How to make a Windows Phone 8 app

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Tutorial written by AshleyOriginally published on 20th, December 2012 - 5 revisions

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

Note: we strongly recommend exporting a Windows Store Universal app instead, which supports Windows Phone 8.1+. Support for Construct 2 games is significantly better in Windows Phone 8.1. For more information, see How to export Windows Store apps. The rest of this tutorial covers Windows Phone 8.0 only, which has some compatibility issues with Construct 2 games.

Setup

You need to download and install Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Phone 8 to be able to build apps for the Windows Phone store. It's a free download. Obviously having an actual Windows Phone 8 device is very useful for testing, so you may want to try and borrow or purchase one.

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.

Note that despite the name, Construct 2's Windows 8 object does not currently work for Windows Phone 8. This is because Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are still currently two separate platforms, but they may be merged in future.

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. You'll also need to set a Fullscreen-in-browser mode, since mobile apps have to run fullscreen.

Then click Export project, and choose the Windows Phone 8 option. Continue with the next steps as you would for exporting an ordinary project.

In the export directory you will find a Visual Studio project. Note there are some icons and tiles in the Assets subfolder; you'll want to replace these with your own artwork with the same dimensions.

The main project file has the extension .sln (solution). Double-click it in Windows Explorer 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 test and build your app. To run the app and check how it works, click the run button in the toolbar, which should look something like this:

Running a Windows Phone 8 app from Visual Studio
Visual Studio 2012 for Windows Phone 8 also includes a complete emulator for a Windows Phone 8. It may take a moment to start up, but once it's running it should start your app fairly quickly. This allows you to verify it is working OK on the Windows Phone 8 platform.

Building

Next to the run button on the toolbar should be a dropdown saying Debug. This is good for testing, but not for publishing. To release your app, click the dropdown and select Release. Then choose BUILD -> Build solution. When the build finishes, open the Bin\Release subfolder in Windows Explorer. This contains your .xap file, which is a compiled Windows Phone application.

Publishing

To submit an app to the Windows Phone store, visit this URL:

https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/AppSubmission/Hub

If you haven't published before, you'll need to sign up an account. This costs $99/year, but is also free if you're a DreamSpark student.

Once you're in the dashboard, click the Submit app button!

For more information such as setting up IAP and some other Windows Phone 8 specific tweaks, see Henry Hoffman's tutorial on Windows Phone games with Construct 2.

Other options

See also:
How to make a Windows 8 app
How to make Android games
How to make iPhone and iPad games
How to export to Firefox Marketplace

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Comments

0
jdbastardy 2,531 rep

Isn't psobbile to have the game in horizontal orientation? i tried to set it but the game keeps the vertical AR and I see only a black bar in horizontal.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 12:57:25 PM
1
roberto 11.5k rep

But VS 2012 emulator only works on Windows 8 Pro, am I right? Those who, like me, got a "standard" W8 with their PC are out of luck?

Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 8:36:38 AM
0
theSoenke 2,514 rep

Comment by roberto

But VS 2012 emulator only works on Windows 8 Pro, am I right? Those who, like me, got a "standard" W8 with their PC are out of luck?
It works on every Windows 8 version, but your pc must support HyperV

Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 6:09:53 PM
0
forustyle 2,504 rep

But why the photos on the Windows Phone 8 will be very low quality, but high quality on iOS and Android?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 1:16:19 PM
0
evoker 1,842 rep

If I have an actual Windows Phone 8 device I won't need to have Windows 8 Pro to export, right? I assume Pro is only required for the emulator?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 4:17:55 AM
0
zordork 2,648 rep

I have windows 7 on my PC, but my phone is windows 8, is there a way to make my windows phone 8, using windows 7?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013 at 12:55:36 PM
0
khaerul 2,141 rep

Hi @Ashley, I got another email after passing new release of my Game. Can this issue being fix another release?

*********** This email is sent from an unmonitored mailbox ***********

Dear Windows Phone Store Developer,

It has been determined through certification testing that the application indicated in the subject line has the following problem(s):

5.2.4.4
When the user presses the device Back button during gameplay, the application closes instead of presenting the user either a pause menu or returning the user to a previous menu screen.
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Launch the application.
2. Press Play.
3. Press the device Back button.
4. Observe the application closes instead of pausing the game, or returning to the previous menu screen.

6.5.1
When the application is launched, the music playing from the Music Videos Hub pauses without prompting for the user permission.
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Play music on the device from the Music Videos Hub.
2. Launch the application.
3. Observe the music playing from the Music Videos Hub pauses, and the user is not prompted for permission.

Thanks..

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 4:58:36 PM
0
khaerul 2,141 rep

@zordork you must have Windows 8 installed to develop WP8, you just get WP7 if you use Windows 7. But HTML5 too hard in OS 7.. :(

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 5:01:52 PM
0
khaerul 2,141 rep

@jdbastardy you have to open your index .html in your project then add script like this in you meta viewport=> hight=400, width=800. :)

@ashley : Did Construct2 has resove the back buton on Windows Phone 8 hardware (HW)..

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:26:52 AM
0
russpuppy 8,985 rep

with windows phone 8.1 does anyone know if they're still requiring users to make use of the back button in their apps?

Thursday, April 03, 2014 at 4:07:10 PM
0
jasonshortphd 539 rep
with windows phone 8.1 does anyone know if they're still requiring users to make use of the back button in their apps?
quoted from russpuppy

Yes, back buttons are still required to be supported.

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 11:18:32 PM

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