Flax HTML5 Game Engine Development Diary Part 11

 

Well it’s that time again, it’s been just about three weeks since the first iteration of the Flax HTML5 Game Engine 0.1 and as promised we have tried really hard to stick to our time-boxed release system and putting the Agile practices that we learned about in software engineering on our college course at IT Carlow into practice.

Unfortunately for version 0.2 we haven’t got as many features in as hoped, as these days we are exhausted from our daily work at Ericsson and the administration of the site and meetings etc, but nevertheless. We have got some nice little visual features and quite a large amount of under the hood changes. Check out the changelog below to see the main things that changed.

Let’s see the demo

Here is a link to the live demo of the Flax HTML5 Game Engine 0.2 Live Demo, running its editor Weave. Still currently no actual game, though we want to make it easy to make games, so first we must build the tools. If you didn’t see Carl’s last post about Flax HTML5 Game Engine 0.1 Live Demo you should check it out.

Performance

Many people who don’t have hardware acceleration yet complained that for version 0.1 CPU was at 100%. We have tried to reduce that this iteration and in some case we have seen a cut by 40%, but not in all browser/operating systems. We have tested the performance on many systems, both hardware accelerated and non-accelerated, with many different browsers, on various operating systems. The performance is somewhat spotty. For example on Windows in Chrome with hardware acceleration CPU is 19% and GPU 17%. Whereas on Carl’s MacBook Pro we are getting 80% CPU and small drops in frames on a system that is meant to be accelerated. On my Linux machine, with no hardware acceleration, in Chrome we see a drop of 40% CPU from version 0.1. Though there are many large optimisations in the pipeline which we will hopefully see come to life in version 0.3 which I believe could knock off another 20% CPU for non-hardware accelerated systems.

Video

Iterations

Change Log

  • Controllable animated sprites with smooth camera panning
  • Tile region
  • Support for extremely large map size
  • Rendering optimisations, though more to follow.
  • Up to 40% CPU reduction on some systems.
  • Increased responsiveness when tiling in the editor
  • Local Storage support, to save maps.
  • Auto save local storage
  • Map file compression (we tested, it brought a map from 1.6MB to 45KB)
  • Internet Explorer 9 support
  • Overlay FPS counter
  • UI bugfixes
    • Main menu items taking focus fixed
    • Export text clears
    • Editor doesn’t show up by default on mobile devices and resolutions smaller than 1024*768

Next Iteration Goals

So what’s in store for version 0.3 which again will be based around a 3 week time-boxed iteration. Well hopefully we will get to see a few of the following features in 0.3

  • Some cool Box2D Physics
  • Audio
  • More optimisation in CPU usage
  • Focus on proper mobile device support
There are more features which I hope we can get in for 0.3 but that’s all I will say for now.
As last time, we’re using the Pokémon Gold and Silver tilesheet. Our own tiles weren’t finished in time, but as soon as they are, we’ll replace these. We know, and we’re sorry.

Last minute bug time!

We’ve noticed that Flax doesn’t work in Firefox until you click on a UI element – just do something like click the About menu and it should work. Sorry about that!

 

Thanks for reading and for following the project if you’re a regular read. Also big thanks to all the positive comments we got on the release of the last demo, they really mean a lot and keep our motivation up to work hard. As always please do follow us on Twitter @FlaxProject and the Flax Project Facebook.

About the Author

Ciarán McCann

Flax Project Founder - Ciarán McCann is an extremely passionate and motivated programmer who has been programming for about 4 years now. Currently attending Carlow I.T studying computer games development. He has experience in many different programming languages, markup languages and general technologies. His role in the Flax Project is as a blogger/Web Designer and Flax Engine programmer. Please excuse any bad grammar/spelling, I am a bit on the Dyslexic side. Follow me on Twitter for info on what I am working on.

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4 Comments

  1. ive been following this for a while now, and i gotta say this is really awesome, cant wait to be able to start building games with it

    • Author

      Thanks for your support, yes hopefully we will release version sometime after the summer that people can actually use. Though no promises. Thanks again for your comment. Positive feedback keeps us going.

      • thats good to know, will it be just the core engine / editor that is released or are you planning some suprises for us too 😀

        • Author

          It will just be the core engine / editor. Though with the amount of work we have on our plates atm, I can’t see a proper release before the December. Though we will do our best to get something that people can hack around with.

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