AppEasy Open Beta!

AppEasy the cross platform mobile game and app development system for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and the Marmalade SDK is now open beta!

We are happy to announce that AppEasy is now in open beta, so anyone can noe join and use AppEasy for free.

We’ve been in closed beta for over 2 months now and we feel its time to move to open beta to increase the size of the user base. Whilst some of the closed beta developers have provided some great feedback (many thanks for that), many have not. We will remain in open beta for the next 6-12 months (maybe less). During that time the licensing system will be added and the top 100 beta developers will receive a one year free indie license. This license will be upgraded to pro for the top 4 beta developers.

NOTE: When the licensing system is added the free version of AppEasy will display ads in any new apps that you create.

You can find out more about AppEasy and sign up for a free account now at http://www.appeasymobile.com/

AppEasy for Marmalade Now Available

AppEasy for the Marmalade SDK Has Arrived

We have made a special version of AppEasy that allows Marmalade SDK developers to develop AppEasy mobile games and apps using a combination of AppEasy and the Marmalade SDK.

What is AppEasy for Marmalade?

AppEasy for Marmalade is a software development tool and set of libraries that are designed to bring cross platform native mobile game and application development to people from all walks of life. Our goal is to enable anyone (regardless of expertise) to develop their own apps using AppEasy and the Marmalade SDK for fun or for sale on a variety of app stores, including the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Market and beyond.

How do we plan to accomplish this? AppEasy uses an easy to learn mark-up language similar to HTML but designed specifically for producing game and application content. For example, it is possible to create game characters complete with physics
and collision in only a few lines of mark-up. Its also equally possible to create complex user interface controls that are bound to remote data. We also cater for the more experienced developer that would like more control over their app. Our rich mark-up language (XOML) has support for a wide range of tasks including working with variables, events, actions, commands, programs, calling Lua scripts and much more.

IwGame Engine Libraries and headers are also provided that enable Marmalade developers to access the power of AppEasy from C/C++.

AppEasy is compatible with all Marmalade compatible platforms. AppEasy Project Manager is currently compatible with Windows XP / Vista and Windows 7

Who is it for?

AppEasy for Marmalade is designed to enable anyone that has basic knowledge of Microsoft Visual Studio to develop and deploy their own games and apps onto mobile phones and onto mobile app stores.

How Much Does It Cost?

At the moment AppEasy for Marmalade is currently free to use for all Marmalade SDK developers.

Where Can I Get It?

You can download the latest build of AppEasy for Marmalade from http://www.drmop.com/AppEasyMarmalade.zip. This beta release is locked to the root of the C drive so ensure that you unzip the file to C: or AppEasy may NOT work.

Where can I get Support?

Our web site provides lots of information to help get you started. AppEasy is also fully documented (see the docs folder in the AppEasy installation) as well as over 60 examples located in the examples folder. We also provide a support forum for all AppEasy users at http://www.appeasymobile.com/forum

IwGame 0.4 Coming Very Soon – IwGame is Going Portable


Awesome news. IwGame 0.4 is on its way, we are aiming for a release this week (with a little luck). Be warned there are a mass of changes and fixes as well as some awesome new features.

We are also abstracting the Marmalade SDK out of the IwGame engine so it can be easily ported to native platforms. This is not to say that we will no longer be supporting Marmalade, we still love Marmalade and it will remain a target platform that IwGame can link with, although you will require a Marmalade license to use the Marmalade version of IwGame.

This weeks release will not be fully portable as we have just started the platform abstraction process. We will be working on porting IwGame to Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, WP8 and possibly BlackBerry OS 10 over the coming months. The final portable version of the game engine (IwGame 0.5) will be renamed to give it its own identity. The tentative new name will be the “Core Engine”

Our aim is to provide a commercial grade stand alone cross platform mobile and desktop game and application SDK along with a rapid application development system that requires no compilers or IDE’s and simple single click deployment and testing.

IwGame Engine – Using Templates Tutorial

New here? What’s IwGame? IwGame is an open source free to use cross platform game engine for iPhone, iPad, Android, Bada, Playbook, Symbian, Windows Mobile, LG-TV, Windows and Mac, built on top of the Marmalade SDK.

A forum poster asked a question recently that made me realise that XOML Templates can quite easily be overlooked as a means for creating re-usable actors and such, so I thought to help make Templates more visible that I would create a very quick tutorial showing how to use them.

To begin with, lets take a look at what a template actually is and does. A template is a XOML tag that allows you to define generic XOML that is not instantiated immediately, yuo can think of a Template as a blue print for something that you will later instantiate into your game or app world. A template also takes any number of parameters that can be passed when you instantiate the template.

When creating items inside a Template, template parameters are defined using a template parameter name that is enclosed inside double dollar signs ($$), for example $position$. When you later instantiate the items within the template the parameters within the template will be replaced by values that are passed to the template.

Lets take a quick look at creating an actor / child actor with a template

    <Template Name="TankTemp">
        <TankActor Name="$name$" Style="TankActorStyle" Position="$pos$″ >
            <TankActor Name="$name$_sel" Style="TankActorSelectedStyle" Position="0, 0″ />
        </TankActor>
    </Template>

Here we create a template called TankTemp that defined an actor with a name of $name$ and a position of $pos$. Note that because these two parameters are enclosed in $$ they are classed as template parameters.

Now to instantiate this elements within this template in XOML we use the following:

        <FromTemplate Template="TankTemp" name="Tank" pos="310, -120" />

The above code will instantiate the following code:

    <TankActor Name="Tank" Style="TankActorStyle" Position="310, -120″ >
        <TankActor Name="Tank_sel" Style="TankActorSelectedStyle" Position="0, 0″ />
    </TankActor>

To instantiate a template from C++, we firstly need to find the template, build the parameters then instantiate the template passing in the parameters:

// Find the tank template
CIwGameTemplate* temp = (CIwGameTemplate*)scene->getResourceManager()->findResource("TankTemp", "template");
if (temp != NULL)
{
	// Create a set of XML attributes that will replace the template parameters
	CIwGameXmlNode* replacements = new CIwGameXmlNode();
	replacements->Managed = false;
	CIwGameXmlAttribute* attrib;

	// Set name template parameter
	attrib = new CIwGameXmlAttribute();
	attrib->Managed = false;
	attrib->setName("name");
	attrib->setValue("Tank");
	replacements->AddAttribute(attrib);

	// Set position template parameter
	attrib = new CIwGameXmlAttribute();
	attrib->Managed = false;
	attrib->setName("pos");
	attrib->setValue("310, -120");
	replacements->AddAttribute(attrib);

