http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/grant-for-rd-single-business.ashx

    Knowledge Transfer Networks- www.innovateuk.org

    Abertay Prototype Fund - http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

    Skillset - http://www.creativeskillset.org/games/

    IC Tomorrow- https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/ictomorrow

    NESTA- http://www.nesta.org.uk/

    London European Enterprise Network- http://www.een-london.co.uk

    E Funding for SME R&D - http://www.eurostars-eureka.eu/what.do

    EU Funding for R&D collaborations: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/calls

    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships funding support- http://www.ktponline.org.uk/ktp-what-will-it-cost-my-business

    J4B- Portal for grant finding http://www.j4b.co.uk

    Game Competitions



    Grant to Develop Video Games

    This brand new scheme aims to help independent, European companies to develop either a video game concept or project that has the potential to circulate within the European Union and beyond. http://www.mediadeskuk.eu/funding/ 

    Start-up loans

    Sources of Grants- www.j4b.co.uk

    Competition funding £1000 issued to 10+ businesses per month- http://www.shell-livewire.org

    Princes Trust http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/enterprise_programme.aspx

    £1000- £20,000 Enterprise Loans for Under 25’s- www.startuploanslondon.co.uk or www.startuploans.com

    New Enterprise Allowance Scheme – Check who delivers the scheme in London by e-mailing Capital Enterprise.

    Community Development Finance Associations- http://www.cdfa.org.uk - Also check out North London Community Finance

     ELSBC Access to Finance – Business Plan support for those looking to raise up to £10K

    Soft loans for Creative Businesses- http://www.creativeindustryfinance.org.uk/


    Crowd funding Platforms

    Reward based Crowdfunding platforms- will help you to raise funding to build a proto-type and market test a great idea or product.- Great for pre-selling cool tech hardware.


    www.indiegogo.com (USA)











    Microsoft Venture https://www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/london

    What they provide?

    Fellow Community of entrepreneurs & supporters

    Runway support & funding (£15-£100K at standardised investment terms. )

    ( 3-6 months on average)

    Physical Space & Facilities

    Mentors ( 1st Industry- 2nd Investors)

    Help to Rapid Field Trail with users & customers.

    Demo days- Introductions to Investors/ customers

    What can they test?

    Product- Assess Functional use/ improve design & UX

    Market Reaction- interest/ usage/revenue - AARRR

    Revenue/ profit Potential- pricing, market timing, LTV/CCA

    Business Model- “To Pivot or Not To Pivot”

    Investor reaction- interest and valuations

    Team- ability to work together and deliver.

    So are you ready for investment?


    Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme-SEIS http://www.seis.co.uk/

    SEIS is a tax break launched in 2012 for UK tax payers to encourage them to buy shares in start-up companies registered in the UK

    The Facts:

    SEIS investors can input £100,000 in a single tax year rising to a maximum £150,000 over two or more tax years in to a single company

    Investors cannot control the company receiving their capital

    Investors pick up 50% tax relief in the tax year the investment is made, regardless of their marginal rate.

    Ihe business must be a start-up company -registered in the UK within 2 years of claim.

    The company must not employ more than 25 workers.

    The company must have assets of less than £200,000.

    The company has to trade in an approved sector – generally not in finance or investment, for example, a property company raise capital as a SEIS.

    Building the perfect pitch


    Who to approach?

    Seed/ Early stage Investment Platforms





    Angel Platforms



    Top SEIS Funding Syndicates

    1.Jenson Solutions- www.jensonsolutions.com
    2.Ingenious Media- www.ingeniousmedia.co.uk
    3.Ascension Ventures- http://www.ascensionmedia.com/ascension-ventures.php
    4.Start-up Funding Club- http://www.startupfundingclub.com/
    5.Ascot SEIS – www.ascotwm.com

    Top Traditional Angel Syndicates

    1.London Business Angels: http://www.lbangels.co.uk/
    2.E100 (LBS)
    3.Oxford Angels: http://www.oxei.co.uk
    4.Cambridge: http://cambridgeangels.com
    5.Envestors- www.envestors.co.uk
    6. Angels Den- www.angelsden.com

    Super Seed Investors

    1. Playfair Capital- http://playfaircapital.com
    2.Angel Pad http://angellab.co.uk/
    3.Kima Ventures- http://www.kimaventures.com
    4.Boundary Capital - www.boundarycapital.com
    5.Venerex ( Fashion Tech- see Capital List)
    6.Jam Jar Investments- http://jamjarinvestments.com
    7.No 1 Seed - www.number1seed.co.uk
    8.Warner Yard Associates - http://www.warneryard.com
    9.Angel List – www.angel.co

