Saturday, November 17, 2012

Universal Box2D debug draw for OpenGL ES 1.x and OpenGL ES 2.0

Previous parts

 After introduction in "Simple cross-platform game engine - Introduction" there is first of the snippets here. This time it is on implementing debug draw class for great Box2D physics library.

The problem

 I am very new to Box2D, but the library is very well documented and easy to use. I implemented it into Android NDK and Win platforms of my engine. I tried to create simple world with two objects and two edges but then I found that I am missing some class to draw it on screen without textures and all the stuff around.
 First I looked into packed source that comes with whole Box2D package and found class DebugDraw in Render.h/.cpp in Testbed\Framework directory. Unfortunately this class is using "big" OpenGL with calls that are not supported in "small" OpenGL ES.
 After some searching I found iPhone implementation. Class GLESDebugDraw supports only OpenGL ES 1.x while in my engine I can switch in parameters whether to use OpenGL ES 1.x or 2.0.
 As I did not find any implementation for 2.0 I had to write one by myself.

Class b2Draw

 Box2D has class b2Draw in its Common directory. This class contains a bunch of virtual methods that waits for your implementation. The following implementation is bind to my engine but very loosely so you can take it and with small adjustments it will work for you too. I will mention these bindings during the text.

 Here goes the header:

1:  /*  
2:   * Box2DDebugDraw.h  
3:   *  
4:   * Created on: 16.11.2012  
5:   *   Author: Tom  
6:   */  
8:  #ifndef BOX2DDEBUGDRAW_H_  
9:  #define BOX2DDEBUGDRAW_H_  
11:  #include "../../System/system.h"  
12:  #ifdef SBC_DRAW_BOX2D_DEBUG  
14:  #include <Box2D/Box2D.h>  
15:  #if (SBC_USE_OPENGL_VERSION == 2)  
16:  #include "../glesProgram.h"  
17:  #endif  
19:  struct b2AABB;  
21:  namespace SBC  
22:  {  
23:  namespace Engine  
24:  {  
26:  class Box2DDebugDraw : public b2Draw  
27:  {  
28:  private:  
29:       enum  
30:       {  
31:            eTriangles = 0x01,  
32:            eLines   = 0x02,  
33:            ePoints  = 0x04  
34:       };  
36:  public:  
37:       static const u32 MAX_VERTICES = 64;  
38:       static const u32 CIRCLE_SEGMENTS = 16;  
40:  public:  
41:       Box2DDebugDraw(float aRatio);  
42:       ~Box2DDebugDraw();  
43:       void construct();  
45:  public:  
46:       void DrawPolygon(const b2Vec2* aVertices, int32 aVertexCount, const b2Color& aColor);  
47:       void DrawSolidPolygon(const b2Vec2* aVertices, int32 aVertexCount, const b2Color& aColor);  
48:       void DrawCircle(const b2Vec2& aCenter, float32 aRadius, const b2Color& aColor);  
49:       void DrawSolidCircle(const b2Vec2& aCenter, float32 aRadius, const b2Vec2& aAxis, const b2Color& aColor);  
50:       void DrawSegment(const b2Vec2& aP1, const b2Vec2& aP2, const b2Color& aColor);  
51:       void DrawTransform(const b2Transform& aXf);  
52:       void DrawPoint(const b2Vec2& aP, float32 aSize, const b2Color& aColor);  
53:       void DrawString(int aX, int aY, const u8* aString, ...);  
54:       void DrawAABB(b2AABB* aAabb, const b2Color& aColor);  
56:  private:  
57:       void createPolygonVertices(const b2Vec2* aVertices, int32 aVertexCount);  
58:       void createCircleVertices(const b2Vec2& aCenter, float32 aRadius);  
59:       void drawPrimitives(u32 aPrimitiveTypes, u32 aCount, const b2Color& aColor);  
61:  private:  
62:       f32 mRatio;  
63:       SBC::System::MathUtils::fvec2 mVertices[MAX_VERTICES];  
64:       f32 mPointSize;  
66:  #if (SBC_USE_OPENGL_VERSION == 2)  
67:       SBC::Engine::glesProgram* mProgram;  
68:       GLuint mColorLocation;  
69:       GLuint mPointSizeLocation;  
70:       GLuint mPositionLocation;  
71:  #endif  
72:  };  
74:  } /* namespace Engine */  
75:  } /* namespace SBC */  
77:  #endif // SBC_DRAW_BOX2D_DEBUG  
78:  #endif /* BOX2DDEBUGDRAW_H_ */  

