Author Topic: so, what do you guys think about the future of flixel?  (Read 3456 times)

mol

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hello flixel community!

this is my first game engine and i like it, quite a bit, i'd like to think this library has a lot of future, but maybe i'm being just hyped about it

i mean html 5 is kind of destroying old standards, will flixel survive this?

will flixel keep growing?

tell me your thoughts!

wg/funstorm

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Its been a really long time since flixel has been updated, and there's been no news that I know of any upcoming version. I think flixel really needs some major re-working when it comes to how it renders things behing the scenes. Blitting used to be the fastest way to do things, but it sucks on mobile, and stage3d's marketshare is increasing, so I've been playing around with Axel (www.axgl.org) as replacement for flixel for my next project which does stage3d rendering and is heavily inspired by flixel so it feels instantly familiar.

I also made a html5 game and meh, I think it'll still be a while before we consistently see quality html5 games released the way we do with flash.

initials

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What I find interesting is that the iPhone version of Flixel is built from openGLes.

I guess the thing is Flash is installed mostly everywhere. Would an OpenGL version of Flixel be blisteringly fast, consider it renders 3D objects fast, surely it would just blaze through some 2D planes with textures.

Maybe this already exists. To Google!
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wg/funstorm

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Yea, that's pretty much what Axel is... flixel but using 2d planes with textures. Starling also uses the same concept but is much more different to flixel.

initials

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Axel looks great.
I'm going to look into more after I knock out Super Lemonade Factory for AIR with the current Flixel version.
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

auriplane

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I was really excited about Flash when I started, but a few months later, Adobe laid off their mobile team with no warning,  abandoned ownership of Flex, dropped Air on Linux, then made Linux Flash Chrome-only.  And of course, there's no hardware acceleration for Stage3D on Linux, either.  Adobe doesn't want me to make OR play Flash games on Linux!

So really, I just got here, and I had all this excitement about making stuff with Flixel, but now I feel kind of disillusioned :/  It certainly FEELS like the tide has turned.

But then, I figure Flash will be around for a while even if Adobe does try to kill it.  And I can just do my own thing, even if Flixel doesn't get any official updates.  So I think I'll just ignore where things are going and make some games :-)

Jeff

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Its been a really long time since flixel has been updated, and there's been no news that I know of any upcoming version. I think flixel really needs some major re-working when it comes to how it renders things behing the scenes. Blitting used to be the fastest way to do things, but it sucks on mobile, and stage3d's marketshare is increasing, so I've been playing around with Axel (www.axgl.org) as replacement for flixel for my next project which does stage3d rendering and is heavily inspired by flixel so it feels instantly familiar.

I quickly viewed through the Axelite Basic tutorial. It does indeed seem like a different version of Flixel, so getting used to that should be very fast. Just based on this quick glimpse, at least one thing that looks better is the possibility to stack states. From the let go I was actually wondering about that with Flixel. But this probably isn't a big deal in general. Simple pause screens can be quite easily implemented without stacked states, but stacking would probably make it less troublesome. But unless gameplay heavily relies on simultaneous states, one should cope with Flixel quite well.

How about otherwise? Does Flixel have some strengths compared to Axel or is Axel just an improvement? Would Axel be more efficient performancewise? Is Axel eg. better with particles?

I've started a project with Flixel (to which I actually made some first minor alterations yesterday to better suit my needs), so I probably won't change to Axel for this one. On the other hand I suppose it wouldn't be impossible to stay with Flixel but use some features that Axel might have? And on the other hand if Axel is a serious improvement to Flixel, reformatting the code might pay off. Any thoughts?
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wg/funstorm

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Flixel's advantage is that it's been around longer. Axel is only at version 0.9, so not even 1 yet! There are probably more bugs (I came across a couple), and less features (for example tilemaps are very bare bones and don't come with auto-tiling or pathfinding). It's definitely it's own thing, can't just rename all Flx**** files to Ax**** and be done with it. I'm getting to grips with it for future projects, but definitely won't port anything over.

Axel is definitely faster when it's running on the GPU like it should on mobile and pc's with the latest flash player, but otherwise it falls back to the software renderer and I have no idea how it compares to flixel performance.

