Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun times here at the Global Game Jam at Carnegie-Mellon University: Part 2

Well, unfortunately, things did not go well for windows phone at the Global Game Jam at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburg. Many of the teams developed flash-based games, even though flash requires you to be a null nazi for much, if not most, of the time due to horrible garbage collection. Another issue I noticed that many of the teams decided to use the Unity engine for their games, and there is no port of Unity for Windows Phone.

Play testing for the teams went well. There was no one perfect game that any team there came up with. Some projects went more well than others. When I went to playtest on Sunday, some of the teams were not ready for testing, trying to work out some last minute details.

As I said before, things did not go well for windows phone here. Only one team made an xna game (for pc), with intent to make a windows phone version, but time ran out for the windows phone version. Another team used Microsoft's Kinect SDK to make a game incorporating kinect, but hopes for a windows phone version of the game died when the team found out that there is not any kinect programming support for Windows Phone yet. Another issue was lack of knowledge of C#, the (main) programming language behind windows phone. If you know Java or C++, C# is easy to learn, but I guess the teams felt stretched for time and didn't feel like they had time to learn this.

I will be uploading some pictures of the event I took later (and post the link here).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun times here at the Global Game Jam at Carnegie-Mellon University: Part 1

This weekend in 48 countries throughout the world, people are coming together in teams to make a complete game from start to finish in less than 48 hours. Most will realize that this is no small feat. It usually takes months, even years for some, for games to be created and published for the enjoyment of all gaming sheeple everywhere. However, these participants will do it all in less than 48 hours. How do I fit into all of this? I am Microsoft's representative at the Carnegie-Mellon University site.

Now granted, these games, like all other games, are always able to be improved and refined. But who can say that they make a whole working game in 48 hours? Anyway, the teams are now in their brainstorming sessions, but I have been able to make some of the teams consider windows phone as the platform of choice. Right now, the teams seem to be in a "plan game first, program afterwards" mentality. Unfortunately, none of the teams have shown up at my windows phone workshop tonight (it was probably scheduled at a bad time). Let's hope all of the teams brainstorm some great ideas.

If you have any comments or questions about this, feel free to ask or tell via the comment box below, or e-mail them to me at Teams at the Carnegie-Mellon site, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about windows phone or imagine cup via the comment box or e-mail (address given above) or by twitter (username is @rctechgeek).

I will be posting more tomorrow, with pictures to boot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do you think your phone can beat a Windows Phone?

At CES 2012, Ben the PC Guy has put out a challenge for anyone, especially Apple and Android fanboys (and fangirls too) who thinks that their phone can beat a Windows Phone: if your phone can beat a Windows phone, you get a free (genuine) $100 bill. If you loose, however, the only thing asked of you is that you look into the camera and admit that your phone is not better than a Windows phone, and then you can get a free windows phone. And in case you were wondering, it is geared towards non-windows phones only. Here is the youtube video of the announcement of his challenge:

I think this is a really gutsy move on Ben's and Microsoft's part. If many trials come back and say that Windows Phone is better than the other phones, this can only help boost the profile of Windows Phone among consumers (and will put many Apple and Android fanboys to shame as well). This is also a valuable learning moment for the Windows Phone dev team as well: if a non-windows phone performs better in a category than a Windows phone does, then the dev team can identify that concept and try to find ways to improve that concept.

I am looking forward to seeing the results of those challenges. If you want to check out the status of the contest on twitter, just check for #smokedbywindowsphone.

If you have any thoughts or comments on this, I invite you to share them via the comment box below.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Even More Windows Phone Contests

Well, I am finally back from Christmas break, so I have some more new contests to announce.

While we are waiting for the results of the Microsoft Apportunity contest, there is still the You've Got Game sweepstakes from Microsoft. In this contest you can win 1 of 3 Dell Alienware M18x Laptops. Also, each week on Tuesday around 4pm PT, twenty-five (25) people will be selected to receive one (1) Xbox Live Gold Card from among all eligible entries received during the previous week. You could also win 1 of 3 4 GB Xbox 360s with Kinect. The contest end at 4:00 PM PT February 29, 2012, so any game published between now and then works as an entry. Just like the Apportunity contest, if you use Azure in your app, you get an additional bonus entry.

You can enter on Facebook by visiting the website for the Sweepstakes at or and completing all of the registration requirements, including completion of an online entry form. Once you get a confirmation screen, you will get an App URL. Once you have your unique URL, you will be prompted to share the promotion via your Facebook profile. If you choose to share this sweepstakes with your social network, you will receive an one (1) entry into the sharing sweepstakes for each person who clicks on the unique link that you sent and visits the Facebook Game Changer page.

Also, Microsoft has just announced that it is offering the first 500 AppHub developers to publish a Windows Phone app to the Marketplace a free Nokia Lumia 800 handset, to really set the ball rolling for 2012. However, you must meet the following requirements:
  • Target Windows Phone 7.5
  • Work as described
  • Include Fast App Switching
  • Conform to Metro guidelines
The app must be released anytime from January 1, 2012 to February 10, 2012 (by 11:59 PM PST). Once the app has been submitted, developers can then send the following form in an email to
  • Name (matches App Hub account):
  • Mailing Address (where device will be shipped-not used by Microsoft for any other purpose):
  • App Hub Publisher/ISV ID #:
  • Application ID:
  • Marketplace deep link:
  • Application publication date:
  • Uses Fast app switching (yes or no):
  • Conforms to Metro guidelines (yes or no):
However, you must act fast because only the first 500 people who enter will get the device.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me via the comment box below or via e-mail at You can subscribe to my rss feed or follow me on Twitter (username is @rctechgeek).