Zune HD Apps
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Drawing Fun!
Puzzle Fun!
Magnet Fun!
Drawing Fun 2.0!
Holy Grail Soundboard!
Simpsons Soundboard!
I've been having some fun playing with my Zune, writing a few simple apps for my kids.

In order to install these games on your Zune HD, you'll need to install Visual Studio 2008 (there is a free Express version), the XNA Game Studio 3.1 and the Zune HD extensions onto your computer. This is a pain, but it is all free.

Once that's done, you can just download the CCGame links below, unzip them, and then double-click on the ccgame file. Click "Unpack", and you're good to go.

You can find a detailed tutorial here.

Also, after exiting the games (press the home button), the Zune will reboot. There is no way around it at this time.

For a detailed and high-quality primer on how to write for the Zune, check this out. If his claim that a spirit level is the "Hello World" for accelerometer devices, then I suppose a drawing program is "Hello World" for a touchscreen. Well, it's what I wrote first, anyway.

Zune HD Drawing Fun!

This game is aimed at kids 2 and up, and is a simple drawing program.

CCGame
Source

  • Use one or more fingers to draw rainbow colors on the screen.
  • Press the buttons at the bottom to change brushes; the one on the right is an eraser.
  • Shake the Zune to clear the screen.
  • Touch the "fade" text at the top to control fading. It can be On, Off, or Fast.
  • Touch the "pressure" text at the top to control pressure. When pressure is on, pushing harder on the screen results in a larger brush.
  • Drag the "Drawing Fun!" title around, and it will start falling toward the ground. Put it back in its box to stop.
  • As this was my first one, I used the code from http://zune.elxx.net/ as a start.
Zune HD Drawing Fun

Zune HD Puzzle!

This game is aimed at kids 4 and up, and is a puzzle game using pictures on your Zune.

CCGame
Source

  • Drag pieces into place to win the puzzle.
  • Hold your finger on a button for some help text.
  • If you drag your finger off a button without releasing it, it will not be activated. This allows you to read the help text without activating the button.
  • Press Start to rearrange the current puzzle.
  • Press New to choose a new puzzle.
  • Press and hold Help to see the completed puzzle, and reveal more options.
  • Press Help + the number button to change difficulty.
  • Press Help + All to choose between all pictures on the Zune, and from only the Puzzle folder.
  • In Puzzle mode, if there is a folder called "Puzzle" on the Zune, only images from that folder will be used. This is useful if you only want to use some of your images.
  • If there is no folder called "Puzzle", the button does nothing.
Zune HD Picture Puzzle

Zune HD Magnets!

This isn't a game so much as a physics toy. My kids like it, and I find it sort of hypnotic as well. It's much more of a coding exercise than a game, but it has some pretty colors.

CCGame
Source

  • Tap the screen to add bouncing balls.
  • Touch the left button to change the ball type. There are five balls that do various things.
  • Touch the middle button to display a vector field, showing the various influences currently on the balls.
  • Touch the right button to switch add/remove modes. In - mode, touching a ball will remove it. Touches off a ball still add a new one. In + mode, you can lock a ball in place by tapping it, or drag it around with your finger.
  • You can get some interesting effects by locking magnets in place. Try to make a ball hover against gravity!
  • Tilt the Zune to make the balls slide towards the ground.
  • Shake the Zune to give the balls a kick in the pants.
  • The general idea, though not the code, is shamelessly ripped off from roguemat's Snowflakes program.
Zune HD Magnet Game

Zune HD Draw 2.0!

Version 2 of the above drawing game. I've redesigned the UI and added a set of fun new features.

CCGame
Source

  • Same features as before, with new tools added: line drawing, fill tool, stamps, and a color picker.
  • To see the new tools, press the button at the top. The button is located there to prevent younger children from hitting it by accident, as the new features are intended for older kids.
  • The rightmost button in the stamp menu loads images from your Zune's Pictures library. Press the button again to load a new one.
  • The code is significantly rewritten to use the ideas I've learned from the previous projects. Business logic is much more encapsulated and easier to understand in chunks. Much of it is commented, but some is not. Sorry about that.
  • Developers may be interested in the example of using render targets to have a per-frame UI but preserving the contents of the canvas across frames, and then compositing the results. I found that some variations of the technique worked only in Windows (a Windows project is included, very useful for debugging and development), and some calls like Texture2D.Get/SetData are prohibitively expensive on the Zune. The code here works and is efficient on both platforms.
  • Also of interest is that some operations, like floating point math and integer divide, are also very expensive on the Zune. In addition, only about 2000 sprite calls are possible per frame (if you are doing nothing else, and not sorting them). The fill algorithm in particular was a challenge.
Zune HD Drawing Fun 2.0

Holy Grail Soundboard

Half of the apps in the iPhone app store are stupid soundboards. Why shouldn't the Zune have a few?

CCGame
Source

  • Touch the phrase you want to play it (makes you miss an external speaker, oh well).
  • The UI is my attempt to reproduce the standard Zune UI. The normal up/down/left/right movements you expect will all work.
  • The top text doesn't do anything. Hit the Home key to exit.
  • The settings panel allows you to change the volume of the sound effects (relative to the current device volume).
  • You can also sort the sounds by who said them.
  • Don't use the side volume button! For some reason I haven't been able to figure out, the touch sometimes stops responding. I'm not sure why, my other apps don't seem to have a problem.
  • The content is all taken off the internet. They are all short samples and I figure they won't mind too much.
Holy Grail Soundboard

Simpsons Soundboard

Once you make one it is of course very easy to make two.

CCGame
Source

  • Touch the phrase you want to play it (makes you miss an external speaker, oh well).
  • The UI is my attempt to reproduce the standard Zune UI. The normal up/down/left/right movements you expect will all work.
  • The top text doesn't do anything. Hit the Home key to exit.
  • The settings panel allows you to change the volume of the sound effects (relative to the current device volume).
  • You can also sort the sounds by who said them.
  • Don't use the side volume button! For some reason I haven't been able to figure out, the touch sometimes stops responding. I'm not sure why, my other apps don't seem to have a problem.
  • The content is all taken off the internet. They are all short samples and I figure they won't mind too much.
Simpsons Soundboard

Copyright © Nikolai Faaland. All rights reserved.