Archive for April, 2010

Steve Jobs published an open letter about Flash, that lists the 6 main reasons (another one being strategical) of lack of Flash on iPhone and iPad. Indeed it has been proven that solutions heading to the (low) common denominator aren’t compatible with the mac experience, as we can see on some iPhone application, and previously on mac (Eclipse, OpenOffice, games ported using Cider). The main interest of Apple’s solutions against Windows or Android resides in these few innovative applications. Some have still undestood this and make full use of OSX features : idSoftware, Blizzard, and recently Valve.

As a paradox, the same companies that claim about cross-platform development (and that took 10 years to migrate to Cocoa) forced Apple to cancell the Yellow Box (worked also on Windows), and to provide Carbon, some of a compromise. Advanced object concepts from AppKit and ObjC runtime aren’t likely to be easily unified with MFC programming and even Java.

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Akihabara (see here) is the first comprehensive and optimized (2D) game creation framework based on HTML5 (uses Canvas for rendering) :

– allows multiple grouped objects moving simultaneously, helps with collisions, rendering and moving objects, provides monospaced pixel-fonts rendering too, handles keyboard, double buffering and eventually FSEs,
– provides a complete generic game cycle: intro, menus, crossfading between stages/lifes, gameover and ending
– provides lots lots of common routines during the game developing: from effects for screen titles to HUD handling to platform/SHMUP/RPG oriented routines, like jumping characters, Z-Indexed objects, bullets, sparks, staff rolls, bonus screens, dialogues etc.
– provides some Javascript-specific functions, such object copying, randomizing functions, string/array handlers and the akihabaraInit function, that automatically sets a comfortable preset of configurations: 25fps, double-sized display for non-mobile devices, dynamic frameskip
– provides simple developing tools. Actually there is only a cel-composer: it can compose an image stacking a set of frames for animating objects, applying a number of filters to each frame.
– provides some math stuff for moving objects in a direction or following a round path
– provides a touchpad for touch-based device (for now, Android and iDevices)

Demo games are provided.

Another area where Flash isn’t anymore required. However there is still to consider that Flash’s interest isn’t all about its plugin (Adobe indeed just started to migrate its solution to HTML5/WebKit foundations), and more about its components library, editor (Flash Studio), and bridge (BlazeDS).

The later is however less evolved than Cappuccino’s CP2JavaWS (this solution works at Objective-J level – higher level/more object than ActionScript -, and manages far more complex objets graphs – including nested heterogeneous collections, null values, generic types, references/cycles -, as well as Digest authentication, and finally Direct2CP mode).

The RC2 of Flash Player 10.1 is downloadable here. We have to uninstall Flash before, using the provided uninstaller. It will be the last version compatible with PowerPC.

Amiga emulator for iPhone

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Games
Tags: , ,

Manomio, the editor of the C64 emulator for iPhone, will release an Amiga 500 emulator in June, restricted to iPhone 3GS and iPad. We can watch a video of game IK+ (that runs perfectly smooth). The iPad version will provide better resolution. An Atari 2600 emulator is also planned.

The game Cobra Command (363 Mb) is still free for a few hours at the AppStore.
We can also get for free today Sword of Fargoal (52 Mb).

With latest WebKit nightlty (and enabled WebGL option through write com.apple.Safari WebKitWebGLEnabled -bool YES command), scenes are still blank on a G4 MDD with Radeon 9000 Pro. In fact WebGL requires a graphics card that supports OpenGL ES2, and then OpenGL 2.0. Under Leopard, this compatibility matrix states that the Radeon 9000 Pro is restricted to OpenGL 1.3. The MDD G4 can receive a Radeon 9600 Pro Mac et PC Edition card as an option (was priced 200$… however it isn’t available yet), that supports OpenGL 2.0.
We can get the list of new APIs added by OpenGL versions here.

Update : WebKit’s WebGL used to work on Leopard for compatible graphics card, however it now only ¬†works on Snow Leopard. Users still under 10.5 can use Chromium instead, however it doesn’t run on PowerPC (only on Intel mac).