    Specialist funds

    NESTA - www.nesta.org.uk/investments

    Unltd – www.ubltd.org.uk

    Big Society Capital- http://www.bigsocietycapital.com

    Sources of Social Finance- http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/finding-the-right-investment

    Bridges Venture Fund http://www.bridgesventures.com/social-entrepreneurs-fund

    Big Issue Investment- http://www.bigissueinvest.com

    Social Finance- http://www.socialfinance.org.uk

    Social Investment Fund- http://www.thesocialinvestmentbusiness.org

    Stargate Capital- Trapezia- http://www.stargatecapital.co.uk/

    FSE- Incito- http://thefsegroup.com/investors/business-angels/incito-ventures/

    Aspire Fund - http://www.capitalforenterprise.gov.uk/files/Aspire%20Information%20Leaflet%20(v%202)%20Flyer%20brochure.pdf

    Bridges Sustainable Fund- http://www.bridgesventures.com/sustainable-growth-funds

    Ingenious Media- Cleantech Fund http://www.ingeniousmedia.co.uk/investments/investment-opportunities/clean-energy

    Carbon Trust- http://www.carbontrust.com/about-us/our-investments

    Low Carbon Accelerator- http://www.lowcarbonaccelerator.com

    CT Investment Partners- http://www.ctip.co.uk

    Wellington Partners- http://www.wellington-partners.com/wp/index.html

    Games Investors

    London Venture Partners - http://www.londonvp.com/

    DN Capital - http://dncapital.com/

    Initial Capital - http://www.initialcapital.com

    White Star Capital - http://whitestarvc.com/

    Playfair Capital - http://playfaircapital.com

    Profounders- http://www.profounderscapital.com

    Connect Ventures- http://connectventures.co.uk

    Balderton- http://www.balderton.com

    Index- http://www.indexventures.com

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    How is Microsoft helping UK start-ups and Indies



    Microsoft supports your start-up as you grow

    Welcome to Microsoft BizSpark simply select the right program for your business and get started today!


    BizsparkH    image

    Free software and services for 3 years

    BizSpark gives startups 3 years of free stuff – software, service, tech support, and Azure cloud services. Your startup qualifies if it is less than 5 years old, is privately held, and earns less than $1M annually. Simply register at www.bizspark.com

    Here are just a few things you get:


    Taking Your business idea to the next level! with Microsoft Ventures Accelerators


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Introducing the New FREE Visual Studio Community 2013


    Visual Studio Community 2013

    A full-Featured IDE - Free.
    Start coding the app of your dreams for Windows, Android, and iOS.

    Download Everything you need, all in one place for FREE!

    Community includes..

    ToolsTools Designers, editors, debuggers, profilers - all packaged up in a single environment.

    Languages Languages Code in C++, Python, HTML5, JavaScript, and of course C#, VB, and F#.

    Web Web Extensive web support for ASP.NET, Node.js, and JavaScript

    Devices Devices Tools for Apache Cordova and Unity to reach even more platforms.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Using Unity3d and Azure Cloud


    One my colleagues Dave Douglas has been some work in educating game developers on the power of having a cloud backend to their games

    Dave has made some great  quick-start tutorial is for Unity3D game developers who would like to get a cloud backend that runs across multiple platforms (including the Unity Editor for quick testing).

    One of the big advantages for game devs using Unity3D is that it supports so many platforms additionally Unity have a great set of resources for windows Developers including amazing FREE tools like Visual Studio tools for Unity and some amazing offers and resources


    It’s fair to say more people own more than one device that connects to the internet and a lot of them can run apps and games.

    The number of connected devices more than number of people.

    While the platforms and ecosystems may differ as a gamer I would like to play the same game across any device (and on any platform) and expect things to sync. Azure Mobile Services is a ‘Backend as a Service’ which supports multi-platform app development. In Unity the BitRave plugin for Azure Mobile Services is designed to just work on any platform that Unity supports.

    Dave Douglas @deadlyfingers one of my colleagues in Microsoft UK has done the following walkthroughs of how to get started.

