Getting Started with the V-Play Gaming Engine

GAME DEVELOPMENT / 08.21.13 / lgazzola

This guest post was provided by the V-Play Development Team and edited by Lou Gazzola

After the announcement of BlackBerry 10 support for V-Play Game Engine, specialized for creating cross-platform mobile 2D games, it’s finally time to have a look at the advantages and concepts behind V-Play for you as a BlackBerry game developer.

vplay hero

Familiar Tools & Powerful Programming Concepts

The great thing about V-Play is that it’s built on top of Qt framework which is integrated into BlackBerry 10. Besides using already familiar tools, programming concepts and even reused existing source code for games and apps created with V-Play games run with maximum native performance in comparison to other HTML5-based solutions.

V-Play also uses QML as the main language for creating games, so declarative concepts already well-known from Cascades framework like property bindings can easily be utilized when using provided V-Play gaming components. These components are designed for tasks needed in almost all 2D-based games: sprite sheets, entity pooling for performance optimizations, AI components for path finding or steering behavior, to name just a few. These give the prototyping and development of your game an even bigger boost.

A simple “Hello World” example with V-Play may look like the following:

vplay sample 1

Furthermore V-Play includes full source code of live app store games for some of the most popular genres. These can be used as gaming templates to rapidly create games like tower defenses, platformers, physics games, side scrollers or action games.

Another great feature of V-Play is the resolution and aspect ratio-independent development approach (GameWindow & Scene components). Games look exactly the same during development on desktops as they do once they’re published on any mobile device – now including the BlackBerry Z10, and BlackBerry Q10 and BlackBerry Q5 smartphones with their square displays. Black borders on your screen or distorted graphics will be a thing of the past.

Social Networks and Gaming Services

Besides the core gaming components V-Play already offers, plugin components for most gaming services and social networks can easily be used from within QML. For example, displaying and hiding an AdMob banner depending on an in-app purchase state looks like the following:

vplay sample 2

Upcoming Level Editor & Game Network

Beside the shipped plugins (BlackBerry 10 support for all available plugins will be added within the next couple of updates) the upcoming launch of V-Play Game Network, in combination with integrated level editor components to quickly create your own levels and share & rate them over social networks, enrich the possibilities for monetizing games in mobile app stores.

Speaking of the level editor, you can also use the editor to create levels quickly during development and further cut development time and costs as you’re able to see the balancing changes immediately while your game is running, without having to restart the app, another cool feature V-Play is offering you.

Finally, the great news is that BlackBerry 10 support comes at no additional cost for existing V-Play subscribers, and it’s even possible to test V-Play created games on local development devices with V-Play’s free license (publishing a game in BlackBerry App World requires an upgrade to a pro subscription). More information on V-Play, including lots of useful tutorials, can be found here:

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