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As you are all aware, last weekend was Uni Jam 2012, at Nottingham Trent University.
Presentation from the welcome keynote and announcement of the theme.
Setting up at Inter Uni Game Jam
Students from the following universities attended the event:
Nottingham Trent University
University of Nottingham
City University London
University of Derby
University of York
University of Warwick
Anglia Ruskin University
It is clear from the video footage taken during the event that the general atmosphere was great. The attendees were upbeat and enthused about the opportunity with everyone smiling even in the middle of the night people. Even in cases where development was being halted by bugs and other issues, all the students managed to stay positive and enjoy themselves.
Another highlight was when a member of the team from Warwick University offered to help the 2 man team (from Kingston and London City University) with a maths problem. This goes a long way to showing that although it was a competition, the spirit of the event was friendly and students from different universities were able to work together to create brilliant games.
A quote from the DevSoc Facebook page following the event was "I came to Uni in October, hoping to be able to learn how to make games, and with DevSoc, I successfully made one after a month. Can't argue with that!!!" This is what the vision for the game jam was all about, so feedback like this has made all the work worthwhile.
Full videos of the event and interviews with the teams can be found at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCElCpSPU28MP_e3IhDerJ-A
Inter Uni Game Jam 2012 Winners
Prizes were awarded by the judges as follows:
Accessibility - NTU DevSoc (Patrick Merritt, Paul White, Eamonn Hayden, Charlotte Ash) Windows Phone 7/8, XNA MonoGame
Game Play - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8 XNA MonoGame
Graphics - University of York (Samuel Twidale, Joe Williamson, Tom Rosling) Flash
Innovation - Anglia Ruskin University (Ed Horsey, James Roberts, Kieran Linnie, Owen Westfield Bell) Unity
Windows 8/Windows Phone - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8
People’s Choice - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8
Random Prize Draw for a Windows Nokia Lumia Phone - NTU DevSoc (Eamonn Hayden)
This event would not have been a success without all the support we have received from third parties. Our thanks go to:
Nottingham Trent University – Dev Soc’s Alex Close and his excellent organisation, huge thanks to the Computer Science Department for providing on going support through the planning and running of the event and providing us with an excellent venue.
Stewards and Nottingham Trent DevSoc team – For volunteering their time to help run the jam. Some stayed awake for the whole 24 hours to make sure they could help if they were needed.
Microsoft - For sponsoring the Windows 8/Windows Phone category, Peoples choice category and random prize draw.
Pocketeers - For sponsoring for the Innovation prize category.
Marmalade - For sponsoring the Game Play prize category.
Desura + Indie Royale - For sponsoring the Innovation prize category.
Pololu – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category.
Rebellion + 2000AD - For sponsoring the Graphics prize category.
Insane Dev (Steven Batchelor-Manning) - For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category and coming down to the venue to show support.
Dynamite Jack – For sponsoring the Graphics, Innovation, Accessibility and Game Play prize categories.
Wiseman Designs - For providing treats for all competitors in the form of Haribo and Freddos.
Mode7 Games (Paul Taylor) - For judging the competition and providing a Frozen Synapse key to everyone who participated in the event.
David Smith - For judging the competition and providing ongoing support throughout the competition.
So get publishing apps and creating a portfolios here are some useful takeaways
Games are the #1 download and #1 money making app category so get developing!
Pick your niche, grow from there have a look at the excellent things www.devsoc.co.uk have achieved.
XNA and MonoGame provides a solution to get your existing XNA assets and games running as a Windows 8 Store App
MonoGame provides a cross platform solution so that you can leverage your existing XNA development effort, across multiple marketplaces to develop a portfolio of games across platforms
Follow the certification guidelines (WACK) to make your app Windows 8 Store ready and use your www.DreamSpark.com Free windows phone and Windows 8 developer accounts to publish your titles to store.
Enter as many competitions and Game Jams to grow your experiences also enter competitions such as www.imaginecup.com for teams and http://www.aswift.com/searchforastar for individuals.
Useful Resources and links
http://www.ubelly.com/gaming Building Windows 8 Games
http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8/ Windows 8 UK Camps and Training Events
http://bit.ly/GJ_W8Samples Windows 8 Samples http://dev.windows.com Windows 8 developer resources
http://dev.windowsphone.com Windows Phone 8 developer resources
http://monogame.codeplex.com MonoGame Installer for Windows
http://www.github.com/mono/MonoGame Git Resource
Microsoft has launched a developer contest called 'Power Up'. The competition is aimed at UK Inide Developers who want to develop and publish awesome games for Windows 8.
If you are using .Net or 3rd Party Frameworks like GameSalad, GameMaker, Construct2 or if your an existing developer using XNA today to develop Xbox Indie titles why not port your existing titles or create a new ones for the Windows 8 “Power Up” competition and be in with a chance to win some “money can’t buy” prizes.
