IwGame Engine 0.4 has Landed – Massive Update, Lua, Camera and more


New here? What’s IwGame? IwGame is an open source free to use cross platform game and app engine for iPhone, iPad, Android, Bada, Playbook, Symbian, Windows Mobile, LG-TV, Windows and Mac, built on top of the Marmalade SDK. You can find out more and download the SDK from our IwGame Engine page.

Its been a long while since we did a major update of the IwGame Engine, but we have one heck of an update for you today. We have a huge number of new features, changes and bug fixes for you.

We’ve also got a slight license update. Basically the new license says that if you use IwGame then you MUST credit the IwGame either in the app / game or on the apps support web site. A VERY small price to pay for such a huge and useful engine that has taken many man months to create, test and maintain. If you cannot live with the license terms then we are willing to forego the terms for a small fee or hire one of our teams to create your project (get in touch to discuss)

Lets take a look at the complete change log:

IwGame 0.4 Changes:

  • AppEasy for Marmalade Project Manager and Apple Wizard tool added, easy wizard to help guide developers through the Apple iOS sign-up, certificate generation, provisioning etc..
  • Over 60 XOML / Lua examples added showing how to use the many parts of the IwGame engine core
  • New XOML documentation added, outlining the complete XOML and Lua API’s in depth
  • Lua API added which enables apps to be developed without C++ or a combination
  • New Script resource type added which enables scripts to be included via XOML. Globally declared scripts will exist in the global script space, whilst scene local scripts will be local to the scene
  • Support for Video Camera streaming added (IWGameCam)
  • New XOML resource type added that enables declaration of Video cam in XOML and streaming to a image (CIwGameVideoCam)
  • Sound effects have been moved into the XOML system. You can now define and play back music and sound effects from XOML
  • New RemoteReq XOML type added that enables you to make POST and GET requests declaratively
  • New XOML actions added / old ones removed
  • FromTemplate – Instantiate a XOML template from an action
  • PauseTimeline – Pauses a a timeline
  • CallGlobalScript – Calls a script in the global script space
  • ChangevideoCam – Modifies a VideoCam instance (start / stop)
  • Activate / Deactive scene removed
  • CallScript – Calls a script
  • Inline – Executes script inline
  • RemoteReq – Executes a remote request
  • Action / command parameters now support 5 parameters instead of 4
  • CIwGameActionsManager now supports removal of actions with removeActions
  • Actors / Sprites now support Orphan feature which enables them to be displayed outside their normal parent-chld hierarchy. This enables them to be layer sorted with other actors
  • Actors now support percentage positioning using the new PercPos actor property. When PercPos is set to true the actors Position property is classed as a percentage of the devices screen size
  • Actors / Sprites now have a new property called IgnoreCamera. Actors with this property set to true will ignore the scenes camera transform
  • Actors now have getProperty() method that can be used to retrieve actor properties
  • Actors now have an OnTick event that can call an actions list each time the actor is updated (each frame)
  • Actors have other new methods including CheckCollisionRect(), getDistanceBetween() and getAngleBetween()
  • Actors have many more properties that can now be set from XOML
  • Actors can now handle up to 5 simultaneous Begin / End touch and Tapped events in XONL
  • IwGameAds now sends correct user-agent for iOS and Android
  • CIwGameAnimTimelinesManager now allows removal of timelines
  • Image Brushes now support setting of UV coordinates directly using new UV property
  • XML parser pooling system changed from global to per XML parser instance, pools are auto calculated. This eliminates the need to set up XML pools.
  • Files can now transfer their data into a script when loaded
  • CIwGameImage has been extended to support CIwTexture instead of CIw2DImage, also now supports dynamic images that can be modified
  • CIwGameImage now has SaveBmp(), SaveTga(), SavePng() and SaveJpg() methods
  • New CIwGameModScript modifier added to enable actors / scenes to call scripts
  • Commands can now be conditionally executed using conditions
  • New Commands added to program system – add_var, get_var, if_var, call_script, call_global_script, inline, from_template, music, sound, wait, debug_text, remote_req
  • ChangeProgram action now supports restart command
  • Scenes now support new ScriptEngine tag which defines which script engine the scene should use
  • Scenes now support setProperty() and getProperty()
  • Scenes now have an OnTick event that can call an actions list each time the scene is updated (each frame)
  • Scene allos setting of physics time step with new PhysicsTimestep property
  • Most sprite, actor and scene parameters that were fixed point based and now floating point based
  • CIwGameSprite now has new methods SimpleTestOverlap() and TestOverlap()
  • CIwGameBitmapSprite now supports direct setting of its Uv coordinates
