Coco2dx Windows 8 Phone app submitted

I submitted my first Cocos2dx app for Windows 8 today.

On the plus side it only took one (long!) day to sort.

It wasn't much fun though.  This was largely because I hate Window 8 desktop so much, and installing the bits just required so many reboots etc.

Here's a quick summary:

First I tried to avoid having to use Windows 8 desktop by installing Visual Studio for Phone on my Windows 2008 dev server.  I don't have a Windows 8 phone though, and the phone emulator wouldn't work - Windows 8 only.

So I installed it on my Windows 8 bootcamp partition.   The Cocos2dx bit was actually pretty easy. Version 2.2 now has a nice Python script to set up projects for iOS, Android, Windows etc etc.   Note the script is Python 2 - it won't work with 3.

There's a top level classes and resources folder, so you just drop your files in there, and job done.  Well nearly.  There were quick a few small changes to make.  Not sure whether this was because it was a newer version of Cocos2dx, or a Windows C++ compiler issue.  The changes where all around method calls from buttons and ccCallFunc needing slightly different types to the ones I'd used before (e.g. CCNode vs CCObject).  Not a major issue - that bit took about 30 minutes to sort, and it was up and running in the emulator. Cool!

The next problem I had was when I realised I had to switch the target from Intel to Arm to submit to the store.  At this point I just couldn't get Box2d to compile.  I actually think the underlying issue was a conflict between Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 (there was a MS knowledge base article about the error - I'll post if I can find it again).  I didn't solve this, but as this game didn't use Box2d I just removed it.  Most of my other games do use it, so I'll need to solve it. I have a horrible feeling a fresh Windows/VS2012 with no VS2013 is the solution.

The documentation on required icons/tiles wasn't very clear, especially if you don't use Win phone.  In the end I made a best guess.

Submission was crude compared to other app stores - no drag and drop for images for example.  It cost £12 to join as well.  Cheaper than iOS, but given their terrible market share I think it should be free!

So I managed to submit.  It says 5 days for review.  I'm expecting a rejection, as I'm not at all familiar with Windows phone, so I'm guessing I'll have broken some interface guidelines.  My theory was that it was easier to do a quick submission and get feedback rather than try to read all the details.

I'm not bothering with any form on monetisation at the moment, so the app is free with no ads.  I just want to see if it's worth bothering with.

Overall it wasn't much fun. That's really down to the fact that my setup is Mac based and i really don't enjoy Windows 8.  If it proves worthwhile I'll invest in a proper PC/Window setup and tweak it to make it more fun to use.  In my last life I was a .Net developer as well, and whilst I avoid using Win 8, I actually really like Visual Studio.

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