Flixel Power Tools Category
11th Oct 2011
I’m pleased to announce that version 1.9 of the Flixel Power Tools is now live. This release was never about adding big sweeping new features. Instead I focused on maintenance and making it as solid as possible. Lots of the classes have been expanded and piles of bugs and edge-case oddities stomped.
Updates include: Pixel perfect collision now works 100% even when both sprites are rotating.The new FlxKongregate provides a solid hook into the Kongregate API with all of their advanced features. FlxWeapon gained the ability for pre-fire and post-fire events, sound support, random factors, parent direction firing support, bullet elasticity, bullet counters and bullet lifespans. The control handler had some gravity issues squashed and new isPressedUp/Down/Left/Right methods added. FlxBar had a complete overhaul and is even more flexible now, with 2 new RPG style examples included: A Zelda-like life counter and an RPG Experience bar. Plus there are new tests in the Test Suite including a destructible terrain example.
Read on to find out what Version 2.0 will bring to the table.
30th Jul 2011
Tonight I pushed up the final v1.8 release of the Flixel Power Tools. There’s only really one major new class this time, but it’s a big one. FlxExtendedSprite together with FlxMouseControl provide you with the ability to create FlxSprites that you can click with the mouse, drag around the game world, snap to a grid, throw or even hook to the mouse with a spring! It handles overlapping sprites with ease, has custom sort controls (to determine which mouse gets the click) and clicks can be bounding box or pixel perfect as needed. Dragging can be locked to a single axis or a FlxRect area too. The Extended Sprites also now have built-in gravity, which works wonders combined with the ability to throw them. There are no less than 14 examples in the Demo Suite to boot including a little mini-game.
Also new in this release is FlxFlectrum, a powerful addition to FlxFlod, that allows you to create your own vu-meter / spectrum analyser style display for soundtracker music. Use the built-in meter or provide your own PNG, with direction support, column/row spacing, background beat and peak or meter display modes.
Several classes have had new methods: FlxMath gained wrapAngle, angleLimit and mouseInFlxRect. FlxCollision received the new pixelPerfectPointCheck and the very handy createCameraWall, which builds an invisible collision wall out of Tile Blocks around the camera – you control the width. And last but not least a new FX: RevealFX.
I’m going to take a short break as I go away on summer holidays and work on my Flixel book. But I do plan on doing a v1.9 release which will be mostly (if not all!) bug fixes and new test cases. After this I have plans to work on a Window / GUI system suitable for making RPG style games, and tight Box2D integration. Join me on the Flixel forums to chat about this 🙂
16th Jun 2011
It’s been a month in development but it’s finally here – Version 1.7 of the Flixel Power Tools has now gone from dev to master – and I urge you all to give it a play! I have also re-organised my site so that the tools and all sub-classes are now easily accessible from the right-hand side bar. More info, more screen shots, less scrolling 🙂
V1.7 includes a brand new Demo Suite system (don’t forget to try the Credits button 🙂 ). It’s now easier and quicker to get to the examples, which is just as well as we’ve over 60 of them in this release. Don’t forget to download the whole package from github, as it includes a Getting Started manual PDF, the full source code to all of the demos, all of the graphical and audio assets (warning: copyright, don’t use commercially!), as well as the tools themselves.
There are some great new tools and updates to nearly everything. FlxHealthBar is gone, replaced with the much more versatile FlxBar. This new bar can be used for anything, from progress meters to sprite health. It can fill in one of 8 different directions, can be hooked to a parent sprite and monitor any value of that sprite – in short it doesn’t have to be just a health bar any longer.
The biggest new addition is FlxWeapon. A comprehensive weapon manager for games. It handles creation, pooling and re-use of bullets and a heck of a lot more. Angled bullets, sounds, callbacks, fire at the mouse, fire from the mouse, fire from a parent sprite, fire from a fixed position, bullet speeds, firing rates and more! Combined with FlxControl this is a ninja combo.
