Starling Game Development Essentials

Starling Game Development Essentials
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Create a cross-platform Starling Isometric game
  • Add enemy AI and multiplayer capability
  • Explore the complete source code for the Web and cross-platform game develpment

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 116 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : December 2013
ISBN : 178398354X
ISBN 13 : 9781783983544
Author(s) : Juwal Bose
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Game Development, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Our Capture the Flag Game
Chapter 2: Going Isometric
Chapter 3: Isometric-level Designer
Chapter 4: Just Finding Your Way
Chapter 5: Boom Boom, Explosions!
Chapter 6: Going Cross Platform
Chapter 7: Flox – Leaderboards, Analytics, and More
  • Chapter 1: Our Capture the Flag Game
    • Understanding a game
      • Introducing the game loop and game states
        • Game state
        • Game loop
      • Capture the Flag
        • The game idea
    • The tile-based approach
      • An array-based implementation of a level
    • Prerequisites for using the shared code
    • Creating a top-down game scene
      • Applying the RenderTexture approach
    • Tools of the trade
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Going Isometric
    • What is an isometric view?
      • Cartesian to isometric equations
      • An isometric view via a matrix transformation
    • Implementing the isometric view via isometric art
    • Level data structure
      • Altering registration points
    • Depth sorting
      • Understanding isometric movement
      • Detecting isometric collision
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Isometric-level Designer
    • The approach for creating our level designer
      • Befriending Feathers UI
        • Creating an isometric grid with the Starling graphics extension
    • Developing a designer app
      • Loading files recursively
        • Displaying tiles
        • Painting the level
        • Saving the level
        • Editing registration points
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Just Finding Your Way
    • The Flag Defense game level
      • Game settings
        • The support classes used
        • Faster drawing for RenderTextures
    • The CustomAnimatedItem class
      • The CustomIsometricCharacter class
        • Time-based animation versus frame-based animation
    • Implementing the game level
      • The game states
        • The touch listener
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Boom Boom, Explosions!
    • Adding some effects
      • An image-based explosion
    • Particle systems
      • Creating the explosion using the Particle Editor tool
      • Adding smoke
      • Adding the explosion to the stage
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Going Cross Platform
    • The finished game
      • The MainLevel game loop
    • AiManager
      • Making the AI decisions
    • Cross platform
      • Supporting multiple screens
        • Dynamic Texture Atlas Creator
        • Finding the ScaleRatio value
        • Positioning items properly
    • Essential tips and tricks
    • Device-specific changes
      • QuadBatch to the rescue
      • Handling touch input
      • iOS specifics
      • Android specifics
        • The Android back button
    • Saving data locally
    • AdMob ANE integration
    • Publishing to the app stores
      • Apple App Store
      • Google Play
    • Summary

Juwal Bose

Juwal Bose is a game developer, game designer, and technology consultant from the incredibly beautiful state of Kerala in India. He is an active figure in social media and game development SIGs, and never misses a chance to speak at technical conferences and barcamps. He conducts technical workshops for engineering students at professional colleges as a part of open source initiatives. Juwal is the Director at Csharks Games and Solutions Pvt Ltd, where he manages research and development, as well as training and pipeline integration in his area of expertise.

Juwal has been actively involved with Adobe technologies, manages the Adobe user group for his state, and maintains a close relationship with the experts at Adobe in the Indian subcontinent. He has been developing games since 2004 using multiple technologies including ActionScript, Objective-C, Java, Unity, LibGDX, Cocos2D, OpenFL, Blender, and Starling. His team has created more than 350 online Flash games to date, and many of the job management games are listed at the top of leading portals worldwide.

Juwal writes game development tutorials for GameDevTuts+ and manages the blog of Csharks games. His isometric tutorial for GameDevTuts+ is well received and is considered a thorough guide for developing tile-based isometric games. Juwal also takes part in game jams and recently won the Nasscom GDC's game jam with is Starling-based game, Mosquito Defense. This is Juwal's first book, but he aims to keep writing and sharing his nine years of game development experience through more books.

Juwal is a voracious reader and likes to travel. His future plans also include writing fiction

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Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 4 submitted: last submission 08 May 2014

Errata type: Code| Page number:3

Correction: On page 3,
In the following code, "var" and "new" should be highlighted:

var m:Matrix = new Matrix(1,0.5,-1,0.5,0,0);

Errata type: Technical | Page: 66

Correction: Replace "LeveUtils" with "LevelUtils"

Errata type: Code | Page: 74

Correction:  In "MainLevel class' init method", only "MainLevel" and "init" should be in code in text.

Errata type: Code | Page: 37


tempS = contents[i].name.toLowerCase(); 
instead of
tempS = contents[i].].name.toLowerCase();


Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Learn about Game States and Game Loop which are an integral part of any game
  • Apply Isometric transformation equations and logic for converting 2D grid-based levels into 3D isometric view
  • Set up an Isometric level editor that exports level data thereby easing level creation and speeding up development
  • Configure the game for same device multiplayer
  • Use Pathfinder for AI path finding which will help the enemy soldiers and bombs to track their corresponding destinations
  • Integrate AdMob ANE for some monetization and Floxleaderboards for tracking scores
  • Organize deployment to the App Store and Google Play with all the necessary icons, certificates, and launch images

In Detail

Starling makes it very easy for an ActionScript developer to create cross-platform, multiplayer games. Starling utilizes GPU to render all the content for excellent performance on a wide range of devices. Multiplayer games have become a very lucrative market, pulling in more and more developers who try to raise the bar for user experience. With the ever-increasing popularity of iOS and Android, the demand for cross-platform games has increased exponentially.

Starling Game Development Essentials takes you step-by-step through the development of a complicated Isometric game. You will learn to create a level editor, AI logic for enemies, and integrate particle effects. Furthermore, you will learn to develop multi-player games that can support multiple players on the same device and would integrate Flox services for efficient user tracking and analytics. Finally, you will understand how to deploy your game to the Web, App Store, and Google Play.

This project-based book starts with the game idea, and an introduction to Game States and Game Loop. You also learn about the working of Isometric projection logic.

You get to explore RenderTexture for dynamically creating game levels and later on easily upgrade to the exceptional QuadBatch for deploying on devices. You will then move on to use Starling Particle extension for explosion effects. Finally, you will develop a simple AI Manager to help the enemy make decisions and use Pathfinder to facilitate grid-based path finding.

Starling Game Development Essentials, with the help of FlagDefense game source code, is an invaluable asset to anyone who wants to create a Starling cross-platform game.


This is a practical, project-based guide that will help the reader to build Isometric, turn-based games using Starling.

Who this book is for

If you are an ActionScript developer and want to create cross-platform games with Starling, this book is for you. The FlagDefense game covers some complex topics in game development which are beneficial even for those who are already creating games with Starling. Prior knowledge of Starling will help, but is not necessary.

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