Hill Valley VR – Windows Mixed Reality via Edge – Back to the Future

Last week, I mentioned the Universal GameDev Challenge presented from Microsoft, Unity, Intel and Universal Studios. Like I mentioned last week, the Back to the Future intellectual property that can be used in the contest really got my attention.

It reminded me about a 3D experience I was able to have a peek into Hill Valley through a web browser. I saw it about the time that WebGL was coming out.

Well, I started digging into WebGL and WebVR a little bit and came across the demo on the Babylon.js site.

You can watch this week’s video where I show Hill Valley VR running through Edge on the Windows Mixed Reality device.

I mention it in the video, but I’ll say it here as well… The contest is for Windows 10 Universal games, not for WebVR. I just didn’t want there to be any confusion. It is the Universal GameDev challenge because it is running as a Universal Windows app and you get to utilize Universal Studio’s IP… see what they did there?

Enjoy the video!

HoloValentine App Submitted and Source Code Available


The HoloValentine app created and submitted to the store and is going through certification.

The source code for this app is available for free.

The Unity project includes spatial mapping along with a custom spatial mapping shader. It includes speech recognition and storing and retrieving world anchors. The CSharpSynth code has been adapted to work with Unity and UWP apps in particular so that MIDI files can be played. Regular audio clips are played. The Mecanim state machine was used to a great degree to animate the text and the candy boxes.

This simple game has a solid code base that should be beneficial to anyone looking to do Holographic development using Unity. In fact, it should be beneficial to anyone interested in Unity development regardless if it is mixed reality or not.

I hope you grab the code and enjoy using it. If you have questions leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to get you an answer as time allows.

Here is a video where I talk about the app and show it off a little bit more. I’m hoping the game passes certification soon and makes it in the store before Valentine’s Day.


Update: The app passed certification and can be found on the Windows Store at:


Note: It is only available for the HoloLens

Upgrading WinJS 2.0 to WinJS 4.4


I’m working on upgrading an app from the STY Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript and HTML5 book I wrote several years back. So my first task was upgrading it from a Windows 8 app to a Windows 10 Universal app.  Making an app once and having it run across lots of devices is a great thing.

In Visual Studio, which is what you would have used for a WinJS 2.0 application, you can download WinJS 4.4 from NuGet. WinJS is actually also available as a bower, grunt or npm package. As of WinJS 3.0, it went cross platform and is no longer tied to only Windows development. You can use WinJS on your websites for example.


To get started, create a new Windows Universal App using JavaScript and then copy over your existing files from your original WinJS 2.0 project.

My default page was called default.html, but the new solution created an index.html page. If you have the same scenario, open up the package.appxmanifest in Visual Studio (to get a nice GUI) or via code to edit it directly and under the general application tab you will see Start Page as index.html. Change that to default.html and delete index.html.

In your pages that reference WinJS, for example the default.html or index.html, change //Microsoft.WinJS.2.0/ to /WinJS/ . By downloading WinJS through NuGet, it put the WinJS folder in your application.

Hopefully this will get you started on your way to upgrade your Windows 8 WinJS apps to Windows 10 Universal apps.

One last thing I’ll mention is that the package manifest has changed. You can see what has changed in Microsoft’s documentation here:


Have fun upgrading your WinJS apps!