Phaser HTML5 game library adds Box2D support via commercial plugin

12. March 2015

 

I’ve long been a fan of the Phaser HTML5 game library, as my ongoing tutorial series might indicate.  Somewhat recently Phaser started adding premium commercial plugins.  The most recently added plugin adds support for Box2D, the popular 2D physics based library.  This is a commercial plugin (aka, you’ve got to pay for it.  $65 for premium $45 for standard – only difference is number of samples ), but don’t fret, Phaser still has a number of physics systems built-in that are completely free.

 

Box2D is a feature-rich 2D physics system used by thousands of hit games.

This plugin opens-up the power of Box2D directly within Phaser. It has the same user-friendly approach to its API that the rest of Phaser does, making integration and game development a beeze.

image

It uses the excellent box2d-html5 JavaScript port by Isaac Burns. We found that this library had the best performance of those tested, even on mobile.

Development of the plugin was lead by Box2D experts iForce2D - the company responsible for the excellent Box2D visual editor R.U.B.E

 

See the Box2D Plugin Page for More Details

 

The Download includes

  • Getting Started Guide - You'll be coding in next to no time.
  • 90 Code Examples - From games to core mechanics.
  • API Documentation and Box2D User Manual
  • Free Upgrades
  • License free - Use it in commercial games
  • Ready built and minified source files + grunt scripts
  • Delivered via download from FastSpring.com

Try it out

We've added 40 of the Box2D examples to this site.

Run them, play with them and edit the code to get a feel for how it all works.

 

The full release details are available here.

 

I actually like to see this form of monetization.  Developers need to eat and we want  them working to make better and better products.  Keeping the core free while adding premium but optional features as a premium plug-in seems like a good middle line to me.  The key is to keep developing the core free product at the same rate that commercial plugins are added.

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RoboVM 1.0 released

12. March 2015

 

I absolutely LOVE version 1.0 releases.  Yeah, it’s just a number but it’s a critical number.  One that says “this is no longer just a toy and we are ready to stand behind it!”.  It’s not really the product that changes, but the attitude attached to it.

 

Well, RoboVM just hit that critical milestone.  What the heck is RoboVM you may be asking, especially if you aren’t a Java/LibGDX developer.  Well, from a game centric perspective, RoboVM is the technology that enables the Java based LibGDX to be run on iOS.  Basically it’s a set of tools that allows you to compile Java code, using the various Java libraries, and have it run on iOS.  If you think “Hey, that sounds a lot like Mono from Xamarin!”.  Well yeah, the Mono VM is basically the same thing for the .NET runtime instead of the Java development stack.

 

Well anyways, RoboVM just turned one yesterday.  Now one really crappy thing about software turning one is that’s often when they start charging for it.  This is “kinda” the case with RoboVM, but not in a bad way.  Basically you can use it as you use it today free of charge.  There are now some value add and support related options for commercial licenses…

 

Heck, why don’t I just post the announcement after all…

 

After months of hard work we are proud to announce our first stable release, RoboVM 1.0! This would not have been possible without the help from our fantastic community who provided feedback, filed issue reports and worked with us to track down bugs. A big THANK YOU to all of the over 2000 beta subscribers!

 

With the 1.0 release, we hope to grow our community even further. For this reason, we’ll also take a look under the hood of RoboVM today, giving newcomers a bit of insight what RoboVM is, how it works, and what our motivation behind it is. If you want to know more, jump to “What’s RoboVM?”

 

What’s new?

Many new features and bug fixes went into 1.0:

  • The debugger has received another round of updates. All JDWP functionality is now implemented.
  • Support for RAM disk caches. This can help speed up the compilation and linking process on slow HDDs.
  • Support for HFS+ file compression. All files put into the cache are now compressed, further speeding up the compilation process and reducing the amount of space used for the RoboVM cache.
  • Initial project template and Maven archetype support.
  • A new Eclipse project wizard, using the templates project
  • Support for invoking tools via robovm.xml. We currently support the TextureAtlas tool, with more to come.
  • Cleanup and simplification of Objective-C bindings, see the binding status page
 
Announcing Commercial Licenses

First off: nothing will change for users of our OSS core! You will continue to be able to create apps without any artificial limitations, free of charge. With our new commercial licenses we add convenience features and support services on top of the OSS core. This will allow us to support our work on the free OSS core and ensure the longevity of the project as a whole.

Our commercial license scale with the size of your business, covering solo developers, startups, SMEs and big enterprises. Depending on your plan, you’ll get access to the following features and services:

  • JDWP compliant debugger for both simulator and on-device debugging
  • Improved crash reporting
  • Private e-mail support, with and without SLA
  • JavaFX support
  • Hotfix support
  • Alpha channel access to new commercial features

Our full pricing information is available at http://www.robovm.com/buy.

