Building user interfaces in graphical applications provides a unique challenge. Today we’re pleased to launch two new components to help you build user interfaces inside your WebGL application.
From today you’ll find two new components available in the PlayCanvas Editor.
The screen component is the container for your 2D objects. This component acts a parent to all the 2D elements you are adding and defines resolution and resize behavior.
The element component renders text and images into your screen. These can form the building blocks of more complex user interface features like buttons, or just use them to display content in 2D.
The element component also features useful layout features like anchoring and pivot points and the Group Element.
Supporting text in PlayCanvas is trivial now. Simply drag and drop a TTF font file from your computer into the asset panel and we’ll convert it into our special multi-channel signed distance field font asset which means that text can be scaled and render an almost any size and remain crisp and readable.
Of course, we have documentation and tutorials to help you get started. Feel free to let us know what you think on the forum.
The PlayCanvas website and editor will be unavailable intermittently from 9am UTC tomorrow (Saturday 10th June) while we perform server maintenance. We will endeavor to keep downtime to a minimum but the period of downtime may be several hours. Stay informed with updates via this blog post and on our Twitter Account..
We apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Update: Maintenance is complete at 2.30pm UTC. Thanks for you patience.
Today we’re excited to unveil the new code editor for all our PlayCanvas users. We’ve been taking your feedback since we launched Scripts 2.0 last year and we’ve updated the code editor to make working on scripts in PlayCanvas much easier.
Some of the new features introduced by the new editor:
File view & tabs
The most obvious difference is now we let you browse all your text files in the code editor and open multiple files in the same window. No more hunting through browser tabs to find that file you were editing.
Goto Anything (Ctrl/Cmd+P) is the power users dream option. Jump to any text file in your project with a few keystrokes.
Enhanced keyboard shortcuts
We’ve had a complete overhaul of the keyboard shortcuts. All your standard text editor shortcuts are there. Including using multiple cursors and expanding selections.
Better find & replace
We’ve beefed up the find and replace with a new interface and easy to use extras like case-senstive and regular expressions.
We hope you enjoy using the new code editor as much as we do!
You may have seen the news about Facebook launching Instant Games in Messenger. If not here’s the launch video
Instant Games is a totally new mobile gaming platform and it’s entirely built on HTML5 games. This is tremendous news for the PlayCanvas game development community.
Games that are built using PlayCanvas will work with no modification as an Instant Game. Those games are ready to be played in the Facebook News Feed and in Messenger.
Developing Instant Games
Instant Games are playable today in the News Feed and in Messenger. However, the development platform is currently in closed beta. If you’ve started developing a game that would be suitable as an Instant Game visit Facebook to sign up for the closed beta.
PlayCanvas Instant Games
PlayCanvas is already being used to build Instant Games. The launch title Shuffle Cats Miniby King was built using PlayCanvas. Look out for more titles built using PlayCanvas in the future.
A new gaming platform
We’re tremendously excited to see Facebook launching the Instant Games platform and it is a perfect platform for PlayCanvas games. HTML games that are fast and lightweight, mobile and shareable. We hope you share our excitement and if you want to get started building your Instant Game, sign up to PlayCanvas for free today.
Today we’re really excited to announce support for WebVR into the PlayCanvas Editor.
This week Google announced that WebVR 1.1 (the latest current version of the spec) should be released in Chrome for Android in January 2017. But for a feature as complex as virtual reality, browser support is only one piece of the puzzle. At PlayCanvas, we know how important great tools are to making high quality experiences so today we’re launching our WebVR engine integration to make sure that you can create applications right now.
Optimized Engine Support
The PlayCanvas graphics engine is an advanced WebGL graphics engine. We’ve worked hard to make sure our renderer is optimized specifically for stereo rendering. Unlike most engines we don’t simply render the scene twice for each eye. Instead, our renderer knows that a lot of the main render loop is the same for each eye. So, for example, expensive operations like culling, sorting draw calls and setting uniforms and render states only have to be done once before we draw the scene for each eye. This can lead to a significant performance increase, particularly on mobile.
Polyfill for unsupported platforms
It’s still early days for WebVR which means it’s not yet supported on all platforms. When you enable WebVR in your PlayCanvas project, we make sure your browser can support it using the WebVR polyfill library from Google. PlayCanvas is smart enough to load the library only if you need it.
Today we’re launching the first version of the PlayCanvas REST API.
The REST API is available to all Organization account holders and allows developers to automate processes to help them with their development. For example, you can use the API to create a daily build of your application and download it via a build server. In the future we’ll be expanding the API with additional features like access to assets and more.
We’ve just launched “Scripts 2.0”, a complete re-design and re-implementation of the scripting system for PlayCanvas applications. Our goals were to fix an array of small irritations that had built up over using the PlayCanvas scripting for the last few years and take the opportunity to clean up the interface and simplify the creation and usage of scripts.
Here’s a list of the improvements you can enjoy with the new script system:
rapid iteration by hot-swapping code at run-time
real-time collaborative code editing
script concatenation and minification for publishing
better error handling and fault tolerance
full folder support for script assets
multiple script definitions in a single file
simpler interface and boilerplate
If you choose to, you can now allow your scripts to update all running instances of your application. We dynamically reload scripts after they change. By implementing a single swap() function, you can transfer state into your new script instance and carry on as if nothing had happen. Except you’ve got all your new code!
Real-time collaborative code editing
Now that scripts are first-class assets, we now support real-time collaboration in the Code Editor. This means you’re no longer in danger overwriting other people’s code. In fact, you can see it appear as they type.
To help support this, we’ve also improved the error handling and fault tolerance of scripts while they’re running. This means bad scripts won’t bring your game screeching to a halt, preventing everyone from working.
How do you find these new scripts?
Scripts 2.0 is live right now and any new projects you create will have the new script system enabled. However, if you’re not quite ready to move to the new system or you need some of the features that are currently only available with the old system, you can still create projects using the “Legacy Script System”. Look for the option in the new project dialog.