Jan 22 2013

New AndEngine book – AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook

Category: AndEngine,GLES2Nicolas Gramlich @ 18:59

Hello Community,

Jayme Schroeder and Brian Broyles recently finished writing their new book ‘AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook‘. It is the first book to cover the OpenGL ES 2 branch of AndEngine! I couldn’t get my hands on it so far, but what I’ve heard from Jayme and Packt Publishing, sounds very promising!

AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook

The book can be purchased through: Packt Publishingamazon.com, amazon.co.uk, Barnes&Noble, Safari Books Online.

(Note: The e-book/kindle versions come at almost 50% discount!)

This is the official book description:

Over 70 highly effective recipes with real-world examples to get to grips with the powerful capabilities of AndEngine and GLES 2

Overview

  • Step by step detailed instructions and information on a number of AndEngine functions, including illustrations and diagrams for added support and results.
  • Learn all about the various aspects of AndEngine with prime and practical examples, useful for bringing your ideas to life.
  • Improve the performance of past and future game projects with a collection of useful optimization tips.
  • Structure your applications in a manner that provides a smooth flow from splash screen to level selection, to game play.

In Detail

AndEngine is a broad 2D game engine which allows game developers, both experienced and inexperienced, to develop games for the Android platform with ease. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, though. As easy as it is to “pick up and go,” AndEngine includes enough functionality to bring any type of 2D game world to life.

The “AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook” contains all of the necessary information and examples in order to build the games as you imagine them. The book’s recipes will walk you through the various aspects of game design with AndEngine and provides detailed instructions on how to achieve some of the most desirable effects for your games.

The “AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook” begins with detailed information on some of the more useful structuring techniques in game design and general aspects of resource management. Continuing on, the book will begin to discuss AndEngine entities, including sprites, text, meshes, and more. Everything from positioning, to modifiers, and even tips on improving entity functionality with raw OpenGL capabilities. From here on, everything from applying physics to your game, working with multi-touch events and gestures, game optimization, and even an overview of the various AndEngine extensions will be covered.

The book has a widerange of recipes, from saving and loading game data, applying parallax backgrounds to create a seemingly 3D world, relying on touch events to zoom the game camera, taking screen-shots of the device’s screen, and performance optimization using object pools. If physics-based games are more interesting to you, there’s also a list of recipes ranging from controlling the world forces and calculating forces applied to bodies, creating destructible objects, and even creating rag-dolls.

Pong styled games were fun 35 years ago, but it is time to take your game to the next level with the AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook.

What you will learn from this book

  • Create your ultimate Android games with ease using recipes that take advantage of AndEngine’s powerful framework and extensions.
  • Make your games playable across a vast range of devices by implementing multi-touch, performance-optimizations, and accurate, screen-resolution scaling.
  • Construct a customizable, front-end framework that simplifies menu and level creation.
  • Use the Box2D extension to generate realistic, physics-based gameplay and simulations.
  • Take advantage of source code for a full-featured game built with AndEngine.
  • Make the most of vector-based graphics with AndEngine’s SVG extension.
  • Build animated, responsive Live-Wallpapers for Android’s home screen using the AndEngine’s Live-Wallpaper extension.
  • Control every aspect of interaction that players have with your games by managing the Android application lifecycles.

The book can be purchased through: Packt Publishing, amazon.comamazon.co.ukBarnes&NobleSafari Books Online.

(Note: The e-book/kindle versions come at almost 50% discount!)

Best Regards,
Nicolas


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


Oct 21 2011

AndEngine Games Weekly Roundup #4 to #13

Category: AndEngine,AndEngine Games Weekly RoundupNicolas Gramlich @ 10:26

Hello Community,

I’ve been super busy (and super productive! Awesome things coming soon!) since I started here at Zynga and didn’t have too much time to keep the AndEngine Games Weekly Roundup coming every week.

Upfront I’m very very sorry for the roughly 100 other projects I could not check out yet – especially the newer ones! So, if you think your game should be up here too, PLEASE let me know!

A lot has happened since the last roundup and now we are having multiple games with over 1.000.000 Downloads and some even above 5.000.000!

You guys are fucking awesome make me very proud!!!

So here is a rough excerpt of week #4 to #13 of the AndEngine Games Weekly Roundup, this time with lots of lots of lots of new awesome and fun games:

Bunny Brawler

Available in the Android Market Bunny Brawler feels like a mixture of those classic StreetFighter style beat’em’ups paired with some Super Smash Bros hack’n'slay and is surely fun for a couple of hours.

Bunny Shooter

Available in the Android Market Angry Birds was yesterday, Bunny Shooter is the future! Over 5.000.000 Downloads! Average rating: 4.7! FREE! Download it now! Pedro Kayatt (bestcoolfungames.com) is killing it with another top tier game!

Constant C

Available in the Android Market Constant C delivers a unique game style with variable gravity and activation field physics. It is top rated with 4.8 stars!

Cow and Pig go Home

Available in the Android Market Cow and Pig go Home is one of the most underrated (Rating 5 Stars) games that just didn’t receive enough attention yet! Fun physics levels with cute graphics.

Draw and Rite

Available in the Android Market Remember that game where you can draw things to the screen that would actually get physical ingame objects? Yes? This game is what you want!

