25th Oct 2013
We’re really pleased to announce that Phaser version 1.1 was just released and pushed to the master branch of our github repo. We’ve worked extremely hard on this release to make Phaser the most stable and powerful 2D HTML5 game framework we can.
Here are some of the headline new features:
API Docs are live!
We know these were a long time coming, but we’ve finally documented nearly every part of the framework with jsdoc3 and published the resulting docs as well. So you can at least now look at the docs first before having to dig through the source code to figure things out. We’ve still got more work to do in this area, but it’s a great start.
We’ve got a brand new Example Test Suite, with a great design, two display modes (full stack or side-by-side) and over 150 different examples for you to work through. We’ve tried to cover all of the core features of Phaser, there are even little mini games included (some in more complete states than others) and lots of demos.
What’s more, we’re looking for new Examples to add to our collection and we’ve got prizes for the best submission each month 🙂
Enhanced Arcade Physics
The Arcade Physics system that ships with Phaser has been almost completely rewritten. It’s now considerably more robust than before, the Sprite update loop has been heavily optimised and refined, and collision is now a lot more stable. Gone are the ‘jitters’ and potential wall-sticking of the previous release!
16th Sep 2013
After months of hard work everything came to a head on Friday September 13th when we released version 1.0 of Phaser, our HTML5 game framework. This was a monumental milestone release for us, and the fact that it has taken us 3 days to even write about it on our own site should give you some indication of the whirlwind that ensued following launch.
We punched the shiny ‘release’ button quite late on Friday, which not only pushed 1.0 to our github master branch but also unveiled the lovely new Phaser web site as well. Although just a single page site for now the design reflects everything that I want a game framework to be: fun, fast and easy to use. I wanted people to look at the site and instantly feel like it was approachable: not too ‘serious’ or dour, but by no means amateur either. The site certainly had the desired effect, as sure enough the tweets spread like wildfire and the site is getting thousands of visitors a day. As a result we’re seeing great levels of activity on our github repo and the Phaser section of the HTML5 Game Devs forum has exploded, with fresh new sign-ups and questions coming every hour.
13th Aug 2013
We’re delighted to announce that our latest HTML5 game has gone live today. This time it’s a jigsaw game aimed at pre-school children and based around the wonderfully quacky world of Sarah and Duck. If you’ve small children (and access to the CBeebies channel) then we’d strongly recommend watching the show! It’s a great twist on friendship and relationships, but in a slightly surreal and very colourful world.
We’ve also totally revamped our Games page recently. Before it was just a big long list of terribly unsorted screen shots, and if you were lucky they’d click through to an old games page. But thanks to a lovely re-design from Tom Waterhouse we now present all our games in a neat new style, and every single games page now has a wealth of information about the title including lots of screen shots and easy to find “Play” buttons at last!
So have a browse around our new games pages. If you factor in that nearly all of our HTML5 games were released in the last 18 months you’ll see just how busy we’ve been! And it’s definitely not slowing-up for the rest of this year either. If you’re thinking of contacting us for an HTML5 game then please do so very soon, as we’re getting booked out for the rest of 2013 extremely quickly. Equally if you’re a skilled JS game developer, drop me your details asap.
24th Jul 2013
“Congratulations! We are pleased to advise you that we are authorizing Photon Storm Ltd. for Wii U software development.”
I don’t think I’ve ever received a more exciting email than the one from Nintendo that contained the above 🙂 We applied via their GDC2013 invite to develop games and apps on the Wii U using their new HTML5 APIs. After a quite lengthy approval process we were finally pleased to be told we had made it through.
Our Dev Kits are in the process of being ordered, and although we’ve only got access to the documentation at the moment we can already see the power of what the Nintendo APIs will allow us to do. Obviously we’re tightly bound under NDA but we’ll talk about as much of the experience as we’re allowed to. And of course we’ll be making sure that both Phaser and Kiwi are fully compatible with Nintendo’s Web Framework. So keep your eyes peeled!
19th Jul 2013
It is with great pleasure I can finally announce that our latest game has gone live. Wolfblood: The Mystery of Stoneybridge (mobile browser only) is a large multi-part adventure game based around the successful BBC TV show. Wolfblood is a fantasy/supernatural TV series focused around the exploits of two ‘wolfbloods’, Maddy Smith (played by Aimee Kelly) and Rhydian Morris (played by Bobby Lockwood) as they struggle living their double-lives as wolfbloods, and keeping the secret concealed from the outside world.
It was commissioned as a mobile browser and desktop HTML5 game, and is part of the BBCs Summer of Mobile campaign. The game involves taking the player through Stoneybridge, the location in which the show is set, as they unlock 19 different puzzles and challenges across the sprawling map. Optional branches allows the player to explore and unlock new areas trying to achieve a perfect rating. Successfully complete the game and you can view some exclusive shots from series 2 of the TV show which is currently in production. Wolfblood: The Mystery of Stoneybridge is a departure from traditional CBBC content in that it relies entirely on brain power rather than brawn. There are no timers or tests of reaction involved, instead you have to solve your way to victory.
As with all mobile browser games we had to support a wide range of devices, from top of the line iPads down to lowly Android handsets. All graphics were designed around a 1024 x 672 resolution and careful management of resources was needed to ensure no crashes across mobile. But even then the game was still too large for the Android stock browser to cope with so we had to employ a multi-load system to give the browser a chance to refresh memory and stop the canvas from overloading. Honestly we can’t wait for Chrome to become the default on Android!
As well as the graphics we also had to approach audio carefully. We ended up creating a split audio system supporting both legacy audio tag and the more advanced Web Audio API. So if your browser supports it (for example iOS6) we can overlay great effects on top of the music from the show. On legacy devices we deliver just the music layer. A lot of work went into building the audio subsystem, as you need to take into account mobile locking, file decoding and channel management, but it was time very well spent, and the end result is now part of our Phaser framework.
Masters of the Pixels
Production of a game on this scale was a team effort all around. The consistently excellent artwork was the result of the mad skills of Antony Ward and Tom Waterhouse who went above and beyond to provide on-brand art, UI and animations. I’d also like to thank Ben Harding and Phil Wickliffe who helped produce all of the first round of prototypes from which a lot of the game concepts were born.
All development for the final version was handled by myself. Literally every single line of code for the entire framework and game. We don’t use any 3rd party libraries at all to ensure maximum control over every aspect of the game, and it paid off massively as a result. The desktop version that will launch shortly was built with the KiwiJS framework as we needed IE7/8 DOM support.
Finally I’d like to personally thank Jim Tonge, Jonathan Modley and Simon Clarke at the BBC for running production on such a demanding project.
Watch out for it on TV
Marketing for the game kicks off on the 20th July with promotion across the BBC and CBBC home pages, the CBBC Summer of Mobile TV trail and also an extended game specific TV promotion which we hope to be able to share with you here shortly. It’s always exciting to see work go live. It’s even more exciting to see it go live on major TV channels 🙂
So if you’d like to try and solve the Mystery of Stoneybridge then please point your mobile browser to http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games/wolfblood-mystery-of-stoneybridge-game.
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