Yes, I rarely write blog posts, so sue me.
But the good folks at TechDays Sweden asked to write one up regarding an upcoming session of mine so I’m happy to oblige. My session will be covering the subject of universal Windows App, that is applications that run on both Windows (mouse or touch), and on Windows Phone devices.

I’m actually pretty gaga over this stuff since I work a lot with C#/XAML development in general. Having bitten the dust on the Silverlight bullet, I find this technology to be a very similar animal only we’re talking apps (as opposed to websites) and it comes with a built in monetization system (as opposed to not getting paid).

Before getting technical – here’s a little personal backstory on the subject.
While I make my money as a technical trainer and doing consulting gigs, my passion is that of game development. I been meddling around in this field pretty much since I was a kid and have more recently picked up a game that I started on back in the Silverlight days. I call it SpellClash and it’s a turn based strategy game with a hint of skill-gaming thrown in for good measure. It’s a lot of work and like most indie game developers I have been working on this thing for a while now…

When universal apps were disclosed at the latest Build conference I got pretty excited since this meant that I could probably port SpellClash into a phone game without too much fuss. I gave it a go – created a vanilla universal app in Visual Studio and threw everything (including the XAML) in the project that is shared between both platforms, hit F5 and saw this (yep I took a screenshot because this is pretty much the first time I ever gotten anything for free in all my years as a programmer):


Holy crap it actually seems to work!

So even though everything technically worked right out of the box, the user experience was pretty horrible due to the small screen size. I had to learn a few tricks regarding code sharing, styling, hardware buttons et cetera, all of which I’ll be covering in my session


My C# / XAML game running on Windows.


The same app running on Windows Phone (after a fair amount of tweaking)

Note that my TechDays session is actually NOT about game development – I’ll be using plain vanilla apps to illustrate the basic concepts and SpellClash as more of a real world reference implementation (all of the code sharing strategies translates to business apps 100%). But if the (extremely) customized XAML required for my game transfers perfectly on both platforms – our beloved business apps should (in theory) be a breeze.

That wasn’t so bad (writing blogs posts). I hope to do a few more down the road.
Here’s a link to that TechDays session – hope to see you there 🙂
Oh, and no – SpellClash is not quite redy for the store(s) yet, but I’m working on it!