Sep
19
2013

DevRadio: Intro to Windows 8.1

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Michael Palermo kicks off Season Two of "Developing for Windows 8 in 1/2 the time" with an introduction to Windows 8.1 for developers.
More DevRadio episodes here...
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Sep
19
2013

Gaming Engines for Windows 8

imageI am thrilled to announce the availability of a new course at the Microsoft Virtual Academy for on-demand viewing – Gaming Engines for Windows 8! This course takes you through every aspect of developing games for Windows 8, from audience definition through product monetization. Discover the gaming engines that’ll ease the process, such as Construct2 by Scirra, GameMaker by YoYo Games, and Unity. The course is appropriate for beginning game developers and includes demos and lots of tips to help you make your venture a success.

[View course at Microsoft Virtual Academy]

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Aug
29
2013

DevRadio: Create Gaming Assets

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Michael Palermo invites Bret Stateham for this special "gaming" DevRadio episode. Bret shows us how to find and create your own images and sounds for your Windows Games!
More DevRadio episodes here...
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Aug
27
2013

Windows Phone Emulator: Hyper-V isn’t on

I attribute this entire blog post to Scott Kerfoot who provided these instructions to me Smile

If you should stumble upon this dialog box…

clip_image001

…  you should then click the ‘Turn on Hyper-V’ link.  The Windows Features dialog box will then appear as seen here:

clip_image001[6]

Notice that Hyper-V is not selected. To enable it, select the box next to it, and click OK. You will now be required to re-boot.  After rebooting, attempt to run the emulator again. Hopefully this was successful for you.  However, you may encounter the following dialog box:

clip_image001[8]

If you get this error, select the ‘Join the Hyper-V Administrators security group’ option and click Retry.  You will now need to log off and log back on again for security permissions to take effect.  Try running the emulator again.  Hopefully you have success and are ready to develop!  One way or another, please leave a comment here if this information was helpful, or if you have additional information to provide.

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Aug
16
2013

Start Developing for Windows (8.1) Store Apps using HTML5

jumpstartstudioWhen Windows 8 was first introduced, a huge opportunity opened up for web developers.  How so?  Anyone with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills could now apply such skills to developing apps, not just sites.  This is due to Microsoft supporting the development of WinRT apps with either C++, .NET, and/or JavaScript.  How different is it from writing a web site vs. an app?  If you are a web developer and you want to find out, be sure to look at the DevRadio episodes on developing for Windows 8 in half the time (4 minute videos) or the comprehensive “jump start” training series on HTML5 for Windows 8.  Moving onward, it will be assumed you already have a degree of experience with developing apps for Windows 8 using HTML5, and you are interested in what’s new or changed.

With Windows 8.1, consumers will enjoy a richer, more interactive experience. Correspondingly, the  APIs have been updated, providing developers either new or easier ways of doing things. A listing of the API deltas can be found at the Windows Dev Center for Windows Store apps.  Our focus right now is not to do a tedious overview of everything new.  Rather, we will look at what you need to do to get ramped up with some highlighted features as quick as possible.

Developer Requirements

To get started, you will need to install Windows 8.1 (preview is available for download) and Visual Studio 2013 (preview is available for download).  You should also highly consider registering at the App Builder site for relevant resources.

Visual Studio 2013 Updates

Creating a new project with Visual Studio 2013 is much like it was with Visual Studio 2012.  Consider the following screen capture of the “New Project” dialogue box:

vs13_new_project

First point of interest is a new template type named “Hub App” which allows for a hierarchical system of navigation. The template uses a new Hub control, and you can learn more about it if you download the Hub control sample. Regardless of which template type used though, let’s examine some core changes. 

WinJS 2.0

The source page of HTML files now target Windows 8.1, as indicated by the references to WinJS 2.0 as seen here:

<!-- WinJS references -->
<link href="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0.Preview/css/ui-light.css" 
     rel="stylesheet" /> <script src="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0.Preview/js/base.js"></script> <script src="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0.Preview/js/ui.js"></script>

You will also see this visually in the solution explorer view.  When expanded, it is easy to see the resources being requested as seen here:

vs13_ref

Note that when you open a project created for Windows 8, Visual Studio 2013 will prompt you to determine if the project should now target Windows 8.1

Editor Enhancements

A pleasant enhancement to the JavaScript editor is the automatic completion of code blocks when typing the left side of the block.  For example, when typing a left brace { , the editor will pair it with a right brace } and auto-format along the way.  Other pairings include parenthesis, brackets, and quotation marks (single or double).

The editor will also highlight identifiers when selected.  For example, if a variable is declared with the name isAwesome, notice how the editor will highlight where else it is used:

vs13_id

Tiles

One more quick change to be aware of is found in the package.appxmanifest file.  When opening in Visual Studio 2013, you will find the Application UI tab where you can configure the images used for your apps tiles.  However, notice the new options as seen here:

vs13_logos

These new options introduce both a larger and smaller tile.  You should support these new tile sizes so that users of Windows 8.1 can easily organize their Start screen.  The example below shows the 70x70 in upper left, 150x150 in upper middle, 310x150 in the lower left, and the 310x310 on the right:

What Next?

So much could be next.  To some degree that will depend on the type of app you are developing.  The information covered so far is to enable a quick start to the development process.  By setting up the required environment and understanding a few of the changes in Visual Studio 2013, you can start coding as usual.  Look for deeper looks at specific features in the near future!

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Jun
21
2013

Blogging from Word 2013

I am writing this blog from Word 2013 to see if I actually like using it. First, from Word I created a new document of type 'Blog Post' as seen here:

Next, I was prompted to register my blog, as seen here:

I then began writing the blog post, as seen here:

Finally, I published the blog post. J

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Jun
19
2013

DevRadio: Why Make Games With GameMaker?

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Michael Palermo welcomes Sandy Duncan, CEO of YoYo Games to the show as they discuss why you would make games using GameMaker:Studio
[1:25] What do you think puts GameMaker above competing frameworks?
[4:05] Why should a developer be enticed to use GameMaker for targeting Windows platforms?
[6:48] What is next for GameMake? Any announcements? Hmm?
More DevRadio episodes here...
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Apr
1
2013

How Did Kevin Ashley Make $100K?

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Michael Palermo welcomes Kevin Ashley to the show as they discuss how Kevin has made over $100k on his Windows 8 apps. Tune in as they discuss some tips and tricks for how you can improve your app revenue like how to properly price your app and various monetization options that are available to you such as in-app purchase, pay-per download and advertising.

Check out the first article! | Download “Card Games Chest”
[1:38] How much have you made so far?
[5:21] Did Microsoft pay you to do this?
[6:35] What contributed to your success?
[8:31] Any tips for improving app revenue?
[14:33] DEMO: Monetizing apps
[18:43] Unfair advantage from Microsoft?
[21:45] What do you think makes a great app?
[28:01] (The tough questions come out!)

More DevRadio episodes here...
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).

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