	// Instantiate the Tank template
	temp->Instantiate(scene, replacements);

	// Clean up replacement attributes
	delete replacements;
}

AppEasy – Coming Soon – Beta Testers Wanted

I would like to mention a new service that we plan to roll out very soon called AppEasy. AppEasy is a game and app development system that enables anyone to develop cross platform games and apps for iOS, Android (soon Samsung Bada and BlackBerry PlayBook) without the need for C++, Objective-C, Java or compilers / other SDK’s etc.. The AppEasy system involves using XOML and Lua (other script languages to be added soon) to create apps. To build an app you simply drag and drop all of your assets onto a web app, set some parameters for your game or app, such as icons, app name etc.. then hit deploy. Builds for each platform are then created that you can submit to the app stores. You can also hit a debug button to test your app locally. The system will be Windows only to begin with as we cannot gain elevated security permissions on Mac from Silverlight 5, we are still looking into options for Mac and Linux. If you are interested in beta testing this new service then get in touch with us at http://www.pocketeers.co.uk/?page_id=8. We are only offering a limited number of spots initially, so grab them whilst they are available. Now for a quick poll:

Is AppEasy something you are interested in?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Whilst the pricing structure is not yet final, AppEasy will be priced competitively, although a free version will most likely be made available that embeds an Ad into deployed apps that generate revenue for us on start up. Money made from AppEasy will be spent on improving IwGame / AppEasy and other cool developer tool projects (such as the IwGame editor) that we have in the works.

If there is anything that you strongly agree / disagree with then please feel free to comment.

IwGame Engine Tutorial – Image, Brush, Animation and Timeline Overview

New here? What’s IwGame? IwGame is an open source free to use cross platform game engine for iPhone, iPad, Android, Bada, Playbook, Symbian, Windows Mobile, LG-TV, Windows and Mac, built on top of the Marmalade SDK.

This tutorial is a basic overview of the image, brush, animation and timeline systems.

Images

Art work definition in XOML is separated into images, each image represents a single image file in PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF or TGA format

To create an image in XOML the following tag is used:

<Image Name="ui_image" Location="ui.png" Preload="false" Blocking="true" Format="RGBA_8888" Filter="true" Tag="Level1" Condition="variable" />

Parameters are:

  • Name – Name of the image
  • Location – filename, local or web based
  • Preload – If true then the image will be preloaded, if false then the image will be loaded when first used (optional)
  • Blocking – If true then execution will be paused until the image is fully loaded (optional)
  • Format – Format to convert the image to when loaded, supported formats include RGBA_8888, RGB_565, RGBA_4444, RGBA_5551, RGB_888, RGBA_6666, RGB_332 (optional)
  • Filter – When set to true filtering will be used when rendering sprites that utilise this image (optional)
  • Tag – A resource tag name, allows resources to be grouped, so they can be removed in groups (optional)
  • Condition – The name of a condition variable that must evaluate to true (false if !variable is specified) for this resource to be loaded (optional)

Brushes

An Image represents a single image file whilst an image brush represents a rectangular area within an image (used with sprite atlases). A 9patch image brush represents a special type of image that preserves the edges of an image whilst scaling its inner features.

To create an brush in XIOML the following tag is used:

<Brush Name="Button1Brush" Image="ui_image" SrcRect="320, 70, 200, 70" Type="9patch" ScaleArea="7, 8, 186, 54" Tag="Level1" Condition="variable" />

Parameters are:

  • Name – Name of the brush
  • Image – Image to use for this brush
  • SrcRect – A rectangular area in the image that will be used to limit the part of the image drawn (x, y, w, h)
  • Type – The type of brush (image or 9patch currently supported)
  • ScaleAea – The scalable area of a 9patch brush (optional)
  • Tag – A resource tag name, allows resources to be grouped, so they can be removed in groups (optional)
  • Condition – The name of a condition variable that must evaluate to true (false if !variable is specified) for this resource to be created (optional)

Animation

XOML supports a versatile and complex animation system that allows animation of all types of data. However for the purpose of image animation we can narrow it down to just rect animations. Here is an example of creation of rect animation:

<Animation Name="PlayerImageAnim" Type="rect" Duration="0.8" Tag="Level1" >
    <Frame Value="0, 0,   36, 40" Time="0.0" />
    <Frame Value="0, 40,  36, 40" Time="0.1" />
    <Frame Value="0, 80,  36, 40" Time="0.2" />
    <Frame Value="0, 120, 36, 40" Time="0.3" />
    <Frame Value="0, 160, 36, 40" Time="0.4" />
    <Frame Value="0, 200, 36, 40" Time="0.5" />
    <Frame Value="0, 240, 36, 40" Time="0.6" />
    <Frame Value="0, 280, 36, 40" Time="0.7" />
</Animation>

Here we enclose a number of Frame tags inside an Animation tag, each frame specifies a rectangular area within the sprite atlas, whilst Animation defines the actual animation that will be available.to the user.

Animation parameters are:

  • Name – Name of the animation
  • Type – Type of animation data (bool, float, vec2, vec3, vec4, rect and string) – Images animation use rect
  • Duration – The length of the animation in seconds
  • Tag – A resource tag name, allows resources to be grouped, so they can be removed in groups (optional)

Frame parameters are:

  • Value – The value for this frame, in the case of a rect this value is x, y, w, h
  • Time – The time at which this frame will be used
  • Easing – The easing method used (linear, quadin,quadout, cubicin, cubicout, quarticin, quarticout)

An Animation tag can also contain another tag called Atlas that is used to automatically generate a number of frames of type rect:

<Animation Name="PlayerImageAnim" Type="rect" Duration="0.8" Tag="Level1" >
    <Atlas Count="8" Size="36, 40" Position="0, 0" Pitch="1024, 40" Width="1024" Duration="0.1"/>
</Animation>

Atlas parameters are:

  • Count – number of frames to generate
  • Size – The size of each frame (w. h)
  • Position – Position where to start creating frames (x. y)
  • Pitch – The amount to step to move to the next line of sprites within the image (x, y)
  • Width – The width of the source image
  • Duration – The amount of time to assign to each frame

An Atlas tag can be mixed in with normal frames, although such an action would be rare. Atlas tag is useful for sprite atlases where all frames are of equal size and are also spaced equally across and down the image.

Timelines

The Timeline system is a system that allows the user to group together collections of animations and play them all back simultaneously on demand. A timeline can contain any number of animations that can target different properties of actors and scenes.

