JavaOne 2013 BOF2605 JavaFX, Widgets, and Apps, Oh My! Launching Frameworks for Platforms Large and Small

9 09 2013

Image

Multipurpose widget called KeyHole displaying maps and the weather.

Introduction

This is probably the longest title I’d ever create for a blog entry.

In my spare time I’ve been working with Mark Heckler(The Java Jungle), Hendrik Ebbers (GuiGarage), and Gerrit Grunwald (Harmonic Code) on the idea of application launching frameworks. We will be presenting two approaches to running widgets and applications on the desktop and embedded device (Raspberry Pi) environments. The talk will be a BoF (Birds of a feather) session at JavaOne 2013 (BOF2605). This is where the Java/JavaFX community will have lots of fun demoing, discussing and sharing ideas on topics such as:

  • Application Containers / Dashboards
  • Widgets/Apps/Games/Gadgets
  • Widget/App Development workflow
  • Widget/App life cycle
  • Deployment / App stores

To see a sneak preview of Hendrik Ebbers’ implementation of a Roku-AppleTV-like application container check out his blog entry herehttp://www.guigarage.com/2013/08/boxfx-javaone-preview-1/ The application container is called BoxFX.

Mark and I have been working on an implementation of a desktop-centric application container called TrayFX. To see a sneak preview of TrayFX visit an interview with Mark Heckler hosted by Stephen Chin. Another sneak preview of TrayFX in action is on my youtube channel herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_KLIzVSiu8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwzwsGxd-Jk

In this blog entry I will discuss some high level concepts relating to the framework eWidgetFX and the application container TrayFX. Since there is a lot to digest I would like to at least (briefly) show you each layer in the architecture.

Disclaimer: BoxFX and TrayFX are currently private APIs. Both approaches have similarities, however they are independent projects. It’s important to hear from the audience for potential use cases. They eventually will wind up as open source projects. Also, leading up to the JavaOne talk some diagrams or APIs are subject to change in this blog entry.

eWidgetFX

eWidgetFX is a core library (API) that widgets and app containers will depend on.  Shown below depicts the layers:

High Level Architecture of the core widget framework

Core widget framework API that widgets and widget containers depend on.

The APIs provide services for loading widgets, widget life cycles, and utilities for the widget developer. The main idea was to provide a cross platform application API for application container developers and widget developers to coexist. In fact the goal was to have cross platform widgets & apps capable of running on any app container (based on the eWidgetFX lib).

Application Containers (TrayFX)

TrayFX is an App Container instance that depends on the core widget framework (eWidgetFX). Shown below is the middle layer which is basically different custom application containers based on the core.

High Level Architecture depicting App Containers layer.

Application Containers depend on the eWidgetFX API (core). This allows developers to build their own custom application containers.

TrayFX is an App Container instance that depends on the core widget framework (eWidgetFX). This means that you to can develop your own JavaFX widget & app container of your liking if you don’t like TrayFX :-) For instance you could create one for a tablet device which may have different UI metaphors and varied screen sizes (real estate). Shown below is TrayFX launching a clock widget (on the Desktop).

TrayFX launching a clock widget.

A clock widget launched from TrayFX

Widgets

Widgets or Apps are either standalone applications or eWidgetFX based widgets that can be run inside of a application container. Shown below is the widgets layer:

High Level Architecture of the Widgets layer

Widgets are mini-applications that can launch standalone or launch inside a widget container such as TrayFX.

When creating widgets you can implement a Widget interface or you can extend from the abstract DefaultWidget adapter class overriding optional life cycle methods as a convenience to the developer. Shown below is a high level class diagram:

A hello world widget class extending from the eWidgetFX default widget class.

Widget’s Class Diagram using the eWidgetFX core library.

In the JavaOne BoF  (BOF2605) since the framework is still very alpha during the talk we will present a possible developer workflow to create, build, deploy, and launch widgets.  Below I would like to share a small bit of code to give you an idea of how easy it is to implement a widget on the eWidgetFX platform.

Usually, application launching frameworks have life cycles for the application containers to manage widgets & apps. Widget developers will not need to implement a Stage nor a Scene and basically focus on what they know best (their JavaFX widget as a Node). The framework APIs will allow you to interact with the JavaFX parent containers such as Stage and Scene. The eWidgetFX Widget interface is shown below which has methods that a widget developer would need to implement. For brevity please look at the comments on the methods to understand the basic widget life cycle.

package org.ewidgetfx.core;

import javafx.beans.property.ObjectProperty;
import javafx.beans.property.StringProperty;
import javafx.scene.layout.Pane;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

/**
 * User: cdea
 * Date: 4/7/13
 */
public interface Widget {
    public static enum DECORATION {
        STAGED_OS_TITLE_BAR,
        STAGED_CLOSE,
        STAGED_CONFIG_CLOSE,
        STAGED_CONFIG,
        STAGED_UNDECORATED,
        NON_STAGED_CLOSE,
        NON_STAGED_CONFIG_CLOSE,
        NON_STAGED_CONFIG,
        NON_STAGED_UNDECORATED
    };

    DECORATION getDecoration();
    void setDecoration(DECORATION decoration);

    String getName();
    void setName(String name);
    StringProperty nameProperty();

    String getVersion();
    void setVersion(String version);
    StringProperty  versionProperty();

    String getDescription();
    void setDescription(String descr);

    String getVendor();
    void setVendor(String vendor);

    String getVendorUrl();
    void setVendorUrl(String vendorUrl);

    String getVendorEmail();
    void setVendorEmail(String vendorEmail);

    LaunchInfo getLaunchInfo();
    void setLaunchInfo(LaunchInfo launchInfo);

    WidgetIcon getWidgetIcon();
    void setWidgetIcon(WidgetIcon widgetIcon);
    ObjectProperty widgetIconProperty();

    Pane getAsNode();
    Stage getParentStage();
    void setParentStage(Stage stage);

    WidgetState getWidgetState();

    /**
     * Returns a created WidgetIcon for the app container to use. Called 1st.
     * @return WidgetIcon containing a raw node representing the icon. App containers can resize.
     */
    WidgetIcon buildWidgetIcon();

    /**
     * Called after buildWidgetIcon() method to allow background processes to occur. Called 2nd.
     * Typically to collect data to update WidgetIcon's Icon overlay. An example would be
     * an email widget periodically checking email to update Icon overlay the number of emails received.
     */
    void startBackground();

    /**
     * Initialize the widget. If the developer calls this method the framework will not call it. Called 3rd.
     */
    void init();

    /**
     * Start is meant to be called when the user clicks the icon to launch widget. Called 4th.
     * Typically to start animations or position on the desktop. This should not be confused with startBackground()
 */
 void start();

 /**
 * Pause is typically used to pause animations. Or other developer defined resources.
 */
 void pause();

 /**
 * Resume is typically used to resume a animations. Or other developer defined resources.
 */
 void resume();

 /**
 * Stop is called when the widget is closed and not visible. Typically this is to stop animations, and minor cleanup.
 * The framework will call stop and stopBackground() method when exiting the app container.
 */
 void stop();

 /**
 * Stops any background processes. Called when widget is being closed by the framework when exiting app contain. Called last.
 *
 */
 void stopBackground();

}

Conclusion

While building this framework we kept coming up with more features and ideas, however with very little time left we still were able to provide common capabilities that you’ve grown to love on your device. Hopefully, this will whet your appetite before you attend the BoF at JavaOne.

All are welcome! Enjoy!

Carl





Introduction by Example: JavaFX 8 Printing

15 07 2013

I‘ve not blogged in awhile, and I miss sharing with others about all things JavaFX (My day job and family are likely excuses). For those who are new to this blog, I am the author of JavaFX 2 Introduction by Example (JIBE), co-author of Java 7 Recipes, and technical reviewer of the Pro JavaFX 2 books from Apress publishing. For those who already know me, I’d like to thank you for supporting me and the other authors by purchasing these books. More importantly, my hope is to reach out to  Java enthusiasts and share ideas.

The book JavaFX 2 Introduction by Example, was published in Nov. 2011 and many more APIs were added since then. During the writing of the book, I was working on the early editions of JavaFX 2.0 up until the announcement at JavaOne Oct. 2011. It was pretty crazy trying to update the book based on API changes as things were almost set in stone. I thought it was amazing how it even got out the door. However, I was pretty pleased. Some of you who have read the beginning of the book (JIBE) understand that the chapters of JIBE are also found in the book Java 7 Recipes (actually it is originally taken from Java 7 recipes). This little fact explains why the book, JavaFX 2 Introduction by Example, is reminiscent of recipe or cookbook style technical books. My intent was to help the reader get introduced quickly without a lot of tech blather. Instead of trying to convince people about the JavaFX platform, I’d rather demonstrate things with useful examples. I find it counter productive discussing  deep philosophical debates regarding why one particular technology is superior to the other (cheesy 80′s Highlander reference).