  • WebView (CIwGameUIWebView) completely reworked. Now uses device coordinates and can now show dynamic html / javascript
  • XOML variables can now be made persistent so that their values are saved and restored between sessions
  • XOML array variables can now be populated from comma delimited data, elements will be split at commas
  • Variables can now be removed from CIwGameXomlVariableManager
  • New CIwGameSettings class added that is used to save and restore engine settings. Currently controls debug trace output level and enable / disable device power saving
  • Many new error checks and error / warning messages added throughout
  • Slider, Imageview and TextView now support binding to integer variables
  • Labels and TextViews now have a new property TextUseParentOpacity. When set to true the labels text will scale its opacity by the label images opacity, default is not to scale
  • ActivateScene and DeactivateScene actions removed, activation / deactivation rolled into resume / suspend
  • Actors with no size or SrcRect defined will default to 100% proportional sizing
  • SetVar action now supports the generation of a random number in the same way that set_var command does
  • SetVar action and set_var command when called on an array will now fill the whole array, including the random version
  • SetVar action and set_var command now support generation of random characers with randchar
  • P1, P2, P3, P4, P5 can now be used instead of Param1, Param2, Param3, Param4, Param5 for command and actions parameters
  • All commands can now accept variable substitutions for parameters
  • Conditions can now be used on arrays for string searches, number comparisons etc..
  • Added new system variable array called touches. This array of integers represents the x, y, touched status of 5 simultaneous touches
  • Variables passed as action and command parameters now cached to speed up access
  • Raw script can now be executed inline using the new “Inline” action and “inline” command. P2 specifies scene in which to run the script (omit to run in global script space)
  • Actors that have Draggable set to true will also set Hittest to true unless you override it
  • All files are now Preload and Blocking by default
  • If you now try to add a resource that already exists in the scope it is loaded then a warning will be displayed and the resource will be overwritten
  • WebView now supports new Html attribute which can be used to pass html to the web view to be displayed
  • WebView now works in screen coordinates and not virtual canvas coordinates
  • Actors now have new UserData property that can be use to store a single integer, can be used to store index into script table / array for additional data
  • Html Ads are now integrated via the web view (see section 20 of XOML User Guide)
  • WebView now has OnError event handler which is called if the web view is not available
  • VideoCam now has OnError event handler which is called if camera fails to start
  • TTF local font loading reworked to use memory buffers
  • String class optimised to minimise memory allocations and data copying
  • String class now supports Occurrences() and Split() methods
  • Internal slot array optimised to reduce memory allocations
  • TTF local font loading reworked to use memory buffers
  • Particles defined within a Particle Actor have a new property called Attached. When set to true the particles will follow the emitter, if false then they do not.
  • Image brushes now have a new Tiled property that allows you to enable / disable tiling of the brush
  • BUG FIX: Sprites no longer appear at origin on first frame
  • BUG FIX: Fixed problems with CIwGameAnimInstance
  • BUG FIX: Scene layering fixed and optimised
  • BUG FIX: Crash when deleting or adding scenes at the same time as removing them
  • BUG FIX: Scene layers now taken into account when processing touches
  • BUG FIX: Patch9 based actor clipping bug fixed
  • BUG FIX: Text margin for labels now fixed
  • BUG FIX: Crash when assigning invalid timeline to scene
  • BUG FIX: Template parameter case issue fixed
  • BUG FIX: Nop command now returns immediately
  • BUG FIX: Crash when not assigning brush a type. Defaults to Image with a warning
  • BUG FIX: WebView was not positioned correctly when scene origin was set to something other than centre
  • BUG FIX: Web view now works on iOS and Android (does not work on Windows)
  • BUG FIX: AspectLock fixed
  • BUG FIX: None batched sprites now render correctly at edges
  • BUG FIX: Deleting particle actor that was child of another actor crashed when removing particle actor
  • BUG FIX: Particle actor placed inside parent actor didn’t scale by parents opacity when UseParentOpacity set
  • BUG FIX: Particle angvelmode, scalevelmode, depthvelmode names corrected
  • BUG FIX: Empty Param2 in FromTenplate action / commands crash
  • BUG FIX: Fixed changing orientation resizing
  • BUG FIX: Touch panning glitch fixed
  • BUG FIX: Crash fixes in CIwGameDataFile
  • BUG FIX: Compass fix
  • BUG FIX: Actors OnCreate event was not working
  • BUG FIX: Deleting scene crash
  • BUG FIX: Crash when invalid animations added to a timeline
  • Many other small additions and bug fixes that we forgot to note :)

