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December 5, 2014

Gaming and Open Source for your Windows Phone and Windows Apps

This post was written by Corey Goff, Program Manager II on the Dev Platform team here at Microsoft.

Middleware enables game developers to build on top of a base layer of code by abstracting pieces (or in some cases the entire game). These components and engines allow developers to focus on building great games, which is especially helpful in today’s world when the average game developer targets roughly 3 platforms. Many of the top gaming middleware solutions are open source as well, which gives the developer community a chance to extend and improve that middleware for the benefit of all.

Over the past few months, we have been working on improvements to many open source middleware components, and following our announcements from the last few months, we’re excited to share the latest open source projects that we’ve enabled for your Windows and Windows Phone games.

We continue to make Cocos2d-x great on Windows and Windows Phone. MS Open Tech has added Universal App support to Cocos; developers are now be able to target both Windows Phone and Windows Store with a single solution. MS Open Tech has enabled Universal App support for both v2 and v3 of Cocos. To clone or fork, check out the repo here.

Love XNA? MonoGame is a popular, powerful, cross-platform toolset based on the XNA 4 framework. It allows game developers to use C# and Mono to bring their content to a mulitple platforms. With the latest code, MonoGame now supports Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Coming soon, there will be new templates for Universal apps as well. To get a sneak peek, check out their build server.

Through great collaboration and partnership with Erwin Coumans, Bullet Physics now supports building games and other physics-based simulations for both Windows and Windows Phone. Bullet is a fast and efficient physics engine that simulates collision detection as well as soft and rigid body dynamics. It has been used in a wide variety of digital entertainment, from video games to movies. You can pick up the latest changes of Bullet with support for Windows and Windows Phone apps on github. Bullet takes advantage of the recent CMake Phone and Store support for generating project files, which are now available in CMake version 3.1.0 or later.

Would you like to learn more? You can get started at Microsoft Virtual Academy. Check out the Nov 25 session on building a game with Cocos2d-x for Windows Devices. The session includes a walkthrough on coding, graphical assets, versioning, and monetization support using the latest and greatest version of the Cocos engine.

You might also be interested in the learn how to create Windows Phone and Windows Store Games with MonoGame session to learn how to “write once, play everywhere” using MonoGame.

We hope you’ll find these additions useful. What other open source technology would help you make your games great? Please let us know in the comments. Game on.