With the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, this academic year promises to be our biggest yet for the opportunity of building amazing games in a variety of technologies and frameworks including C#, HTML5/JS, C++, DirectX, Unity, MonoGame, Marmalade, Construct2 and GameMaker!
So we decided to recruit a bunch of talented gaming students to become Windows Games Ambassadors
On Feb 13th 2013 the team was inaugurated, at an event at Yammer HQ in Central London.
Yammer is great vibrate location, from the comments, it wasn’t what the Windows Games Ambassadors had expected or even imagined a Microsoft office to be like. So from my perspective this was a great start of resetting impressions of Microsoft.
9.00 Welcome and Introduction to the Windows Game Ambassadors Scheme – Lee Stott
9.45 The Opportunity of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 – Aj Grand-Scrutton Dlala Studio
11.00 Windows Phone 8 – Riaz Ahmed Nokia
12:00 The Role of Windows Games Ambassador – Lee Stott
13.15 Technical overview of Rapid2D.com C++/DX – Myra Smallman
14:00 Technical Overview of Construct 2 from an indie developer – Henry Hoffman Mudvark
15:45 Technical Overview MonoGame – Dominque Louis & Dean Ellis Xamarin
17:15 TIGA – Nick Brown Boss Level Games
17:30 Execution Plan
Here are some of the highlights of the day from the team
Aj’s talk was also very inspiring and shows success in the games industry really is within reach, but it takes hard work and a lot of determination. I think he also showed us the sort of attitude we need to have to get people excited about making games and improving their portfolio.
Aj Grand-Scrutton, CEO of DLala Studios, about his transition from University to making Facebook games, to making games out of his garage and finally to his current position as head of a studio working for Microsoft. It’s all rather inspiring and assuring; as long as I remain passionate then the capacity for amazing things to happen stays high.
AJ’s story really inspired me to work hard at that, because my aim is to start a company with Tim and produce great quality games and AJ story of how he went from nothing to having his company brought in-house by Microsoft to be "incubated" (basically DLaLa Studios stays as its own company and makes the games they want and builds a portfolio for after the incubation, but the IP of anything they make belongs to Microsoft, which I think is a very fair trade off).
AJ’s story of where he started Dlala and how much they have grown has given me the drive to push forward
I really appreciated the phone demonstration as I was fairly new to the features which have been added since WP7 and it was interesting to find out what help Nokia offer for developers.
Riaz and Junior at Nokia, who gave us a great presentation on the new features of the Nokia Lumia phones as well as a technical demonstration of the features and what kind of things can be achieved with the new Nokia Windows Phone 8’s.
Amazing devices and Developer resources!
Huge thank you to Nokia for Supporting the Windows Games Ambassador Programme with nice new Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices
Henry Hoffman from Mudvark presenting on Construct 2
Construct 2 looks like a really powerful piece of kit and a great learning tool. I would imagine that, akin to game maker, it would make a great introduction to games development for kids while at the same time being a powerful prototyping tool for developer. I particularly like the idea of a built in level designer. Henry was also very inspirational as he had a lot of success while being a student which is what we are trying to promote amongst our peers.
Henry Hoffman Student to Indie Studio and creator of Mush!
Henry showed us what you can achieve on the HTML5 2D game engine construct 2, a fantastic piece of software which gives efficiency for things like level design and collisions. I’ll defiantly be giving it a try in the coming weeks to make a game.
Henry great story of student to Dare to be Digital Winner, BAFTA Winner to Indie with 160,000 + Downloads Inspiring!
Huge thank you to Scirra for supporting the Windows Games Ambassadors with licenses for Construct2
Being a big fan of MonoGame I really enjoyed their presentation
I think MonoGame is a great middle ground for students and developers who believe that tools such as GameMaker and Construct 2 are “cheating”.
Monogame, my personal favourite Windows 8 development framework (so far anyway)
I’ve got to say it’s a good engine, it’s a C++/DX engine so if you’re used to making games with DirectX and C++ it’s a great engine to give you a rapid start on the beginning of your project or as the base engine of the project itself
Overall conclusions.. one of my favourite quotes!
I’ve learned a lot of new things and a lot of stuff that we can use to inspire other people and I’ve got to say I’ve been inspired even more to develop games and apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and my general opinion of Microsoft has been changed due to a lot of the things I learnt and how much they are doing to try and get involved with the community and help indie developers like DLaLa Studios and how they are making a better reputation than they have had in the past.
What do the Windows Games Ambassadors do?
They help inspire students to overcome the following issues
·Lack of time. When you have deadlines all the time at university it can be hard to find the time or justify spending it on projects that are not coursework related. Quite often when you do get some free time you don’t want to be spending it working.
·Lack of belief. I think a lot of students, whilst they might believe in their ideas may not think they are able to get that game to market.
·Lack of support. This ties in with the previous point but whilst there is official support from Microsoft and other sites there is no dedicated support at University for helping you get your game to market and working through problems you have.
·Lack of motivation. Again when you’re spending all your time working on projects as part of university it can be hard to motivate yourself to work on an extra project.
So who are they?
These are regular Students Developers who are undertaking gaming course, but what made them stand out is their proactive and personable natures. They are all games development and have demonstrable skills in at least one of these technologies XNA, C++, C#, DirectX Unity and HTML5 and there to help inspire you to the next ninja!
Like you they are all student studying a gaming related course at university in the UK and looking for an opportunity in the gaming industry and the Windows Games Ambassador is your and their launch platform.
So what does it involve?
The Ambassador role is to help achieve this by:
·creating great quality games and showcasing their talents and portfolios
·writing great content and blogs that we can use to showcase student talent
·co-delivering content with Microsoft at events aimed at the gaming industry
What skills have they already shown:
· Software developers specifically in gaming check out their Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps see http://www.windowsgamesambassadors.co.uk
· Are passionate about developing games and for Microsoft
· Are able to prove this passion
Learn more about the Windows Games Ambassadors
Follow this blogroll dedicated to the Windows Games Ambassadors, providing a way for them to share their experience of development on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and helping inspire fellow students build a selection of awesome games to ensure they have the ideal portfolio.
So what can you do?
We do want to encourage discussion and debate about technology and hence your experiences and opinions are extremely valuable. If you want to share your passion and develop industry-leading skills, we want to hear from you, we want to play your games we want to share your games with others.
So go ahead take the challenge download the software for FREE from http://www.dreamspark.com and developer licenses for FREE and publish your games to the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Stores.