AS3 New Tween Animation Engine Called gTween from Grant Skinner

There is another new Tween engine from Grant Skinner called gTween, further demonstrating the fun in coding with AS3.  Frameworks and kits are duplicating much like the Python community because the language and platform are quite empowering.  Do we have too many Tween engines, maybe but be glad the flash community has this many and share, it only makes each iteration better.

Additional Features

gTween has a lot of additional features. I’m not going to write about all of them, but here are a few:

  • autoHide, sets the target’s visible to false when the tweened alpha is 0
  • autoReverse, reverses the tween when it ends (and plays it backwards if autoPlay is true).
  • smartRotate, rotates in shortest direction
  • supports using setSize for tweening height and width on components
  • support for updating properties like matrix and colorTransform automatically during a tween.
  • jump to any point in a tween by setting position.
  • loop a tween by setting nextTween equal to the same tween.
  • determine the state of a tween with the state and paused properties.

Download (Beta 1)

To access the API documentation, and download the latest build of GTween, visit the GTween page at gskinner.com/libraries/gtween/.

Here is a list of all open AS3 Tweening engines and base kits

AS3 3D Engine Alternativa Platform Officially Launches

The Alternativa Platform has officially launched. It is a 3d engine for Flash/AS3. It has been announced on their blog today and this is an exciting development for 3d in flash, especially if you are a game developer or game company.

They have offered it free for non-commercial use in the form of SWC files. It is well oganized and lots more good stuff to come it seems in the GUI and some information on setting up the gaming platform on the server as well. It looks to be a complete package.

This is not an open source release but the Alternativa Platform is an extremely well done and amazing looking engine. It has configurations for 3d and isometric 3d.

Here is a shot from the engine.

Sputnik has been launched!

Here are all the classes in the package (SWC):

All Classes

Alternativa3DLabel
Alternativa3DVersion
BitmapUtils
Box
Camera3D
CameraController
ColorUtils
Cone
Engine3DError
Face
FaceExistsError
FaceNeedMoreVerticesError
FaceNotFoundError
FillMaterial
FPS
GeoPlane
GeoSphere
InvalidIDError
KeyboardUtils
Loader3DS
Map
Material
MathUtils
Matrix3D
Mesh
MeshUtils
MouseUtils
Object3D
Object3DHierarchyError
Object3DNotFoundError
ObjectExistsError
ObjectNotFoundError
ObjectUtils
Plane
Point3D
Scene3D
Set
Sphere
Surface
SurfaceExistsError
SurfaceMaterial
SurfaceNotFoundError
Texture
TextureMaterial
TextureMaterialPrecision
TextUtils
Vertex
VertexExistsError
VertexNotFoundError
View
WireMaterial

Box2DFlashAS3 Version 2 Released – AS3 2D Physics Engine

Box2dFlashAS3 has been updated to version 2.0 complete with ragdolls and Theo Jansen walkers ala APE fame.

AS3 Vector 3D Engine Five3D from Mathieu Badimon Released

Mathieu Badimon released the sweet Five3D vector 3d engine recently. Zeh noted this (and has some experiments) but this is a tracking and howto blog and I like to keep a timeline of influential releases.

You might have seen the Mathieu Badimon labs previously with the very nice scroll handle and technique and ability to rotate and translate the vector objects in 3d space. Now you too can make interfaces with the same cool library.

The one thing I like about this vector engine is well first of all it is vector and secondly it is pretty fast and not too processor intensive, but looks killer.

Physaxe 2D Flash Physics Kit for haXe and List of Flash Flex Actionscript Physics Engines for AS3

Nicolas Cannasse, a virtual machine genius (maker of MTASC compiler, Neko and haXe (haXe compiles to target flash 6-9 but really only flash 9 is used anymore unless you are making banners)) released the Physaxe 2D Physics kit for haXe today.

It is heavily based on Glaze (demos) and Box2D which the Motor2, Glaze and Box2DFlashAS3 physics kits are all based on. Box2D is a great C++ 2D physics engine, it is simple which lended itself to being ported to AS3 quite easily. It is also a testament to AS3 that C++ kits are being ported into the language, not once, but many times. Also C ports like Chipmunk and other signs point to == AS3 is of fun.

Physaxe is quite amazing you must see the demos (very similar to Glade demos), it will get the inspirational wheels turning in your idea machines.

2D Physics in Flash and AS3 are extremely hot and can be used for many, many things from game development to promotions to simulations to user interface or visualizations and even modeling natural systems. It is nice to have a port of Box2D and similar to glade capabilities with Chipmunk like Glade has.

A game and physics engine for Flash including:

  • Rigid Body Dynamics
  • Scene management
  • Line of sight
  • User Input
  • Scrolling
  • AI

Core parts of the physics solver and collision system are based on the C physics engine Chipmunk

Notes about Physaxe:

Physaxe is a 2D Rigid Body Library written in haXe. It’s been highly optimized for the Flash 9 Player, with the best optimizations available.

