Following up to its earlier work to introduce support for WinRT 8.0, and then Windows Phone in Cocos2d-x, MS Open Tech has worked hard with the community to extend the support of the Cocos2d-x framework to Windows Universal Apps.
The Universal App functionality was just accepted in the Cocos2d-x main repository in the v3 branch, and it is now available for everybody to use. While older project types for Windows Phone 8.0 and WinRT 8.1 remain supported (WinRT 8.0 is only supported up to v2.2), by using the new Universal App template in Visual Studio 2013 developers will now be able to target both Phone and Modern apps in the same solution file. This will greatly simplify their coding efforts, and at the same time expand the reach of their games to multiple customer audiences in the Microsoft Store.
As an added benefit, the latest code integrated in v3 introduces numerous bug fixes and improvements requested by the community. Most notably, significant efforts went into improving performance in the MS Open Tech ANGLE fork that is used in Cocos2d-x. In some scenarios we have seen up to 400% frame rate improvements in our perf tests vs. the existing baseline. This will obviously be very welcome news for game developers who are creating complex scenes, with hundreds or thousands of objects displayed on screen.
To create your Universal app solution, just follow the regular steps outlined in the Cocos2d-x console documentation. At the end of the process, a new project folder will be created with the Universal App solution files.
Universal App folder in Cocos2d-x game template
Open the solution file in Visual Studio 2013 and you will see a typical Universal App solution with separate projects for Windows Phone and Windows.
Solution file as loaded in Visual Studio 2013
The solution builds in one pass. Just select the proper startup project to run your game in the corresponding platform (screenshots from Cocos2d-x test automation are shown below).
Windows Store 8.1 (WinRT)
Windows Phone 8.1
Supporting Windows Universal apps is a significant milestone for MS Open Tech’s investment in Cocos2d-x, but we certainly won’t stop here! We expect to follow up with other exciting news for game developers over the next weeks. In the meantime, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who provided suggestions and bug reports: keep them coming on GitHub! We look forward to helping you publish your next great game on the Windows Store.
Principal Program Manager Lead
Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.