Construct 2 on Microsoft Virtual Academy Part 2

After having success with recording my first ever Microsoft Virtual Academy Course on Construct 2, I am currently ramping up to record Part 2!  Over the Holidays, things will be a little slower in terms of public activity because of Winter Break for students, family travel, etc.  So, my plan is to basically hack away throughout the next couple of weeks, and a big part of that hacking will be to prepare for Part 2.  Along the way, I will blog about each piece that I work on so that not only will you be able to watch the live stream (date to come) and/or the recorded videos post live stream, but you also be able to come back to my posts at any time with step by step directions.  I’m excited because preparing for Part 2 gives me reason to explore new pieces of Construct 2.  Let me take a second to talk about what I plan to work on.

I am excited to say that I will be recording with, same as last time, fellow Technical Evangelist, Shahed Chowdhuri.  We will have a similar format to Part 1 where we will have about 4 hours of total content and we will more or less split that time two hours a piece.  In my two hours, here is what I am thinking!  I want to focus on two different high level topics, Windows 8.X features and Monetization with your games!  Because of the Windows 8 object that already exists inside of Construct 2, it should be fairly easy to get started with Windows 8.X features.  That said, I will be looking at adding About, Support, and Privacy pages as well as Share support through the charms bar.  The first three pages are pretty self explanatory, but here is what I am thinking for Share support.  If you are familiar with Windows 8, you know that the charms bar has a Share button that will allow you to share various things.  Well, the developer gets to decide what that “thing” is that the user can share.  A great example in games is the ability to share your new high score.  Furthermore, the Share charm will allow you to share with, for instance, social media apps that you are logged into such as Facebook and Twitter.  So, pretty quickly, you can add a button for the user to share his score via Social Media!  This brings in the ability for users to market your app for you.

In addition to the Windows features built into the Windows 8 object, I want to take a look at creating global leaderboards via Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform.  With Azure Mobile Services, you have the ability to create tables (ex. a high scores table) and access them through HTTP requests.  This table storage, being cloud based, can grow as much as you need it to.  I have already been working with this and have successfully been able to create global leaderboards in Windows 8 and Windows Universal Apps (Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1).  It is fairly easy to get it working with Windows 8, but I had to do some hacking to add support for Universal Apps.  Blog posts to come!

Lastly, I want to focus on Monetization with games.  Obviously, creating games is only part of the fun.  Trying to make money and hopefully succeeding is the other half.  So, I will take a look at the three common monetization strategies:  Advertisements, In App Purchases (IAP), and simply selling your games.  I have found out along the way that advertisements in Windows Phone 8.1 games created in Construct 2 have no direct route to including Ads.  This is due to the fact that there is yet to be a JS SDK for Ads on Windows Phone 8.1  However, exporting to Windows Phone 8 you can add ad support.  Again posts to come soon on this.  I am also currently playing around with IAP, but shouldn’t be much of an issue.  Lastly, if you have already published a game then selling your game is pretty easy too, but we will take a look there as well!

So that is what I have planned over the holiday for the most part.  So, stay tuned for soon to be posts on Construct 2, and I might even throw some additional posts in about Azure Mobile Services, Push Notifications, and More.  Lots to come over the next couple of weeks.