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30. December 2014


In this first of multiple part video tutorial we start looking at using Scene2D in LibGDX.  Scene2D is a library built over top of LibGDX providing a scene graph and UI/widget layer.  None of that make any sense?  Then watch the video! :)  Speaking of which, it is available in 1080p on YouTube.



The code from the example:

package com.gamefromscratch;

import com.badlogic.gdx.ApplicationAdapter;
import com.badlogic.gdx.Gdx;
import com.badlogic.gdx.scenes.scene2d.Actor;
import com.badlogic.gdx.scenes.scene2d.Stage;
import com.badlogic.gdx.utils.viewport.ScreenViewport;

public class Scene2DDemo1 extends ApplicationAdapter {

   class MyActor extends Actor {
      Texture texture = new Texture(Gdx.files.internal("badlogic.jpg"));

      public void draw(Batch batch, float parentAlpha) {
   Stage stage;
   public void create () {
      stage = new Stage(new ScreenViewport());
      MyActor actor = new MyActor();

   public void render () {;

Programming , , ,

29. December 2014


Shortly before the holidays began I received a review copy of Core HTML5 2D Game Programming and amid all the holiday insanity, I’ve been slowly making my way through this title.  As with all reviews, I don’t give star ratings, I think the value of a book is determined mostly by the perspective and requirements of the reader.  OfCoreHTML5 course, some books are just simply bad.  Bad grammar, bad topic choice, bad humour.  Fortunately that is not the case here.  From a technical perspective this is a good book (with one glaring flaw).  Now the question is, is it a good book for you?


First let’s talk about the target audience.  This book is not aimed at complete beginners, prior experience with JavaScript and HTML5 is assumed.  Some JavaScript related topics are covered ( dealing with this, profiling/debugging in Chrome, simple inheritance, etc. ) but if you don’t already understand some JavaScript and haven’t ever touched on HTML5 or CSS work, you will be lost.  No prior game programming experience is assumed, although you may struggle a bit with some of the terminology if completely new.  There is however a fairly solid glossary that while get you through.  For more experienced game developers, this probably isn’t the title for you.


Ultimately this is a learn by doing book.  Through the course of the book you are putting together a basic platforming game called Snail Bait, built using the assets of the open source Android title Replica Island.  The game is available to be played online at… or at least, it’s supposed to be.  When I go to that site I get:




Hmmm, that’s unfortunate.  I am not sure if this is an ongoing problem, or just temporary.  Judging by an earlier review on Amazon about the server being unavailable, this is a recurring problem.  It is however a bit of a big problem, as many of the code listings in this book are actually partial, so having access to the complete project is very important.  The book repeatedly references this site, so with it down, so is a great deal of the appeal of this book.  Unfortunately the publisher doesn’t appear to make the code available anywhere else, at least not the book’s version.


Now back to the actual contents of the book.  This book covers pretty much all aspects of what you need to make a complete 2D HTML5 game.  One critical thing to understand with this title is everything is created from scratch.  The book makes use of no existing libraries, so you learn how to do things from scratch.  There is merit to learning how to do everything yourself at least initially.  That said, you will probably make a better game using libraries that have already dealt with all the various cross browser issues and optimizations for you.


The book does cover a surprising number of topics, starting with handling the game loop and ending with basic network programming.  For each topic there are a number of callout notes on game development or HTML5 idiosyncrasies.  For the most part, they are topical and rarely feel superfluous.  In between it covers animation, graphics, input, hit detection, dealing with mobile (controls and resolutions), particles, audio, easing and more.  The coverage of each topic is fairly comprehensive and easily understood.  One thing you might want to note, this book is entirely about using canvas for rendering, with absolutely no coverage of WebGL.  Given the increasing support for WebGL ( IE and Safari are both finally on board ), this could be a pretty big negative.


As I mentioned earlier, the majority of the book is about creating a single game step by step using what you’ve learned up till this point.  The code snippets are clear but without access to the finished whole, trying to figure out how it all fits together is difficult.  There is however one chapter dedicated to putting all the pieces you’ve learned together to make a simpler but complete  game, Bodega’s Revenge.  Unfortunately, these are also partial code listings, so without access to the source code, readers may struggle filling in the pieces.


What’s my verdict on this book then?  The book itself is quite good.  If you have some basic JavaScript knowledge and are looking at learning how to do HTML5 canvas based game development from scratch, it’s a very good resource.  There is an impressive amount of information jammed into this book with no obvious missing pieces.  If you are looking at purchasing this title, be certain to check if the site is available before you do! 


I would highly suggest the author or publisher make the code available on a much more reliable source, such as Github.