    Watch getting started with Unity BitRave Azure plugin running on iOS and Android

    Watch getting started with Unity Prime 31 Azure Plugin running on Windows 8 and Windows Phone

    You can Also read his blog with the complete walkthrough documented at



    There are more training resources for game developers at Microsoft Virtual Academy http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-topics/game-development

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Games Ambassador & student Tim Stoddard nominated for a TIGA Games Industry Award


    Guest blog by Tim Stoddard, Staffordshire University @Gamepopper

    Standing out above the crowd

    My discovery into games development came from an opportunity at A-Levels to make a project on anything, so I decided to make a game using GameMaker 8. I decided to pursue making computer games in University, when I transferred from Computer Science to Computer Games Programming. After making a few games for the Windows Store, I decided I wanted to make one fairly large indie game, and being a student is the best time to do it.

    So for the duration of a year, I was working on a game part time, during my degree and placement, and mostly on my own.

    So what is the Game?

    The game was Secret of Escape, a top-down stealth action game developed in Construct2. The game has since been released on Desura, Itch.io and IndieGameStand, as well as being shown at several game events such as Launch Conference, Norwich Games Expo, Insomnia52 and London Gaming & Anime Con. But out of all the moments I’ve had from making a game, the one that surprised me the most was Secret of Escape being nominated for the TIGA Games Industry Award for Best Student Game.


    I submitted my game to the awards because I figured it might be a good chance, and the process of entering was straightforward. All you needed to do was enter your details, choose which category you wanted to submitted to, and upload both a copy of your game and a video and give a reason why you should win the award. Then in mid-October I got an email which showed my game as shortlisted for Best Student Game, needless to say I was excited.

    What is your advice?

    If there is any word of advice I would give here, it would be this. If you are ever nominated for an award, go to the award ceremony. Not only is it a moment to be proud of an achievement in your career, and is common courtesy to accept an award in person if you win, but an awards ceremony is a big opportunity to network and speak to professionals from all parts of the industry.


    I had the opportunity of speaking with people from indie developers such as Futurlab (Velocity 2X), Evil Twin Artworks (Victory At Sea), Sumo Digital, all the way up to large studios such as Rebellion (Sniper Elite III) and Bullfrog Productions (Fable Anniversary). Not to mention people who work in Recruitment (Aardvark Swift and Amiqus), Accounting, and Quality Assurance.


    Of course there was the ceremony, with the nominees of each award being displayed on large monitors, some with footage of the games being shown. I got to see my game being shown during the Best Student Game, and cheer at excitement for seeing it there. I also cheered when Staffordshire University was shown during the Best Education Initiative award. I was also sitting with the developers at Bullfrog, so I gave my support for them too.

    Sadly I didn’t win, but being nominated and going to the award ceremony is definitely one of the highlights as a game developer. Hopefully one day I’ll return and take a trophy home with me, so I guess it’s time to start working now..

    Tim excellent stuff and great to see you making the right steps!

    So if your a student and interested in standing out above the crowd go and build a game for the players and not for yourself!!

    Enter the www.Imaginecup.com gaming competition or individual competition like http://gradsingames.com/competitions/search-for-a-star/ and http://gradsingames.com/competitions/sumo-digital-rising-star/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Building a Azure Backend for an Android App



    One of the great things about Windows Azure is its platform agnostic

    Cloud Opp

    So if your building games for Android check out the following videos by Dave Douglas http://www.deadlyfingers.net/ a fellow Microsoft Technical Evangelist on building a Azure backend to your game.

    Part 1

    Create android app with cloud backend (Part 1: Azure Mobile Service)


    Part 2

    Create android app with cloud backend (Part 2: Table Permissions and OAuth)


    Part 3

    Create android app with cloud backend (Part 3: Push Notifications)


    If your interested in trying out Azure apply online at www.azure.com or register for our special game dev offer http://aka.ms/gamedevoffer

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Are you a Mac user who wants to use Visual Studio and build .Net applications


    Well the answer is yes you can!

    At the Connect() developer event in New York City.  We announced a number of new capabilities coming with the Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 5 releases and some exciting news regarding .NET Open Source and Visual Studio Community editions.  You can watch the event on-demand here.

    But here is a quick summary

    Open Sourcing the .NET Core Runtime and Libraries

    Open sourcing the .NET Core Runtime.  This will include everything needed to execute .NET code – including the CLR, Just-In-Time Compiler (JIT), Garbage Collector (GC), and core .NET base class libraries. We are releasing the source under the MIT open source license and are also issuing an explicit patent promise to clarify users patent rights to .NET.  This is published on the public GitHub https://github.com/dotnet/corefx

    The source release includes many of the newer core .NET framework libraries (ImmutableCollections, SIMD, XML and MetadataReader).  These libraries are fully open, and are ready to accept contributions.  Over the next several weeks and months we will continue to transfer source (including the Core CLR which is not there right now but in the process of being moved) into the repository and likewise make it open for contributions.