Below is an example of a timeline that can target an actors SrcRect, allowing sprite atlas bitmap animations to be applied to an actors sprite

<Timeline Name="Player1Intro" AutoPlay="true" Tag="Level1">
    <Animation Anim="PlayerImageAnim" Target="SrcRect" Repeat="0" StartAtTime="0" Delta="false" Interpolate="true" OnEnd="AnimEnded" OnStart="AnimStarted" OnRepeat="AnimRepeated" />
</Timeline>

The Timeline tag enclosed a set of animations that have previously been defined with the Animation tag.

Timeline parameters are:

  • Name – Name of the timeline
  • AutoPlay – If set to true then the animation will automatically play when assigned to an actor or scene< (optional)/li>
  • Tag – A resource tag name, allows resources to be grouped, so they can be removed in groups (optional)

The inner Animation tags define which animations to play and which properties of the target actor or scene to modify, as well as actions that can be called when certain animation events occur.

Timeline Animation parameters are:

  • Anim – The animation to play
  • Target – The target property of the actor or scene to modify (in this case SrcRect modifies the actors sprite source rectangle which defined which portion of the sprite atlas to display)
  • Repeat – Number of times to repeat the animation (0 for infinite)
  • StartAtTime – The number of seconds to delay starting the animation playback (optional)
  • Delta – When set to true animation frames will be added to the objects existing property rather than overwriting it (optional)
  • Interpolate – When set to false frames will be interpolated< (optional)/li>
  • OnEnd, OnStart and OnRepeat are actions that will be called when an animation ends, starts or repeats< (optional)/li>

Marmalade SDK Tutorial – Integrating LUA Script Language

This tutorial is part of the Marmalade SDK tutorials collection. To see the tutorials index click here

Its been a while since I wrote a Marmalade SDk tutorial and to be honest I’ve been itching for the chance to start them back up, so I freed up a little time today to bring you this new tutorial.

Ok, decided that it was high time that IwGame had a proper scripting language, so took a look around various scripting languages including LUA, Javascript and AngelScript. Whilst we like them all and would like to integrate them all at some point, our first choice is LUA.

And as I am a complete LUA noob I decided to write a short tutorial showing how to integrate LUA so a) everyone can see how “not so difficult” (had to avoid the word easy, because that would be wrong) it is to integrate LUA and b) so I don’t forget how to do it myself in the future

I have created a small Marmalade app called lua_test that demonstrates the following:

  • Execute a string containing lua commands
  • Load and execute a lua file from C
  • Load and execute a specific function in a lua file from C
  • Load a lua file that executes a C function

With these basics you should be able to integrate LUA into your own project quite easily.

I’m not going to pretend that I am now a LUA expert after spending but a few hours learning how to integrate it, but I know a few things now to be confident to write this tutorial.

Setting up the MKB to support LUA

The first thing you need to do is edit your projects MKB file and the following sections:

packages
{
    lua
}

subprojects
{
    lua
}

LUA is not distributed with Marmalade, instead it is downloaded from the code repository when you run your MKB file. When you open up your MKB file you will notice a new lua filter has been added

Note that the version of LUA that is supported by the Marmalade SDK is currently 5.1.4

LUA header files

In order to access LUA you need to include the headers. However as we are including C headers into a C++ app we need to let the compiler know. With that in mind we add the headers as follows:

// LUA headers
extern "C"
{
   #include "lua.h"
   #include "lauxlib.h"
   #include "lualib.h"
}

LUA State

LUA holds no global variables so the interpreters current state has to be stored somewhere where it can be accessed from your code. In our simple examples, we create the LUA state using lua_open() which returns a pointer to the state then close it when we have finished using lua_close(). Ideally you would want to manage this pointer to the LUA state, depending on the scope and lifetime of LUA scripts in your app. All of our examples start and end with:

// Open LUA
lua_State *lua = lua_open();

// Add LUA libraries (standard libraries are libraries of code that provide some basic functionality such as print)
luaL_openlibs(lua);                                        // See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#luaL_openlibs

//
// Do something with LUA
//

// Shut down the lua state
lua_close(lua);                                            // See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_close

LUA Stack

LUA passes information between C and LAU code via a stack. To pass information to a LUA function from C you push the name of the function that you wish to call onto the stack followed by any parameters that you wish to pass. When the LUA function returns it returns any return values (LUA can return multiple values) or an error on the stack. Similarly when calling a C function from LUA, LUA pushes the parameters onto the stack then calls the C function. The C function examines the parameters on the stack (C does not remove them, LUA removes them when it returns) and utilises the data passed from LUA, carries out some logic and returns.

More info on the LUA stack can be found at http://www.lua.org/pil/24.2.html

Calling a string containing LUA from C

Here’s some example code showing how to execute a piece of LUA contained within a string:

void CallLuaString(const char* string)
{
	s3eDebugOutputString("==== Calling a LUA string");

	// Open LUA
	lua_State *lua = lua_open();

	// Add LUA libraries
	luaL_openlibs(lua);										// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#luaL_openlibs

	// Pass the string to lua to execute
	if (luaL_loadbuffer(lua, string, strlen(string), "line") == 0)	// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#luaL_loadbuffer
	{
		if (lua_pcall(lua, 0, 0, 0) != 0)
		{
			// Output the error
			s3eDebugOutputString(lua_tostring(lua, -1));

			// Pop error message off the stack
			lua_pop(lua, 1);								// see http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pop
		}
	}

	// Shut down the lua state
	lua_close(lua);											// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_close
}

In this example, we open LUA then ad the standard LUA libraries. We then load the supplied string as a LUA chunk using luaL_loadbuffer() then call it using lua_pcall(). If an error occurs then we display the error and pop it off the stack

Calling a LUA file from C

Our next example looks at how to call a LUA file from C, lets take a look at the code:

void CallLuaFile(const char* lua_filename)
{
	s3eDebugOutputString("==== Calling a LUA file");

	// Open LUA
	lua_State *lua = lua_open();

	// Add LUA libraries
	luaL_openlibs(lua);										// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#luaL_openlibs

	// Load our test LUA file
	if (luaL_loadfile(lua, lua_filename) == 0)				// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_load
	{
		if (lua_pcall(lua, 0, 0, 0) != 0)					// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pcall
		{
			// Output the error
			s3eDebugOutputString(lua_tostring(lua, -1));

			// Pop error message off the stack
			lua_pop(lua, 1);								// see http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pop
		}
	}

	// Shut down the lua state
	lua_close(lua);											// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_close
}

We begin this example much like we did our previous example, but instead of load_buffer() we call luaL_loadfile(), which basically does the same thing except it loads the data from a file.