FlxVelocity has been updated with lots of new functions: moveTowardsPoint, distanceToPoint, angleBetweenPoint, velocityFromAngle, accelerateTowardsObject, accelerateTowardsMouse and accelerateTowardsPoint. And FlxControl now supports rotation, thrusting and reversing.
Basically you can make an asteroids style ship movement in a couple lines of code 🙂 Of course I couldn’t resist adding some new Special FX including Blur, Center Slide and Sine Wave. Enjoy!
18th May 2011
I’m really happy to have finally pushed v1.6 of the Flixel Power Tools from dev to master! The major new class is FlxControl. On the surface it may seem a bit pointless, after-all keyboard controls in Flixel are dead easy, right? But it actually wraps those up with the FlxSprite motion and physics. This means you just tell it how many pixels/second you want the sprite to move, and it’ll do the rest! Maximum velocity, acceleration, deceleration, gravity, firing, jumping and flipping all supported. There are 5 new Test Suite examples showing how to use FlxControl, including a platformer demo (the screen shot below), a 2-player on the same keyboard demo and a simple space invaders game.
I’m particularly happy about one feature in FlxControl – the ability for a “fall jump” timer. In Mario games there is a very short period of time in which you can still jump even if you’ve just fallen off the end of a platform. FlxControl lets you set that value, so your game can feature it too! You can experience it in the Control Test 2 demo. The little chick sprite can fall-jump, giving him much greater air control. Of course, it’s optional.
Also updated was FlxScrollZone with a new feature that made it work better with images containing alpha data. Finally a new Special FX Plugin – DropDown, which creates a nice way of revealing a title page or other in-game element.
As usual grab it from github or click any screen shot to see the full Flixel Power Tools page.
11th May 2011
The Flixel Power Tools are going from strength to strength, and last night I finally completed the v1.5 update, and it’s a monster…
First of all – we’ve moved to github! After getting extremely annoyed at the downtime of my Google Code project I decided to bite the bullet and learn git. And I’m glad I did! As a result I have reorganised the whole project structure. It’s now cleaner, easier to navigate and doesn’t rely on any classpath dependencies. Hoorah!
Comprehensive Getting Started Guide
I’ll admit it – although the tools were pretty easy to use, they did assume a lot of prior knowledge to get up and running with them. This has now been addressed by way of a PDF guide. It takes you through the process of download, install and use, step-by-step. It’s included when you download from github, just look in the Docs folder.
Revamped Test Suite
The Test Suite was a great idea, but was getting cumbersome. So I have refactored it extensively. Tests are now stored in sub-folders relating to the tool they apply to. I’ve also dropped the “Flx” part of the test class names. There are lots of new tests, and the suite has grown in size vertically to accommodate the layout changes.
Lots of small bug fixes across most classes. And lots more in-line documentation added. I don’t think there is a class / function anywhere now that doesn’t have in-line documentation with it. Some classes have had a few changes, for example the Color and Gradient classes now fully support alpha channels in all colours given, so check your code before wading right in – but if something like the FlxHealthBar starts looking strange after you update, it probably just needs the colour changing to AARRGGBB format.
Of course there are some new classes too 🙂 FlxScrollingText takes the best parts of FlxBitmapFont and FlxScrollZone and merges them to create extremely flexible scrolling text fields. Just feed it with a FlxBitmapFont and you’ll get a Sprite back that you can stick anywhere in your game, with fluidly scrolling text running through it. Update the text in real-time, have the sprite delete itself once the text ends (or wrap to the start), bounce it around, scale it, alpha, rotate it. Pretty cool really 🙂 3 Test Suite tests included.
And finally the introduction of FlxSpecialFX. The more I worked on the Power Tools the more I realised they were splitting into two key areas: tools for your game, and tools that just created visual effects. So it made sense to me to start splitting them out – which is where the FlxSpecialFX class comes in. It’s a handler for the new FX Plugin system, into which I’ll carry on expanding and adding new FX (and hopefully the community will too!). Right now there are two FX plugins – Rainbow Line and Plasma, but lots more are coming 🙂
Play with the tools over here and be sure to grab the new package from github and enjoy!
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