I did say there were a lot of changes :)

Lets separate some of the changes and take a look at what they mean to IwGame Engine users:

Moving Towards a Portable Engine

We have decided to make IwGame portable as we no longer see the iwGame engine as a Marmalade learning tool. With this in mind we have started abstracting Marmalade specific code out of the main code and into its own platform section (see Marm sub folders). Over time all Marmalade types, classes, functions and constants will be moved out and replaced with a universal system that can be easily ported. We will then be porting IwGame to each individual native platform, These platforms include:

* Windows XP/Vista/7/8
* Mac OS
* Android
* Apple iOS
* Windows Phone 8
* BlackBerry OS 10
* PlayStation Vita
* Marmalade SDK

With this in mind you will have a couple of changes to make to get your existnig projects to work with IwGame. Here are the changes you will need to make:

1) Add #include “Marm\IwGamePlatformMarm.h” to your main.cpp file
2) Call IwGamePlatformMarm_Create(); at the start of main() before you do anything related to dynamic memory allocation or IwGame / Marmalade
3) Call IwGamePlatformMarm_Destroy();; right before you exit main() after you have done freeing memory and shutting down IwGame / Marmalade

Lua API

By far the most interesting addition to IwGame is the Lua API. The IwGame Lua API enables you to develop games and apps without any need to fall back to C++. Just about anything you can do in C++ you can do in Lua + XOML. We want to move IwGame towards a none compiler based system where you can create great games and apps without the need for professional level knowledge of C++ or compilers or IDE’s. In fact, we have a new service for Marmalade and none Marmalade developers called AppEasy that is built upon the IwGame core that does just that and is available at http://www.appeasymobile.com

Actors can call scripts and scripts can create and modify actors, scenes and all sorts of other stuff. You can even execute inline script in XOML!

AppEasy for Marmalade

AppEasy for Marmalade has been included in this distribution of the IwGame engine. AppEasy for Marmalade is a cool little project manager that lets you organise assets, scripts, icons, splash screens, set app info and generate a fully working MKB project for you that you can build and deploy. We have provided this awesome tool to enable you to easily check out all of the new examples, as well as give you a taste of C++ free development.

Over 60 Examples

IwGame 0.4 comes with nearly 70 examples that show off the various parts of the SDK. Here’s a complete list of examples:

