Monday, November 28, 2011

Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone - Follow along as Den builds it... - Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone - Developing the core

"As you probably heard (or read), the Channel9 guys are releasing a project called Visual Studio Achievements. If you've ever used an Xbox, you know that for some game elements the user is rewarded with an achievement - something that is accomplished along the storyline, but at the same time marks some sort of action that was done (or a set of actions). The idea of Visual Studio Achievements is the same - it doesn't require the developers to do anything special but continue their regular work. As they go, achievements will be awarded for specific milestones.

Going mobile

Once I saw the announcement, I thought that it would be great to have a mobile "Achievement Viewer", especially since there is an open API. A Windows Phone 7 app is a perfect start, so that's when I decided to start my weekend hackathon project - Visual Studio Achievements Mobile.

All data that is returned by the API is in JSON format. So I needed to decide whether I wanted to use System.Json or JSON.NET to read the necessary content. Take a look at what a simple response looks like:



Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone - What it looks like

As the core is already there, it is time to put earned achievements on the show. This is the interesting part, since in a mobile application the user experience is the key to its success. Although I am still improving the overall structure to make it ready for the Marketplace, you can see how I can get a gamertag-like experience for Visual Studio Achievements.

Main page

This is where most of the action takes place - the page that lists all associated Channel9 accounts and shows some basic metadata, such as last 5 achievements, user avatar and caption. To give you an idea of what it looks like, here is a sneak peek:


Den Delimarsky, the coding monster that he is, couldn't let a new and cool API go unloved, so just days after its release, while it's still very much in a "coming soon" stage, Den has already started on a Windows Phone viewer for the Visual Studio Achievements project. 


Related Past Post XRef:
[Coming very soon] Visual Studio Achievements (Yes, achievement Achievements!)

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