    What does this open sourcing mean?

    The open source announcement, simply means that developers will have a fully supported, fully open source, fully cross platform .NET stack for creating server and cloud applications – including everything from the C#/VB compilers, to the CLR runtime, to the core .NET base class libraries, to the higher-level .NET Web, Data and API frameworks. 

    Announcing .NET Core Framework on Linux and OSX

    Last month at a Cloud Event held in San Francisco, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO – showed a slide like this one where he talked about how Microsoft loves Linux:


    We’ve worked hard with Azure to make it a first-class cloud platform for Linux based applications, and shared how more than 20% of all VMs running on Azure are Linux based.  In fact, we now have a number different Linux distributions officially supported for use on Azure – with full integration within our management portal and command-line extensibility.

    Which now include Ubuntu, CoreOs, Centos, Suse, Oracle Linux and Puppet Labs


    Bringing Core .NET to Linux and OS X

    In addition to making the .NET server stack open-source, we are also going to release an official distribution of the .NET Core for Linux, as well as an official distribution of .NET Core for the Mac operation system as well.

    This will enable you to build .NET server and cloud applications and run them on both Windows Server and Linux.  It is going to enable every developer – regardless of what operating system they use to develop or target – to use .NET. And to do so on a fully open source runtime.

    We will be working closely with the Mono community as we complete our Linux port.  The Mono community have done a great job advancing .NET and Linux over the last decade.  Releasing the .NET Core source under an open source license is going to enable us to collaborate together much more closely going forward. 

    Visual Studio Community Edition

    A new free edition of Visual Studio -  Visual Studio Community 2013 edition is a full-featured IDE.  It supports multiple project types in one solution file in a single IDE, and has all of the productivity features and IDE extensibility capabilities (meaning you can use Xamarin, ReSharper, VsVim, and any other VSIX extension) that developers love in Visual Studio.

    It is now available completely free for:

    • Any individual developer working on a commercial or non-commercial project
    • Any developer contributing to an open source project
    • Anyone in an academic research or course setting (e.g. students, teachers, classroom, online course)
    • Any non-enterprise organization with 5 or fewer developers working on a commercial/non-commercial project together

    There is no program you need to join to use it – simply visit www.visualstudio.com, click the download button. 

    Visual Studio Community Edition Virtual Machine

    It is going to enable even more developers to take advantage of Visual Studio and build even better applications.  We are looking forward to seeing what you build with it. Additionally if your a Mac User you can now spin up a virtual machine running community connect as part of an Azure.

    The Visual Studio Community 2013 image enables you to unleash the full power of Visual Studio to develop cross-platform solutions. Create apps in one unified IDE, and incorporate new languages, features, and development tools into them with Visual Studio Extensions (available in the Visual Studio Gallery).

    Pricing Information

    Pricing varies based on the subscription you select to provision your virtual machine see http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/?scenario=virtual-machines but as an example you could spin up a D3 Series Windows Virtual Machine with 4 Cores and 14GB Ram with a 250GB SSD drive for 1.42 Euro per hour and simply only pay per the hour by turning the machine off when not required.


    It has never been a better time to be a software developer. 

    With the provision of FREE Software and Visual Studio Community edition it will now enable organizations to succeed in today’s digital environment.

    Using the cloud, every software developer on the planet can now create and build solutions that can reach millions of users, with no upfront costs, powered by a cloud infrastructure that delivers completely global reach.  The impact an individual developer can now have has never been greater than it is today.

    .NET open source, cross platform, and Visual Studio Community edition announcements will enable the development technology we build to be leveraged by an even wider range of developers and across all mobile platforms

    Developers can now use the breadth Microsoft’s tools and services for free with Visual Studio Community 2013 tools for developing applications from mobile and desktop to web and cloud, Azure Free Trial providing hosting for 10 websites + 10 mobile services, and Visual Studio Online offering developer services free for up to 5 users.  You can get started with all three offers today.

    The Event and official announcements

    You can watch the online presentations here.  Also read Soma’s blog post for a summary of some of the new VS 2015 and .NET 5 capabilities

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Internet Explorer and Xbox Controller support for games





    Internet Explorer Developer Channel went experimental implementation of W3C Gamepad API and you can use your controller to create games on HTML / JavaScript as for Web applications and for Windows 8:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Gamepad API Sample</title>
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=Edge">
    <script> function gameLoop() { var gamepads = navigator.getGamepads(); for (var playerIndex = 0;
    playerIndex < gamepads.length; playerIndex++) { var gamepad = gamepads[playerIndex];
    if (gamepad) { if (gamepad.buttons[6].pressed || gamepad.buttons[7].pressed)
    // A trigger is pressed, fire weapon. fireWeapon(playerIndex);

    } window.requestAnimationFrame(gameLoop); 


    If you want to implement gamepad support in the game to HTML5 for Windows 8 now, not waiting for the release of the next version of Internet Explorer, you can use the wrapper over XInput for Javasctipt.


