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Lightning Draw

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Quick Draw

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Construct 2 Release r170

There is a more up to date Stable Release! Download the latest Stable release instead here.
Download

123.5 mb, Windows 8/Windows 7/Vista/XP

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New this build: real-time shadow casting effects, an experimental rendering mode for seamless tilemaps, and improvements for the editor display on high-DPI monitors.

Real-time shadow casting

The new Shadow Light plugin and Shadow Caster behavior work together to produce dynamic lighting effects. There is also support for penumbras (soft-edged shadows taking in to account the light radius) in WebGL mode. There are three new examples demonstrating these features: Shadows - colors, Shadows - light height and Shadows - soft penumbras.

Shadow penumbras

This is an exciting new feature that can add interesting lighting effects to games! It even works on mobile, and appears to perform relatively well even with penumbras. However there are a few things to note when using it due to the particular lighting algorithm:

  • Soft shadows using a light radius only works in WebGL mode. In canvas2d mode it will fall back to hard-edged shadows as if it were a point source light (radius of 0).
  • The Shadow Light plugin works by drawing the shadows over the fully-lit scene. Make sure it's Z ordered to where you want shadows to appear - usually beneath the shadow casting objects, or if above, you may want to change the opacity.
  • The Shadow Caster behavior casts shadows from the object's collision polygon. However for it to work correctly the collision polygon must be a convex polygon. If you need a concave shape, use multiple separate shadow caster objects each with their own convex polygons.
  • Don't use shadow caster objects smaller than the light radius. The plugin does not render antumbras, so if the umbra converges to a point on-screen, part of the shadow will be missing which will look wrong.
  • Avoid placing radius-based lights very close to, or even over, shadow caster objects. The algorithm can fail to render a full shadow in this case.

In other words, try to stick to small lights which generally stay far away from the shadow casters. Otherwise it should work nicely!

Tilemap seamless mode

There's a new experimental rendering mode to allow seamless tilemap rendering even when using floating point positioning or scaling with linear sampling. It works by turning off the tilemap optimisation where rectangles of the same tile are rendered in one go. This can reduce performance, since it must render each tile in the tilemap one by one, even if there are large areas of the same tile. However somehow this eliminates the seams. I still don't quite understand why this is, and hopefully it's possible to seamlessly render with the optimisation as well, so I will keep researching it.

Seamless tile rendering appears to always render nicely in WebGL mode. However in canvas2d mode it depends on the browser: on desktop Chrome and iOS Safari it removes the seams, but on desktop IE and Firefox it makes it worse (every tile seams instead of just the joins of rectangle areas). Desktop IE and Firefox both now support WebGL providing the driver isn't blacklisted, so can achieve seamless rendering, but users might still end up getting canvas2d rendering with serious seams. The only way to completely mitigate this is the old workarounds: either use letterbox integer scale, pixel rounding and point sampling, or switch to low-quality fullscreen mode and enable pixel rounding. So setting seamless mode still doesn't guarantee users will never see seams. For this reason, seamless mode defaults to off, since you'll still need the same workarounds for 100% of users to get seamless rendering and turning it on can reduce performance. Except, bizarrely, on iOS Safari seamless mode actually improves performance. So it's a pretty mixed bag all round.

Changelog

Feature

New real-time shadow casting engine, with new Shadow Light plugin and Shadow Caster behavior

Add

Three new shadow examples: shadow colors, shadow light height, shadow soft penumbras

Add

Tilemap: new experimental 'seamless mode'

Add

New interpolation system expressions: qarp (quadratic interpolation through 3 points), cubic (cubic interpolation through 4 points), and cosp (cosine interpolation)

Add

New experimental option in Preferences dialog: 'Cache icons in editor for better performance'. Defaults to on (which is what it used to do). If turned off, it can reduce editor performance since every time an icon is needed it will have to re-load the object image and resize it down to an icon. Icon quality is also reduced to help make this as fast as possible, but this mode has the benefit of helping to avoid hitting a limitation in Windows of how many icons an application can create, which can cause stability issues with very large projects.

Change

Reverted Closure Compiler to the earlier version. r169 updated it but it turns out the latest version requires an update to Java which causes compatibility problems, so we're sticking to the old version for now.

Change

In preview mode 'assert failure' and 'javascript error' dialogs now show at most once per run. Later assert failures or JS errors are logged to the console. This is because any alerts after the first one are almost always directly caused by the first one. Often users try to report all the errors in a bug report when only the first dialog was useful, so it should help simplify bug reports (and make SDK development less annoying if you end up clicking through lots of those dialogs).

Bug Fix

Sprites could appear at the wrong size after export

Bug Fix

Several fixes to editor UI layout on high-DPI displays

Bug Fix

Twitter plugin: error using 'restart layout'

Bug Fix

Multiplayer: error passing invalid index to room list expressions

Bug Fix

IAP plugin javascript error when used in Windows Store apps

Bug Fix

Adding new Text objects sometimes did not preserve the hotspot position properly

Bug Fix

Debugger sometimes indicated incorrect Pathfinding behavior speed

Bug Fix

Tiled Background with WebGL shader on high-DPI device with WebGL support could display incorrectly

Bug Fix

Pathfinding behavior didn't work on Windows Phone when exported as universal app


Comments

9
gamepopper 3,015 rep

This is awesome! Can't wait to try out the shadow casting, remember it being a huge feature request.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:36:23 PM
8
basspenguin 6,244 rep

BAH! I just realized I could have had a Quick Draw when I saw it was empty on my screen. I was just too busy reading the release notes to notice in time hahah!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:36:41 PM
6
Jaydon 6,723 rep

Another great release! Keep it up Scirra!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:37:16 PM
8
granpa 16.5k rep

Real-time shadow casting , this is a great addition

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:39:09 PM
6
rodmontgt 4,711 rep

excelente!!! sombras en tiempo real

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:39:13 PM
5
Michaelb 2,663 rep

OMG Great stuff , much appreciated!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:39:27 PM
5
iceangel 32.1k rep

Thanks Scirra Team for another release.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:39:31 PM
5
androidtimo 1,430 rep

Thank you, best game development ever!
/timo

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:41:05 PM
11
dthomasdigital 2,838 rep

Again, the best software I've purchased in a long time, they actually fix bugs and and features. I sure wish other companies were as responsive.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:41:47 PM
4
JosepM 1,220 rep

Amazing features!! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:42:30 PM
6
Powerfun 382 rep

great addition , GO DOWNLOAD!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:42:33 PM
5
spy84 2,348 rep

community asked and scirra listened..at last guys great job!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:43:11 PM
4
AnD4D 10.7k rep

AMAZING!!!!! OMG!!! HAPPY!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:44:52 PM
3
Ryuno 710 rep

Jesus Christ how marvelous

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:45:51 PM
4
Tedg 9,849 rep

Thank you Scirra Team.!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:45:55 PM

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