Platino: First Impressions, by Core Engineer Joseph Austin

When I first got my hands on the codebase for Platino, I had a few concerns. The market has been flooded with affordable, user-friendly game engines which boast ‘no coding required’, while Platino is a traditional IDE-oriented, 2D/2.5D engine which, for now (innocent cough), only ships to mobile operating systems. Is such a thing still marketable, sustainable and scalable in this new era of game development? More importantly, does it actually improve the development process for users enough to make it worthwhile?

Obviously, I wouldn’t be talking about my employer’s first major product this way if I hadn’t been won over. Ultimately it works like this: if you simply refuse to write code, and you’re happy enough handling the issues that arise when you wire together a bunch of plugins written by third parties, then Platino is not your weapon of choice. On the other hand, if you want blazing fast, stable, natively compiled mobile apps, you’re wasting your time with anything else.

This engine is high performance and filled with a number of features I have not seen anywhere else. Furthermore, it is built upon Titanium, an industry standard tool for apps. We plan to change what that means for game UIs - something many engines struggle with - very soon. The combination of built-in conveniences and sheer speed is enough for me. It’s the kind of technology that gets a developer really excited about their new job, because I know I can take pride in this engine as it grows even more robust going forward.

My first act as the engine’s core developer was to fix a particular issue regarding how touch events are handled. I’m pleased to say that we now have touch events for scenes and sprites, instead of just the GameView object. No longer will a user have to loop manually through every sprite in an array to check which received a touch event, it’s as simple as one line of code; sprite.addEventListener().

Better still, touch events to the scene occur in pixels. No more calculating a touch scaling factor to determine the pixel of the scene that was hit - we do all of that for you in fast, compiled code. This saves users from extra work, particularly on retina devices where the resolution of the touch device is different than the display.

There is already more touch event magic planned for the 2.6.0 release, and even bigger things on the horizon. So here’s what I’d say to my past self, as well as to anyone else weighing their options: as the gaming market becomes inundated by products from these ‘no coding required’ engines we’re seeing now, I can say that Platino will set your work apart in the long run. Quality is how you rise above competition as large as the mobile game market, and quality is the focus for Platino. Take control, do a little coding!

Joseph Austin

3 Responses

  1. Sithembewena

    Good stuff! I started with Corona SDK and this is great news for newcomers to Titanium like myself.

    I’m immensely grateful to Joseph, Peach and Black Gate Games for changing the game (excuse the pun). I cannot wait to get up to full speed with this.

    • peachpellen

      Thank you! I hope I can help; I’m working on a Udemy course (delayed, but I hope to finish it next month- I started before the recent changes) and on putting together a new website, Learn Platino which will replace Techority, to further help our new users. Please reach out with any feedback or requests, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, we have the forum, etc. :-) Always happy to see others who’ve used the same/similar SDKs to myself in the past.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I am incredibly excited to be a part of this as well. It’s indeed a ‘game changer’ in a lot of ways – affordable, powerful, and even bringing the industry to Nashville.

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