Calling a LUA function from C

This example gets a little more complicated as we need to begin dealing with pushing data onto the LUA stack. Lets take a look at the code:

void CallLuaFunctionInFile(const char* lua_filename, const char* function_name, double arg0, double arg1)
{
	s3eDebugOutputString("==== Calling a LUA function from C");

	// Open LUA
	lua_State *lua = lua_open();

	// Add LUA libraries
	luaL_openlibs(lua);										// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#luaL_openlibs

	// Load our test LUA file
	if (luaL_loadfile(lua, lua_filename) == 0)				// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_load
	{
		// Init the loaded lua file
		if (lua_pcall(lua, 0, 0, 0) == 0)					// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pcall
		{
			// Push the name of the function that we want to call onto the stack
			// NB: LUA uses a stack to pass information back and forth between LUA and C (see http://www.lua.org/pil/24.2.html)
			lua_getglobal(lua, function_name);				// Push function name that we want to call ontothe stack (see http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_getglobal)
			lua_pushnumber(lua, arg0);						// Push function call argument 1
			lua_pushnumber(lua, arg1);						// Push function call argument 2

			if (lua_pcall(lua, 2, 1, 0) != 0)				// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pcall
				s3eDebugOutputString(lua_tostring(lua, -1));
			else
			{
				if (!lua_isnumber(lua, -1))					// http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_isnumber
					s3eDebugOutputString("Function muust return a value");
				else
				{
					// Get th result returned from the LUA function
					double result = lua_tonumber(lua, -1);
				}
			}
			lua_pop(lua, 1);								// see http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pop
		}
	}

	// Shut down the lua state
	lua_close(lua);											// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_close
}

Much of the code remains the same as the previous example, where we initialise LUA, load a LUA file and execute it. The difference is that we now push an actual function name and a number of parameters onto the stack using lua_getglobal() and lua_pushnumber(). We then make another call to LUA which executes the LUA function that we just stacked, e then check the return value and if itis not a number we display an error otherwise we pop the returned number off the stack and store it locally.

Calling a C function from LUA

Things get a little more complicated when you find that you need to call C functions from LUA. The first thing that we need to do is let LUA know that our C function is available to be called as well as define a protocol for how it should be called from LUA. Lets take a look at an example:

static int test_function(lua_State *lua)
{
	double d = 0;
	// Get the argument that was passed from lua
	if (lua_isnumber(lua, 1))
		d = lua_tonumber(lua, 1);
	else
		s3eDebugOutputString("test_function can only accept a number");

	// Square it
	d = d * d;

	// Push the result back onto the stack as a return value
	lua_pushnumber(lua, d);

	// Return the number of result arguments that were passed back to lua
	return 1;
}

void CallCFunctionFromLua()
{
	s3eDebugOutputString("==== Calling a C function from LUA");

	// Open LUA
	lua_State *lua = lua_open();

	// Add LUA libraries
	luaL_openlibs(lua);										// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#luaL_openlibs

	// Push the test function
	lua_pushcfunction(lua, test_function);					// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pushcfunction

	// Set the global test_function to the pushed C function
	lua_setglobal(lua, "test_function");					// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_setglobal

	// Load our test LUA file
	if (luaL_loadfile(lua, "lua_test3.lua") == 0)			// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_load
	{
		if (lua_pcall(lua, 0, 0, 0) != 0)					// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pcall
		{
			// Output the error
			s3eDebugOutputString(lua_tostring(lua, -1));

			// Pop error message off the stack
			lua_pop(lua, 1);								// see http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_pop
		}
	}

	// Shut down the lua state
	lua_close(lua);											// See http://www.lua.org/manual/5.1/manual.html#lua_close}
}

Firstly we create a C function called test_function() which is declared from LUA’s standard C function prototype:

static int test_function(lua_State *lua)

This function accepts a lua state which we can query for information that was passed to it by LUA (on the stack). In our example, we firstly check to see if the value on the top of the stack is a number, if not we display an error, if so then we retrieve that number. Next we modify the number then push it back onto the stack so that it can be retrieved (returned to) by the calling LUA function. Note that the value returned from our C function represents the number of arguments that we returned on the stack. Lets take a quick look at the LUA code that made the call to our C test_function in the first place:

d = test_function(12);
print(d);
d = test_function("hello");    -- This will cause an error because we passed a string instead of a number
print(d);

As you can see it calls test_function twice. The first time it is successful because we passed a number, the second time we passed a string which test_function() detected as an error.

Ok, lets now take a look at the code that registers our C function so that LUA can use it (see CallCFunctionFromLua() above)

Firstly we call lua_pushcfunction(lua, test_function); which places our C function onto the stack. Next we call lua_setglobal(lua, “test_function”); to assign the function an actual name that LUA script can use to call the function.

Well that’s about it. I have included the source code for the lua_test app which you can download from here

IwGame Engine v0.36 Released – XML Data bindings, Video, True Type Fonts and First 100% XOML Mark-up Driven Game

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 while (again) since we last released an update for IwGame but 0.36 has finally landed. Our plans to make IwGame viable as an app development platform as well as game development platform continue to go ahead as you will see from this update. In particular the supoprt for true type fonts and XML data bindings

Below is the latest list of changes for IwGame 0.36:

  • IwGame can now be put into Open GL compatible mode, which allows mixing of raw GL with IwGame rendering
  • New variable type added called CIwGameXomlVariableXML. This variable type is used to store structured XML data. XML files can be loaded and assigned to an XML variable at which point they will be parsed into an XML tree which can be accessed later.
  • All action parameters can now take variables as parameters as well as values
  • Array variables have a new property called BindXML. BindXML will bind XML data to an array. The binding can pick specific tag / attributes out of XML data and bind it to the array. The format of BindXML is BindXML=”XML_Variable_Name:XML_Tag:XML_Attribute”
  • New File type added to XOML that allows loading, conversion and binding of generic local and remote files to variables
  • New LoadFile action added to XOML which enables files to be force loaded or replacement of an already loaded files data
  • New SetKeyFocus action added which allows you to switch which actor has key focus
  • New IwGameVideo added. Marmalade video play back wrapped up into CIwGameVideoPlayer. XOML also supports Video resource types (local and remote)
  • New UI control added called VideoOverlay. This UI control allows you to display a video located locally or remotely as a UI element. Supports AutoPlay, Volume, Repeat, OnStart, OnEnd, OnPause, OnResume events and control playback using command property
  • Support added to sprites and actors for an AlphaMode
  • Actors can now be conditionally loaded
  • Support added for true type fonts, located in resource groups, in local files or on a web server. Fonts that are generated from the same external font TTF file will re-use already downloaded TTF to save re-download
  • Support added to fonts for auto point size calculation based on max screen dimensions vs number of lines allowed on display when creating fonts from TTF’s
  • Fonts that are defined without preload will only be loaded when an actor that uses it is displayed.
  • Timelines are no longer stored in the resource system. They now have their own timelines manager. Actors and scenes have their own timelines manager and a global timeline manager is also available. This cuts down the noise in the main resource manager, makes resource and timeline searches faster and allows timelines to be declared local to an actor
  • Actions are no longer stored in the resource system. They now have their own actions manager. Actors and scenes have their own actions manager and a global actions manager is also available. This cuts down the noise in the main resource manager, makes resource and actions searches faster and allows actions to be declared local to an actor
  • System:9 added to check if pointer is available
  • Preset animations now resize to fit screen orientation changes
  • Labels now have an AutoHeight parameter that causes them to resize to fit the height of the text that they contain
  • UI components can now be marked as SizeToContent, which causes them to base their size on the content that they contain. Siznig can be locked to a specific axis using x, y, xy or none
  • OnKeyBack / OnKeyHome support added to UI actors
  • List Box now supports key navigation
  • Optimisations: Optimised scene and sprite systems to eliminate the thousands of allocs / deallocs every second in complex scenes (if you check metrics you will notice that free and malloc are being called like mad). Unfortunately this has meant limiting the range of layers for scenes to 10. Any scenes with a layer order of 10 or more will now be rendered after layers 0-9 and in no particular order
  • StackPanel now supports horizontal centering in horizontal orientation and vertical centering in vertical orientation
  • Actor brush can now be the target of an animation
  • Support added to actors for separate x and y position bindings / properties and animation targets
  • XOML variables can now be created conditionally
  • Image based actors / UI now support AspectLock property. This allows you to lock the aspect ratio of an actor that is sized using proportional sizing. For example, if you have an icon inside a horizontal stack panel who’s height is proportional to the size of the scene, ordinarily if you made the proportional size of the icon 50% on both axis, it would get stretched on the x-axis. By setting the AspectLock to the y axis, the height of the icon will be locked to 50% of the height of the stack panel, but the width of the icon will be calculated based on the size of the brush / src_rect that is used to represent the icon.
  • Pre-defined animations PA_ScrollOnFromLeft etc now only affect the relevant axis
  • Timeline has new TimeScale attribute which scales the rate at which animations within the timeline are played back. Actors also have a new target property called TimeScale, which can be used to adjust the TimeScale of the currently attached timeline (can be set via set property, bindings or animation target)
  • New wait_var_is_value command added to program system. This command will pause program execution until a variables value is a specified value
  • CIwGameString now has a Split method which splits a string into an array of strings using a specified separator
  • Images will no longer be converted to a default RGBA5551 format, if no format is specified. You can also set the format via code (must be set before calling Init())
  • Updated grid / list box controls to work with dynamic data
  • Condition variable operands can now be variables and condition variables can now use arrays
  • Inverse conditions are now available for all elements that use conditions by pre-pending the exclamation mark ‘!’ character to the front of the condition variable name
  • Animations now have categories
  • Added new extension modifier CIwGameModCollisionNotiify. If you attach this modifier to an actor and define OnCollisionBegin / OnCollisionEnd event handlers you can execute actions based on collision between different objects. A mask can also be provided when defining the modifier to allow masking of actors by type
  • Added new XMLGrid example app which shows how to bind XML data to a grid
  • Added ActorTest example (shows parent / child actors in XOML)
  • Added ActorTest2 example (shows many actors in XOML)
  • Added GameSceneGL example (shows how to mix raw Open GL with IwGame)
  • Added Game Of 10 example game (100% XOML driven)
  • BUG FIX: Grid auto column / row sizing was broken
  • BUG FIX: Fixed grid cell horizontal alignment. Also fixed grid resizing when orientation changes
  • BUG FIX: ListBox crashes when re-assigning a new array to an already existing ListBox
  • BUG FIX: When an action is declared in the scene and called from an actor event it wasn’t being found
  • BUG FIX: Fonts were not being searched for by name
  • BUG FIX: Sprites transform is now rebuilt when changing opacity from 0 to some other value
  • BUG FIX: Fixed many crashes related to duplicated resources
  • BUG FIX: Ad click not recognised when ads view not inside a scene
  • BUG FIX: Grid row horizontal alignment fixed
  • BUG FIX: Grid orientation change resizing fixed
  • BUG FIX: When a scene / actor is created it will now update its data bindings immediately after creation
  • BUG FIX: Can now set Background, SelectedBackground and DisabledBackground to NULL, which will remove the background image of the control

That’s quite a few changes, although there are quite a few bug fixes in there that will make some of you very happy. Lets take a look at some of the more notable changes:

100% XOML Mark-up Driven Development

We wanted something cool and different to show off for 0.36 so I spent some time over the weekend designing, creating and documenting a small game that is created using entirely in XOML mark-up and no C/C++ / script coding. I’m very pleased with the results and decided to include the game (GameOf10) with the 0.36 release as an example that others can use to try creating their own 100% XOML games and apps. If you do create any 100% XOML apps or games then please get in touch and let us know.

XML Data Bindings

Another new cool feature we have added to 0.36 is the ability to bind data directly parsed from a local or remote XML file to user interface components. This may not seem like a big deal but it is in the app development world and in some respects also in the game development world. Imagine if you will a vendor that wants an app that he / she can give away to customers that shows all of his / her very latest offers. Usually the vendor would need to add the new offers to his app, rebuild it and resubmit it to the app stores. Using XML bindings he / she no longer needs to do that. The vendor simply places the latest products into an XML file and uploads them to the shops web server. The vendor then creates some XOML UI to display the XML file and submits the app to the app stores. Users come along and download the app, the app pulls the vendors latest offers data from the server and displays all of the vendors offers in the app. The vendor has to do nothing else besides maintain his offers XML file. Nice eh? Well the vendor seems to think so because sales are up :)

This very same approach can be applied to game development and many developers already do just that, such as the famous Zygna games. You can store game content on a server and bind the data to your games UI / game objects. You can modify the game any time you like after release. Bugs? What bugs, I just modified my XML files and fixed them :)

So how to use this new cool feature?