 The class is easy to understand the "my-engine-specifics" you will have to change are:
  • line11: #include "../../System/system.h" - this defines MathUtils and template class fvec2 used later for storing 2D vectors. It also defines which version of OpenGL ES to use,
  • line 12: #ifdef SBC_DRAW_BOX2D_DEBUG - if defined the Box2D debug is requested and the class will get compiled,
  • line 15-17: #include "../glesProgram.h" - engine class for loading and compiling shaders is included. Having it here makes the life easier but it can be replaced with direct GL calls in implementation,
  • line 21-24: debug draw is part of SBC::Engine namespace
  • line 63: SBC::System::MathUtils::fvec2 mVertices[MAX_VERTICES]; - here is use of template vector class. But any 2D vector class that has x and y members will do the job,
  • lines 66-71: pointer to class wrapping OpenGL program and cached locations of some of the uniforms and attributes.



 You can see the whole implementation in attached .zip file. As the header contains three private helper methods at lines 57-59 the implementation of particular Draw... methods is then as simple as this:

1:  //------------------------------------------------------------------------  
2:  void Box2DDebugDraw::DrawSolidPolygon(const b2Vec2* aVertices, int32 aVertexCount, const b2Color& aColor)  
3:  {  
4:       createPolygonVertices(aVertices, aVertexCount);  
5:       drawPrimitives(eTriangles + eLines, aVertexCount, aColor);  
6:  }  

 This works well for both OpenGL ES 1.x and 2.0. For OpenGL 2.0 there is simple program created when initializing the class with vertex and fragment shaders like this:

2:  -----------------------------  
4:  uniform mediump mat4 u_projection;  
5:  uniform mediump float u_pointSize;  
6:  attribute vec2 a_position;  
8:  void main()  
9:  {  
10:    gl_PointSize = u_pointSize;  
11:    vec4 position = vec4(a_position, 0.0, 1.0);  
12:    gl_Position = u_projection * position;  
13:  }  
17:  ----------------------------------  
19:  precision mediump float;  
20:  uniform vec4 u_color;  
22:  void main()   
23:  {   
24:    gl_FragColor = u_color;  
25:  }

 The main work is done in private drawPrimitives method, so I will it put here:

1:  //------------------------------------------------------------------------  
2:  void Box2DDebugDraw::drawPrimitives(u32 aPrimitiveTypes, u32 aCount, const b2Color& aColor)  
3:  {  
4:  #if (SBC_USE_OPENGL_VERSION == 1)  
5:       glVertexPointer(2, GL_FLOAT, 0, mVertices);  
7:       if (aPrimitiveTypes & eTriangles)  
8:       {  
9:            glColor4f(aColor.r, aColor.g, aColor.b, 0.5f);  
10:            glDrawArrays(GL_TRIANGLE_FAN, 0, aCount);  
11:       }  
13:       if (aPrimitiveTypes & eLines)  
14:       {  
15:            glColor4f(aColor.r, aColor.g, aColor.b, 1.0f);  
16:            glDrawArrays(GL_LINE_LOOP, 0, aCount);  
17:       }  
19:       if (aPrimitiveTypes & ePoints)  
20:       {  
21:            glColor4f(aColor.r, aColor.g, aColor.b, 1.0f);  
22:            glPointSize(mPointSize);  
23:            glDrawArrays(GL_POINTS, 0, aCount);  
24:            glPointSize(1.0f);  
25:       }  
27:  #elif (SBC_USE_OPENGL_VERSION == 2)  
28:       glUseProgram(mProgram->getID());  
29:       glEnableVertexAttribArray(mPositionLocation);  
30:       glVertexAttribPointer(mPositionLocation, 2, GL_FLOAT, GL_FALSE, 0, (GLfloat*) mVertices);  
32:       if (aPrimitiveTypes & eTriangles)  
33:       {  
34:            glUniform4f(mColorLocation, aColor.r, aColor.g, aColor.b, 0.5f);  
35:            glDrawArrays(GL_TRIANGLE_FAN, 0, aCount);  
36:       }  
38:       if (aPrimitiveTypes & eLines)  
39:       {  
40:            glUniform4f(mColorLocation, aColor.r, aColor.g, aColor.b, 1.0f);  
41:            glDrawArrays(GL_LINE_LOOP, 0, aCount);  
42:       }  
44:       if (aPrimitiveTypes & ePoints)  
45:       {  
46:            glUniform4f(mColorLocation, aColor.r, aColor.g, aColor.b, 1.0f);  
47:            glUniform1f(mPointSizeLocation, mPointSize);  
48:            glDrawArrays(GL_POINTS, 0, aCount);  
49:       }  
51:       glDisableVertexAttribArray(mPositionLocation);  
52:       glUseProgram(0);  
53:  #endif  