After the release of JavaFX 2.0, there came subsequent versions such as JavaFX 2.1, 2.2 and the upcoming release of JavaFX 8 (January 2014). In this blog entry, I will provide a recipe for the JavaFX 8′s Printing API. Similar to my book (JIBE), I will follow the same pattern as before where I present a problem, solution, code, and a “How it Works” section.

Declaimer: In this blog you will encounter Java Functional Interfaces using Lambda expressions. I will not be discussing them here, but will refer you to Oracle’s tutorials on Project Lambda .

Prerequisite software:

JDK 8 - https://jdk8.java.net/download.html

 

Problem

You want to create a JavaFX application that prints out a visited website.

Solution

Use the JavaFX 8 PrintJob and Printer APIs to print any JavaFX scene graph node. Also, use the WebView and WebEngine APIs to display a Website or Web page.

Instructions

Assuming you’ve compiled and have run the application, follow the instruction below:

  1. Enter website address or url into the text field.
  2. Hit the enter key
  3. After the page is loaded, click on the “Print” button
  4. Go to the printer to get the printed web page

Code

package org.carlfx;

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.beans.property.BooleanProperty;
import javafx.beans.property.SimpleBooleanProperty;
import javafx.beans.value.ChangeListener;
import javafx.concurrent.Worker.State;
import javafx.print.*;
import javafx.scene.Node;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.control.TextField;
import javafx.scene.layout.BorderPane;
import javafx.scene.layout.HBox;
import javafx.scene.transform.Scale;
import javafx.scene.web.WebEngine;
import javafx.scene.web.WebView;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

/**
 * Demo to use JavaFX 8 Printer API.
 *
 * @author cdea
 */
public class PrintDemo extends Application {
    @Override
    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {

        final TextField urlTextField = new TextField();
        final Button printButton = new Button("Print");
        final WebView webPage = new WebView();
        final WebEngine webEngine = webPage.getEngine();

        HBox hbox = new HBox();
        hbox.getChildren().addAll(urlTextField, printButton);
        BorderPane borderPane = new BorderPane();
        borderPane.setTop(hbox);
        borderPane.setCenter(webPage);
        Scene scene = new Scene(borderPane, 300, 250);
        primaryStage.setTitle("Print Demo");
        primaryStage.setScene(scene);

        // print button pressed, page loaded
        final BooleanProperty printButtonClickedProperty = new SimpleBooleanProperty(false);
        final BooleanProperty pageLoadedProperty = new SimpleBooleanProperty(false);

        // when the a page is loaded and the button was pressed call the print() method.
        final BooleanProperty printActionProperty = new SimpleBooleanProperty(false);
        printActionProperty.bind(pageLoadedProperty.and(printButtonClickedProperty));

        // WebEngine updates flag when finished loading web page.
        webEngine.getLoadWorker()
                 .stateProperty()
                 .addListener( (ChangeListener) (obsValue, oldState, newState) -> {
                    if (newState == State.SUCCEEDED) {
                        pageLoadedProperty.set(true);
                    }
                 });

        // When user enters a url and hits the enter key.
        urlTextField.setOnAction( aEvent ->  {
            pageLoadedProperty.set(false);
            printButtonClickedProperty.set(false);
            webEngine.load(urlTextField.getText());
        });

        // When the user clicks the print button the webview node is printed
        printButton.setOnAction( aEvent -> {
            printButtonClickedProperty.set(true);
        });

        // Once the print action hears a true go print the WebView node.
        printActionProperty.addListener( (ChangeListener) (obsValue, oldState, newState) -> {
            if (newState) {
                print(webPage);
            }
        });

        primaryStage.show();

    }

    /** Scales the node based on the standard letter, portrait paper to be printed.
     * @param node The scene node to be printed.
     */
    public void print(final Node node) {
        Printer printer = Printer.getDefaultPrinter();
        PageLayout pageLayout = printer.createPageLayout(Paper.NA_LETTER, PageOrientation.PORTRAIT, Printer.MarginType.DEFAULT);
        double scaleX = pageLayout.getPrintableWidth() / node.getBoundsInParent().getWidth();
        double scaleY = pageLayout.getPrintableHeight() / node.getBoundsInParent().getHeight();
        node.getTransforms().add(new Scale(scaleX, scaleY));

        PrinterJob job = PrinterJob.createPrinterJob();
        if (job != null) {
            boolean success = job.printPage(node);
            if (success) {
                job.endJob();
            }
        }
    }

    /**
     * The main() method is ignored in correctly deployed JavaFX application.
     * main() serves only as fallback in case the application can not be
     * launched through deployment artifacts, e.g., in IDEs with limited FX
     * support. NetBeans ignores main().
     *
     * @param args the command line arguments
     */
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        launch(args);
    }
}
Print Demo using JavaFX 8

Print Demo using JavaFX 8

How it Works

The code begins by creating a TextField, a Button, and a WebView control to be placed into a BorderPane. When using the BorderPane layout, you will be able to place controls into the following regions: Top, Right, Left, Bottom, and Center.

Similar to a web browser, the text field allows the user to enter a website url. Once the url is entered, the user will hit the enter key to load the web page into the WebView node. When placing controls on any of the side regions, the BorderPane layout will take on the preferred height of any controls that are added. The center region will allow a node to take up the available space minus the remaining space taken up by the width and height of the bordering side regions. In other words, if the side regions contain no nodes (empty), a node in the center region has the opportunity to take all the available width and height space provided by its parent (Scene). Since the WebView node will occupy the center region, it will take all the available width and height (minus top region) when the web page is fully loaded. You’ll also notice scroll bars allowing the user to view pages larger than the current view port.

After laying out all the components for the UI, you will need to wire things up. Here you will simply create three boolean property
(javafx.beans.property.SimpleBooleanProperty) instances. The first property variable printButtonClickedProperty is a flag indicating when the print button was clicked. The second property pageLoadedProperty is a flag indicating that the web page was finished loading. Lastly, you will want to note the printActionProperty which binds the printButtonClickedProperty and the pageLoadedProperty by using the fluent API. As they evaluate, the printActionProperty will be true if both the printLoadedProperty and the printLoadedProperty are true values.

// print button pressed, page loaded
final BooleanProperty printButtonClickedProperty = new SimpleBooleanProperty(false);
final BooleanProperty pageLoadedProperty = new SimpleBooleanProperty(false);

// when the a page is loaded and the button was pressed call the print() method.
final BooleanProperty printActionProperty = new SimpleBooleanProperty(false);
printActionProperty.bind(pageLoadedProperty.and(printButtonClickedProperty));

Continuing the wiring up of the UI, I took an event driven approach where the handler code will respond to events and property changes. Starting with the WebView node, I attached handler code to the statePropery instance (ChangeListener) in order that the pageLoadedProperty will be set to true once the web page is loaded successfully.

  // WebEngine updates flag when finished loading web page.
  webEngine.getLoadWorker()
           .stateProperty()
           .addListener( (ChangeListener) (obsValue, oldState, newState) -> {
               if (newState == State.SUCCEEDED) {
                    pageLoadedProperty.set(true);
               }
           });

Next, you will see the text field’s ‘setOnAction‘ method containing handler code that resets the pageLoadedProperty and printButtonClickedProperty objects. Also, the code will initiate the loading of the page via the WebView‘s WebEngine load() method.


  // When user enters a url and hits the enter key.
  urlTextField.setOnAction( aEvent ->  {
     pageLoadedProperty.set(false);
     printButtonClickedProperty.set(false);
     webEngine.load(urlTextField.getText());
  });

After the TextField control’s action code is wired up, the print button will also need handler code to set the printButtonClickedProperty flag to true. Lastly, the printActionProperty property will need a ChangeListener to respond when its state evaluates to true. When this evaluates to true, my print() method is invoked.

        // When the user clicks the print button the webview node is printed
        printButton.setOnAction( aEvent -> {
            printButtonClickedProperty.set(true);
        });

        // Once the print action hears a true go print the WebView node.
        printActionProperty.addListener( (ChangeListener) (obsValue, oldState, newState) -> {
            if (newState) {
                print(webPage);
            }
        });

Finally, the print() method takes a JavaFX Node object to be printed. The Printer object has a method which returns the default printer your computer is set to. Before actually printing, we can derive a default page layout to scale the node before printing the node. If you don’t do this, only part of the web page will be printed. With the default printer obtained, the createPrinterJob() method is invoked to return a PrinterJob instance that does the actual printing. To print a JavaFX displayable type node, you simply invoke the PrinterJob object’s printPage() method by passing in the Node instance as a parameter.

