Chapter 2. Getting Started with Visual Studio

When it comes to getting an HTML5 game up and running on Windows 8, I use the term porting lightly. Unlike other languages, you do not have to endure the difficult process of truly porting over your code. Windows 8 was designed to make HTML5-based apps run and perform like native ones written in C# or C++. In most cases you simply need to copy your code over to a Visual Studio project, include the files, and hit compile to see your game running. Let’s talk a little bit about which games will work and which ones won’t on Windows 8.

What Games Work Best

As a rule of thumb, if the game runs in IE10 then you are set. For extra insurance, you can double check your game in the Windows 8 version of IE10 to discover any minor issues that may arise. For the most part, the two browsers run identically. You can also do the same testing on Windows RT to see what performance would be like on ARM devices.

Outside of testing your game in IE10, completely Canvas-based games will generally be the easiest to port. This is true of any HTML5 game you are trying to run on different platforms, as Canvas is self-contained and consistently implemented across each of the major browsers at this point. Also, it’s important to note that Canvas is hardware accelerated in IE10, and you will see similar performance boosts that you would have gotten in WebKit-based browsers that support hardware-accelerated Canvas, such as Chrome.

I’ve also been testing out several ...

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