a blog by Christian Snodgrass
about programming, web and game design, and everything else

Xazure Game Engine – ActionScript 3

The Xazure Game Engine has been my pet project for two or three years. Hopefully it’ll be released before this time next year (ideally, before the end of this year). This thread is to introduce the Xazure Game Engine and get you excited. We’ll be making posts about the Xazure Game Engine as we get closer and closer to it’s release!

What is the Xazure Game Engine?

The Xazure Game Engine is… a game engine written in ActionScript 3. =p It’s taken so long to release not because I’m slow, but because I want it as perfect as possible. It’s literally gone through seven complete rebuilds to reach the point it’s at. Once the documentation and basic tutorials are complete, it’ll be released. It’s designed using the open-source Flex SDK and designed to work both with Adobe Flash as well as other IDEs like FlashDevelop (which is actually my editor of choice).

What makes the Xazure Game Engine special?

This is the important question. The Xazure Game Engine is designed to be easy for beginners, yet super useful for advanced users. It basically takes care of all of the common annoying things that you need to do to make a really efficient game.

It’s created in a modular way. There is the [b]core engine[/b] which consists of mostly [em]manager[/em] classes and their associated classes. These classes build up all of the basic functions (animated bitmap and movie clip based sprites, easy to use sound class, screen and overlay managers for easily implementing the various parts of your game, etc).

You can then added on [b]derived engines[/b], which further extend the capabilities of the function. For example, there will be a 2D shooter derived engine which will add classes and custom screens to easily and quickly create high-performance 2D shooters. These can also be mixed and matched, so you can have something like a point-and-click mission on one screen and a platformer on another. You can also create your own derived engines (which you can share if you’d like).

Performance

Along with making it easier and quicker to develop all kinds of games, it’s also all about performance. With advanced built-in features like automatic blitting and culling of off-screen objects, you can get crazy performance. In some of our tests, we got upwards of 500 high quality sprites on screen at one time, including the code behind them to make them move (collision detection, simple AI, etc).

Accompanying and Built-In Tools

There are also going to be development tools to further help you build games. There is a high-quality, built-in debugger usable from [b]within[/b] the game. There will also be tools to do things like convert Movie Clips to sprite sheets (sprite sheets have a substantial performance boost and are much smaller in size), level builders to quickly drag-and-drop sprites and get the code to generate them, etc. I also have plans for features like external scripting (without the need to recompile your game), etc.

Open-Source

The engine will be largely open-source (though not completely free to distribute or edit, so we can maintain it’s high level).

Highly Portable

We’re also taking care to design the engine to work well anywhere that Flash can be deployed (in websites, on desktops and Android as AIR, etc).

Cost

This is the best part! We haven’t worked out all the details, but we’ll likely have a license similar to the Unreal Development Kit license (which will basically make it free for most people).


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