This release introduces the Facebook Instant Games Plugin, the new Shape Game Object, Point Event updates, Camera Shaders and more!

Article by Richard Davey. Posted on 21st Sep 2018.   @photonstorm

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I'm pleased to announce the release of Phaser v3.13. This brings together several new APIs that have been in development for the past few months, as well as the usual round of updates and fixes.

The main feature is the introduction of the new Facebook Instant Games Plugin. The plugin provides a seamless bridge between Phaser and version 6.2 of the Facebook Instant Games SDK. Every single SDK function is available via the plugin and we will keep track of the official SDK to make sure they stay in sync.

The plugin offers the following features:

  • Easy integration with the Phaser Loader so load events update the Facebook progress circle.
  • Events for every plugin method, allowing the async calls of the SDK to be correctly inserted into the Phaser game flow. When SDK calls resolve they will surface naturally as a Phaser event and you'll know you can safely act upon them without potentially doing something mid-way through the game step.
  • All Plugin methods check if the call is part of the supported APIs available in the SDK, without needing to launch an async request first.
  • Instant access to platform, player and locale data.
  • Easily load player photos directly into the Texture Manager, ready for use with a Game Object.
  • Subscribe to game bots.
  • The plugin has a built-in Data Manager which makes dealing with data stored on Facebook seamless. Just create whatever data properties you need and they are automatically synced.
  • Support for FB stats, to retrieve, store and increment stats into cloud storage.
  • Save Session data with built-in session length validation.
  • Easy context switching, to swap between game instances and session data retrieval.
  • Easily open a Facebook share, invite, request or game challenge window and populate the text and image content using any image stored in the Texture cache.
  • Full Leaderboard support. Retrieve, scan and update leaderboard entries, as well as player matching.
  • Support for in-app purchases, with product catalogs, the ability to handle purchases, get past purchases and consume previously unlocked purchases.
  • Easily preload a set of interstitial ads, in both banner and video form, then display the ad at any point in your game, with in-built tracking of ads displayed and inventory available.
  • Plus other features, such as logging to FB Analytics, creating short cuts, switching games, etc.

The plugin is fully documented and official tutorials and project templates will follow shortly.

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This release also introduces a brand new Game Object called Shape, which is a base class. Extending it are 11 different types of Shape (with more to come) and you can use it to create your own custom Shapes as well. Shapes allow you to add geometry directly into the display list. Once created, you can treat this Shape just like you'd treat any other Game Object. Scale it, rotate it, alpha it, blend mode it, change its origin, give it a Camera scroll factor, put it inside a Container or Group, give it input abilities or even give it a physics body. It is, to all intents and purposes, a normal Game Object. The only difference is that when rendering it uses its own special bit of display code.

The shapes available are as follows:

  • GameObject.Arc - The arc allows you to draw either a circle, or part of a circle. You can set the start and end angle, if the rotation is clockwise or not, and even set the number of iterations the arc will use during rendering.
  • GameObject.Curve - The Curve Shape can take any Phaser Curve object, such as a Spline or Bezier Curve, and add it to the display list.
  • GameObject.Ellipse - An ellipse shape, which is essentially a circle with a differing width and height. It can be filled or stroked (or both!) and as with the arc you can set the 'smoothness' of it, allowing you to decrease the number of points used when creating its polygon data.
  • GameObject.Grid - The Grid Shape object allows you to generate them. You can set the width and height of the grid itself, as well as for the grid cells. The grid can either have a single color, or alternating cell colors and even have outline spacing between the cells, or not.
  • GameObject.Line - Create a Line Shape drawn between any two points, with a color and thickness. In WebGL you can also specify a different thickness for the start and end of the line.
  • GameObject.Polygon - A Polygon is effectively a list of points that is drawn between. The points can be provided in a number of different ways (as Vec2 objects, as an array, etc) and then you can either fill or stroke the resulting shape, or both.
  • GameObject.Rectangle - Simple, but powerful and endlessly useful. Set a width and height and it'll display a Rectangle, with control over the size, fill color and stroke color.
  • GameObject.Star - The Star shape does as its name suggests: it displays a star. You can control the number of points in the star as well as the inner and outer radius of it.
  • GameObject.Triangle - A Triangular shape with full control over the points used to make it and its fill and stroke colors. Internally it uses the batchFillTriangle method in WebGL, making it actually faster to draw than a Quad! Use them happily for bullets or abstract space ships, or anything else you feel like.
  • GameObject.IsoTriangle - This draws an isometric triangle, like a pyramid. You can control the colors of each face, if the pyramid is upside down or not and the width and height of it.
  • GameObject.IsoBox - This draws an isometric box. You can set the colors for each face of the box, as well as the projection angle and also which of the 3 faces are drawn.

All of the Shape objects render in both Canvas and WebGL and are available via the Game Object Factory.

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Pointer Events have also had a small but significant update: The specificity if the input events has been changed to give you more control over the event flow. For example, previously if you clicked a Sprite, the InputPlugin would emit the global pointerdown event first, then the Game Object itself would emit the pointerdown event and finally the InputPlugin would emit the gameobjectdown event.

This order has now changed. The Game Object will dispatch its pointerdown event first. The InputPlugin will then dispatch gameobjectdown and finally the less specific of them all, pointerdown will be dispatched.

I've also added the ability to cancel the flow at any stage. All events are now sent an event object which you can call event.stopPropagation() on. This will immediately stop any further listeners from being invoked. If you call stopPropagation() after the first Game Object pointerdown event, then the InputPlugin will not dispatch any less specific events.

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In 3.12 a new Camera method called setRenderToTexture was introduced. However, it had known issues so was placed under the experimental flag and you were advised not to use it unless in testing. Thanks to several fixes in this release the experimental flag has been dropped and it's now safe to try using this new feature in production.

The method sets the Camera to render to a texture instead of to the main canvas. The Camera will redirect all Game Objects it's asked to render to this texture. During the render sequence, the texture itself will then be rendered to the main canvas.

Doing this gives you the ability to modify the texture before this happens, allowing for special effects such as Camera specific shaders, or post-processing on the texture. This works in both Canvas and WebGL and plenty of examples have been added to the Labs, as well as all of the new functions being fully documented.

Of course, it doesn't end there :) There are other new features, such as HSV Color support, fixes to TileSprite scaling and Text rendering, more JSDocs completed and plenty of other things for you to read about in the Change Log.

Again, a massive thank-you to everyone who supports Phaser on Patreon and PayPal. I say this each time, but it really, genuinely does make a difference as it allows me to work full-time on Phaser, which we all benefit from. If you can help, even just $1, please do, as there are so many more exciting things we can do with Phaser 3 together.

Grab the latest build from GitHub, npm or CDN and see the full Change Log for details. If you'd like to know what is being worked on in coming releases then subscribe to the Phaser World newsletter to read the weekly Dev Logs.

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