Over 2000 developers have subscribed to our beta program over the last few months. You have provided invaluable feedback for which we’d like to thank you with more than just words.

 

All beta users are eligible for a discount of 50% for the solo and startup license tiers (one year subscriptions)! Please sign up for a trial with the e-mail address you used for the beta. We’ll get back to you with a discounted license in the next 14 days!

 
What’s next?

The 1.0 release marks an important milestone for us. But we are far from being done. We’ll continue with our fast paced releases, with the following features scheduled for the near term future:

  • Improved documentation, users guides and screencasts
  • Intellij IDEA & Android Studio integration, a preliminary Gradle-based plugin is available
  • Interface Builder integration (commercial feature)
  • Support for extensions (dynamic libraries) to enable peripherals like Apple Watch
  • Support for statically linking RoboVM into Objective-C apps

 

Exciting times ahead! With all of this out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s under the hood of RoboVM.

 

All told, good news for the LibGDX community and congratulations to RoboVM on the critical release!

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Copperlicht 1.9 released

11. March 2015

 

Copperlicht, a somewhat recently open sourced WebGL game engine has just released version 1.9.

 

Release notes are, shall we say…  terse.  Here they are in the entirity from the Copperlicht forums.

 

Hi,
CopperLicht 1.9 is now available for download. Get it here:
http://www.ambiera.com/copperlic...


Added support for realtime reflecting water surfaces, rendering to textures, inverting the depth test, shader callbacks, pointer lock, and more clearly rendered 2D Overlays.



Have fun with it!

 

Although the archive itself has slightly more detailed release notes:

 

---------------------------------------------
CopperLicht 1.9
---------------------------------------------

- Added realtime reflecting water surfaces.
  There is now a special scene node which renders water surfaces, which can be used to create rivers,
  lakes, and oceans. It is highly configurable, so it can be used to create various,
  realistic looking water surfaces.
 
- Added support for rendering to textures.
  See CL3D.Renderer.setRenderTarget() and CL3D.Renderer.addRenderTargetTexture() for this.

- Added support for inverting the depth test.
  See CL3D.Renderer.setInvertedDepthTest() for this.
 
- Introduced the option to use callbacks for shader settings constants when creating your own materials.

- Full screen with pointer lock now works again on Chrome. Previously, this stopped working
  after Google changed their implementation.

- Fixed 3D sound node to play sound looped even if set to 'play once'

 

Copperlicht is from (one of the?) creator of the popular IrrLicht game engine.  They also have a number of other tools available, such as the CopperCube world editor and irrKlang a cross platform audio library.  It’s one of those products I’ve intended to take a closer look at for some time.

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Allegorithmic release tools under awesome new rent to own license

3. March 2015

Allegorithmic, makers of the popular Substance 3D painting suite among other products have just announced an excellent new way to purchase their products.

 

They announced a new program, Substance Live, details below were taken from this forum posting:

 

NewImage

 

Basically, like many other packages, you can now subscribe to Substance Designer/Painter for a monthly fee. Then the cool part… once your subscription hits the purchase price… you own the product!

 

Yes folks, rent to own has come to the game dev world, and it’s an awesome thing!  Let’s hope this catches on!

Art, News





Unreal Engine now completely free!

2. March 2015

Ok, just received the following email and wow, it’s a good one:

 

unreal-logo-large
 
 
If you love something, set it free!
 
valleyshot-final
 
 

It's been an amazing year for Unreal Engine 4. We've grown a lot, we've learned a lot, and with your help and feedback, made the engine easier to use and more powerful than ever. Now we're making Unreal Engine 4 freely available to developers everywhere.

Before we do, we wanted to say a sincere thanks to those of you who've been with us all along the way. We're humbled by your energy, enthusiasm, and the incredible stuff you're doing with the engine. And because of you, we're motivated to work even harder so that together, we can all create great things that inspire and shape the future of the medium that we love.

If you have paid for a subscription on or after January 30th, you will receive a pro-rated refund for your latest month's payment after March 12th. You'll continue to receive all future updates for free.

And, because you were a paying subscriber, we're also giving you a gift of $30 that you can spend in the Marketplace now or save for a future use.

Happy creating!
- The Team at Epic Games

 

So, yeah... Unreal Engine no longer has a monthly subscription cost! And existing subscribers all get a $30 marketplace credit. Seriously Unreal folks, you guys rock!

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