    
    /** Scales the node based on the standard letter, portrait paper to be printed.
     * @param node The scene node to be printed.
     */
    public void print(final Node node) {
        Printer printer = Printer.getDefaultPrinter();
        PageLayout pageLayout = printer.createPageLayout(Paper.NA_LETTER, PageOrientation.PORTRAIT, Printer.MarginType.DEFAULT);
        double scaleX = pageLayout.getPrintableWidth() / node.getBoundsInParent().getWidth();
        double scaleY = pageLayout.getPrintableHeight() / node.getBoundsInParent().getHeight();
        node.getTransforms().add(new Scale(scaleX, scaleY));

        PrinterJob job = PrinterJob.createPrinterJob();
        if (job != null) {
            boolean success = job.printPage(node);
            if (success) {
                job.endJob();
            }
        }
    }

In conclusion, I find that the APIs are simpler to use compared to Java Swing/AWT APIs. I would like to mention that there are many features you can play around with since this blog entry only scratches the surface on the APIs currently available.

NOTE: JavaFX 8 printer API is still in the early stages and there are still outstanding issues (Jira issues).

Please visit to vote and help test functionality at https://javafx-jira.kenai.com

Outstanding Tickets: http://bit.ly/1dw7Vc8





A Case Study: A JavaFX Widget Framework API

20 04 2013

A prototype of a widget container

A prototype of a widget container


Building a better mousetrap

In short I want to revisit the idea of a cross platform widget framework using JavaFX. In this article I’d like to share some ideas, concepts and prototypes that might invigorate this old but ingenious idea for the desktop and embedded world. An old idea you say? Does anyone remember WidgetFX?

In the early days of JavaFX there were a few Java Champions and community members who decided to create a cross platform JavaFX 1.x widget framework for the desktop (year 2008). I was fortunate enough to know many of those contributors involved.  I grew to love the capabilities the framework and widgets were able to provide.  However, as we all know JavaFX is now redone as Java APIs as opposed to the JavaFX script language. This eventually became apparent regarding to the future of most frameworks back then. Before I begin I would like to give credit to the folks who contributed to the WidgetFX framework project.  I want to thank them for their enthusiasm and their tireless efforts on building the community to what it is today. To see some of their cool widgets please visit the site http://widgetfx.org (catch them before they’re gone). Two of the original founders of the project are Stephen Chin and Keith Combs. Even though I did not partake in the fun during the height of the project I was quite inspired.

Inception phase

To fast forward just last year at the JavaOne 2012 conference I was able to catch up with Keith Combs (Silicon Valley JavaFX User Group organizer) and Stephen Chin (Java Technology Evangelist at Oracle) after his keynote speaking to inquire about the WidgetFX project now that JavaFX 1.x is no more. Steve kindly asked if anyone would be interested in giving it a reboot on the JavaFX 2.x platform (As he peered over towards Keith and me). I believe I said, “I don’t think, so… “. I thought it might be too much to bite off than I could possibly chew. So I politely declined the offer. During the conference I was later enamored by all things Java embedded which later fueled to some of my home automation project ideas using JavaFX with (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beagle Board).

After returning home I was not only excited about the things I’ve learned at the conference but, I also was in the middle of transitioning to a new job and company. Working as a UI and Visualization developer for cloud based monitoring software I often encountered stakeholders/SMEs mentioning the term “SPOG” or single pane of glass.

What does the term “SPOG” mean?

According to Floyd Strimling a cloud technical evangelist at Zenoss explains how so many organizations will create desperate (silos) systems and he goes on to say, “The Holy Grail is a single pane of glass that provides IT managers with a single access point to make sense of their entire underlying infrastructure in real time”. (Searching for the Mythical Single Pane of Glass)

Isn’t “SPOG” an interesting concept for large operation centers? So, I continued to rethink of the old idea of a flexible widget framework that would provide richer interfaces that would allow better desktop integration, decoupled services, higher performance, and capable of empowering users with many of the modern UI metaphors that they’d expect on their favorite OS platform. I believe such a framework should also work on embedded devices for home automation.  Actually I got the idea of a widget framework for embedded devices from my good friend Gerrit Grunwald (Java Champion and author of the popular Steel Series API) while exchanging ideas about graphics performance and launching JavaFX applications on embedded devices.

Wow, with so many different problem domains and so many perspectives could such a widget framework truly exist? Could such a widget framework be able to make everyone happy? Is it possible to create a simple widget framework to rule them all? I believe it is possible.

eWidgetFX is born

In the back of my mind I noticed similar use cases with many customers wanting widget frameworks having this concept of a “SPOG”, but also provide a framework that I could use myself on my own desktop or touch device. So, I kept going back and forth on the possibility of rebooting the old project WidgetFX. Instead I wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the whole business of widget frameworks. Since there are so many kinds of ways to launch, display, and manage widgets it would also be a good idea to build a single widget framework SPI (service provider interface API) which would enable developers to build their own widget containers thus allowing widget developers to run their widgets in any widget container. There would basically be two developer perspectives: Container Developers and Widget Developers. So, I’d like to propose a new API called eWidgetFX (core) that would allow the developers to create widget containers and widgets.

For now I will defer the work of designing the core APIs and make it a future post. So, in this article I’ve decided to generate some prototypes of widget containers that would basically depend on the future eWidgetFX framework API.

Prototyping Widget Containers

Prototyping is probably the most fun part during any software development activity. Shown below are videos I recently uploaded to Youtube.com to kick some ideas around for different kinds of widget containers (Icon App tray) on a desktop environment.

Conclusion

One of the main issue I found in UI development is that customers will often know what they want, but aren’t able to communicate what they ultimately want. It’s almost like playing a game of Charades or a game of Pictionary where guessing is a sought after skill in software design.  We are often faced with providing prototypes and end up settling on one particular view (one view, one way, one silo). The problem became pretty apparent where everyone had an opinion or philosophical stance on a particular GUI interface, usability aspect or UI metaphor. Sometimes it’s based on subjective personal preferences that can go into long discussions. No one person in the room was completely happy, but at the end of the day we compromised and we settled.

I believe that by creating a widget API it would allow organizations to build different single pane of glass instances (widget containers) and capable of sharing all widgets across other panes.

So, imagine seeing different types of widget containers in the wild. Some future widget containers could look like interfaces similar to the following movies: Avengers, Tron, or Minority Report

A final note: Many of of the ideas expressed and proposed are a collective effort from some of my friends (team members) of the JFXtras.org project (Mark Heckler, Hendrik Ebbers, and Gerrit Grunwald).

Would you like to see a talk regarding widget frameworks at JavaOne?

As always comments are welcome.

Carl ;-)

Resources

JavaFX: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javafx/overview/index.html
Java Champions: https://java.net/website/java-champions/bios.html
WidgetFX: http://widgetfx.org
Keith Combs from the Silicon Valley JavaFX user group: http://www.svjugfx.org/member/10394895/?op=&memberId=10394895
Steve on Java by Stephen Chin: http://steveonjava.com
Arduino : http://www.arduino.cc
Raspberry Pi: http://www.raspberrypi.org
Beagle Board: http://beagleboard.org
Guest Post: Searching for the Mythical Single Pane of Glass: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2012/02/29/guest-post-searching-for-the-mythical-single-pane-of-glass
Anti-patterns: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Software_Engineering/Architecture/Anti-Patterns
Google Images of Operation centers: http://bit.ly/106p3h0
Avengers UI design: http://cargocollective.com/jayse/Avengers
Tron UI design: http://dlew.me/Tron-Legacy-Boardroom
Minority Report UI designer demos his tech at TED (video): http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/03/minority-report-ui-designer-demos-his-tech-at-ted
The Java Jungle by Mark Heckler: https://blogs.oracle.com/javajungle/entry/welcome_to_the_jungle
Gui Garage by Hendrik Ebbers: http://www.guigarage.com
Harmonic Code by Gerrit Grunwald: http://harmoniccode.blogspot.de
JFXtras.org : http://jfxtras.orgLeap Motion: https://www.leapmotion.comLeap Motion: https://www.leapmotion.com





JavaFX 2 GameTutorial Part 5

26 08 2012
JavaFX sound effects

Figure 1: JavaFX Sound FX

Introduction

This is part five of a six part series related to a JavaFX 2 Game Tutorial. I know it’s been a long time since I blogged about gaming, but hopefully you’re still with me. If you would like a recap, please read Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 to find out where we left off. If you are up to date, then let’s get started!  In this blog entry we will be incorporating sounds into our game.