 As you can see the implementation depends on chosen OpenGL ES version.

 The result

 In your code use the class like this:

1:       debugDraw = new SBC::Engine::Box2DDebugDraw(SBC_BOX2D_PTM_RATIO);  
2:       debugDraw->construct();  
3:       world->SetDebugDraw(debugDraw);  
4:       debugDraw->SetFlags(b2Draw::e_shapeBit /* + b2Draw::e_jointBit + b2Draw::e_aabbBit +  
5:                 b2Draw::e_pairBit + b2Draw::e_centerOfMassBit*/);  

 If everything went ok, you should get something similar to picture bellow and the best thing is it works for both OpenGL ES versions just with simple define switch.

 In attached file here you will find whole implementation and also source for referred classes (fvec2, glesProgram). So it should be enough help for you to implement your own drawing class.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Simple cross-platform game engine - Introduction


 This is the first one from series of planned articles on writing small and simple cross-platform game engine. In the articles I will write about topics and issues I encountered when writing our SBC Engine. As I am amateur programmer the professionals among you may find some of my solutions stupid or not effective. And it may be truth. But I am happy with our engine as it already helped us to create two games (Deadly Abyss 2, Mahjong Tris). More, the engine is still evolving and I am planning to improve it in every direction. So, your comments are welcome.

Why should I write my engine?

 Of course you do not have to. You can use any of the available engines out there. But be sure that doing it will definitely improve your coding skills as well as it will increase your object thinking. In your engine you can freely implement any features that you are missing somewhere else. You are not restricted to write everything by yourself. You can still use third party libraries like Box2D or so.

High level architecture

 Currently the engine works for Android and Windows desktop. Samsung bada is half way implemented. Why implement such a strange system like Windows desktop for mobile engine? Ok, when running it in MS Visual Studio you have very fast debugger and you can also simply share the project progress with other team members that may not own real Android device. But it has other features. For example if you, in development phase, let assets unpacked your grafician can replace them simply in assets directory and see how it looks in game.

 Here is how the engine is structured:
 On the very bottom is sitting real system you are running the game on. Every system has different APIs and different behavior so you have to unify it somehow.

 This unification takes place in box labeled System. There are specific claeses for each supported system (vertical boxes with system names). These classes are converting the calls into so called services that appears to the rest of the engine identical regardless of the actual system. For example there is TimeService that is responsible for timing the game loop, measure how much time elapsed from last tick and so on. This class also can return current ticks in milliseconds when getTickCount() is called. On some systems it only passes the query to the underlying system and returns the result while on others it may do some calculations with system returned values. From engine point of view all this is hidden and when programming new engine features you just call getTickCount() and you are not interested more how the result is created. The relation between these system classes and real OS is one-way. You know about the system but the system does not know anything about your classes. It sounds natural in this level but may not be so obvious in creating further, higher level, parts of the engine. This one way relation is also applied on Engine -> System relation and Game -> Engine and Game -> System relation. It allows you to write new game without changing engine and also it allows you to develop new features in the engine without changing System layer.

