How to make a Windows 8 app

Favourite 76 favourites
Tutorial written by AshleyOriginally published on 9th, March 2012 - 16 revisions

Creating a game for Windows 8 is easy with Construct 2. If you haven't already, download the Free edition and get going with the Beginner's guide!

Note: consider publishing a Universal store app, which also supports Windows Phone 8.1+! Find out more by reading How to export Windows Store apps. The rest of this tutorial will cover Windows 8.0/8.1 only, without phone support.

Setup

You'll need Windows 8.0 or 8.1. You then need to install Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows if you plan to make a Windows 8.0 app, or Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows if you plan to make a Windows 8.1 app. Both are free downloads and can be found on the Visual Studio downloads site.

We recommend exporting for Windows 8.1 - it's the latest update, is available for free to Windows 8.0 users, and uses IE11 instead of IE10 as the browser engine which adds new features like WebGL support.

Development

You'll need to add touch controls. See this tutorial on touch controls for help on that.

Different devices have different size screens. See supporting multiple screen sizes.

You can add the Windows 8 object to your project to take integrate with Windows 8 specific features like in-app purchases.

Exporting from Construct 2

First, ensure your project has the right Name, Description and Author properties set, since these will be used in the exported app.

In the Export Project dialog, choose Export for Windows 8 and follow the next steps as you would for exporting an ordinary project. You'll also have the option to choose between exporting a Windows 8.0 app (using Visual Studio 2012) or a Windows 8.1 app (using Visual Studio 2013).

In the export directory you will find a Visual Studio project. Note there are three image files for the app icons, app-logo.png, app-smalllogo.png and app-storelogo.png. You should replace these with your own images but keep them exactly the same dimensions.

The main project file has the extension .sln (solution). Double-click it and Visual Studio should open it.

Testing from Visual Studio

If you've not used Visual Studio before, it's a complex and sophisticated tool for application development. However, you only need to use a small number of commands to configure and test your app. Find the "Solution Explorer" bar which lists all the files in the project.

The solution explorer.
Double-click package.appxmanifest. This file contains all the settings for your app. There is one thing you need to set up because Construct 2 can't export it for you, which is the publisher certificate for your app. Click the Packaging tab, which probably has a red X by it because the certificate is not set.

The app manifest.


Now click Choose Certificate.... In the dialog that opens, click the dropdown and select Create test certificate....

Choosing a certificate.
A dialog appears with your Publisher ID and a password entry. Don't enter a password - leave it blank and hit OK. Click OK on the Choose Certificate dialog as well, and you should now have a certificate set (mine appeared as CN=Ashley). If you've done this correctly the red X should have disappeared too.

Test certificates only allow you to test your app. When publishing to the Windows 8 App Store, you'll need a different certificate to publish your app.

Now you can launch your app by pressing F5. Visual Studio will build it and launch it as a Windows Store app, which uses the Internet Explorer 10 browsing engine on Windows 8.0 or Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1. This allows you to test everything is working in the new browser and OS. You can also try tweaking the settings in package.appxmanifest, which include options like orientation lock and other tile images.

Publishing

To submit to the Windows Store, start following the steps from this URL:
https://appdev.microsoft.com/StorePortals/
You may need to pay a fee to open a new Microsoft Developer account. The website will take you through all the necessary steps and provide the publishing dashboard from where you can publish apps to the Store.

You may also be interested in Henry Hoffman's tutorial on how to add in-app purchases to Windows 8 games.

Other options

See also:
How to make a Windows Phone 8 app
How to make Android games
How to make iPhone and iPad games
How to make an iOS web app
Publishing and promoting your Construct 2 game

Unlock your full gamedev potential

Upgrade to the Personal Edition of Construct 2, it has way more features and won't holding back from making money and using your full creativity like the free edition does. It's a one off payment and all Construct 2 editor updates are free for life!

View deals

Plus, it's got a lot of additional features that will help you save time and make more impressive games!

Congratulations on finishing this tutorial!

Did you learn a lot from it? Share it now with your friends!

Share and Copy this Tutorial

You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work with correct attribution. Click for more info.

Comments

2
iunkn 5,071 rep

If you are interested in exporting your game as Windows 8 metro app, you might like the plugin that I wrote: http://www.scirra.com/tutorials/347/metro-plugin-for-construct-2 :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 5:22:38 AM
1
zack2029 7,743 rep

Awesome for nearly future.
you are show new way for game developer in Windows8.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:42:18 AM
1
trmilu 2,008 rep

thanks for the really nice tutorial

Friday, September 07, 2012 at 12:47:09 AM
1
Santana 516 rep

How to implement trial period in windows 8 app using Construct?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 5:17:42 AM
1
kenli 7,828 rep

Windows 8 is coming soon.
Construct 2 really prepare for this.
Awesome! :D

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 3:41:23 AM
1
SocalSam 3,909 rep

If you are a student make sure to check to see if your school has Dreamspark. If they do, you may not have to pay to submit apps to the Windows 8 Store.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 9:05:10 PM
1
iunkn 5,071 rep

Comment by Santana

How to implement trial period in windows 8 app using Construct?
@Santana
You can do trial mode and also in-app purchases using a plugin that I authored. See http://www.scirra.com/tutorials/347/metro-windows-8-plugin-for-construct-2 and http://c2metro.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/trials-and-in-app-purchase-revisted/ for details.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 4:25:20 AM
1
SciFiStudios 4,140 rep

Good tutorial. Make more please.

Sunday, December 02, 2012 at 12:33:24 AM
1
tvance929 3,103 rep

I use VMWare as well for my MSDN version of 8, in case you would like to try this but do not want to upgrade. It runs great.
You can get a 90 day developer trial of 8 here : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx

and just to mention ... Visual Studio 2012 Express is free from Microsoft as well and very well done!

I had just been working through their game tutes when I found Construct. What a glorious discovery for me. :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 4:21:07 PM
1
LAMe 980 rep

Hello, I am making an application on windows 8. Is it possible to make an app with 2 projects instead of 1? if yes, how to link a page to the second project?
P.S: I am using C#
Thank you

Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:33:40 AM
0
morex 4,749 rep

Hi Constructors,

Anyone could bring me to the right direction on how to deploy to IOS Phones?
I have IOS developers account ready but my problem is how to deploy it using PhoneGap or CoconJS.

Any help please!

Thanks.

Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:04:10 AM
1
Lordshiva1948 40.3k rep

nice one thanks

Thursday, May 02, 2013 at 6:54:14 AM
1
jardelbr 4,857 rep

i can run ms sdk w8 and build w8 apps in windows 8 32 bits?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 5:11:36 PM
1
korogisio 2,527 rep

Very interesting, I'll try it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 6:56:50 PM
1
pandemian1988 267 rep

Thx ;D, i think going to export windows ^^

Friday, August 09, 2013 at 3:30:10 AM

Leave a comment

Everyone is welcome to leave their thoughts! Register a new account or login.