There are many elements which make games incredibly fun such as animated effects, collisions, AI, and input. However, one of the most important ingredients to game play is sound. When games incorporate sound effects and music, the gamer will become highly immersed (ugh… like not realizing you are about to see the sun rise). Before we get into the details, let me give you some background history on sound used in PC games for the home computer. If you want to skip the history and get down to business, jump to the section called the ‘Sound Manager Service.’ The Sound Manager Service is responsible for maintaining sound assets used during the game. If you are really impatient and don’t care about the implementation details, jump down to ‘JavaFX Sound Demo.’ Important note: Remember to read the requirements before launching the demo.

History

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.  ~Pearl Buck 

Back in the day, when I was growing up, I learned that the Apple ][ computer was capable of playing sounds. The Apple ][ had one speaker that was only able to produce simple tones (8 bit mono sound). When I first generated tones (Mary had a little lamb), I was totally amazed. If you are interested in machine code using Applesoft Basic's peek and poke commands to compose music, visit 8 bit Sound and Fury.  Even though 8 bits seemed very simple (because there were so few values), it was not. When creating sound effects for games, one of the most difficult things to manage was the timing or duration of the tones in conjunction with the sprites flying across the screen in a (near) simultaneous fashion. In the 90s during  the reign of the Intel x86 architecture (the PC), the most popular sound card was called the Sound Blaster 16 made by Creative Technologies. In its prime, this sound card was quite amazing when playing games because it was a separate card having a chip set with the ability to play midi sounds and music in stereo (two channels). The sound card was bundled with a CD rom player allowing one to pop in a music CD. Another cool feature of the Sound Blaster was its 15-pin MIDI/Joystick multiport enabling game input devices to be connected. Today (the future), sound cards are able to support surround sound (3D audio effects), various sound formats, record, various music formats, midi, and mixing.  Multitasking enables modern computers to  play sounds/music on parallel tracks (simultaneously).

Next, we will be creating a sound manager service that will be added to the game engine framework library (JFXGen).

Sound Manager Service

The GameWorld class contains services such as the sprite manager and (more recently) a reference to an instance of a SoundManager (singleton). The sound manager service is responsible for managing all of the game's sound effects. This service allows the developer to load sound clips (AudioClip) using the loadSoundEffects() method. After loading sound effects each audio clip can be retrieved using a unique id (String) mapped to the sound. The last method is the shutdown() method. When the application is exited, the stop method will invoke the GameWorld's shutdown() method which, in turn, calls the SoundManager object's shutdown to clean up any resources. The SoundManager instance has a thread pool that gets gracefully shutdown.

Note:  For brevity, I designed the SoundManager class to play simple audio clips, though not music, during the game. If you want to add music, please refer to the JavaDoc on the Media and MediaPlayer APIs.

Shown below is the SoundManager class diagram:

SoundManager Class Diagram

Figure 2: Class Diagram of the Sound Manager

The following is source code for the SoundManager class:

package carlfx.gameengine;

import javafx.scene.media.AudioClip;

import java.net.URL;
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.concurrent.ExecutorService;
import java.util.concurrent.Executors;

/**
 * Responsible for loading sound media to be played using an id or key.
 * Contains all sounds for use later.
*</pre>
<pre> * User: cdea
 */
public class SoundManager {
    ExecutorService soundPool = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(2);
    Map<String, AudioClip> soundEffectsMap = new HashMap<>();

    /**
     * Constructor to create a simple thread pool.
     *
     * @param numberOfThreads - number of threads to use media players in the map.
     */
    public SoundManager(int numberOfThreads) {
        soundPool = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(numberOfThreads);
    }

    /**
     * Load a sound into a map to later be played based on the id.
     *
     * @param id  - The identifier for a sound.
     * @param url - The url location of the media or audio resource. Usually in src/main/resources directory.
     */
    public void loadSoundEffects(String id, URL url) {
        AudioClip sound = new AudioClip(url.toExternalForm());
        soundEffectsMap.put(id, sound);
    }

    /**
     * Lookup a name resource to play sound based on the id.
     *
     * @param id identifier for a sound to be played.
     */
    public void playSound(final String id) {
        Runnable soundPlay = new Runnable() {
            @Override
            public void run() {
                soundEffectsMap.get(id).play();
            }
        };
        soundPool.execute(soundPlay);
    }

    /**
     * Stop all threads and media players.
     */
    public void shutdown() {
        soundPool.shutdown();
    }

}

How do I play sound effects in JavaFX?

In JavaFX 2, you can play small sound files efficiently with less overhead by using the AudioClip API. This API allows a sound to be played repeatably. An example would be a gamer firing the weapon (left mouse press) which makes a laser sound “pew pew!” Speaking of lasers in the demo game, I used a free sound file from the website FreeSound.org having the Creative Commons license. Since the file was a wav file format, it was larger than it needed to be. So, I decided to convert the file to an mp3 sound format. I felt it was important to reduce the size of the file (smaller footprint) for faster loading. When converting the file to an mp3 sound format, I used Sony’s Sound Forge software. Shown below is a code snippet to play small sound files:

   AudioClip sound = new AudioClip("laser.mp3");
   sound.play();

How do I play music in JavaFX?

Although the SoundManager(my implementation) doesn’t play music, it is easy to add the capability. The following code snippet shows how to load an MP3 file to be played using the Media and MediaPlayer API:

   Media media = new Media("hymetojoy.mp3");
   MediaPlayer player = MediaPlayerBuilder.create()
                         .media(media)
                         .onReady( new Runnable() {
                             @Override
                             public void run() {
                                player.play();
                             })
                         .build();

JavaFX Sound Demo

Requirements:

  • Java 7 or later
  • JavaFX 2.1 or later
  • Windows XP or later (Should be available soon for Linux/MacOS)

A simple Asteroid type game called ‘The Expanse’.

Instructions:

  • Right mouse click (on Windows) to fly ship.
  • Left mouse click (left click on Windows mouse) to fire weapon.
  • Key press ’2′ to change to large missiles. (blue circular projectiles)
  • Other key press defaults to smaller missiles. (red circular projectiles)
  • Space bar key press will toggle a force field to protect the ship from enemies and asteroids.

Click on the Launch button below to start the demo:

Tutorial demo

Part 5 ‘The Expanse’ Sound

References

Apple ][ specs: http://apple2history.org/history/ah03/
8 bit on the Apple ][: http://eightbitsoundandfury.ld8.org/programming.html
Sound Blaster : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster
JFXGen: https://github.com/carldea/JFXGen
JavaFX’s AudioClip API: http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/media/AudioClip.html
Sony Sound Forge: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/soundforgesoftware
Freesound.org: http://www.freesound.org
Laser sound from Freesound.org: http://www.freesound.org/people/THE_bizniss/sounds/39459/
Creative commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/sampling+/1.0/
Media API: http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/media/Media.html
MediaPlayer API: http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/media/MediaPlayer.html





I’ll be back…

8 07 2012

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry to inform you that I will be taking a break from the JavaFX Game Tutorials to prepare for my upcoming presentation at the Montgomery county (Maryland) Java user group (http://www.mcjug.org) on July 18, 2012. If any of you Java fans are in town stop by between 6:00-8:00pm EST. My talk will be about an introduction to building JavaFX 2 enterprise applications using Grails.

I look forward to resuming where we left off in the JavaFX Game Tutorial series. ;-)

Code well my friends!

Carl





JavaFX 2 GameTutorial Part 4

12 06 2012
JavaFX 2 Game Tutorial Part 4

Figure 1 JavaFX 2 Game Tutorial Part 4

 

Introduction

This is part four of a six part series related to a JavaFX 2 Game Tutorial. If you’ve missed Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3, I encourage you to go through them before beginning this tutorial. To recap, in Part 3 I gave you a little history of the many classic arcade style games and the different input devices that were used. I then showed you how to create a simple game similar to the famous arcade ‘Asteroids’. The controls (movement of the ship) were, however, more similar to those of the PC game ‘Star Craft’. In Part 3, you should have a good understanding of how to receive input from your keyboard and mouse.