 Beside the system specific services you can also see other classes in the System layer. These classes are here to define very basic types like Point, Rectangle, Vector, Dimension, ... Point, Vector, Dimension are all just typedefs for the same. Giving it different names helps to maintain code readability (I am sitting on the "chair" not on the piece of "furniture" while both is right). The arrow pointing to underlying system is dotted as some of these classes may encapsulate something from system while others not. For example the Math is there to create unified access to math functions across systems while Vector is independent template class. Because of this system dependent / independent mixture I left all these classes in System layer instead of implementing it in Engine layer. Beside this I expect Engine layer to provide one step higher operations than just define Rectangle or any other basic class.

 Engine layer then defines operations above system, basic classes like batching sprites for renderer, managing assets, managing texture regions, handling game lifecycle, ... Here any ideas about what your engine should be capable of can be implemented. Of course, there are lot of times when for some feature you will have to open the System layer and adjust it. But it does not violates the rule that System does know nothing about Engine. For example if you want to add some camera features into engine you will have to create camera service in System layer.

 On the top of you engine that consists of System and Engine layer you then build your games. If the engine has all the features you need for actual game you are working on then your role is "game programmer" and your previous role "engine programmer" can be forgotten until game programmer asks engine programmer to implement new feature.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Futoshiki - Japanese puzzle for Android and Samsung bada

Android app on Google Play

 This is last from our short articles presenting our recent projects. This time it is Futoshiki also known as unequal. It is another Japanese puzzle similar to sudoku while with different experience. I made this game as I was fascinated how big scale of problems from easy to really very hard can be presented on small 5x5 grid.

 The game contains infinite number of puzzles in three difficulties - easy, medium, hard. Every time you select new game the original puzzle is generated on the fly. It is tested for uniqueness of the solution as it is not fun if there are more than one solutions. To properly rate the difficulty the game contains also solver that is solving it with about 9 logic patterns. Every pattern occurrence is rated with some mark which in total gives difficulty rating.

 This was our first game for Android and it was made in times when I did know nothing about Android programming UI thread and so on. So, the generating of the puzzle which may take few seconds runs on UI thread which is not good as it may pop up "not responding" message. But if you have decent average phone it runs all OK.

 The game is free so if you are sudoku lover and feel little bit tired with it lately try this game. There are also several skins inside - the dark one, bright and seasons. Under seasons there are 4 randomly chosen sub-skins for spring, autumn, summer and winter.

Mahjong Tris - Android and Samsung bada game

Android app on Google Play
 About 14 days ago we released Android version of our older game Mahjong Tris. The game was originally written for Samsung OS bada as an contest entry when this new OS was introduced. We placed among top 300 qualifiers and as a reward we got new Wave I phone.

 The game is experimental combination of mahjong tiles falling from top in tetris style.

 For Android the game was completely rewritten into our small cross-platform engine. The original game was made in rush but it has very nice graphics by Jupiter and very catchy music tunes from Honza Dušek. For Android the game is free so do not wait and download it!

 As already promised, in future articles I will describe the snippets from building our cross-platform engine. But before that I have to write one more post with presentation of our Futoshiki game.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Deadly Abyss 2 - Android and Samsung bada game

Android app on Google Play

 Yesterday we finally launched Android version of our last game - Deadly Abyss 2. It is kind of return to SBC roots because Deadly Abyss was out first mobile game for Symbian phones (you can see it here).

 In the game you control submarine and you are launching torpedoes toward enemy targets while doing your best to avoid hitting civil ships.

Game features:
- 25 ships, planes and undersea vehicles,
- 3 huge, deadly and challenging dreadnoughts!
- 6 upgrade categories to enhance the power of your submarine,
- 15 bonuses to pick from destroyed enemy targets,
- frenzy action gameplay! 

 From programming point of view the game was made in our small cross platform C++ engine. The Android version was coded with Android NDK. It uses OpenGL ES 2.0 and sounds are played through OpenSL ES. The bada version is sharing the same engine and game code while the underlying system classes are those from bada. The engine is also capable of running the game on Windows desktop through PowerVR Win emulator. In free Android version there is Ads Manager system responsible for switching ads between different ads providers.

 In future I plan to write articles on some of the points mentioned here, so stay tuned!