Building a Mobile Game in Visual Studio 2008

The latest version of Microsoft® Visual Studio® includes a lot of new treats for mobile developers. In addition to new debugging tools and emulators, it includes the Windows® Mobile 5 SDK, .NET® Compact Framework 3.5, and SQL® Server Compact Edition 3.5 out of the box, without additional installs. This walkthrough gives you the code and assets for a fully functional Hangman-style game called “W80 Words” (weighty words), which takes advantage of the new platform and coding environment.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 includes a lot of useful features for mobile developers, especially those of the database persuasion. On the one hand, you have the latest and greatest version 3 emulators, Windows Mobile 5 libraries and project templates pre-installed, and unit testing for mobile. (See the Windows Mobile Team Blog for an overview.) On the other hand, you have LINQ, a new syntax for working directly with datasets. But what is the sound of two hands clapping without touching? That’s right—silence.

Here’s the scoop on LINQ for mobile: technically, LINQ works with .NET Compact Framework 3.5, though with limitations. According to MSDN you get standard query operators, LINQ to DataSet, and LINQ to XML. However, the more useful LINQ to SQL designer is not supported in SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 (see this thread). Nor will you find any LINQ objects available in your mobile project, despite having a System.Linq reference added by default. In fact, I can find neither details nor code samples regarding LINQ for Mobile on the Internet. Nor can I get any additional information from the fine folks at Microsoft.

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