Programming , ,

23. December 2014


As usual Steam is having a holiday sale, but this year it’s absolutely loaded with game dev tools.



Complete list (as of today) below:

*Note, some asset and packs are not included in the list.  


Graphics Applications and Engines
Leadwerks Game Engine 40% Link
3D Coat 25% Link
Axis Game Factory 75% Link
Substance Bitmap2Material 33% Link
FPS Weapons Pack 33% Link
AGK2 app game kit 2 33% Link
Silo 2 60% Link
Clickteam Fusion 2.5 66% Link
Fuse 66% Link
Indie Graphics Bundle 40% Link
Substance Painter 40% Link
facerig 33% Link
Fuse Clothing Substances Expansion 66% Link
Substance Indie Pack 25% Link
Spriter 50% Link
MangaMaker 60% Link
MindTex 33% Link
RaySupreme 3D 50% Link
GameMaker: Studio Pro 60% Link
RPG Maker VX Ace 60% Link
World Creator 15% Link
Shader Tool 15% Link
Audio and Video Applications
Action! Gameplay Recording and Streaming 40% Link
Z3TA+2 50% Link
Liquid Rhythm 50% Link
Play Claw Game Video Recorder 30% Link
Audio & Music Lab 45% Link
G8 Dynamic Gate 50% Link
Music Creator 6 50% Link
MAGIX Music Maker 2015 Premium 40% Link
Virtual DJ 66% Link
Illustration and Design
openCanvas 20% Link
Black ink 55% Link
Substance Designer 4 40% Link
Art Rage 4 40% Link
articy: draft 2 SE 60% Link
LogoMaker 4 50% Link
You Need a Budget 25% Link
AutoTileGen 50% Link
Wingware Python IDE 30% Link
Movie Writer Pro 40% Link


19. December 2014


This is the first of a series of Blender video quick tips that show how to do things ( normally the easy/lazy way ) in Blender you may not already know.


In this video we look at how to quickly model organic shapes using:

  • splines/curves
  • edge loop bridging
  • solidify
  • grid fill


The video is available in full 1080p here.  I am sorry for the lack of onscreen keys, I thought Camtasia would record these, unfortunately it didn’t.  For future videos of this type I will use some form of onscreen keyboard.  If you have a suggestion, I would love to hear it!


Art , ,

19. December 2014


In this tutorial we look at the process of creating and using a Spritesheet in LibGDX.  This involves creating a series of sprites, putting them together with TexturePacker, then using a TextureAtlas and TextureRegion to display them with our Sprite.  We also quickly look at TexturePacker ( different product ) for those that prefer a UI.  Sample code and links to included assets below the video.


Once again, you can view the video in HD on YouTube by click here.



Example’s Source

package com.gamefromscratch;

import com.badlogic.gdx.ApplicationAdapter;
import com.badlogic.gdx.Gdx;
import com.badlogic.gdx.Input;
import com.badlogic.gdx.InputProcessor;

public class SpritesheetDemo extends ApplicationAdapter implements InputProcessor {
   SpriteBatch batch;
   TextureAtlas textureAtlas;
   Sprite sprite;
   TextureRegion textureRegion;
   int currentFrame = 1;
   int MAX_FRAMES = 19;
   public void create () {
      batch = new SpriteBatch();
      textureAtlas = new TextureAtlas(Gdx.files.internal("ss.txt"));
      textureRegion = textureAtlas.findRegion("0001");
      sprite = new Sprite(textureRegion);
      sprite.setPosition( - sprite.getWidth()/2,
   - sprite.getHeight()/2);


   public void render () {, 0, 0, 1);;

   public boolean keyDown(int keycode) {
      if(keycode == Input.Keys.UP){
         if(currentFrame > MAX_FRAMES)
            currentFrame = 1;
      if(keycode == Input.Keys.DOWN){
         if(currentFrame < 1)
            currentFrame = MAX_FRAMES;

      return true;

   public boolean keyUp(int keycode) {
      return false;

   public boolean keyTyped(char character) {
      return false;

   public boolean touchDown(int screenX, int screenY, int pointer, int button) {
      return false;

   public boolean touchUp(int screenX, int screenY, int pointer, int button) {
      return false;

   public boolean touchDragged(int screenX, int screenY, int pointer) {
      return false;

   public boolean mouseMoved(int screenX, int screenY) {
      return false;

   public boolean scrolled(int amount) {
      return false;


The sprite art used for this example was rendered using this Blender file.

The texture packing application (near the end) was CodeAndWeb’s TexturePacker.

Programming , , , ,

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