This tutorial is about tweaking Part 2’s game engine and updating the existing ‘Asteroids’ style game from Part 3 to handle collision detection. In this tutorial, I will briefly talk about sprites and how to handle collision detection. The spaceship will now have the ability to generate a force field to protect itself from enemies and asteroids. This is reminiscent of the classic arcade ‘Asteroids Deluxe’.  If you want to run the demo, scroll down and click on the WebStart button below. Please read the requirements before launching the game.

What is a Sprite?

According to Wikipedia, “a sprite is a two-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene.” From the Java gaming world view, a sprite is an object containing image frames and additional data based on the context of an actor to be animated onto the scene area. In the days of Walt Disney, when cartoons were drawn with a pencil and paper, the artist  produced many drawings that became animations. This example points to the creation of the flip book. I’m sure you’ve created flip books as a kid. I know I did. I used to doodle and make cool animations with all the corners of my notebooks. In our Asteroid type game, I created a sprite object which contains all of the images (ImageView) of the ship pre-rotated just like a flip book. To animate the ship turning, I made the current frame visible and the rest of the frames not visible. Similar to a flip book, it will appear to be rotated about its center (pivot) point. A sprite can also contain other information, such as velocity or health points.

Collision Detection

When actors or sprites animate across the scene, the game engine will check each sprite against other sprites to determine if they have collided into one another. This process should be very efficient especially when you have numerous sprites moving about the screen. There are tradeoffs when it comes to being efficient. Because each cycle in the game loop will check for collision, being more accurate usually degrades your performance. Many games will use the bounding region of the image to determine if two sprites have collided into one another.  Some games use rectangles as bounding regions. Shown below in figure 2 are two sprites colliding:

Bounding box as a rectangular collision region.

Figure 2 Bounding box as a rectangular collision region.

I’m sure you’ll know by now that most actors (images) in games don’t appear rectangular when pixels surrounding the actor are transparent. However, the actor or image is indeed rectangular even if the pixels are transparent or not.


Actor Image

Figure 3 depicts an actor image

Those games which use rectangular bounding regions usually make the bounding box inscribed in the sprite’s image. Shown below in figure 4 two rectangular bounding regions (orange and green) are inscribed in the spaceship image.

Two rectangles used as collision bounding boxes.

Figure 4 Two rectangles used as collision bounding boxes.

I’m sure you will notice that the nose tip of the ship and wings are not covered by either bounding box. This means that when an asteroid overlaps the unbounded region of the sprite the collision will not occur. Some games use this strategy; you will notice that the sprites’ rectangular bounding regions are small and placed in key areas of the sprite image.  Greater precision will be found with better algorithms for polygons and other non-rectangular shapes. In this blog entry, I basically use circles as bounding regions and not rectangles. I could have made each sprite contain an array of collision shapes, but instead, I chose to have only one collision region for each sprite. Each collision region will be a circle shape on the scene graph. For the spaceship, I inscribed the circle based on the center point of the ship with the radius extended to the cock pit of the ship. Shown below in figure 5 the bounded circular collision area of the ship is depicted as a red circle.

The ship's collision region.

Figure 5 The ship’s collision region.

I chose a circle as the bounding region because of the relative ease to determine the collision of two objects based on the distance formula (Pythagorean theorem) which only requires each sprite’s bounding region’s center point and their radii.  After calculating the distance based on the two center points, you will compare the result to see if it is less than or equal to the sum of the two radii. If the result does indeed come out to be less than or equal to the sum of the two radii then a collision has occurred.  Figure 6 depicts  how the distance formula relates to the two center points of circular bounding regions.

Distance formula

Figure 6 distance formula between two center points.

The following code creates the main game loop from the GameWorld class:

  @Override
  public void handle(javafx.event.ActionEvent event) {

     // update actors
     updateSprites();

     // check for collision
     checkCollisions();

     // removed dead things
     cleanupSprites();

  }

The code below creates the checkCollision() method from the GameWorld class:

    protected void checkCollisions() {
        // check other sprite's collisions
        spriteManager.resetCollisionsToCheck();
        // check each sprite against other sprite objects.
        for (Sprite spriteA : spriteManager.getCollisionsToCheck()) {
            for (Sprite spriteB : spriteManager.getAllSprites()) {
                if (handleCollision(spriteA, spriteB)) {
                    // The break helps optimize the collisions
                    //  The break statement means one object only hits another
                    // object as opposed to one hitting many objects.
                    // To be more accurate comment out the break statement.
                    break;
                }
            }
        }
    }

The derived Game World (TheExpanse) class’ implementation of its handleCollision() method:

    /**
     * How to handle the collision of two sprite objects.
     *
     * @param spriteA Sprite from the first list.
     * @param spriteB Sprite from the second list.
     * @return boolean returns a true if the two sprites have collided otherwise false.
     */
    @Override
    protected boolean handleCollision(Sprite spriteA, Sprite spriteB) {
        if (spriteA != spriteB) {
            if (spriteA.collide(spriteB)) {

                if (spriteA != myShip) {
                    spriteA.handleDeath(this);
                }
                if (spriteB != myShip) {
                    spriteB.handleDeath(this);
                }
            }
        }

        return false;
    }

The Sprite Class’ default implementation of its collide() method using the distance formula:

    public boolean collide(Sprite other) {

        if (collisionBounds == null || other.collisionBounds == null) {
            return false;
        }

        // determine it's size
        Circle otherSphere = other.collisionBounds;
        Circle thisSphere = collisionBounds;
        Point2D otherCenter = otherSphere.localToScene(otherSphere.getCenterX(), otherSphere.getCenterY());
        Point2D thisCenter = thisSphere.localToScene(thisSphere.getCenterX(), thisSphere.getCenterY());
        double dx = otherCenter.getX() - thisCenter.getX();
        double dy = otherCenter.getY() - thisCenter.getY();
        double distance = Math.sqrt(dx * dx + dy * dy);
        double minDist = otherSphere.getRadius() + thisSphere.getRadius();

        return (distance < minDist);
    }

The Sprite Class’ default implementation of its handleDeath() method:

    public void handleDeath(GameWorld gameWorld) {
        gameWorld.getSpriteManager().addSpritesToBeRemoved(this);
    }

The Atom (an asteroid or missile) class will override the handleDeath() method:


    public void handleDeath(GameWorld gameWorld) {
        implode(gameWorld);
        super.handleDeath(gameWorld);
    }

JavaFX 2 Sprite and Collision Demo

This simple demo game will be a mix between StarCraft and Asteroids. When using the mouse to navigate the ship, you will notice that the controls will resemble StarCraft’s Battle Cruiser. The objective is to fire your weapon at the spheres before they hit your spaceship or other spheres which implode upon impact. Because this is a simple tutorial or even a game in its early stages of development, the game doesn’t keep track of the score. I encourage you to go to GitHub to download the code and enhance the game. For the sake of brevity, I will not be showing all of the code changes, but I trust you will visit GitHub here: https://github.com/carldea/JFXGen for all the demos and source code.

Requirements:

  • Java 7 or later
  • JavaFX 2.1 or later
  • Windows XP or later (Should be available soon for Linux/MacOS)

A simple Asteroid type game called ‘The Expanse’.

Instructions:

  • Right mouse click (on Windows) to fly ship.
  • Left mouse click (left click on Windows mouse) to fire weapon.
  • Key press ’2′ to change to large missiles. (blue circular projectiles)
  • Other key press defaults to smaller missiles. (red circular projectiles)
  • Space bar key press will toggle a force field to protect the ship from enemies and asteroids.

Click on the Launch button below to start the demo:

Tutorial demo

Part 4 ‘The Expanse’ sprites/collision

Part 4 ‘Sprites/Collision’

Next up is Part 5 (Sound) where you will be using JavaFX to produce sound effects for your game.

References

Definition of a sprite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprite_%28computer_graphics%29

Walt Disney: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney

How to make a flip book: http://www.bitrebels.com/design/how-to-create-a-flip-book/

JavaFX’s ImageView : http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/image/ImageView.html

Collision detection: http://zetcode.com/tutorials/javagamestutorial/collision/

AABBs Collision detection in Java: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIxV-LXqa1g

Pythagorean theorem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem

Distance formula: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distance

Serious game of Asteroids Deluxe (Youtube): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DG-GJENHgg





JavaFX 2 GameTutorial Part 3

20 05 2012
The Expanse

figure 1 The Expanse – Input (Keyboard & Mouse) Demo

Introduction

This is part 3 of a six part series related to a JavaFX 2 Game Tutorial. If you’ve missed Part 1 and Part 2, I encourage you to go through them before beginning this tutorial. To recap Part 2 I discussed the inner workings of a gaming loop where we used an animation (JavaFX Timeline) to update sprites, check collisions, and clean up game world elements. I then felt compelled to create a simple game engine to enable the ease of developing 2D games. This tutorial is about using the game engine and demonstrating input using your mouse and keyboard. In this tutorial I will give you some background history, event handling fundamentals, a demo game, and finally the implementation. The demo will showcase a spaceship capable of shooting at floating spheres similar to the video game Asteroids. If you want to run the demo, scroll down and click on the WebStart button below. Please read the requirements before launching the game.