Array variables have a new property called BindXML. BindXML will bind XML data to an array. The binding can pick specific tag / attributes out of XML data and bind it to the array. The format of BindXML is BindXML=”XML_Variable_Name:XML_Tag:XML_Attribute”. Lets look at an example:

        <Variable Name="BookXML" Type="xml" />
        <File Name="File3" Location="test1.xml" FileType="xml" Preload="true" Variable="BookXML" />
        <Variable Name="GridItems1" Type="arraystring" BindXML="BookXML:Chapter:Brush" />
        <Variable Name="GridItems2" Type="arraystring" BindXML="BookXML:Chapter:Name" />
        <Variable Name="GridItems3" Type="arraystring" BindXML="BookXML:Chapter:Description" />
        <Variable Name="GridItems4" Type="arraystring" BindXML="BookXML:Chapter:Pages" />

In this example we create an XML variable then load the file test1.xml into BookXML. We then create 4 arrays and bding the Brush, Name, Description and Pages attributes of each Chapter tag to the arrays. Heres the example test1.xml file:

    <Contents>
        <Chapter Name="Chapter1" Description="This is chapter 1" Pages="10" Brush="Button1Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter2" Description="This is chapter 2" Pages="12" Brush="Button2Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter3" Description="This is chapter 3" Pages="11" Brush="Button1Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter4" Description="This is chapter 4" Pages="5" Brush="Button12rush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter5" Description="This is chapter 5" Pages="7" Brush="Button12rush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter6" Description="This is chapter 6" Pages="9" Brush="Button1Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter7" Description="This is chapter 7" Pages="2" Brush="Button12rush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter8" Description="This is chapter 8" Pages="4" Brush="Button12rush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter9" Description="This is chapter 9" Pages="6" Brush="Button1Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter10" Description="This is chapter 10" Pages="16" Brush="Button1Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter11" Description="This is chapter 11" Pages="16" Brush="Button2Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter12" Description="This is chapter 12" Pages="16" Brush="Button2Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter13" Description="This is chapter 13" Pages="16" Brush="Button1Brush" />
        <Chapter Name="Chapter14" Description="This is chapter 14" Pages="16" Brush="Button1Brush" />
    </Contents>

Now we generate a grid to show the data:

        <Template Name="GridItemTemp">
            <Label Name="Grid1Item$index$" Size="-20, 90" Background="Button1Brush" BackgroundColour="200, 200, 200, 255" SelectedColour="200, 255, 200, 255" Font="trebuchet_12" GridPos="$gridpos$" HitTest="true" SelectType="toggle" Selected="false" />
        </Template>
        <Grid Name="ItemsGrid" Size="-100, -100" Background="PanelBrush" BackgroundColour="255, 255, 255, 255" HitTest="true" ClipMargin="10, 10, 10, 10" MultiSelect="false" SelectedIndex="5" UseParentOpacity="false">
            <RowDefinition Name="r0" AlignV="middle" Height="100" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c0" AlignH="left" Width="-20" ItemsData="GridItems1" ItemsTemplate="GridItemTemp" ItemsTargetType="background" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c1" AlignH="left" Width="-20" ItemsData="GridItems2" ItemsTemplate="GridItemTemp" ItemsTargetType="text" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c2" AlignH="left" Width="-40" ItemsData="GridItems3" ItemsTemplate="GridItemTemp" ItemsTargetType="text" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c3" AlignH="left" Width="-20" ItemsData="GridItems4" ItemsTemplate="GridItemTemp" ItemsTargetType="text" />
        </Grid>

Video

A new sub-system called CIwGameVideoPlayer has been added that wraps the Marmalade SDK video playback code up into a nice and easy to use singleton called IW_GAME_VIDEO. We also have a new type called CIwGameVideo which represents a video resource that can be created in code or in XOML. Videos can be loaded from local storage or remotely from a web server either immediately or on-demand via the new VideoOverlay UI component. Lets take a quick look at an example:

        <Video Name="Video1" Location="http://www.drmop.com/video1.mp4" Codec="MPEG4" />

        <StackPanel Name="SP1" Size="300, -100" Background="PanelBrush" Orientation="vertical" AlignH="centre" AlignV="top" SizeToContent="none" >
            <Label Background="Button2Brush" Size="-90, 100" SelectedColour="128, 255, 200, 128" Text="Option 1" Font="trebuchet_12" />
            <Label Background="Button2Brush" Size="-90, 100" SelectedColour="128, 255, 200, 128" Text="Option 1" Font="trebuchet_12" />
            <Label Background="Button2Brush" Size="-90, 100" SelectedColour="128, 255, 200, 128" Text="Option 1" Font="trebuchet_12" />
            <Label Background="Button2Brush" Size="-90, 100" SelectedColour="128, 255, 200, 128" Text="Option 1" Font="trebuchet_12" />
            <VideoOverlay Name="Vid1" Background="Button2Brush" SelectedColour="128, 255, 200, 128" Video="Video1" Size="-90, 100" AutoPlay="false" Volume="0.3" Repeat="1" AspectLock="x" OnEnd="VideoEnd" OnTapped="Play">
                <Actions Name="VideoEnd">
                    <Action Method="HideActor" Param1="SP1" />
                </Actions>
                <Actions Name="Play">
                    <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Command" Param2="play" Param3="Vid1" />
                </Actions>
            </VideoOverlay>
            <Icon Background="Button1Brush" />
        </StackPanel>

This example creates a video resource for a video file located on a web server. We then create a stack panel that contains 4 labels and a video overlay stacked on top of each other. The video is not loaded or played until the user taps on the space containing the video. When the video ends the whole UI will be hidden.

Now I don’t think you can ask for a simpler way of integrating video into your products :)

True Type Fonts

The font system has been reworked to add support for true-type fonts that are either located in a Marmalade resource group or located in a local or remote TTF file. Lets take a quick look at an example:

    <Font Name="font1" Location="Serif.ttf" AutoPointSize="50" PointSize="0" Preload="true" />
    <Font Name="smallfont1" Location="Serif.ttf" AutoPointSize="60" PointSize="0" Preload="true" />

In this example, we create two different sized fonts from a local TTF file. We have the ability to auto generate the correct font point size based on the devices screen size. You simply specify how many lines of text you would like to fit onto the display using AutoPointSize. Note that PointSize will be added onto the calculated point size. Also note that, fonts will re-use font files to save having to reload / download them. For example, because font1 already loaded the Serif.ttf file, smallfont1 will re-use that same file.

OpenGL Compatibility

You can now freely mix Open GL with IwGame. A new example has been provided that shows how to mix Open GL with IwGame.

Action Variable Parameters

We have reworked the action parameter system to enable variables to passed as parameters as well as values. For example:

<Action Method=”SetProperty” Param1=”Timeline” Param2=”StillAnim” Param3=”SelectedCardNames:0″ />

This action assigns the “StillAnim” timeline to the actor whos name is stored as the first index in the SelectedCardNames array.

