Platino 2.9

Platino 2.9 is here - a teasing and auspicious number, and one I’m pretty excited about. Most of the features, fixes and tweaks are either internal or relatively minor, but we’ve come leaps and bounds as a team in realizing exactly what we foresee in this product’s future. As such, this release introduces a substantial rebranding; the module is, henceforth, ‘io.platino’. The ruble and samples have been modified appropriately for this change.

Big things are coming, but what I want to talk about right now is the UI (user interface.) Platino is, of course, built on top of Titanium, an existing framework that handles user interfaces in a native look and feel for each platform. Right now, using an outlying Titanium view, it is already possible to bring scroll windows, buttons, labels, and more directly into your game. The TouchEvents sample has been modified to show this being done. 

This isn’t a minor thing. I can’t think of a game without a UI, and Titanium is a darn good one. This makes Platino a great building on a solid foundation.

 Use of Titanium also buys the Alloy project framework. Alloy, much like Ruby on Rails, arranges the files of your project in an understandable manner which creates ‘separation of concerns’; this means that Titanium UIs can be set up in xml, using stylesheets in .tss files, while being controlled from your javascript. Even if you aren’t working in a team, many developers find looking at only one concern at a time to be less strenuous.

The engine itself is fast and easy. Native, cross-platform compilation is an excellent feature, and I stand by my belief that code-driven engines will always give you greater power than ‘no programming required’ game engines (yeah right.) But I have come to believe that the greatest feature Platino has is that it is a game engine inside a UI engine, rather than a game engine USING a UI engine.

It’s only going to get better, too.

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