High school students at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment build a WP application from scratch in a week

High school students at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment build a WP application from scratch in a week

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By Alice Lee

Developing a full-fledged Windows Phone app in one week – that’s pretty ambitious, right?

Last week, at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)’s weekly Summer Cyber Camp, a team of talented high and middle school students set out to do just that. I followed them for one week, documenting the process of creating their 3D game for Windows Phone 7 (WP7), called Color Break. Some of the students began with minimal programming experience while others had been using C# for a few years. At the end of the week, however, they were all capable of writing code, creating graphics, and incorporating more advanced concepts such as physics into the game. By Friday, they’d finished and ported the application to the phone - just five days later (check out the app in action in the video)! It just goes to show that whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned expert, developing for the WP can be a simple, fun, and extremely educational process. One student, who had never even coded in C# before, began developing a first person shooter. As a college student myself, I was impressed.

So, how do you get started? Well it’s simple – check out http://create.msdn.com to access the plethora of resources, downloads, and tutorials. If you’re a student, there are also a ton of free, easy-to-use WP-related development tools available, including:
- Dreamspark (http://dreamspark.microsoft.com), to get access to Visual Studio 2010 Professional, the IDE that the students are using in this video.

- The Windows Phone Student Developer page (http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/techstudent/handson/phone-development.aspx) for resources as well as a student developer account to get started.

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