Conditions can now use inverse condition checking by pre-pending an exclamation mark ni front of the condition variable name, this saves having to create inverse conditions. For example, HasBullets becomes !HasBullets

Optimisations and Clean-up

We have reworked the actions and timeline systems to remove them from the resource system as the resource system can quickly become cluttered making searching for resources slower than it should be. A cool side affect of this change is that actors can now have their own local actions and timelines lists, reducing the chances of naming conflicts.

We have also gone through almost every line of code and removed the excessive use of memory allocation / deallocation that were occurring every frame.

New Collision Modifier Added

Added new extension modifier CIwGameModCollisionNotiify. If you attach this modifier to an actor and define OnCollisionStart / OnCollisionEnd event handlers you can execute actions based on collision between different objects. A mask can also be provided when defining the modifier to allow masking of actors by type

There are also a ton of other changes such as Labels that now size to the text they contain and UI elements can be told to size to their content

Well that’s it for this update. We’ve just started looking into LUA integration as well as creating TileMaps. Hopefully those features will make it into IwGame 0.37.

The Worlds first 100% XML Mark-up Driven Puzzle Game made with XOML

Well we finally cracked it, we’ve been aiming to create a game in 100% XOML mark-up and it finally happened. We created a small logic puzzle game called 10.

The game itself has simple rules. The screen is filled with cards, each card having a value of 0 to 9. The user selects 3 cards, who’s total value must total 10. When the user selects 3 cards that total 10 they are removed from play. To complete the round the user must eliminate all cards on the play field. The idea is simple but the game can be become incredibly difficult.

The game is 100% XOML based using only actions and variables to create the logic and no additional C/C++. We will be providing the project as an example project when we release IwGame 0.36.

Note that the game will not work with version 0.35 of IwGame.

We are getting closer to bringing cross platform mobile game and app development to the hands of none programmers :)

Oh and For the sake of clarity, we are not stating a worldwide claim over all mark-up languages as that would be ludicrous, only the XOML mark-up language.

A Windows build of the Game of 10 is available for download at http://www.drmop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Game-of-10.zip

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xml>

    <Style Name="GenericSceneStyle">
        <Set Property="CanvasSize" Value="-100, -100" />
        <Set Property="CanvasFit" Value="none" />
        <Set Property="CanvasOrigin" Value="centre" />
        <Set Property="Colour" Value="255, 255, 255, 255" />
        <Set Property="AllowSuspend" Value="false" />
        <Set Property="Physics" Value="false" />
    </Style>

    <!-- Load a UI style to style the user interface  -->
    <LoadXOML File="UIStyle.xml" />

    <!-- Create a scene to hold or game -->
    <Scene Name="GameScene" Style="GenericSceneStyle" Camera="Cam" Extents="-1000, -400, 2000, 800" Current="true" Batch="false" ClipStatic="true">

        <!-- Create a camera -->
        <Camera Name="Cam" Position="0, 0" Angle="0" Scale="1.0" />

        <!-- Score / round variables -->
        <Variable Name="Score" Type="int" Value="0" />
        <Variable Name="RoundScore" Type="int" Value="0" />
        <Variable Name="CurrentRound" Type="int" Value="0" />
        <!-- TargetValue determines the valuue that all 3 user selections should add up to gain a correct answer -->
        <Variable Name="TargetValue" Type="int" Value="10" />
        <!-- TotalCardsValue is the current value of all selected cards -->
        <Variable Name="TotalCardsValue" Type="int" Value="0" />
        <!-- CardValues is an array that holds the value of each card -->
        <Variable Name="CardValues" Type="arrayint" Size="15" Value="0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0" />
        <!-- CardsCount is the total number of cards in play  -->
        <Variable Name="CardsCount" Type="int" Value="15" />
        <!-- CardsFoundCount is the total number of cards that the user has successfully found  -->
        <Variable Name="CardsFoundCount" Type="int" Value="0" />
        <!-- SelectedCardNames is an array that holds the names of the currently selected cards  -->
        <Variable Name="SelectedCardNames" Type="arraystring" Size="3" Value="none, none, none" />
        <!-- CardIndex is the current selection index  -->
        <Variable Name="CardIndex" Type="int" Value="0" />

        <!-- CardIndexIs are conditions used to determine the currently selected index  -->
        <Variable Name="CardIndexIs0" Type="condition" Value="CardIndex == 0"/>
        <Variable Name="CardIndexIs1" Type="condition" Value="CardIndex == 1"/>
        <Variable Name="CardIndexIs2" Type="condition" Value="CardIndex == 2"/>
        <Variable Name="CardIndexIs3" Type="condition" Value="CardIndex == 3"/>
        <!-- CardsMatch is a condition used to determine if the total of all currently selected cards add up to the the target value of 10 -->
        <Variable Name="CardsMatch" Type="condition" Value="TotalCardsValue == TargetValue"/>
        <!-- NoCardsLeft is a condition used to determine if there are any cards left in play -->
        <Variable Name="NoCardsLeft" Type="condition" Value="CardsCount == CardsFoundCount"/>

        <!-- IsRound is a condition used to determine the current round -->
        <Variable Name="IsRound0" Type="condition" Value="CurrentRound == 0"/>
        <Variable Name="IsRound1" Type="condition" Value="CurrentRound == 1"/>
        <Variable Name="IsRound2" Type="condition" Value="CurrentRound == 2"/>

        <!-- Load the first set of cards -->
        <File Name="RoundFile" Location="Round1.txt" FileType="text" Preload="true" Blocking="true" Variable="CardValues" />

