Category Archives: NME

Citrus Engine on Nape and physics performance improvement

Hi folks! Since my studies are over and my new portfolio online, I have time to focus on personal projects. Yep, it was time to contribute again to the Citrus Engine. I’ve worked 3 days at full time focusing on its big issue : mobile performances. I’m glad to say that now they are just an old memories!

6 months ago, I’ve made the CE compatible with Stage3D thanks to Starling and added some cool stuff. CitrusEngineV3 BETA 1 has been downloaded 3047 in 6 months, that’s not bad! However it didn’t see lots of Stage3D game, because it was missing the point : people wants to make mobile games.

You will find all the sources at the end.

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The Citrus Engine goes on Haxe NME, welcome to the CitruxEngine

One month ago I started to work on the CitruxEngine. I was very confident with Haxe performance on mobile and NME cross platform opportunities. And now, I can say those are awesome!

In April 14-15th, I was in Paris to assist to the Haxe conf 2012. It was really cool, Silex Labs has made a good job! Conferences were very interested and the community greatly friendly. And I had the opportunity to make a lightning talk concerning my contribution to the Citrus Engine 2D game framework and its port on Haxe NME. The presentation was a bit from scratch, but that was a good experience! I’m very happy to be the first to start the lightning talk, since there were very serious projects 😀

CitruxEngine Github.
CitruxEngine Demo. Simple demo which have been tested on Flash & CPP (using left/right key and spacebar) and iOS (touch & accelerometer). There are sound, animations (idle, walk and jump) and physics.
The port is currently not finished!

I will not present some code here. If you are already familiar with the Citrus Engine, there will be no problem. Take a look on the example on Github.

HTML5
When I started the port, I would the CitruxEngine be as cross platform as possible. HTML5 is promising, and Niel Drummond the man behind Jeash has made an incredible job! However I found that the Haxe NME Box2D port has not very good performance with HTML5. So I’ve dropped the HTML5 target at the moment, but I keep an eye on Jeash!

Box2D
Thanks to Haxe NME, Box2D runs very well on mobile! This is mostly the reason why I’ve started the CitruxEngine. The Citrus Engine uses the AS3 Alchemy version of Box2D which has some differences with the original. It seems there is a bug with the Haxe NME Box2D port : the beginContact & endContact listeners are fired all the time if a dynamic body is on a static body (like a hero on a platform), whereas it fires only once if there are 2 dynamics bodies. This behavior is blocking me.

SpriteSheets
I made my test with the spritesheet haxelib which uses SpriteLoq. At the moment it works well. I’ve not made serious test with animations.

Level Editor
I love how the Citrus Engine handles Flash Pro as a Level Editor. I would like the Haxe NME version handles it as well. But at the moment we can’t read AS3 code in a SWF file (it is the way that class and properties are defined), so I need to think to an external way. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the Level Architect!

Console
The console is really a cool feature of the Citrus Engine, it will be available in the CitruxEngine too. I’ve started to implement it, but it’s not ready yet.

I will continue to work on the CitruxEngine, but now I’ve to focus on my school project using Objective-C, it’s really hard to get back when you have tested Haxe power ! In less than two months I will be graduate and looking for a job, future is exciting.

Thanks to postite & elsassph for their help!

haXe workflow with Sublime Text 2, Php & nme examples


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A good IDE is the developer’s best friend. FDT is my favorite one to code AS3 stuff, however I’m not very satisfied with haXe integration… it could be better. A good source code editor is also an amazing tool. I’ve found Sublime Text 2 some months ago, and it sounds always awesome to me. There is an extension which add Package control management to ST2 for adding new plugin, like haXe one.

Come on, download Sublime Text 2, install the Package control and haXe plugins!

That’s ok ? Now we can create a simple Php project.
Create a new file, save it as Test.hx and add this code :

package;
 
class Test {
 
    static function main() {
 
    	new Test();
    }
 
    public function new() {
 
    	var number:Float = 4;
 
        trace(number + 5);
    }
}

Then press ctrl (even if you use a mac) + shift + b. A new file called build.hxml is opened with some code generated to compile. You should just need that :

# Autogenerated build.hxml

# www
-php www
-main Test

Then press ctrl + enter. Your php files are generated. Pretty easy!

Now let’s make more stuff, a PDO connection with a simple query.

var cnx:Connection = PDO.open('mysql:host=localhost;dbname=igobelins', 'myUsr', 'myPwd');

If you press ctrl + space you have some greats auto-completion features! ctrl + i and the class is imported. If you make some mistake your code is highlighted in pink.

Our php stuff :

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package;
 
import php.db.Connection;
import php.db.Mysql;
import php.db.Object;
import php.db.PDO;
import php.db.ResultSet;
 
class Test {
 
	public var cnx:Connection
 
    static function main() {
 
    	new Test();
    }
 
    public function new() {
 
      cnx = PDO.open('mysql:host=localhost;dbname=igobelins', 'myUsr', 'myPWd');
 
      var sql:String = "SELECT * FROM configs";
 
      var results:ResultSet = cnx.request(sql);
 
      for (result in results) {
       	trace(result.user);
       }
 
       cnx.close();
    }
}

According that you have a field user in your database, it will show the names.

Ok that was pretty cool, what about nme ? Go on this page and download the haXe project. In ST2 go in File/Open Folder… and select the Folder you have just unzipped. It should show the different folders & files in a left panel. Browse the Source and open SimpleBox2DExample.hx and then press ctrl + enter. It is compiled for flash and open quickly the result in the Flash Player. Ok but with NME I would like to target cpp. No problem press ctrl + shift + b then select cpp and compile. This way you can quickly change the target.
He wait, there isn’t html5 target !? I don’t know the reason but it is not offered. But you can add it (thanks to Julien Roche for the tips) : on Mac open the file Users/YourUserName/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 2/Packages/HaXe/HaxeComplete.py and add html5 to nme_targets on line 124. Restart ST2, press ctrl + shift + b select html5 then compile. You have a new target 😉

Sublime Text 2 and the haXe plugin are awesome, but so far it can not be as powerful as an IDE for debugging. No breakpoint for example, anyway it is already a great tool for a simple code editor!

Recently, JetBrains has released a haXe plugin for IntelliJ. We should keep an eye on it!

Air NativeProcess and bash file to compile haXe nme project

Last week I’ve made some test with haXe nme and box2d. The result is awesome : beautiful perf and a quick export on the target required! When I tried to run box2d from flash on a iPhone there was really bad performance : 10 dynamics objects – 5 fps. With haXe nme, more than 80 dynamics objects and 30 fps… that the power of native app. And for the fun I had an html5 box2d export, but not running smoothly.
At the moment, what I’m really missing is a powerful IDE for writing code and don’t use the console (even if it works great). FlashDevelop is the best one, but runs only on windows. Sadly, FDT supports haXe but not the nme. However it seems that JetBrains are working on a plugin for haXe and nme! But right now, I use Sublime Text 2 with the haXe plugin.

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to have a simple utilitarian app to create nmml files and compile projects with options (targets, mode, …). An Air application seemed to be an elegant way. Let’s go for a proof of concept on this last part :

The problem was how to run terminal command line with Air? The NativeProcess class provides command line integration and general launching capabilities. The NativeProcess class lets an AIR application execute native processes on the host operating system.
So it means that if I write a simple bash file, I’m able to run it with AIR!

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