On September 28th, Microsoft Technical Evangelist Jim O’Neil held a Windows Game Development workshop in the Farmington campus. I was in attendance as a “shadow” since I have not held an event yet. My first event is on October 12th in Farmington (more on that later). We had 16 attendees that were a mix of young adults, hardcore developers and developers wanting to learn more about Windows Game Development.
Jim took the lead by introducing some casual gaming concepts and tools to create these games. He showed off a few of his games along with some others that are in the store. The audience provided great feedback in terms of what they would like to see and try to create. Once the slides were out of the way, we got down to creating apps.
We used Construct 2 to demonstrate how easy it is to get started. If you are not familiar with Construct 2, it is an IDE built on top of Visual Studio. They make the interface very simple to create casual games such as some platformers, top down views along with a few others.
We modified the standard Constcut 2 turtorial to add some Windows features, such as Touch and Snapped Mode. (These Windows Game templates can be found on our Github repository.) After adding the objects to the screen, we got into the event handling aspect of Construct 2. The ease of putting together commands for all of the objects can allow even the novice developer to become seasoned quickly.
The theory behind the “event sheet” in Construct 2 is the same pattern and practice as other development methodologies such as MVC. In the MVC pattern, you have the Model, which is your data storage or object. In Construct 2 these are the Sprites, System, Touch etc. The View which is your presentation of the Model can be found in the Layouts of Construct 2. And then you have the Controller, which provides access to the Model and the View for handling and manipulating data or business rules. This is the Event Sheet.
After wiring up the event sheets to the objects we got a full functioning game by lunch time. There is still more to do, such as exporting to Visual Studio and then importing into the Windows Store but this gave the audience a great jump start on building a game.
So what’s next? Finish that game. Or take our starter kits and build upon them.