History

Back in the day (during the 80s) as a kid growing up there were arcade centers, bowling alleys, pizza parlors, and 7 Eleven stores where I spent huge amounts of time putting quarters on the glass display areas to be next in line to the guy who was currently playing an intense video game. As everyone was crowded around him watching him beat the all time high score we all cheered as we witnessed greatness. One of those incredibly awesome arcade games was ‘Asteroids‘ created by Atari Inc.(to play visit play.vg)

Speaking of high scores, not too many folks know, but Scott Safran (February 3, 1967 – March 27, 1989) had the highest record of all time playing Asteroids. He achieved this at his local 7-Eleven conveniece store by playing for approximately twenty hours non stop. Later in life (while still young), he passed away from a tragic accident on March 27, 1989. In honor of Scott, I created this tutorial. I hope people will remember him as one of the greatest video gamers of all time (I’m sure a good brother and son also).

Regarding the game, Asteroids, vector based hardware was used to render shapes as opposed to raster graphics (bitmap). On an added note, Space Invaders by Midway Inc. was created using raster graphics. It’s exciting to point out that there are discussions about JavaFX 2.x having the ability to use bitmaps called the JavaFX Canvas Node which can provide raster graphics to enable developers to take advantage of pixel level manipulations. I am still amazed at the construction of these arcade style cabinets which house the CRT, motherboard, and the controllers (input devices) such as buttons, joystick, track balls, and turning knobs.

Classic Arcade Games

Below are some classic arcade games with many types of input devices:

  • Buttons only: Asteroids, Space Invaders, Rip Off, Phoenix
  • Joystick only: Q*bert, PacMan
  • Turn knob only: Pong
  • Track ball only: Marble Madness
  • Steering column and buttonsStar Wars, Pole position, Spy Hunter
  • Bike handle bars: Stunt Cycle, Paper Boy
  • Buttons and Throttle bar: Lunar Lander
  • Periscope and Buttons: Sea Wolf
  • Buttons and Yoke: Tron, Battle Zone
  • Buttons, Turn knob, and Yoke:  Star Trek, Tempest
  • Buttons and track ball: Missile Command, Centipede
  • Buttons and Joystick: Defender, Gauntlet, Frogger, Joust, Berzerk, Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Xevious, Galaga, Kung Fu, Contra, Street Fighter, Double Dragon, Ninja magic (or spirit), DigDug, Dragon’s Lair.

Input / (Mouse, Keyboard)

Leaving the past behind, we currently encounter new kinds of input devices such as touch screens, accelerometers, infrared receivers, cameras, etc. The most common input on the desktop today is the mouse and keyboard. Of course, touch screen is all the rage with mobile devices and tablets, however in this tutorial we will only be focusing on the ‘Mouse‘ and ‘Keyboard‘ as inputs to control your game. Based on the JavaFX Roadmapmulti-touch input is in the works (by the time you read this it’s already implemented).

When intercepting keyboard and mouse events, JavaFX 2.x has many types of events which provide an opportunity for the developer to implement event handlers that intercept the events triggered. The JavaFX 2.x API for the Node or Scene contains many methods having the prefix ‘on’ such as the onMousePressProperty() or onKeyPressProperty() method. Whenever you implement these methods you will simply implement the handle() method using Java’s generic type to specify the event object to be passed in for interrogation. So, when you instantiate an EventHandler<MouseEvent> class you will implement a handle() method that takes a MouseEvent as a parameter to be passed in.

The code snippets shown below add two event handlers to the JavaFX Scene. The first handler will respond to mouse events. In our simple game when a mouse press occurs, this handler will respond by firing the weapon or navigating the ship. The second handler shown below will respond to key event. When a key is pressed, this handler will process KeyEvent objects. In our game, the keystroke ‘2‘ will change your secondary weapon into a bigger blaster (slower). Any other keystroke will default back to the smaller blaster (faster).

Move ship and Fire weapon

        EventHandler fireOrMove = new EventHandler() {
            @Override
            public void handle(MouseEvent event) {
                if (event.getButton() == MouseButton.PRIMARY) {
                   // Fire weapon systems. On Windows left mouse button
                } else if (event.getButton() == MouseButton.SECONDARY) {
                   // Navigate ship thrust. On Windows right mouse button
                }
            }
        };
        primaryStage.getScene().setOnMousePressed(fireOrMove);

Changing the weapon

        EventHandler changeWeapons = new EventHandler() {
           @Override
           public void handle(KeyEvent event) {
               myShip.changeWeapon(event.getCode());
           }
        };
        primaryStage.getScene().setOnKeyPressed(changeWeapons);

JavaFX 2 Input Demo – ‘The Expanse’

The simple demo game will be a mix between StarCraft and Asteroids. When using the mouse to navigate the ship it will resemble StarCraft’s Battle Cruiser. If you remember from Part 2 of this series, I created spheres bouncing around. I reused the code from Part 2 ‘Atom Smasher’ to act as asteroids like in the famous arcade game. Except in this game you cannot get harmed at all. The objective is to fire your weapon at the spheres before they hit other spheres which implode upon impact. Because this is a simple tutorial, or even a game in its early stages of development, the game doesn’t keep track of the score. I encourage you to go to GitHub to download the code and enhance the game. Later, you will see a high level UML class diagram describing the classes that make up the game. For the sake of brevity, I will not be going through each class in great detail, but I trust you will visit GitHub here: https://github.com/carldea/JFXGen for all the demos and source code.

Requirements:

  • Java 7 or later
  • JavaFX 2.1 or later
  • Windows XP or later (Should be available soon for Linux/MacOS)
A simple Asteroid type game called ‘The Expanse’.

Instructions:

  • Right mouse click (on Windows) to fly ship.
  • Left mouse click (left click on Windows mouse) to fire weapon.
  • Key press ’2′ to change to large missiles. (blue circular projectiles)
  • Other key press defaults to smaller missiles. (red circular projectiles)
Part 3 Demo
Part 3 ‘The Expanse’

Shown below is figure 2 of a high level class diagram depicting all the classes created for this demo. The GameWorld and Sprite classes are part of the game engine from the previous post. The rest of the classes are new which make up this demo for this tutorial.


InputPart3

The InputPart3 is the driver or main JavaFX application that runs the game. This creates a GameWorld object to be initialized and starts the game loop.
Shown below is the source code of the main JavaFX application InputPart3 . Click to expand.

package carlfx.demos.navigateship;

import carlfx.gameengine.GameWorld;
import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

/**
 * The main driver of the game.
 * @author cdea
 */
public class InputPart3 extends Application {

    GameWorld gameWorld = new TheExpanse(59, "JavaFX 2 GameTutorial Part 3 - Input");
    /**
     * @param args the command line arguments
     */
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        launch(args);
    }

    @Override
    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
        // setup title, scene, stats, controls, and actors.
        gameWorld.initialize(primaryStage);

        // kick off the game loop
        gameWorld.beginGameLoop();

        // display window
        primaryStage.show();
    }

}

TheExpanse

The TheExpanse class inherits from the GameWorld class.  This is practically identical to Part 2′s ‘AtomSmasher’ where the driver application will invoke the GameWorld instance’s initialize() method to set up all the game elements such as the input, spaceship, and those pesky floating spheres. The job of this class is to make sure asteroids or spheres bounce off walls and remove any missiles which reach the edge of the screen. It’s main responsibly is to manage the assets and create new levels. When there are no moving objects and the player moves the ship on the screen new spheres will be generated for the next level. The key take away from this class is the setupInput() method. The setupInput() method which I created is responsible for establishing your event handlers to be able to listen to key events and mouse event.

package carlfx.demos.navigateship;

import carlfx.gameengine.GameWorld;
import carlfx.gameengine.Sprite;
import javafx.event.ActionEvent;
import javafx.event.EventHandler;
import javafx.scene.CacheHint;
import javafx.scene.Group;
import javafx.scene.Node;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.control.Label;
import javafx.scene.control.TextField;
import javafx.scene.input.KeyEvent;
import javafx.scene.input.MouseButton;
import javafx.scene.input.MouseEvent;
import javafx.scene.layout.HBox;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.scene.paint.Color;
import javafx.scene.shape.Circle;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

import java.util.Random;

