Monthly Archives: February 2012

XNA-in-a-Day at Virginia Tech

One of the fun events that I really enjoy putting on is XNA-in-a-Day. This event introduces student to general game development in a day-long session. It’s great for students who are looking to get started in game development. What makes this event so fantastic is that it covers information around XNA for Xbox, Windows, and Windows Phone. That’s three platforms in one day! For the XNA-in-a-Day content, a huge thank you goes out to Andrew Parsons (@MrAndyPuppy)who actually wrote the content. For this event specifically, a huge thank you goes out to Elena Nadolinski who was the presenteron Saturday at Virginia Tech. This was Elena’s first time doing this event and she was spectacular!

Couldn’t make it to XNA-in-a-Day? That’s ok! You can check out the slides here.

If you’ve been though XNA-in-a-Day and you want to continue with XNA, this presentation, XNA for Windows Phone, goes over some more things you can do with your game. Get the demos at

Student Windows Phone Apps Need Votes!

This year we’ve been hard at work engaging with student developers all over the world. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of developers to create unique experiences for Windows Phone.

A little bit ago I blogged about a promotion called Big App on Campus targeting US student developers:

  • The idea: students create great apps
  • The reward: the developers of the top 10 apps all get flown to SXSW in Austin for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: passes to the music festival, a special concert with The Gracious Few and Candlebox, a VIP dinner with the bands, and an interview on national radio about their apps and experience
  • The big payoff: the top overall paid and free app will each win $15k!

The past week was spent judging all the submitted apps and the top 20 semi-finalists (10 paid apps, 10 free apps) have been chosen. Now it’s up to public voting to determine who will get to go to SXSW and who will return home $15k richer with the title “Big App on Campus”.

Please take 10 minutes to check out the student apps on the dedicated Facebook page. Download any apps that catch your eye and/or “Like” them on Facebook. We will be using the downloads and “Likes” to determine the finalists and overall winners.

Forward to your friends and have them vote too! Thanks @BenLower for spearheading the voting initiative

Imagine Cup 2012, There’s Still Time!

Still want to compete in the Imagine Cup for fame, fortune and a trip to Sydney? (The opportunity to change the world is assumed Smile) You might have missed the deadline for the Software and Game Design competition, but there are still FOUR Imagine Cup Challenges that you can enter! For Round 1, the barriers to entry for these challenges are low, so you have time to submit something awesome! You’ll be submitting a project plan (not a project) or taking a quiz. Which challenge is for you?

Kinect Fun Labs Challenge

Go beyond games. Build a prototype using Natural User Interfaces to change how we interact with technology. Submit your Project Plan by 23:59 GMT on March 6th. Teams that move onto Round 2 will receive a free Kinect for Windows sensor! Get started building your solution today!

Windows Metro Style App Challenge

Test your Team’s ability to design and build a Metro style app that takes advantage of Windows 8 features and design principles to deliver an experience that solves one of the world’s toughest problems and wows those across the globe. For Round 1 you need to create your team and pass the Round 1 quiz with a score of 50% or higher. The upcoming quizzes are February 28th and March 6th. Sign up and get ready to take your first quiz!

Windows Azure Challenge

Be a contributor to the “next big thing” in the technology industry and solve one of the world’s toughest problems at the same time. Get your smartest friends together, or work on your own and show how one idea can impact the lives of people around the world! Submit your Application Summary & SketchFlow prototype by 23:59 GMT on March 13th. Teams that move onto Round 2 will receive a 180-day Azure pass! Get started on your web application today!

Windows Phone Challenge

Take your ideas mobile! Create a Windows Phone app that helps make the world a better place. Make your app available to millions by listing in the Marketplace and make a difference right away. Submit your Application Summary & SketchFlow prototype by 23:59 GMT on March 13th. Get started on your app today!


Need a Little Inspiration? Not sure which one of the world’s toughest problems you want to solve? You can choose to address a global problem or something in your local community that inspires you. You can find some additional motivation through one of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals. While these MDGs are not required to be in your solution, the Imagine Cup offers these ambitious challenges as a guide to help you promote change in your local community or around the world. You find additional inspiration from the great ideas in Nokia’s IdeasProject.

Get Connected. Follow the Imagine Cup Blog to gain access to new training and resources to help you with your project, read about past Imagine Cup competitors’ successes, and get tips from your Captain.