When I was in London, a bunch of people recommended that I check out the Starling framework for making Flash games for mobile platforms. I was already slowly looking into it, but after hearing about the massive advantages and relative ease of implementation, I jumped right into it.
Basically, Starling let’s you use Flash’s Stage3D API and hardware acceleration without having to do any low-level programming.
With hardware acceleration, you get much better performance, which is very important for mobiles.
The limitation is that Flash’s traditional motion-tweened animations don’t really port well; it’s better to use sprite-sheet style animation.
That’s fine for Cat Cafe though, because the animations are very simple, and I can port the tweening required quite easily.
Anyway, here’s some of the tests I did:
Test 1: Stars
Test 2: Cats
Test 3: Tweens
The first test is just a bunch of glowy and transparent objects bouncing around, much like they would in Bullet Heaven.
The second test has a lot more particles and no transparency, which speeds things up a bit.
The final test is just to see what Starling’s built in tweening engine can do. It’s pretty easy to code objects flying around, stretching, rotating and fading. But it would be pretty hard to animate a character with multiple moving parts this way.
All of these tests should run at 60fps on a decent machine. They’re pretty extreme though, and no games that I have planned will need this many objects, not even a potential Bullet Heaven 2. For now I’m just going to use Starling to get Cat Cafe working at 60fps on crappy phones.