Jun 20 2012

AndEngine – Google I/O 2012 Sandbox

Category: AndEngineNicolas Gramlich @ 06:41

Hello Community,

AndEngine will be present in a developer sandbox booth during Google I/O 2012. If you are lurking around the Moscone Center during June 27th to 29th and you happen to be one of the lucky ones with a conference pass, feel free to stop by and say hello. We’ll be hosting a booth for one of the three day, but we don’t know yet which! I’ll be hosting the booth together with Oren Bengigi from Bengigi Studios, who made the amazing Noogra Nuts. We’ll be happy to answer any question as good as we can, while showing off the most popular and impressive AndEngine games out there (submissions welcome!).

Important note: This might be the only chance ever to punch me in the face in public :(,drop a big bag of money next to me ;) … or just say thanks in person :) .

Google I/O 2012 Logo

Google I/O 2012 Logo

There will be a bunch of t-shirts, thought for AndEngine contributors. If you think you otherwise deserve to get a t-shirt (i.e. you wrote a killer game, an extension or are very active in the forums), there is a good chance to get one as well!

Also if you think you are a killer developer, product manager, designer and think Zynga would be the right place for you to work (Jobs: http://company.zynga.com/about/jobs), say hello, impress and I’ll refer you to the right person :) .

See you there!

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Jun 20 2012

AndEngine – CocosBuilderExtension

Category: AndEngine,AndEngineCocosBuilderExtension,cocos2d,CocosBuilderNicolas Gramlich @ 06:22

Hello Community,

CocosBuilder is an excellent WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) user interface builder developed by Viktor Lidholt here in Zynga.

CocosBuilder Screenshot

CocosBuilder Screenshot

It’s built around cocos2d-iphone and also uses that for its own live preview rendering. CocosBuilder is heavily plugin based, so that as a developer can add a custom exporter into any format you like (i.e. I created the CCBXAndEngineXML export into a custom “CCBAEX” format). One can also add custom CCNodes that actually render in CocosBuilder itself! These two features alone make it super flexible, with a lot of new stuff to come in the future!

Since cocos2d and AndEngine are similar enough, I could map almost all CCNodes to an AndEngine “Entity” equivalent (or created new nodes, i.e. ClipEntity)

Given that one can write an exporter to a custom format, one can also obviously write an importer for another engine, i.e. AndEngine, all which is what I did a few weeks ago:

Having this exporter, one can store almost the whole user interface in data rather than in code making porting incredibly much easier and in general more flexible and maintainable (imagine loading different CocosBuilder exports, depending on the type of the device, etc…)!

I hope this is efforts are useful to some of you. :-)

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Jun 20 2012

AndEngine – GLES2 – Old and New News

Category: AndEngine,GLES2Nicolas Gramlich @ 05:23

Hello Community,

as you guys are probably already aware, since a couple of months, the current main active development branch is the so called GLES2 branch. He main difference to the old master branch, besides being actually in development and being much more awesome is that it is based on OpenGL ES 2.0. That means you can do all the fancy shit like FragmentShaders and VertexShaders, but only if you want to, since the public API is almost identical to the old OpenGL ES 1.0/1.1 based master branch.

To give you an impression of what you can do, have a look at the DreamZoo, first game based on the GLES2 branch that we here in Zynga released in early 2012:

Did you check how smooth the animals animate and how they can have a infinite variety of colors/patterns? It’s impossible to do using sprites animations, instead we did: this, which is impossible without VertexShaders and FramentShaders.

Switching a project from GLES1 to GLES2 is usually not too difficult, if you didn’t scratch the surface of AndEngine too deep (i.e. added custom object/rendering). If you decide so, you’ll be able to fix 90% of the compile errors, by organizing the imports. 8% of the remaining 10% will be common sense and for the final 2% will get resolved in the forums.

 

In fact if you really want to be on the cutting edge of AndEngine, where the cool kids are, you go for a spin-off of the GLES2 branch, the GLES2-AnchorCenter branch. The main difference of this branch is that the coordinate system has changed.

Important note: Rather sooner than later the GLES2-AnchorCenter branch will be merged into the GLES2 branch!

The coordinate system in the GLES2-AnchorCenter branch has its origin in the lower left. This was changed for multiple reasons:

  • It is the native OpenGL coordinate system. (I can save a few +- calculations here and there.)
  • It is the same coordinate system as cocos2d-iphone and cocos2d-x. (This eases porting efforts in both directions by a whole bunch!)
  • It allowed me to easily/efficiently write the AndEngineCocosBuilderExtension, which allows reading a format exported by CocosBuilder.
  • It just feels more natural for any side-scrolling game.

Another thing that changed in this branch is that the anchorpoints (rotatincenter, scalecenter, etc…) are now relative, from 0.0 to 1.0, instead of being absolute values. So in general, AndEngine got a little more cocos2d-like on this branch, which is definitely not a bad thing.

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Jun 20 2012

Long live AndEngine!

Category: AndEngineNicolas Gramlich @ 04:57

Hello Community,

I know it has been a way too long time since my last update, but AndEngine is still in very active development!

By now you might know that I’m not that much of a talker, so the easiest way  of checking for progress in AndEngine is to take a look at activity in the github repository: https://github.com/nicolasgramlich/AndEngine/graphs/commit-activity

AndEngine commit history chart - 52 week

AndEngine commit history chart - 52 week

As you can see there is a never ending progress :-)

Best Regards,
Nicolas