Engine talk: Rokon Engine for Google Android

I mentioned on 64 digits that I was going to discuss different game engines I have come across over the past few months. All engines I will go over are either free or open source.

Okay, now to start with the first.

Last year, I got an oh so wonderful HTC Droid Eris for my Birthday. It is the cool gadget I always wanted, being able to do EXACTLY what it was designed for (take that Nokia NGAGE) and then some. I immedieatly downloaded the Android SDK and started programming for the device. Android has all its programs written in Java (which is good, because I don’t have time to start learning objective C) and can be tested directly on the phone (if you have a PC with a processor < 2 GHz, don’t even think about using the emulator, which takes over a minute to load). So all that was left was to find an engine that I can use. Being the lazy baga that I am, I found someone elses work and decided to use that.

So I came across the Rokon Engine[here ], a 2D game engine that uses OpenGL for its graphics. It is great since it has support for sprites, animation, tilesets, sound, touch input (using what it calls hotspots), and anything else I can think of. It also runs on my phone at 60 fps (on the phone. On my monster rig it runs at half that speed).

Before I could use it, I had to tweak it from the inside (since my phone uses android 1.5 instead of the recommended 1.6) just to keep it from crashing. Also I bought the book “Hello, Android” by Ed Burnette to get me up to speed (so worth it). After 6 hours of exercise, I was able to make a simple room, with one sprite, a background and 2 hotspots to make the character move left and right.

rokon_test

Not bad for a weeks work, but there are a few issues. First, the hotspots don’t seem to register very well. I will try replacing them with buttons to make the response faster. Second, the classes for collision detection are incomplete. If I can get this fix/replaced I should have a working game ready in no time.

In the mean time try out the engine at http://code.google.com/p/rokon/ . OK, bye for now.