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In the beginning

This is the first in a series of blogs about how we developed Stenciletto.

You’ve probably heard of Xamarin Forms. You’ll hear that name and think of regular, dull, cross-platform, C# business apps. What won’t you won’t be thinking of is games. Because nobody does games in Xamarin Forms, I mean why would you? Well…

Jane and I have been developing software together for years. A while back we had two BETT award-winning products running in a lot of schools: a kid-friendly graphics package, and a scripting environment to control Robosapien toy robots.  We collaborate on the work, but mainly Jane does design and planning and I’m the code-monkey. We fund development by me slaving for corporates, so it made sense to develop our software in current commercial products – try to make money but keep our skills ahead of the curve.

About 10 years ago, I started to look at mobile development and hit upon this new startup called Xamarin. I signed up with them and started to write apps. That’s kept the funds coming in ever since.

We’ve had the idea of a visual puzzle game ever since Jane came upon an old psychological test when she was on a course on developing cognitive and critical thinking skills. We could see a game in it, but until there were smartphones with a bit of power, we couldn’t see a platform which suited it.

Our concept of the game wouldn’t easily fit in any existing game engine. Anyway, why do the obvious and build on something existing when you can do it the very hard way. So we said, “lets build this game in Xamarin”; because why wouldn’t you?

So that’s where Stenciletto started. There were many problems we had to solve along the way, but we had a start at least.

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