Accelerometer – Shows how to use the accelerometer
• ActorChildren – Shows how actor hierarchies work
• ActorCollisionFlags – Shows how to use collision flags to mask collisions between actors
• ActorConnector – Shows how to use the connector actor to visually connect actors
• ActorDocking – Shows how actors can be docked to arrange them effectively on different sized screens
• ActorLayers – Shows how actors can be layered to add depth sorting
• ActorModifier – Shows how to use actor modifiers to add additional functionality to actors
• ActorParticles – An example that shows how to use the particles system. This example builds up to 1000 animating particles at different depths over a short period of time.
• ActorPhysics – Shows how to apply physics to actors
• AdvancedCollision – Shows how to query and interact with an actors list of start / end collision contacts
• BasicActions – Shows how to use basic actions to play and pause an animation
• BasicAnimation – Shows how to create basic animation and attach it to an actor
• BasicDataBindings – Shows how to basic data bindings. This example binds properties of an actor to different variables
• BitmapAnimation – Shows how to create a bitmap animation from a sprite atlas and attach it to an actor
• ComplexProgram – Shows how to create a slightly complex program using commands that are executed in sequence or in parallel
• ConditionalActions – Shows how to execute actions based on certain conditions being met
• ConditionalImages – Shows how to load different image sets based on conditions such as the screen size
• DataGrid – Shows how to create a grid user interface component and bind XML data to it
• Demos/Happy Birthday – Shows image loading and basic animation
• Demos/SpaceGame – Shows a basic demo of an object flying through space that can shoot bullets. Lua is used to provide the game logic
• DynamicWebView – This example shows how to write html directly to a web view using actions creating dynamic web content. It also shows how to use actions to navigate web pages / sites.
• Files – Shows how to load files and bind the loaded data to a label
• Games/GameOf10 – A game written completely in XOML, including logic
• Games/HangMan – A hang man game written in XOML and Lua
• Games/RockPaperScissors – A rock paper scissors written completely in XOML
• HelloWorld – Basic hello world XOML example
• Joints – Demo that shows how to use a variety of different Box2D joints to connect actors together
• Music – Shows how to play and stop music using actions
• OverlapTest – A simple example that shows how to use script to test for overlapping actors
• PersistentVariables – An example that shows how variables can be made persistent across different app sessions
• ProgramLoops – Shows how to create and use loops in programs
• RemoveResources – Shows how to remove resources from the global resource manager
• SceneAnimation – Shows how to animate a scene
• SceneAugmentation – Shows how to add functionality to a scene after it has already been declared
• SceneClipping – Shows how to change the clipping extents of a scene
• SceneEvents – Shows how to use and handle scene events
• SceneExtents – Shows how to change a scenes extents
• SceneLayers – Shows how to layer scenes
• ScenePanning – Shows how to use touch camere panning within a scene
• ScenePhysics – Shows how to set up basic physics in a scene
• SceneSwitch – Shows how to load and switch between different scenes
• SimpleCollision – Shows how to use collision modifiers to add collision detection to actors
• SimpleProgram – Shows how to create a simple XOML program
• SimpleScript – Shows how to add a simple script
• SoundEffects – Shows how to play sound effects
• Styles – Shows how to use styles to style a group of actors
• Templates – Shows how to use templates to create multiple actors at the same time
• Templates2 – Shows how to create actors from templates from actions
• TiledBrushes – Demo that shows how to use tiled brushes to create effects
• UI_Canvas – Shows how to use the Canvas UI container control
• UI_Complex – A more complex UI example that shows a large complex virtual user interface
• UI_Grid – Shows how to use the Grid UI container control to host pre-set UI elements
• UI_Grid2 – Shows how to create a UI Grid component automatically from data
• UI_ImageView – Shows how to create an ImageView container UI control. The ImageView container supports pinch zoom / pan
• UI_Listbox – Shows how to use the Listbox container UI control to host preset UI
• UI_Listbox2 – Shows how to use the Listbox container UI control to host dynamic UI
• UI_Slider – Shows how to use the slider UI component
• UI_StackPanel – Shows how to use the StackPanel UI container control
• UI_TabBar – Shows how to use the TabBar UI container control to host different views of information
• UI_Textbox – Shows how to use the Textbox UI component to allow the user to enter information
• UI_TextView – Shows how to use a Textview UI control
• UI_WebView – Shows how to use a web view UI control to show web content
• UI_WrapPanel – Shows how to use the WrapPanel container UI component
• Variables – Shows how to use XOML variables
• Video – Shows how to display video
• VideoCam – Shows how to stream the video cam to an image and then map that image to actors
• XMLVariables – Shows how to use XML variables in XOML to pull specific information from XML files

New XOML / Lua API Documentation

The XOML and Lua API have been fully documented in an over 200 page manual that accompanies the SDK. The latest version of this manual is also available at AppEasy XOML User / Programming Guide PDF. The C++ documentation has not yet been updated with all of the latest changes so will not be available for some time.