We have worked with MonoGame in the UK recently at a University hack to port existing XNA games to Win8 RT and then develop those games to be published in the Windows 8 Store. You can read more details here.
If you’re the winner of ‘Power Up’ you will win some amazing prize, including a free PR campaign, mentoring with industry leaders drawn from the Boards of UKIE and TIGA and a commercial trailer for your awesome Windows 8 game app. You simply need to ensure game is published in the UK Windows 8 Store before December 14th. Full entry details, terms and conditions can be found at www.ubelly.com/gaming
Prizes range from free PR for a month, mentoring by industry veterans, Nokia smartphones, Visa Gift Cards from YoYo Games to name but a few.
The competition is open now and you have until December 14th, 2012 to enter. To be in with the chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes, after successfully submitting your app to the UK Windows 8 store, follow the steps below to enter the competition.
Send the following details to Andrew Webber, UK Marketing Lead for Indie Game App Builders at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no limit to the number of entries, all entries need to be received by 11.59PM GMT 14th December 2012.
At the 2012 competition, QuadSquad, from the Ukraine, created a device that allows deaf individuals to communicate using custom-designed sensory gloves and a smartphone app to translate sign language gestures into speech. The device is nothing short of incredible and the team won the software design category with their product, Enable Talk.
Time has just recognized the team as having one of the best inventions of the year. This incredible achievement has once again shown why Imagine Cup is an opportunity that every student should take advantage of as the ideas that are fostered during this competition can truly impact the world around us in a positive way.”
For more details of the Imagine Cup see http://www.imaginecup.com
If your interested in entering a team, or becoming an mentor see out guides here
I was having a chat with a number student early this morning at the Inter Uni Game Jam 2012 re Gameathons and Hacks they have attended. Ludum Dare seems to a great and popular online competition for rapid prototyped games. However it was clear from the discussions students building XNA were severely hindered due to the nature of Lumun Dare and its 1000s of competitors, the reason being, is that the majority of the competitors will only play games Online that don't have to be complied so Flash and Unity web player games are really popular.
As I discussed in a previous blog Flash .SWF games can be ported to Unity using UniSwf see http://www.uniswf.com
So we got onto discussing XNA to Unity or as its called UnityXNA which is simply a straightforward way of getting XNA games running in Unity3D. This was a rather interesting discussion with Ph.D student Luke Shares a member of the DevSoc team had actually already been experimenting with this and built a solution for the DevSoc 1st years for Lumun Dare entrys and we compared his work from Barnaby Smith, MVI Networks who has released a solution on GitHub at https://github.com/mvi/UnityXNA
What's rather interesting is that MVI Networks solution, make Zero code changes to the original XNA game code. Barnaby has used a mixture of new code and some code from MonoXNA to implement XNA emulation by having a game object with a script attached run an XNA game performing updates and drawing.
A great walkthrough and analysis of UnityXNA can be found here http://darkgenesis.zenithmoon.com/xna-to-unityxna-and-beyond/
Also if your interested in seeing the XNA Platform sample running in Unity you can see the game in your web browser here and download the source here.
Implemented so far:
Known issues, immediate areas for improvement:
So this is yet another way of getting your XNA Assets running as an Awesome Windows 8 or WindowsPhone 8 store application.
Microsoft Learning is thrilled to announce a new Jump Start for developers focused on building apps for Windows Phone 8.
This special live online course is scheduled for two full days of fast-paced, demo-rich sessions led by my colleague and fellow Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Andy Wigley, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Strategist, Rob Tiffany. Andy and Rob are two of the most respected experts in mobile app development and are excited to help C#/XAML developers get the most out of the Windows 8 platform.
What: Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start Date: November 28-29, 2012 Time: 7:00am – 5:00pm PST Cost: FREE! Target audience: Application Developers who want a fast-paced, real-world understanding of how to leverage C# and XAML to build apps for Windows Phone 8
** REGISTER NOW **
Help us spread the word with a blog post or a tweet like this one: Building Apps for #WindowsPhone 8 #MSJumpStart w/ @andy_wigley & @robtiffany 11/28! #wpdev http://aka.ms/WP8-Apps-JS @MSLearning
What’s a “Jump Start” Course? Training specifically designed for experienced technologists whose jobs demand they know how to best leverage new, emerging Microsoft technologies. These advanced courses assume a certain level of expertise and domain knowledge, so they move quickly and cover topics in a fashion that enables teams to effectively map new skills to real-world situations.
Cannot spare the two day on the 28th and 28th
The first UK in person - Windows Phone 8 DevCamps will be help in London on Friday 14th December and Saturday 15th December.
Booking details here:
14th December, Modern Jago Event ID: 1032536241
Phone: 0870 166 6670 ref – 6241
15th December, Modern Jago Event ID: 1032536242
Phone: 0870 166 6670 ref – 6242
The Windows Phone 8 Camps have been designed to show you how to build a Windows Phone 8 app. You can tailor the day to make it as personally productive and rewarding as possible. You can work on your own projects with assistance from Windows Phone 8 experts, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone 8 related topics.