Physaxe is based on several existing physics engines, mainly :

  • Box2D, the reference open source physics engine
  • Glaze, an AS3 engine which is a port of Chipmunk, itself based on Box2D

Physaxe features are :

  • rigid body consisting in several shapes
  • shapes supported are circles, segments (with rounded edges) and arbitrary convex polygons
  • customizable broadphase (currently bruteforce and y-sorted list are available)
  • island resolution and sleeping (allow ~0 CPU to be spent when groups are sleeping)
  • constraint solver based on Box2D sequential impulses
  • customizable body properties, such as linear/angular friction and maximized motion

Updated list of physics engines are like this:

AS3 3D Physics Engines (Open Source)

AS3 2D Physics Engines (Open Source)

haXe 2D Physics Engines

Get your game on! It is best to get them out early and often. I need to take my own advice.

AS3 Flash Isometric Game Engine Released – FFilmation 1.0

The FFilmation AS3 Flash Isometric Engine has been released into the wild.  Jordi Ministral has been generous to watch his creation grow and evolve with the help of the open source community and the flash community is one of the best open source communities out there even though the core (adobe flash) is still closed. Open sourcing is one of the best ways to market test your skills really and this engine has much anyone can learn in making isometric engines for flash. You can see our first post on this great engine here.

Here’s a peek at the classes in the API:

http://www.ffilmation.org/docs/api/1.0/class-summary.html

All Classes

BumpMap
fAiContainer
fCamera
fCharacter
fCollideEvent
fElement
fEngine
fEngineMaterial
fEngineSceneRetriever
fEventIn
fEventOut
fFloor
fGlobalLight
fLight
fMaterial
fMoveEvent
fObject
fOmniLight
fPlane
fProcessEvent
fRenderableElement
fScene
fSceneLoader
fWalkoverEvent
fWall
line
mathUtils
movieClipUtils
polygonProjection
polygonUtils
Vector
vport

Get your game on!

AS3 Flash Isometric Engine

Just got word of this great isometric engine similar to the Alternativa engine or zenbullets but with plans for open source. I checked out the demos and it looks well done and is pretty responsive. Once you get to heavy lighting it can draw a little slow (the cowboy becomes more John Wayne like with slow drawls) but this seems like a great base for an isometric AS3 engine.

The author, who is currently anonymous, describes it as:

The FFilmation Engine is an AS3 isometric programing engine, focused mainly on game development. The aim of the project is providing a robust development platform, where game designers can work on the game’s details and forget about the render engine. It is intended to be really usable from a “real production scenario” point of view.

Unfortunately there is no name associated with the project yet, I think it would be wise to let that be known. The author has some info on the level structure of files and 3 great demos.

Here are some features and plans for the engine:

  • Have a programming interface as small and easy as possible, no matter how complex the internal code is. From a software engineering point of view, the OO structure may not be as correct and clean as it could have been. It is not messy, but several decisions where made that improved performance and simplicity at the cost of breaking some “good OO programming” conventions.
  • Rendering performance is a major concern when designing all the algorythms. Some of them have been rewritten 4 o 5 times from scratch until one fastest enought was found. If it doesn’t perform well, it is not usable. We’ve all seen several impressive actionscript demos that look really cool and invite to be used in your next project. But then if the effect takes 90% of your CPU, you can’t build anything on top of that.
  • Graphic designers should be able to work on the application’s ( game or not ) environments without any programming skills, visually, and with almost immediate previews of what they are doing. Using the engine should be fun to some degree. If you have this terrific engine and adding a wall to your dungeon means you have to write 10 lines of OO gibberish, lazyness will eventually win you over. If art directors can draw and place the walls and lights an floors and enemies and see them appearing onscreen, you have more chances of reaching your deadline.
  • Flash has built-in drawing and animation tools. You should be able to take advantage of them !!

All this is important because in reality projects depend on limited resources. Resources are money and time, but also the enthusiasm of indie developers or single individuals doing stuff “for fun” in their bedrooms. Projects, specially the “for fun” ones, have more chances of completion if the production process is gratifying to some degree.

Here’s a list of highlited features:

  • One engine capable of handling several isometric scenes of different complexities.
  • Create scenes from human-readable XML definitions, allowing easy edition of the scene’s topology and contents
  • Graphic media can be split into several external resources and loaded when an scene needs them
  • Flat textures. Paint your grahics directly into flash. Walls, floors and celings are edited as 2D graphics and projected by the engine. Elements and animated characters can be animated via flash timeline, no need for complex programming.
  • Dynamic lighting, global lighting, real-time shadow projection. Multiple lights from multiple sources affecting the same objects.
  • Bump-mapped surfaces. Still somehow buggy and a serious performance killer, but already there.
  • An extendable material interface. MovieClip materials, autotiled materials, procedural materials.
  • Automatic zSorting of all surfaces and objects
  • Built-in collision detection. No need to program complex coordinate comparisions, simple listen to COLLISION events generated by the engine.
  • Basic AI API helpers such as “is character A visible from character B’s position ?”

I plan to make the engine open-source, but I’ll wait until I have a release “solid” and documented enough.

I am looking forward to more updates and to find out more about the author. We have some great engines underway in ’08 for AS3 and it looks to be a very fun year in that aspect.

Because it is an isometric engine is is not true 3d but sprite based animation. However with planes and objects other isometric 3d objects can be built such as walls, boxes, buildings, cubes, etc. I wonder if there are any toolkits being used or if this is all custom built?

Keep your eye on this space. It is very similar to the Alternative Engine.

Here are all the Demos:

And some docs on the architecture:

Check it out!

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