Designing for accessibility posters

The UK government released a series of guidelines for designing with accessibility in mind.

The advice here is good not just for people with disabilities, but to make your software and websites a better experience for everybody.

Check out the infographic/posters below:

Continue reading Designing for accessibility posters

Visual Studio Code Ultimate Starter Guide (UPDATED 9/11/2015)

Microsoft has a brand new code editor called ” Visual Studio Code “!

In this post I will go over what it is, what it isn’t, and how you can use it with your Unity and/or Corona projects.

Updated 9/11/2015

Added new features from 0.8.0

You can read the full feature changes of 0.8.0, as well as all previous versions of Visual Studio Code, from the update page.

What is Visual Studio Code?

Visual Studio Code (or “VSCode”) is a new, cross platform lightweight coding editor launched during Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference.

It is not a stripped down version of Visual Studio, nor is it comparable to “Visual Studio Express”. This is a new editor designed from the ground up to give a focused streamlined experience.

Sometimes, you don’t need a full featured IDE. A lot of the time all you need is something to edit files with IntelliSense/Syntax highlighting and maybe some debugging.

I would often use Sublime side by side with Visual Studio. Sublime is a great solution, but Visual Studio Code is a new competitor on the block. It have many of the features and characteristics I like most from Sublime (plus a couple more), and it’s $70 cheaper (a.k.a. FREE!)

How do I install Visual Studio Code?

Installing Visual Studio Code is an arduous process that requires at least 6 hours and a dedicated high speed internet connection.

Just kidding! It’s extremely simple and easy.
Continue reading Visual Studio Code Ultimate Starter Guide (UPDATED 9/11/2015)

oDesk is now Upwork

One of my favorite tools for hiring contractors, oDesk, has rebranded itself. From now on they’ll be called “Upwork”

From their website:

Dear oDeskers,

Together we’ve redefined how people work. What you do every day on oDesk used to be called “the future of work,” but it’s rapidly becoming the norm. We know 90% of US businesses hire independent professionals and they are ready to find more talent online. Continue reading oDesk is now Upwork

Unity 5 Announcements

Today Unity announced a few more details of Unity 5.

They started the event by showing off the amazing graphics capability of Unity 5. Then they talked about their cloud build system, which lets you push your code up to the Unity using GIT, Subversion or Perforce and Unity’s servers will automatically make builds for your game.

Next, they announced a price change. Continue reading Unity 5 Announcements

Just learning how to make games?

I talk a lot to developers who have made games before. But what if you are just starting out?

Do you know the difference between a game designer and a game developer? If you don’t, don’t worry! On November 6th, Microsoft Visual Academy will be running a Jump Start training to explain game development roles and take a look at some of my favorite game development tools. Continue reading Just learning how to make games?

CoronaCards for Windows Phone 8 now available!

Corona Labs Logo, creators of CoronaCardsAs you may know, I am a big fan of Lua and Corona. As of this Tuesday, CoronaCards now supports Windows Phone 8!

I look forward to seeing a lot more Lua/Corona based apps on the Windows Phone store!

What is Corona and CoronaCards?

Corona is a Lua based game engine to make games for iOS and Android. They are coming out with a new product, CoronaCards, that enables developers to run Corona code everywhere. In native iOS and Android apps, in other engines like Unity and Appcelerator, and now within a Windows Phone 8 Silverlight project. Continue reading CoronaCards for Windows Phone 8 now available!

Unity Microsoft Virtual Academy now Available!

Unity MVA Crew
From left to right: Jason, Carl, Matt, Tobiah, Adam, Dave V., David C.

The Microsoft Virtual Academy for Developing 2D & 3D Games with Unity is now online!

Fellow Microsoft Evangelists Adam Tuliper, David Crook, Dave Voyles, and Jason Fox, Indie Game Designer/Artist Matt Newman, Lead Unity Evangelist Carl Callewaert, and of course myself got together and recorded this live about two weeks ago.

If you weren’t able to catch it then, it’s now available for everybody to check out!

I appeared on modules 2 and 8. Module 2 is about 2D Game Development using Unity, and Module 8 is about Marketing and Monetizing your game.

If you would like the scripts/assets Carl and I used in module 2, as I posted earlier the files are up on my GitHub page.

When I wasn’t in a module, I was in the chat room answering questions. If you’re interested, you can download the public chat logs on the jump start page.

I would highly recommend anybody into Unity game development check this out. Especially some of the more advanced topics like Optimizing Your Games, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), and Azure Mobile Services (using Prime[31]). Those subjects not often covered in other tutorials, and they contain a lot of useful information for Unity developers for all platforms.

I think we put together a great resource here for learning Unity. I hope you enjoy it!

If you do, please share it! Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) also has other great game development trainings, you may want to check them out as well.


Sample Unity assets from Microsoft Virtual Academy

Guy Jump Sample Unity AssetsToday was the first day of the Microsoft Virtual Academy: Developing 2d and 3d games with Unity for Windows jump start.

Lead Unity Evangelist Carl Callewaert and myself gave a demo of Unity 2D during module 2. One of the most asked questions was, “where can I get those art assets and scripts?”

Well, I have your answer! I’ve uploaded them onto my GitHub page.

You can download them directly by clicking here, or go to my new Sample Unity Assets GitHub repo.

If you have any questions about these, feel free to send a tweet to myself or Carl.

We have another day of awesome modules tomorrow, so it’s not too late to join in if you’re interested! If you can’t make it, that’s ok, it will be available later on the MVA site.



GameMaker Studio Standard now permanently free!

GameMaker StudioYoYoGames announced today that GameMaker Studio Standard, the first tier of their tool that normally runs $50, will now be free permanently.

Those who follow my blog will know that GameMaker Studio would go on sale, a lot. It’s great that they finally just removed the limited resource free version and made the Standard version available to every developer.

If you are just starting out, or a student learning how to make games, I would highly recommend downloading it. GameMaker can teach you how to code, how to create games, and now let you make anything you want.

They have not reduced the price of GameMaker Studio Pro. That remains $100. Still, never a bad thing to get more features in the free version.

If you haven’t yet, go ahead and download it for yourself!