Tips and Tricks from Students: Silverlight Phone app “Reflex”


This week’s interview features Philip Kurowski a student from The University of Western Ontario who built an game called Reflex

Check out more tips from fellow students here

Could you briefly describe your application/game?

Memoreflex is a simple game where you play two rounds and try to get a high score. The first of the two rounds is called the “reflex round” and you tap the square on screen that turns blue as soon as you can, this happens five times in this round and gives you an average reflex time. The second round is the “memory round” where you tap the squares in the order they appeared in the first round giving you a score out of five for each correct square.

Did you use XNA, Silverlight or both?

I only used Silverlight, it made creating the UI very simple. Adding shapes and backgrounds, modifying their properties and getting the actual game features to work was much easier with Silverlight.

What was your banging your head against a wall moment?

Trying to put an animating timer in the game was my biggest problem with this game. Unlike when I used Java on the PC there was no Timer class that I could use, so I ended up using the Storyboard class and coded it to repeat itself over and over again to update the screen.

Did you ever solve that issue?

I used a Storyboard as a timer and coded it to update all the variables then begin again immediately like a timer would.

If you had to build this same app again from scratch, what would you do differently?

I would definitely redo the graphics, add themes make it look nicer then the simple solid blocks and gradients that it is now. The game now it pretty bare-bones, I would add a customization like how many block you have to tap each round.

Any nice surprises?

Not really, everything was generally straight forward.

Did you leverage the mobile platform?

The only thing I really considered much different from PC development was the size of the screen and the placement of objects

Did you leverage the touch screen?

Tapping was basically the main feature of the game. No keyboard was used or necessary.

Did you have a favourite feature?

Silverlight probably, just because it made everything so simple that I could focus more on the gameplay aspects instead of the little UI details and graphics.

Are you publishing your application/game?

Yes, it’s published already. It’s called “Reflex” because I made a mistake with naming it when I published it when it should be “memoReflex” and you can find it here.

Where can I learn more about your app/game?

Nowhere really, everything about it is in the marketplace description.

Who developed this application?

It was , Philip Kurowski, that developed this game. I just finished first year Engineering at UWO going into Software Engineering in the Fall and I wrote this app during exam time in April when I heard about this contest from my friend. I thought it was a great way to get into mobile development because that’s what a lot of employers look for in Software Engineering co-op placements.