/**
 * This is a simple game world simulating a bunch of spheres looking
 * like atomic particles colliding with each other. When the game loop begins
 * the user will notice random spheres (atomic particles) floating and
 * colliding. The user will navigate his/her ship by right clicking the mouse to
 * trust forward and left click to fire weapon to atoms.
 *
 * @author cdea
 */
public class TheExpanse extends GameWorld {

    // mouse pt label
    Label mousePtLabel = new Label();

    // mouse press pt label
    Label mousePressPtLabel = new Label();

    TextField xCoordinate = new TextField("234");
    TextField yCoordinate = new TextField("200");
    Button moveShipButton = new Button("Rotate ship");

    Ship myShip = new Ship();

    public TheExpanse(int fps, String title) {
        super(fps, title);
    }

    /**
     * Initialize the game world by adding sprite objects.
     *
     * @param primaryStage The game window or primary stage.
     */
    @Override
    public void initialize(final Stage primaryStage) {
        // Sets the window title
        primaryStage.setTitle(getWindowTitle());
        //primaryStage.setFullScreen(true);

        // Create the scene
        setSceneNodes(new Group());
        setGameSurface(new Scene(getSceneNodes(), 800, 600));
        getGameSurface().setFill(Color.BLACK);
        primaryStage.setScene(getGameSurface());
        // Setup Game input
        setupInput(primaryStage);

        // Create many spheres
        generateManySpheres(2);

        // Display the number of spheres visible.
        // Create a button to add more spheres.
        // Create a button to freeze the game loop.
        //final Timeline gameLoop = getGameLoop();
        getSpriteManager().addSprites(myShip);
        getSceneNodes().getChildren().add(myShip.node);

        // mouse point
        VBox stats = new VBox();

        HBox row1 = new HBox();
        mousePtLabel.setTextFill(Color.WHITE);
        row1.getChildren().add(mousePtLabel);
        HBox row2 = new HBox();
        mousePressPtLabel.setTextFill(Color.WHITE);
        row2.getChildren().add(mousePressPtLabel);

        stats.getChildren().add(row1);
        stats.getChildren().add(row2);

        // mouse point
        HBox enterCoord1 = new HBox();
        enterCoord1.getChildren().add(xCoordinate);
        enterCoord1.getChildren().add(yCoordinate);
        enterCoord1.getChildren().add(moveShipButton);
        stats.getChildren().add(enterCoord1);
        moveShipButton.setOnAction(new EventHandler() {
            @Override
            public void handle(ActionEvent actionEvent) {
                double x = Double.parseDouble(xCoordinate.getText());
                double y = Double.parseDouble(yCoordinate.getText());
                myShip.plotCourse(x, y, false);
            }
        });

        // ===================================================
        // Debugging purposes
        // uncomment to test mouse press and rotation angles.
        //getSceneNodes().getChildren().add(stats);
    }

    /**
     * Sets up the mouse input.
     *
     * @param primaryStage The primary stage (app window).
     */
    private void setupInput(Stage primaryStage) {
        System.out.println("Ship's center is (" + myShip.getCenterX() + ", " + myShip.getCenterY() + ")");

        EventHandler fireOrMove = new EventHandler() {
            @Override
            public void handle(MouseEvent event) {
                mousePressPtLabel.setText("Mouse Press PT = (" + event.getX() + ", " + event.getY() + ")");
                if (event.getButton() == MouseButton.PRIMARY) {
                    // Aim
                    myShip.plotCourse(event.getX(), event.getY(), false);
                    // fire
                    Missile m1 = myShip.fire();
                    getSpriteManager().addSprites(m1);
                    getSceneNodes().getChildren().add(0, m1.node);
                } else if (event.getButton() == MouseButton.SECONDARY) {
                    // determine when all atoms are not on the game surface. Ship should be one sprite left.
                    if (getSpriteManager().getAllSprites().size()                         generateManySpheres(30);
                    }

                    // stop ship from moving forward
                    myShip.applyTheBrakes(event.getX(), event.getY());
                    // move forward and rotate ship
                    myShip.plotCourse(event.getX(), event.getY(), true);
                }

            }
        };

        // Initialize input
        primaryStage.getScene().setOnMousePressed(fireOrMove);
        //addEventHandler(MouseEvent.MOUSE_PRESSED, me);

        // set up stats
        EventHandler changeWeapons = new EventHandler() {
            @Override
            public void handle(KeyEvent event) {
                myShip.changeWeapon(event.getCode());
            }
        };
        primaryStage.getScene().setOnKeyPressed(changeWeapons);

        // set up stats
        EventHandler showMouseMove = new EventHandler() {
            @Override
            public void handle(MouseEvent event) {
                mousePtLabel.setText("Mouse PT = (" + event.getX() + ", " + event.getY() + ")");
            }
        };

        primaryStage.getScene().setOnMouseMoved(showMouseMove);
    }

    /**
     * Make some more space spheres (Atomic particles)
     *
     * @param numSpheres The number of random sized, color, and velocity atoms to generate.
     */
    private void generateManySpheres(int numSpheres) {
        Random rnd = new Random();
        Scene gameSurface = getGameSurface();
        for (int i = 0; i < numSpheres; i++) {             Color c = Color.rgb(rnd.nextInt(255), rnd.nextInt(255), rnd.nextInt(255));             Atom b = new Atom(rnd.nextInt(15) + 5, c, true);             Circle circle = b.getAsCircle();             // random 0 to 2 + (.0 to 1) * random (1 or -1)             b.vX = (rnd.nextInt(2) + rnd.nextDouble()) * (rnd.nextBoolean() ? 1 : -1);             b.vY = (rnd.nextInt(2) + rnd.nextDouble()) * (rnd.nextBoolean() ? 1 : -1);             // random x between 0 to width of scene             double newX = rnd.nextInt((int) gameSurface.getWidth());             // check for the right of the width newX is greater than width              // minus radius times 2(width of sprite)             if (newX > (gameSurface.getWidth() - (circle.getRadius() * 2))) {
                newX = gameSurface.getWidth() - (circle.getRadius() * 2);
            }

            // check for the bottom of screen the height newY is greater than height
            // minus radius times 2(height of sprite)
            double newY = rnd.nextInt((int) gameSurface.getHeight());
            if (newY > (gameSurface.getHeight() - (circle.getRadius() * 2))) {
                newY = gameSurface.getHeight() - (circle.getRadius() * 2);
            }

            circle.setTranslateX(newX);
            circle.setTranslateY(newY);
            circle.setVisible(true);
            circle.setId(b.toString());
            circle.setCache(true);
            circle.setCacheHint(CacheHint.SPEED);
            circle.setManaged(false);
            // add to actors in play (sprite objects)
            getSpriteManager().addSprites(b);

            // add sprite's
            getSceneNodes().getChildren().add(0, b.node);

        }
    }

    /**
     * Each sprite will update it's velocity and bounce off wall borders.
     *
     * @param sprite - An atomic particle (a sphere).
     */
    @Override
    protected void handleUpdate(Sprite sprite) {
        // advance object
        sprite.update();
        if (sprite instanceof Missile) {
            removeMissiles((Missile) sprite);
        } else {
            bounceOffWalls(sprite);
        }
    }

    /**
     * Change the direction of the moving object when it encounters the walls.
     *
     * @param sprite The sprite to update based on the wall boundaries.
     *               TODO The ship has got issues.
     */
    private void bounceOffWalls(Sprite sprite) {
        // bounce off the walls when outside of boundaries

        Node displayNode;
        if (sprite instanceof Ship) {
            displayNode = sprite.node;//((Ship)sprite).getCurrentShipImage();
        } else {
            displayNode = sprite.node;
        }
        // Get the group node's X and Y but use the ImageView to obtain the width.
        if (sprite.node.getTranslateX() > (getGameSurface().getWidth() - displayNode.getBoundsInParent().getWidth()) ||
                displayNode.getTranslateX() < 0) {             // bounce the opposite direction             sprite.vX = sprite.vX * -1;         }         // Get the group node's X and Y but use the ImageView to obtain the height.         if (sprite.node.getTranslateY() > getGameSurface().getHeight() - displayNode.getBoundsInParent().getHeight() ||
                sprite.node.getTranslateY() < 0) {             sprite.vY = sprite.vY * -1;         }     }     /**      * Remove missiles when they reach the wall boundaries.      *      * @param missile The missile to remove based on the wall boundaries.      */     private void removeMissiles(Missile missile) {         // bounce off the walls when outside of boundaries         if (missile.node.getTranslateX() > (getGameSurface().getWidth() -
                missile.node.getBoundsInParent().getWidth()) ||
                missile.node.getTranslateX() < 0) {             getSpriteManager().addSpritesToBeRemoved(missile);             getSceneNodes().getChildren().remove(missile.node);         }         if (missile.node.getTranslateY() > getGameSurface().getHeight() -
                missile.node.getBoundsInParent().getHeight() ||
                missile.node.getTranslateY() < 0) {

            getSpriteManager().addSpritesToBeRemoved(missile);
            getSceneNodes().getChildren().remove(missile.node);
        }
    }

