Tag Archives: games

Got XNA? Win $20k in DreamBuildPlay!

Shamelessly reblogging from Joe Healy over at DevFish:


Here’s the short version. Over 14? Write a cool Windows Phone Game and submit it to the Dream.Build.Play site. You could win up to $20,000. Yep, that’s it. In a nutshell. So on to the long-winded stuff.

Windows Phone the prizes are $20k, $10k, $5k, and $2500 respectively. The top 20 finalists will also get Phones. Want some inspiration, check out last year’s XBOX winners at https://www.dreambuildplay.com/main/winners.aspx . Obviously the competition is going to be tough. Make something good. And if you publish it, let me know. I’m always looking to brag about our phone devs!

Registration until May 15, Submission until June 12
Judging on fun/innovative/quality
Must be greater than 14 years old
All submissions are in English
You cannot submit if you live in Cuba, Iran, North Korean, Sudan or Syria
Official Rules – https://www.dreambuildplay.com/main/officialrules.aspx

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 bit.ly/EdDemos.

Global Game Jam: It’s on, we’re there!

This weekend is Global Game Jam! If you follow Andrew Parsons’ blog then you’ll know that this year Global Game Jam especially exciting. If not, you can head over to his post or you can read this telling excerpt:

And this year it’s even more exciting for me because Microsoft has sponsored a number of the GGJ sites in the East Coast of the US, and a bunch of us are going to be there. For example, I’m going to be heading over to the Jams at NJIT in Newark, NJ and NYU in downtown Manhattan. And because we love Windows Phone (and secretly I want to encourage as many students to find out how easy it is to develop for the Windows Phone and maybe enter Imagine Cup too), for those specific sites we’re at, we’re going to be coming with actual phones to give away to any teams that want to try their hand at building Windows Phone games on the weekend itself. Cool!

The East Region Audience Team is going to deployed all over the East Coast in the name of game jams and Windows Phones! If you’re going to a site on the list below, give some serious thought to a Windows Phone game. Just in case it didn’t sink in the first time, here’s why:   : )

If you create a Windows Phone game your team will receive a Windows Phone!

I’m going to be at the Rockville and Baltimore jams. I’ll see you there!


Easy-Bake Oven Apps: ScriptTD

Want to create a Windows Phone 7 app? Want to create a game? Don’t feel like coding the ENTIRE thing yourself?

Let me help you. Or rather, let Andrew Parsons (@MrAndyPuppy) help you. Andrew wrote a comprehensive post that will walk you through the Windows Phone Marketplace experience using ScriptTD. ScriptTD is a tower defense game engine that allows you to easily create custom tower defense games by changing the graphics and audio. You can download it from scripttd.codeplex.com. After you’ve done that, head on over to Andrew’s post, Create and publish your own Tower Defense game.

If you publish your game, send me the deeplink!

Happy creating! :)

Why I Do This

I love my job. I’m passionate about technology and I want everyone else to love it just as much as I do. Day-to-day I’m pretty successful at piquing people’s interest in technology, but sometimes a story comes along and reminds me that this industry is capable of making a profound imprint on people. That’s what happened at the 2-day Boston Windows Phone Camp & Hackathon.

To find out more about the Boston event, check out a write up here and here. We’re doing more Phone Camps in the East, find one close to you!

On the Hackathon day, I spent some time at the back table chatting with the people sitting there. They were hard at work, so we chatted briefly about Colorado and snowboarding. Later that afternoon when everyone was presenting their apps, one of the men from the table, Brian, presented his game, Spooky Game. Spooky Game is a Halloween game using XNA and royalty free graphic. It turns out, Brian had been laid off early this year and he’d never written a line of code before. That morning, his 8-year son had told him to write a Halloween game with a pumpkin canon. With the phone training from the first day and the availability of XNA experts on the second day, he was able to code a working game!

When it came to vote for the best app of the Hackathon, Spooky Game won! Brian got his choice of prizes and he picked the Xbox 360 with Kinect. I have no doubt his 8-year old was super excited that his pumpkin canon idea won App of the Day!

This is one of those great stories about helping someone become a creator of technology! And he got an Xbox out of it! I’m feeling lots of warm fuzzies…like I swallowed a kitten!

App winners in Boston

Awesome Imagine Cup Games

This year I got to help judge the games for the Worldwide Imagine Cup Game Design competition. Andrew Parsons, WW Game Design Captain, has done a great series about all the games that made it to Round 2. You can find the 10-part 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase on his blog or by clicking here. (To see all the Game Design Finalists that will be competing in New York, check out these posts.)

Game Name: FireFighters
Team Name: Wicked Team
Country: Czech Republic
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 10

I L-O-V-E the graphics in this game! They are high quality and gorgeous. The tutorial level was really helpful and gave you paper trees to practice with. There’s a lot of good information within the game about fires, but it’s quite a bit for a user to read at once. I’m hoping they can pick out some key facts & tips and show them when you’re learning new firefighting techniques or when you’ve leveled up. Information is great, but making sure that it’s actually getting to the user and not overwhelming him/her is important too.

Game Name: Cohesion
Team Name: Team Cohesion
Country: Netherlands
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 9

I really like that Team Cohesion made a game trailer for their submission. Again, great graphics! One of the great features of this game is that it supports multiplayer and relies on your ability to work as a team. I hope they release this game because I would definitely download it and play it! They say that there’s the possibility of a Windows Phone 7 version of the game and I’m certainly looking forward to it! Check out Some GameStudio’s YouTube channel for a game play video.

Game Name: BioJam
Team Name: Team Nucleus
Country: US
Screenshots:   Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 9

Of all the games that I saw, I thought BioJam had the some of the greatest potential for future development. Getting students interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) subjects is one of my passions and anything that makes STEM subjects more appealing for students is fantastic in my book! Not only do I hope to see this game go multi-device (think phone, tablet, Microsoft Surface), but I’m also hoping they create more modules to make some of the drier areas of science fun. I can see a notebook for chemistry, physics, anatomy, computer science and eventually other typical subjects like English and history. Since the game takes place in a notebook, it might also be neat to see some OneNote integration. I’m really excited about this game and I hope they continue to improve it and enter it again next year!

Game Name: Nodes
Team Name: How We Met Your Phone
Country: Poland
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 5

Anyone who likes funny things should be hooked right away by this team’s name. For everyone else, you can get hooked on the game itself. I really enjoyed this game, nice interface and nice game play. I found this game very addicting and found myself playing until I lost a level three times in a row before I realized how much time had passed.

Game Name: Brainergy
Team Name: Geekologic
Country: France
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 4

If there is one game I want on my phone N-O-W, it’s Brainergy. SERIOUSLY. This game is exactly the kind of game I love to play! Puzzle-based, fun, colorful and it makes me feel smart when I complete a level. Here’s a short letter from me to Geekologic:

Dear Geekologic,

Please continue to develop Brainergy and put in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. PLEASE! I will bake you cookies and send them to you.

<3, Ed

The idea of the game is fantastic and so well-executed. Sustainable energy is not only a green practice for the environment, but I think it can be extremely profitable. The way Geekologic is helping people become aware of sustainable energy practices is great!