Azure Mobile Services (+ Universal Apps)

On Jan 21, 2015, I delivered a presentation at BaltoMSDN titled “Azure Mobile Services (+ Universal Apps)”. It’s a slightly-revised update of a presentation I delivered recently at DC ALT.NET. I started with an intro to Universal Apps for the Windows family of platforms, and then walked through a live example of Azure Mobile Services to tie in multiple apps across devices .

You can download the presentation material and try out the steps yourself:

 

Next Steps:

 

Enjoy! :)

Microsoft Ventures Info Session @ 1776 DC

   

 

 

Is your startup building:

  • Productivity software?
  • Cloud-centric software?
  • Enterprise-grade solutions?

Join a FREE session on Microsoft Ventures!

     
To RSVP for the event, go to: http://aka.ms/2015msv1776 

Event Details:

  • Event: Microsoft Ventures Info Session
  • Purpose: Learn more about the Seattle Microsoft Ventures Accelerator class
  • Venue: 1776 DC, 1133 15TH ST. NW, 12th floor, Washington, DC 20005
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 @ 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)
  • Food and Drinks will be provided!         
     
Microsoft is currently accepting applications for the next Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Seattle dedicated to Digital Work. Startups can apply at:

     

Contact:

SHAHED CHOWDHURI, Sr. Technical Evangelist @ Microsoft

shchowd@microsoft.com

http://WakeUpAndCode.com/bizspark

Windows Phone Apps for Car Rentals, Parking, Recipes for the Holidays!

Check out the following mobile apps (and my short review for each), just recently released on the Windows Phone Store!

AVISDownload

Car rentals in the palm of your hand!

“I rent cars from various rental agencies since I travel a lot, so it’s great to see an official app from Avis on Windows Phone. It lets me pick available cars (with pictures!) from a selected location, and provides the rate for the time period I selected. Good stuff!”

 

ParkMe ParkingDownload

Great parking companion!

“On a typical week, I drive around the DC metro area, and park in new locations in DC-MD-VA all the time. Just installed this app, and checked out the parking locations and it is super useful. I can look at places near me, or scope out a venue that I’ll be visiting for an upcoming event. The profile photo and tow phone number is a great bonus. The optional login is a nice touch, as it allows me to sign up with them, log in with Facebook or simply use the app without logging in.”

 

ListverseDownload

Great WP app for browsing lists

“Are you sick of multi-page Internet slide shows and lists when trying to read through list-type articles? Get Listverse on Windows Phone to get quick access to lists of stuff, randomize your view or just search Listverse. Unique to Windows Phone, use the Pin feature to pin a list to your Start screen!”

 

CylcoramicDownload

Cool panoramic app for Windows Phone

“Great WP app for taking panoramic pictures while standing in 1 spot. The app also allows you to add effects and enhancements from inside the app!”

 

Yummly Recipes LiteDownload

Easy access to Yummly’s online recipes

“Yummly brings its collection of recipes to Windows Phone with this beautiful mobile app. I can get access to the app without logging in. For full-featured content, I can log in via Facebook or Google or create a Yummly account with any email address. The ratings and comments are also helpful to get feedback from the community”

 

Windows Store apps for Fitness, Cooking and More!

Check out the following apps (and my short review for each), just recently released on the Windows Store!

Fit Brains Trainer: Download

Brain games for the whole family!

“I played Fit Brains with my niece and we had a lot of fun! Using the touch-screen was a nice bonus, because it allowed us to touch the correct answers quickly!”

Endless Reader: Download

Interesting game for young children

“Good interactive learning experience for young kids, helps with spelling words with individual letters.”

theCHIVE: Download

Useful app for CHIVE users

“Useful app for CHIVE users who were waiting for a Windows Store app!”

 How to Cook Everything: Download 

Easy as pie!

“Easy to read recipes and wonderfully drawn sketches!”

 Misfit: Download

Clean UI for new wearables

“A functional wearable is only as good as the software that supports it. The clean UI makes it easy to use with the Misfit Shine and Flash. Some users reported sync issues, so hopefully those issues will get resolved in a future update.”

Quad Interactive Q & A for Offensive Rising on Windows Phone

For today’s Q&A, we have Franklin Campos of Quad Interactive, developer of Offensive Rising. This game was built in Unity, then published on iOS and Amazon App Stores, and recently released on Windows Phone.

1. How many people were on your team to make Offensive Rising? Was it just you?
Yes, just me. However, I did contracted out some work to freelance artists and game music composers.

2. Do you contract out any of the work to part-time or temp workers?
Yes, I contract work to freelance artists and game music composers when I need commercial quality work. For example, 2D/3D Art and music. In addition, I modify 3D asset packs myself that I purchase from the Unity Asset Store.

3. Have many games has Quad Interactive published?
Quad Interactive has only made one game, Offensive Rising. However, the studio is currently working on our next IP game. The game should be ready early next year.

Download Downloadhttp://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/offensive-rising/933731b5-4da2-4ff7-b946-c28a46f6724c

4. What other games have you worked on?
Offensive Rising is the only commercial game I have worked on from start to completion. However, I did create a couple of small game demos a few years back Those game demos were created using DirectX 9. I started learning game development using DirectX 9 and C++. I have learned all the game development skills needed to make a game. For example, creating 2D/3D Art, Programming and editing sound. However, I’m still learning game development.

5. What advice do you have for your other Unity game developers?
My advice would be that if you really want to make games, you will keep on going and moving forward no matter what. It is hard to make games, it requires lots of skills, work and commitment. However, if you really want it? hard work is not an issue. Furthermore, try to make good games not just any game. Focus on good game presentation. For example, good graphics, cool characters, cool music and keep the game fun.

6. It’s great to see your game on Windows Phone 8… can you share some lessons learned that you would like to share with other developers?
If you are new to windows mobile 8 game development, I recommend that you test your game on a windows 8 mobile device before submitting to the store. In addition, read the documentation on porting to windows phone 8 found on the Unity website and on the windows mobile developer website. If you miss anything, fix the problem during your next update. For example, I need to update Offensive Rising and add support for the back button. The game must close from the first screen when the back button is pressed.

  1. Add support for the back button
  2. Replace the default icons on the Assets folder with your icons
  3. Enable ActivationPolicy=”Resume” on the WMAppManifest.xml
  4. Decide the minimum Memory RAM on the device that you want to target 

7. Any future projects you can discuss?
Our next game is coming along great. However, we don’t discuss our game development projects in the early stages of development. We can only mention that our next game is a 3D third-person type game. The game will be rated “E” for everyone.

8. Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, thanks for the meetups, the pizza and drinks. Your presentations are great. It is great to have a game/product on the windows mobile store. Our next game will be ported to the windows store and the windows mobile 8 store. :)

Offensive Rising Launch Trailerhttp://youtu.be/uxfoVcVpraM

 

DisclaimerThe responses in this Q&A reflect the opinions and experiences of the independent developer being interviewed.