        <!-- Action that resets the round -->
        <Actions Name="RestartRound">
            <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="RoundScore" Param2="0" />
            <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="TotalCardsValue" Param2="0" />
            <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="CardsFoundCount" Param2="0" />
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="ResetSelection" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card0" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card1" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card2" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card3" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card4" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card5" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card6" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card7" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card8" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card9" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card10" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card11" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card12" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card13" />
            <Action Method="ShowActor" Param1="Card14" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card0" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card1" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card2" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card3" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card4" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card5" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card6" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card7" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card8" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card9" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card10" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card11" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card12" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card13" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="Card14" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Action that moves to the next round -->
        <Actions Name="NextRound">
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="RestartRound" />
            <Action Method="AddVar" Param1="CurrentRound" Param2="1" />
            <Action Method="LoadFile" Param1="RoundFile" Param2="true" Param3="Round1.txt" Condition="IsRound0" />
            <Action Method="LoadFile" Param1="RoundFile" Param2="true" Param3="Round2.txt" Condition="IsRound1" />
            <Action Method="LoadFile" Param1="RoundFile" Param2="true" Param3="Round3.txt" Condition="IsRound2" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Action that is called when a correct answer is given -->
        <Actions Name="CorrectAnswer">
            <Action Method="AddVar" Param1="RoundScore" Param2="1" />
            <Action Method="HideActor" Param1="SelectedCardNames:0" />
            <Action Method="HideActor" Param1="SelectedCardNames:1" />
            <Action Method="HideActor" Param1="SelectedCardNames:2" />
            <Action Method="AddVar" Param1="CardsFoundCount" Param2="3" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Text" Param2="Correct, well done" Param3="AnswerNotification" />
            <Action Method="SetTimeline" Param1="AnswerNotificationAnim" Param2="AnswerNotification" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Action that is called when an incorrect answer is given -->
        <Actions Name="WrongAnswer">
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Text" Param2="Incorrect, try again" Param3="AnswerNotification" />
            <Action Method="SetTimeline" Param1="AnswerNotificationAnim" Param2="AnswerNotification" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Action that is called when the user has finished selecting 3 cards -->
        <Actions Name="ResetSelection">
            <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="CardIndex" Param2="0" />
            <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="TotalCardsValue" Param2="0" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Action that is used to check the answer -->
        <Actions Name="CheckAnswer">
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="CorrectAnswer" Condition="CardsMatch" />
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="WrongAnswer" Condition="!CardsMatch" />
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="ResetSelection" />
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="RoundComplete" Condition="NoCardsLeft" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="SelectedCardNames:0" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="SelectedCardNames:1" />
            <Action Method="SetProperty" Param1="Timeline" Param2="StillAnim" Param3="SelectedCardNames:2" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Action that is called when the round is complete -->
        <Actions Name="RoundComplete">
            <Action Method="AddVar" Param1="Score" Param2="RoundScore" />
            <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="NextRound" />
        </Actions>

        <!-- Create a grid cell actor template to represent our card -->
        <Template Name="CardTemplate">
            <Label Name="Card$index$" Size="-18, -28" Background="Button1Brush" BackgroundColour="255, 255, 200, 255" SelectedColour="200, 255, 200, 255" Font="font1" GridPos="$gridpos$" HitTest="true" SelectType="normal" Selected="false" OnTapped="CardSelected">
                <Timeline Name="FlashAnim" AutoPlay="true">
                    <Animation Anim="Flashing" Repeat="0" Target="Scale"/>
                </Timeline>
                <Actions Name="CardSelected">
                    <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="SelectedCardNames:0" Param2="Card$index$" Condition="CardIndexIs0" />
                    <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="SelectedCardNames:1" Param2="Card$index$" Condition="CardIndexIs1" />
                    <Action Method="SetVar" Param1="SelectedCardNames:2" Param2="Card$index$" Condition="CardIndexIs2" />
                    <Action Method="AddVar" Param1="TotalCardsValue" Param2="CardValues:$index$" />
                    <Action Method="AddVar" Param1="CardIndex" Param2="1" />
                    <Action Method="SetTimeline" Param1="FlashANim" />
                    <Action Method="CallActions" Param1="CheckAnswer" Condition="CardIndexIs3" />
                </Actions>
            </Label>
        </Template>

        <!-- Create a grid that contains our cards -->
        <Variable Name="SelectedCard" Type="int" Value="-1" />
        <Grid Name="ItemsGrid" Size="-100, -90" Docking="bottom" Background="PanelBrush" BackgroundColour="150, 200, 255, 255" SelectedColour="150, 200, 255, 255" HitTest="false" ClipMargin="10, 10, 10, 10" MultiSelect="true" UseParentOpacity="false" ItemsData="CardValues" ItemsTemplate="CardTemplate" ItemsTargetType="text" Selection="SelectedCard">
            <RowDefinition Name="r0" AlignV="middle" Height="-33" />
            <RowDefinition Name="r1" AlignV="middle" Height="-33" />
            <RowDefinition Name="r2" AlignV="middle" Height="-33" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c0" AlignH="left" Width="-20" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c1" AlignH="left" Width="-20" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c2" AlignH="left" Width="-20" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c3" AlignH="left" Width="-20" />
            <ColumnDefinition Name="c5" AlignH="left" Width="-20" />
        </Grid>

        <!-- Create the menu at the top of the screen -->
        <StackPanel Size="-100, -10" HitTest="false" Docking="top" Orientation="horizontal">
            <Label Name="Restart" Background="Button1Brush" SelectedColour="80, 80, 80, 255" Size="-15, -100" Font="smallfont1" Text="Restart" Margin="0, -5, 0, 0" OnTapped="RestartRound" />
            <Label Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Text="Round" />
            <Label Name="RoundScore" Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Binding="[Text]CurrentRound" />
            <Label Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Text="Score" />
            <Label Name="Score" Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Binding="[Text]Score" />
            <Label Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Text="Round Score" />
            <Label Name="RoundScore" Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Binding="[Text]RoundScore" />
            <Label Name="Test3" Background="PanelBrush" Size="-10, -100" Font="smallfont1" Binding="[Text]TotalCardsValue" />
        </StackPanel>

        <!-- Create answer notification overlay -->
        <Animation Name="AnswerNotificationAnim" Duration="2" Type="float">
            <Frame Value="-2000" Time="0" Easing="quadin" />
            <Frame Value="0" Time="0.5" />
            <Frame Value="0" Time="1.5" Easing="quadout" />
            <Frame Value="2000" Time="2" />
        </Animation>
        <Timeline Name="AnswerNotificationAnim" AutoPlay="true">
            <Animation Anim="AnswerNotificationAnim" Repeat="1" Target="PositionX" />
        </Timeline>
        <Label Name="AnswerNotification" Position="-2000, 0" Size="-50, -15" Background="PanelBrush" BackgroundColour="80, 255, 80, 255" Font="font1" HitTest="false" />

    </Scene>

</xml>

New Marmalade SDK FAQ

I trawl the Marmalade SDK forums from time to time and I see many questions that come up from time to time. In an attempt to answer those questions and cut down Marmalade forum traffic I have started a Marmalade SDK FAQ that should hopefully help fellow Marmalade developers find answers to commonly asked questions without having to wait for forum responders or search high and low through the SDK documentation / web.

The new FAQ is located at http://www.drmop.com/index.php/marmalade-sdk-faq/

It is also available in a more compact and readable PDF format from http://www.drmop.com/Marmalade_SDK_FAQ.pdf