    Windows 8 XInput and JavaScript controller sketch sample


    Building games with controller support?

    Love to hear from you..

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Building game with Xbox Controller Support



    Xbox One Wireless Controller can work with your PC if you download one of the following driver packages:

    Note To use your Xbox One controller with your console after using it with a PC, you must re-sync the controller to the console. You can do this by using the wireless sync button or a USB cable. For details, see Connect a wireless Xbox One controller to your console.

    If you want to use an Xbox 360 Controller with your computer, you can use an Xbox 360 Controller for Windows. Or, you can use an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller together with an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows.

    Related Issues

    Connect a wireless Xbox One controller to your console
    How to assign a profile to an Xbox One Wireless Controller

    Getting to Grips with the API 

    The main method of work with a gamepad in Windows is to use the C ++ API XInput . http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ee417001(v=vs.85).aspx  Noteworthy is the absence of initialization functions, you simply query the state of the controller:

       1: XINPUT_STATE state; 
       3: DWORD result=XInputGetState(0, &state); 
       6: if (result == ERROR_SUCCESS) 
       8: { 
      10:   if (state.Gamepad.wButtons & XINPUT_GAMEPAD_A) 
      12:   { 
      16:   } 
      18: } 

    XInputGetState function takes as parameters the index controller (they can be connected to more than one) as well as with the state of the structure where the return value of buttons:


       1: { 
       3:     DWORD                               dwPacketNumber;  
       5:     XINPUT_GAMEPAD                      Gamepad; 
      10: typedef struct _XINPUT_GAMEPAD 
      12: { 
      14:     WORD                                wButtons;  
      16:     BYTE                                bLeftTrigger;  
      18:     BYTE                                bRightTrigger; 
      20:     SHORT                               sThumbLX; 
      22:     SHORT                               sThumbLY; 
      24:     SHORT                               sThumbRX; 
      26:     SHORT                               sThumbRY; 

    Buttons coded bits:

       1: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_DPAD_UP          0x0001 
       2: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_DPAD_DOWN        0x0002 
       3: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_DPAD_LEFT        0x0004 
       4: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_DPAD_RIGHT       0x0008 
       5: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_START            0x0010 
       6: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_BACK             0x0020 
       7: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_LEFT_THUMB       0x0040 
       8: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_RIGHT_THUMB      0x0080 
       9: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_LEFT_SHOULDER    0x0100 
      10: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_RIGHT_SHOULDER   0x0200 
      11: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_A                0x1000 
      12: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_B                0x2000 
      13: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_X                0x4000 
      14: #define XINPUT_GAMEPAD_Y                0x8000 

    Slightly more complicated is the values ​​of the hammers and two joysticks.  The values ​​of X, Y, are within SHRT_MIN-SHRT_MAX (-32768 +32767), and for the hammers _UI8_MAX (255).  Usually in games, these values ​​are normalized to -1.0 +1.0.  Also for joystick should consider the so-called dead zone.  Return values ​​axes at the neutral position can vary from zero, and to disregard them use the default values ​​of "dead zones", which should be computed by the following algorithm:
       1: float magnitude = sqrt(state.Gamepad.sThumbRX*state.Gamepad.sThumbRX 
       3: + state.Gamepad.sThumbRY*state.Gamepad.sThumbRY); 
       6: if (magnitude > XINPUT_GAMEPAD_RIGHT_THUMB_DEADZONE) 
       8: { 
      10: } 

    Typical values ​​of these thresholds are as follows:

    You can look at more detailed examples of work with a gamepad online http://code.msdn.com as well as take advantage of the wrapper which is part of DirectX Toolkit .

    XInput game controller sample

    This sample demonstrates the use of the XInput APIs in a C++ app.

    Download C++ (61.0 KB)


    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb648761.aspx XInput Controller Sample

    In addition to the functions directly related to the status polling controller to XInput also includes management features vibrating motor and is connected accessory, such as a voice recorder with a headset or audio to the headset. Support also has a joystick for managed code in the library and XNA Monogame .


    Get in touch?

    So if your building a game or have built a game for Windows 8 with Controller support please get in touch as I would love to share your experience!

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