Jeff

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Flixel's advantage is that it's been around longer. Axel is only at version 0.9, so not even 1 yet! There are probably more bugs (I came across a couple), and less features (for example tilemaps are very bare bones and don't come with auto-tiling or pathfinding). It's definitely it's own thing, can't just rename all Flx**** files to Ax**** and be done with it. I'm getting to grips with it for future projects, but definitely won't port anything over.

Axel is definitely faster when it's running on the GPU like it should on mobile and pc's with the latest flash player, but otherwise it falls back to the software renderer and I have no idea how it compares to flixel performance.

Thanks for the reply.  Yep, I didn't think that I could just do some renaming and that would be it, there just isn't that much code yet, so it might have been feasible.

Any way, it's kind of good to hear that it probably wouldn't pay off yet. If Axel is at such an early phase, it's probably also likely that once additional features come along, some of the existing implementations will change, and thus, to take those new features into use, one might have to refactor one's own code to match the updated Axel. So that could also cause extra work.
Please give me feedback for my latest game in progress:
Blog: Entertainment Evolution

auriplane

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On the other hand, you could try making a project in Axel, coding the features you're missing personally, then submit the patches upstream and see what he does with them :-D

Arkeus

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Re: so, what do you guys think about the future of flixel?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, May 8, 2012 »
Here's my take on strengths and weaknesses:

If you want a game that has the widest possibly distribution on PC, Flixel is at an advantage. Flixel can be played on pretty much any computer with flash as it doesn't require anything from recently versions of flash. Axel on the other hand requires flash 11 (which isn't really bad, since anyone playing flash games online shouldn't have a problem upgrading), but also requires the file to be embedded in a special way to allow the game to work. Large portals like kong and newgrounds have this, but many of the smaller places across the internet don't have support for wmode="direct" so the game will not work there. These small places are, well, small, but they add up. So if you absolutely don't want to leave anyone out on desktop, Flixel is useful.

If you want to develop for (or leave the option open for) mobile, then Axel is better. Hardware rendering performs much better.

If you are targeting people without sucky computers (computers without dedicated video hardware fall back to the software rendering, which is terrible, and probably is quite a bit worse than Flixel in most cases), then you'll see huge performance boosts when using Axel. You can scale, rotate, etc sprites without a performance hit, and can have many more on the screen at a time. You can write much more efficient non-sprite based rendering also. The particle system is an example of this. I am able to get maybe a thousand particles in Flixel, but was able to get ~1 million in Axel.

If you want features like multiple cameras or playback/recording, Flixel is a winner. Multiple cameras are very little overhead in Flixel because everything is a bitmap, and it's easy to copy sub-rectangles of the buffer to get multiple cameras. As for playback/recording, I don't expect Axel to ever have anything like that because I find that it is very rarely used (I don't want features in the engine that are specific to a few games), but it adds tons of complexity to the code. I hate going in to read/change something in flixel only to find 90% of the method has to do with recording/playback, even though I'm never going to touch it.

I can't promise that the future of Axel is going to be speedy updates forever. I have projects of my own, along with a full time job, but I don't plan on just dropping it any time soon. I'm open to changes by the community (I've integrated a few bug fixes so far), but anything non-trivial may be changed/denied if it goes against the vision of the library. I know some people would love to have X feature in it because it would make creating their game so much easier, but that doesn't mean it belongs in Axel.

If you don't plan on moving to mobile, don't need to take advantage of more advanced rendering/complex particle system/anything like that, then I think it currently makes sense to stick with Flixel. Flixel has been around awhile, had been used to death so most of the bugs and issues have been worked out, and isn't missing any core functionality. It has a wider following having been around forever, so you'll likely be able to find help from people much easier. Axel on the other hand is very new, still in beta without a stable branch, and contains bugs and missing functionality. It's great if you want to take advantage of new technology, develop cross platform, use cool rendering and advanced drawing that isn't possible in flixel, etc, but as it's beta, it's not the "safe" choice right now. However, looking forward, hopefully I can make it the better long term choice, if you want everything you learn to be applicable in the future and for broader applications. :)