Apple iOS Wizard

You will find that a new tool has been added to the IwGame Engine called the Apple Wizard. This handy little tool is ideal for beginners or event veterans who sometimes forget the long winded and overly complex procedures involved in generating signing certificates requests, creating developer / distribution certificates, provisioning devices, creating App ID’s etc.. Well this little tool will walk you through the whole process so it can be done in minutes.

Support for Video Camera Streaming

You can now declare a new VideoCam tag in XOML which enables you to stream the users front / rear camera to an image then display that image as an actor. Check out the VideoCam example for a cool demo.

Audio Integration

We’ve moved sound effects into the XOML system properly so you can now include compressed wav files into your apps without the need to put them through the Marmalade resource manager. You can even host them on a web server and download them as and when required, just like any other resource.

Remote Requests

We’ve made it possible to construct POST and GET requests in XOML and send and receive responses from XOML / Lua. This is a very interesting new feature that enables communication with web based services declaratively.

Orphan Actors and Sprites

A number of users have made comment regarding not being able to depth sort child sprites, well we’ve found a workable solution for you that doesn’t break our API. You can now set actors as “Orphans” by adding Orphan=”true” to their declaration. An actor that is orphaned will be taken out of the normal sprite parent / child hierarchy allowing it to be depth sorted with parent regular actors

Percentage Based Positioning

It became apparent to us that as we had a percentage based sizing system in IwGame that we also needed a percentage based positioning system too, allowing truly device screen independent layouts. Actors can now be marked as percentage based by adding PercPos=”true”. When set, the actors position will be taken as a percentage instead of an absolute coordinate.

Multi-touch Actors

Actors can now handle up to 5 simultaneous Begin / End touch and Tapped events in XOML. This enables you to create some very interesting styles of app and game play as you can monitor and react to 5 touches at the same time.

Proper User-Agent

IwGameAds now gets a proper browser user-agent from the system for Android and iOS using the new UserAgent EDK extension. This should help increase ad fill rates substantially.

XML Pools have Gone, Woopeee!

I was never keen on the global XML pool system so we destroyed it, well not completely, we wanted to keep XML memory pooling but make it an automated process. The XML parser will now pre-scan an XML file and calculate how many tags / attributes are present then allocate just the right amount of pool memory.

Cool Brushes

Image brushes can now use clamping or tiling. Also, you can now set the UV’s of an image brush directly using the new UV attribute which accepts 8 numbers (topleft-uv, topright-uv, bottomright-uv, bottomleft-uv)

Web View Reworked

The Web View control has been reworked and can now display dynamic html content that can be set via XOML, Lua and C++.

Actions and Command

Actions and commands now accept XOML variables as parameters. Many new actions and commands have also been added, expanding the functionality of XOML substantially.

XOML Variables

XOML variables have had many changes including:
* Variables can now be made persistent so theri values are saved and restored between game sessions
* XOML array variables can now be populated from comma delimited data, elements will be split at commas
* Conditions can now be used on arrays for string searches, number comparisons etc..
* Added new system variable array called touches. This array of integers represents the x, y, touched status of 5 simultaneous touches

As you can see there’s been a huge number of changes, good luck with the update and happy coding.

Oh, please direct all XOML / Lua questions to our AppEasy forum at http://www.appeasymobile.com/forum

14 thoughts on “IwGame Engine 0.4 has Landed – Massive Update, Lua, Camera and more

  1. [...] small portion of the huge number of changes that IwGame has undergone. Check out the iwGame blog at http://www.drmop.com/index.php/2012/10/12/iwgame-engine-0… for a full list of changes / features and to download the very latest version of the IwGame Engine [...]

  2. jb says:

    Mat, is there any document specific to v0.4? The links point to documentation for v0.36 and the one included in the .zip file also is for v0.36 and is dated June 15, 2012.