Fireworks

Available in the Android Market Far over 1.000.000 Downloads make this game, made by Pedro Kayatt (bestcoolfungames.com), a must have on Android. Great graphics, a widely known game concept and endless levels make it fun for hours!

Greedy Spiders

Available in the Android Market Do you like puzzles? Then you want Greedy Spiders, one of the most liked puzzle games out there. Having far over 500.000 Downloads and being feature multiple times says all about this game!

Noogra Nuts

Available in the Android Market Oren Bengigi made this casual game that was featured in the Android Market. The graphics are awesome and the highest score is a true challenge. (Only play this when you are NUTS!) Have you ever seen anything cuter than that Squirrel!?!?

Pipe Swipe

Available in the Android Market In Pipe Swipe you have to rearrange pipe pieces to make paint flow from the the proper entry to the proper exit. Sounds boring? No! An average rating of 4.75 says different!

Reedu

Available in the Android Market When ‘Myth’ reminds you of something, this game is what you’ll love! (Spiced up with some minigames!). This type of game is pretty much unique on Android.

Titan Turret

Available in the Android Market Simply a classic!

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Jul 12 2011

I’m joining Zynga Mobile!

Category: AndEngine,ZyngaNicolas Gramlich @ 08:34

Hello Community,

I’m very excited to announce that I am joining the Zynga Mobile team!

Zynga has long been an advocate of the open source community. For example, the key contributors behind cocos2D recently joined Zynga, and I’m proud to join in this tradition.

Rest assured that I will continue to support and contribute to the AndEngine open source project and I will continue to operate the blog and the forums. AndEngine will remain 100% free and open source!

Zynga is growing at a rapid speed and is always looking for powerful minds to join their team. If you are interested in joining a smart, creative company with a passion for taking on new challenges (in SF or in one of Zynga’s other offices), click here for a list of opportunities.

Best regards,
Nicolas Gramlich


Jul 02 2011

AndEngine Games Weekly Roundup #3

Category: AndEngine,AndEngine Games Weekly RoundupNicolas Gramlich @ 14:34

Hello Community,

and here comes week #3 of the AndEngine Games Weekly Roundup, this time with 4 games:

ChibiWar2

Available in the Android Market Using the control knobs the player chooses the shooting direction and strength of an arrow, in order to kill the opponent hero. To make the game more interesting, players can also move the ship to make the distance variable and also there is a wind factor in the fight to increase the game’s difficulty.

Gravity Wins

Available in the Android Market Pretty much everybody from young to old knows the game ’4-in-a-row’ or ‘connect 4′. Gravity Wins is just like that but with a nice little twist. Every couple of turns, the gravity turns by 90 degrees, changing the current situation completely.

Le Brickk Mania

Available in the Android Market Le Brickk Mania is a clean and elegant remake of the classic game Breakout.

Polygon Plummet

Available in the Android Market Polygon plummet is a physics game where you need a good sense of timing. Over 60 levels require your best balancing, swinging and plumming skills.

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Jun 27 2011

New AndEngine features in June

Hello Community,

in the past weeks, the development of AndEngine has been anything but standing still! Following is a list of the significant new features that were added in the >80 changesets of not-even-ended June!

  • AndEngine
    • New TextureFormat parameter: RGBA_8888 and RGB_565 (read more)
      • RGBA_8888 the old default value, supporting Texture transparency.
      • RGB_565 preserving memory, not supporting Texture transparency (useful for background!)
    • Managed BufferObject (read more)
    • SpriteBatch to draw multiple sprites with one OpenGL call (read more)
      • Can increase performance to up to 3x!
  • AndEngineMultiplayerExtension
    • AutoDiscovery via UDP broadcast (read more)
      • ZeroConfiguration/IDontCareAboutIPs !
  • AndEnginePhysicsBox2DExtension
    • Enhanced ContactListener with preSolve(…) and postSolve(…) methods. (Thanks to Mario!)
      • Platform game anyone?
  • AndEngineSVGTextureRegionExtension
    • Completely new extension allowing to render SVG files to Textures (read more)

So these are all the new features I didn’t forget about :D

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Jun 24 2011

AndEngine Games Weekly Roundup #2

Category: AndEngine,AndEngine Games Weekly RoundupNicolas Gramlich @ 11:58

Hello Community,

this is the second AndEngine Games Weekly RoundUp and this time we do not only sport games!

Face Costume

Available in the Android Market Face Costume developed by Oren Bengigi is an amazing camera application that applies several effects over a live camera feed. Cartoon faces, devil-horns, beards are just one click away.

(Note: Currently it supports only on Honeycomb tablets, but it might come to your dual-core phone soon!)

Safari HD

Available in the Android Market Safari HD takes the Bejeweled concept to the next level, by making you stroking along an arbitrary number of adjacent animals of the same type. Spiced up with OpenFeint and rounded up with nice sounds, it puts you right into the heart of Africa.

ZDefense

Available in the Android Market ZDefense is an extremely challenging Tower Defense game, that sports amazing graphics, perfectly smooth performance and excellent leveldesign. It is literally fun for hours and will kill your free time, just like it killed mine. :(

(Note: It might remind you of HexDefense, but it was already in development, when HexDefense was not public yet.)

 

Best Regards,
Nicolas


Next Page »