The Windows Phone 8 Camps will cover an introductory overview session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as the Windows Phone 8 application lifecycle, new Windows Phone 8 controls such as the LongListPicker, a high level view of the platform – i.e. how .NET and the Windows Phone Runtime APIs work together and the choice around implementation technology, new Windows Phone 8 features such as the Speech API, app to app communication with file and protocol associations, lock screen notifications and in-app purchase, how to make the most of the new Tile templates, and how to make best use of the tooling – the role of Visual Studio and Expression Blend. We’ll also cover how to share code between a Windows Phone 8 app and a Windows 8 app.
In addition, you will learn how you can publish your Windows Phone 8 app into the Windows Phone Store.
The Windows Phone 8 Camp will kick off at 9am and officially finish at 6pm or 9pm for the hardcore attendees.
Microsoft is currently planning a number of events for Building Windows Store games using 3rd Party game frameworks
Microsoft has a planned Unity Event which will be Live Streamed so you watch the live stream at http://channel9.msdn.com details of the event will be posted at https://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032536057&IO=RvvJnnxnVDNkhQ1yt1cwdQ%3d%3d
You do not have to register for the live stream, just point your browser to Channel 9
Join Unity and Microsoft for this free, all-day training designed to jumpstart your Windows Store game app development with the Unity engine.
You will learn from Unity and Microsoft experts in a low-key, interactive way and then get hands-on time to apply what you’ve learned.
· Overview and Introduction to the Windows 8 platform and the Windows Store
· Introduction to the Unity engine
· Unity + Windows 8 global business opportunities
· End-to-end walkthrough of building a Windows Store game with Unity 4
· Learn how to tweak an existing Unity game to target the Windows Store
· Learn to optimize and deploy your Unity project for Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8.
· Learn about features to differentiate your games with Windows 8 integration, such as tiles and contracts
· Tips & tricks for designing, reusing, and sharing code between Windows Phone and Windows 8
· Case studies and Shared examples from Unity, Microsoft, and expert 3rd party developers
· Discussions and Q&A from Microsoft and Unity engineering and product specialists
· Bring your hardware and software and immerse yourself and your team into a full day of Windows Store game development using Unity platforms in a casual environment.
· Meet other Unity Windows 8 developers, share experiences, and grow your development capabilities.
· Meet members of the Unity and Windows evangelism team and get great advice on developing great Windows Store games.
If you can’t attend in person, watch the live stream of the event at http://channel9.msdn.com. You do not have to register for the live stream; just point your browser to Channel 9 or to our registration site on the day of the event.
This week at LaunchConference I had a number of questions form student interested in become Xbox Live publishers on Windows Phone and Windows 8 and develop games with the Xbox Live functionality.
Well here is the answer from the BuildWindows.com Session Building Cross-Device Xbox Games http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/3-054
There are a number of physics/games engines being used within academia and with the release of Windows 8 the following video discusses how to consume a non-WinRT C++ Code set see: Building Windows Runtime Components with C++.
Box2D is open source physics engine, and it is used in number of solutions including Physics Helper, coco2dx and Construct2 by Scirra.com.
For the Unreal Engine article see: http://epicgames.com/news/unreal-engine-3-debuts-on-windows-8, available for Windows RT at http://www.unrealengine.com/en/platforms/
The Autodesk Scaleform 4.1 states that it does support Windows 8 Metro in the 4.1 version, http://gameware.autodesk.com/2013-features/, you can download the tool for non-commercial use.
Other really useful tools
UniSwf simply publish assets from Flash and they seamlessly appear in the Unity editor. see http://www.uniswf.com
All student now get Pluralsight, simply go to Dreamspark.com and then go to download software. At the bottom of the screen, all by itself is Pluralsight, with a bunch of training modules.
There are modules available on C++ programming. HTML5 ,XAML and many more .
This weekend 17th – 18th Nov. I will be at supporting and judging at the UK’s Uni Game Jam 2012, #UJ2012 hosted at the Nottingham Trent University.
A number of teams from across the UK will hopefully using the event to have a great time but also start developing and refining their personal portfolios and CVs. There will be lots of ideas following over the 24 hours and hopefully a good number will become entries into this years gaming category for the www.imaginecup.com
Student game jams are great fun and a great way of getting experience, CV and portfolio materials development and may be even a amazing game into a store or marketplace. So I am looking forward to a few hours of sleep and no doubt a NERF shoot out or two and seeing what can be achieved.
So keep an eye out on the blog and at www.devsoc.co.uk/game-jam for updates throughout the weekend.
For teams entering the Windows 8 and Windows Phone category don't forget lots of great resources at http://dev.windows.com and http://dev.windowsphone.com and all the SDK Can be downloaded from DreamSpark http://www.dreamspark.com
Windows 8 is great gaming across all hardware and you can use lots of 3rd party frameworks and middleware so you could enter multiple categories.