  3. drmop says:

    No, we’re working on updating the documentation to 0.4, but its a big job so it will take some time.

    Oh, you should check out the XOML Programming Guide as this contains the latest information relating to XOML and the IwGame Engines new Lua bindings.

  4. kasurdev says:

    Hi Mat,

    That is a really great stuff!

    You have mentioned that you are going to port iwgame to individual native platforms. I don’t see Bada there. Does it mean that you are going to stop supporting Bada?

    Best

  5. drmop says:

    yes, we plan to port to as many platforms as possible. Samsung are replacing the Bada platform with something else, so we may not be supporting Bade

  6. micki0271 says:

    CIwGameSlotArray with Growth == 1 not correct function Add (T)
    grow(Growth);
    Elements[t] = element;
    LastFreedSlot = t+1;
    return true;
    }

    need
    if (Growth == 1)
    LastFreedSlot = -1;
    else
    LastFreedSlot = t+1;

  7. ChrisTheScientist says:

    Hi,

    Many thanks or this extensive update!

    Can you point to any documentation or examples of how to use sounds with IwGame v0.400? I see in the updated c0nnections example the sounds (but not the music) no longer work and this method (commented out)

    //IW_GAME_AUDIO->setGroup(audio_group->getResourceGroup());

    no longer exists in the API. Is there an equivalent way to do this with the new Engine and Marmalade? Again, if there is any documentation about this that I’ve missed apologies.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  8. drmop says:

    Hers a quick example:

    // Locate the audio resource group
    CIwGameResourceGroup* audio_group = (CIwGameResourceGroup*)IW_GAME_GLOBAL_RESOURCES->getResourceManager()->findResource(“Audio”, CIwGameXomlNames::ResourceGroup_Hash);

    // Create sound effects and add to resource manager
    CIwGameSound* sound = new CIwGameSound();
    sound->Init(“explosion”, audio_group->getResourceGroup());
    IW_GAME_GLOBAL_RESOURCES->getResourceManager()->addResource(sound);

  9. yarivt says:

    There’s a bug in bool CIwGameSprite::SimpleTestOverlap(CIwGameSprite* other)
    The test for overlap does not work if the rectangle designated by (x1,y1,dx,dy) is *fully covered* by a *larger* rectange designated by (x2,y2,dx2,dy2).
    The corrected check should be:

    if ((x2 > x1 && x2 x1 && (x2 + dx2) < (x1 + dx))
    || /*fullly covers*/((x2 = x1+dx) && (dx > 0) && (dx2 > 0)))
    {
    if ((y2 > y1 && y2 y1 && (y2 + dy2) < (y1 + dy))
    || /*fullly covers*/((y2 = y1+dy) && (dy > 0) && (dy2 > 0)))
    {
    return true;
    }
    }

    That said – is there’s a dev forum for IWGame?

  10. yarivt says:

    I saw the code was a bit messed up, so here it is again for the x axis (hope this time it posts correctly):
    if ((x2 > x1 && x2 x1 && (x2 + dx2) < (x1 + dx))
    || /*fullly covers*/((x2 = x1+dx) && (dx > 0) && (dx2 > 0)))

    and the same kind of fix should be applied to the y axis.

    So why doesn’t the original code work? Because when (x1,y1,dx,dy) is fully covered by(x2,y2,dx2,dy2) then: x2 < x1 < x1+dx x1) is false in the first line and (x2+dx2<x1+dx) is false in the second line so a third test line is required.

  11. yarivt says:

    Here’s another possible bug…
    In bool CIwGameUIStackPanel::UpdateLayout() there are several uses of margin.w to calculate pos.y. Since the calculations target is the Y axis I assume the margin that should be used is margin.y or margin.h (from reading the code I think it was meant to be margin.y)
    In fact – looking deeper into the code it looks like margin.x,margin.y are used when calculating pos.x and margin.w,margin.h are used when calculating pos.y.
    This, of course, is not what I expected… Is this intentional? Can you please explain the rational behind it?

  12. drmop says:

    Margin is x – left, y – right, w – top, h – bottom

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