It goes without saying that the starting point for any project is going to be the new project dialog. We are of course talking about Visual Studio 2012, where you’ll find all the Windows Phone 8 SDK goodness. What some people don’t realise is that you can do the same thing (ie create projects) in Blend. However, I find Blend to be obnoxious when it comes to file management and dealing with project structure. This is the one reason why I always start in Visual Studio – get your project/solution structure right, and then invite the designers into the room.
New Project Dialog
The project templates in New Project Dialog, as you can see, haven’t changed much with the exception that in addition to a XAML/XNA template, there is also a XAML/Direct3D. With Windows Phone 8 we can now write native code to be part, or all, of our application or game.
Native Code Project Templates
There are also a number of native project templates which you can use to create all or part of your project.
Choosing the Target Platform
Most of the managed project templates you’ll be prompted to choose which platform you wish to target. Clearly if you’re making use of native code, you’ll only be able to target Windows Phone 8. One thing to note is that if you target Windows Phone 7.1 your application will run on both WP7 and WP8 devices but of course, you won’t be able to access any of the new functionality.