News and views on the world of interactive media from the gskinner team
In the never-ending quest to reduce boilerplate and DRY up our code in Flutter, we have noticed that using the MediaQueryclass can be a bit cumbersome, and it’s also missing a couple of key pieces of information.
The issues we see are:
MediaQuery.of(context) is a bit verbose on its face
Checking for orientation especially is too long: bool isLandscape = MediaQuery.of(context).orientation == Orientation.landscape
There is no diagonal size parameter, so you can’t easily get the true screen size of the device, helpful for determining your form factor
There is no way to get the size in inches, which can be useful when thinking about breakpoints (for most people, 4.5″ is easier to picture, than 720 logical pixels)
To that end, we have small Screen helper class, that we use across all our new projects:
One of the most interesting aspects of Flutter, is the way it mixes declarative markup-style code, with imperativebusiness logic style code, all within the same Dart programming language and file. This creates a really nice coupling between interface and function. When compared to editing XAML for UWP apps, or XML for native Android, building interfaces in Flutter can be a very rapid workflow.
While this is really nice from a productivity standpoint, it also manifests as one of Flutters biggest issues…
If you’re not familiar, Bardbarian is an iOS/Android game, built with Adobe AIR and the Starling Framework, and is slated for a Spring/Summer release in 2013. TreeFortress is a seperate division of gskinner, focused solely on creating our own apps and games. Follow them directly if you’re interested!
One of the toughest aspects of doing Game Development with GPU rendering, is managing the texture size of your various animations. Traditional SpriteSheets consume texture memory extremely quickly, and in the age of Retina Devices, they’re starting to prove inadequate.
To help work around this problem, our guys at TreeFortress have put together a library called SpriterAS. SpriterAS is a plugin which allows you to playback Spriter Animations (.SCML files) in AIR using Starling/Stage3D.
What is Spriter? Spriter is a tool for creating so-called ‘modular’ animations which require a very small texture footprint. This enables long, complex animations running at a smooth 60fps.
For full details, examples and code snippets, check out the blog post over at treefortress.com!