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1. March 2016

 

Starling is a flash based game engine, perhaps most famous for Angry Birds.  For some time the primary maintainer has been quietly pounding away on the next version.  Today (actually a couple days ago, this news item slipped through my net, sorry about that) Starling 2.0 is available and it’s a pretty extensive update.  Behind the scenes there were a number of fundamental changes, such as the addition of a mesh class as well as the addition of render cache.

The render cache has a pretty profound effect on CPU load, as illustrated by this graphic demonstrating Starling 1.7(upper) vs 2.0(lower) CPU usage:

 

The filter API was also rewritten, to make use of the new render cache and improve functionality.  Finally there were several convenience changes:

  • The TextField class is now accompanied by the new TextFormat. The setup is quite similar to classic Flash — but without the pain of constantly having to re-assign the format for changes to show up. In Starling, when you change the TextField's format, it's going to be updated right away!
  • The TextField class also includes a new wordWrap property.
  • The Image class contains two new properties: scale9Grid and tileGrid. For Feathers-users, this will sound familiar: they replace Scale3Image, Scale9Image and TiledImage.
  • All Display Objects can now be scaled uniformly with a single property: scale.
  • My personal favorite: the new pixelSnapping property, which is enabled per default, makes sure that all objects are rendered as sharp and crisp as possible. No more casting to int to avoid blurriness!
  • You can now attach "frame actions" to MovieClips, i.e. code to execute at certain frames.
  • The Pool provides simple object-pooling for standard classes like Point, Rectangle andMatrix.
  • The juggler now supports uint handles for IAnimatable removal, which prevents nasty pooling bugs.

Full details of the release are available here.

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