    /**
     * How to handle the collision of two sprite objects. Stops the particle
     * by zeroing out the velocity if a collision occurred.
     *
     * @param spriteA Sprite from the first list.
     * @param spriteB Sprite from the second list.
     * @return boolean returns a true if the two sprites have collided otherwise false.
     */
    @Override
    protected boolean handleCollision(Sprite spriteA, Sprite spriteB) {
        if (spriteA != spriteB) {
            if (spriteA.collide(spriteB)) {
                if (spriteA instanceof Atom && spriteB instanceof Atom) {

                    ((Atom) spriteA).implode(this); // will remove from the Scene onFinish()
                    ((Atom) spriteB).implode(this);
                    getSpriteManager().addSpritesToBeRemoved(spriteA, spriteB);

                    return true;
                }
            }
        }

        return false;
    }

}

Ship

The Ship class represents our cool looking spaceship. The Ship class inherits from the Sprite class to help us contain velocity information (vector). This class will also contain a doubly linked list containing 32 ImageView (RotatedShipImage) instances which represent each direction to simulate the ship rotating about its center (centroid). At some point I want to change this by making a single SVGPath object to be rotated (I know there are trade offs). For this tutorial I implemented the ship by taking ImageViews objects to be rotated 32 direction evenly from 0 to 360 degrees. Shown below in Figure 3 are all 32 directions using 32 ImageView instances and a single Image object of the image of a spaceship to simulate the rotation about its center (pivot point).

Figure 3: 32 Directions to simulate a rotation

When animating the ship rotating I simply set all but the current image visible using the setVisible(true) method on the ImageView node.

Disclaimer: In gaming you will inevitably encounter math (Trigonometry). If you are interested and want to dig deeper please look at the source code of the TheExpanse class’ initialize() method. At the end of the method uncomment the statement: getSceneNodes().getChildren().add(stats);  . This will display controls which will allow you to use to debug and inspect mouse press coordinates. Also, you can see output in your console (stdout) relating to angles, vectors, etc.

The Ship’s member variables:

  • turnDirection – enum DIRECTION with Clockwise, CounterClockwise, and Neither
  • u – Vec object which contains a vector in relation to the center of the ship coordinates denoting the starting direction the ship begins to rotate
  • directionalShips – list of RotatedShipImage objects each having a previous and next reference to other RotatedShipImage objects. Zero degrees (uIndex=0) is when the spaceship facing east. When rotating a JavaFX nodes going in a counter clockwise direction is positive numbers in degrees
  • uIndex – index of the current RotatedShipImage in the directionalShips list that is to be displayed
  • vIndex – index of the RotatedShipImage in the directionalShips list that is to be displayed at the end of the rotation animation
  • stopArea – a JavaFX Circle with a radius for the ship to know when to stop the ship from moving
  • flipBook – A JavaFX Group containing all RotatedShipImage objects (32). The group is rendered on the Scene. Like a flip book in animation each RotatedShipImage will be determined to be displayed based on uIndex and vIndex
  • keyCode – a JavaFX KeyCode will help determine if a key press to help change your weapon (character ’2′)

The Ship’s member functions:

  • update() – Updates the ships velocity and direction. Also will determine when to stop moving.
  • getCurrentShipImage() – Based on the uIndex it returns the ImageView that is the current ship direction image that is being displayed
  • getCenterX() – returns the screen’s X coordinate of the center of the ship
  • getCenterY() – returns the screen’s X coordinate of the center of the ship
  • plotCourse(double screenX, double screenY, boolean thrust) – After the user clicks their mouse on the screen this method will calculate the angle to rotate the ship and change the velocity to thrust toward the coordinates onto the destination point. When using the Vec object the screen coordinates will be converted to Cartesian coordinates for determining the angle between two vectors (U and V).
  • turnShip() – The plotCourse() method calls turnShip() method to perform the actual animation of the rotation of the ship
  • applyTheBrakes(double screenX, double screenY) – After the user has chosen (right mouse click) where the ship will navigate to applyTheBrakes() method simply sets up the stopArea (Circle) object to let the ship know when to stop
  • fire() – Returns a Missile (Sprite) object for the game engine to put into the scene. Each missile contains the same direction of the ship with a scaled up velocity (increase speed). Should be faster than the ship can fly.
  •  changeWeapon(KeyCode keyCode) – After the user (player) hit the key stroke of a ’2′ the weapon will change to create a larger missile projectile but slightly slower. Any other key press will be the default weapon that creates small missile projectiles which are faster moving.
Shown below is figure 4 of a class diagram displaying the members of the class Ship.

Ship Class Diagram

Figure 4: Ship class diagram

Shown below is the source code of the Ship class. Click to expand.

package carlfx.demos.navigateship;

import carlfx.gameengine.Sprite;
import javafx.animation.KeyFrame;
import javafx.animation.Timeline;
import javafx.animation.TimelineBuilder;
import javafx.event.ActionEvent;
import javafx.event.EventHandler;
import javafx.scene.CacheHint;
import javafx.scene.Group;
import javafx.scene.Node;
import javafx.scene.image.Image;
import javafx.scene.input.KeyCode;
import javafx.scene.paint.Color;
import javafx.scene.shape.Circle;
import javafx.util.Duration;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

/**
 * A space ship with 32 directions
 * When two atoms collide each will fade and become removed from the scene. The
 * method called implode() implements a fade transition effect.
 *
 * @author cdea
 */
public class Ship extends Sprite {

    /**
     * 360 degree turn
     */
    private final static int TWO_PI_DEGREES = 360;

    /**
     * Number of ship frames and directions the ship is pointing nose
     */
    private final static int NUM_DIRECTIONS = 32;

    /**
     * The angle of one direction (adjacent directions) (11.25 degrees)
     */
    private final static float UNIT_ANGLE_PER_FRAME = ((float) TWO_PI_DEGREES / NUM_DIRECTIONS);

    /**
     * Amount of time it takes the ship to move 180 degrees in milliseconds.
     */
    private final static int MILLIS_TURN_SHIP_180_DEGREES = 300;

    /**
     * When the ship turns on each direction one amount of time for one frame or turn of the ship. (18.75 milliseconds)
     */
    private final static float MILLIS_PER_FRAME = (float) MILLIS_TURN_SHIP_180_DEGREES / (NUM_DIRECTIONS / 2);

    /**
     * All possible turn directions Clockwise, Counter Clockwise, or Neither when the user clicks mouse around ship
     */
    private enum DIRECTION {
        CLOCKWISE, COUNTER_CLOCKWISE, NEITHER
    }

    /**
     * Velocity amount used vector when ship moves forward. scale vector of ship. See flipBook translateX and Y.
     */
    private final static float THRUST_AMOUNT = 3.3f;

    /***/
    private final static float MISSILE_THRUST_AMOUNT = 6.3F;

    /**
     * Angle in degrees to rotate ship.
     */

    /**
     * Current turning direction. default is NEITHER. Clockwise and Counter Clockwise.
     */
    private DIRECTION turnDirection = DIRECTION.NEITHER;

    /**
     * The current starting position of the vector or coordinate where the nose of the ship is pointing towards.
     */
    private Vec u; // current or start vector

    /**
     * All ImageViews of all the possible image frames for each direction the ship is pointing. ie: 32 directions.
     */
    private final List directionalShips = new ArrayList<>();

    /**
     * The Timeline instance to animate the ship rotating using images. This is an optical illusion similar to page
     * flipping as each frame is displayed the previous visible attribute is set to false. No rotation is happening.
     */
    private Timeline rotateShipTimeline;

    /**
     * The current index into the list of ImageViews representing each direction of the ship. Zero is the ship
     * pointing to the right or zero degrees.
     */
    private int uIndex = 0;

    /**
     * The end index into the list of ImageViews representing each direction of the ship. Zero is the ship
     * pointing to the right or zero degrees.
     */
    private int vIndex = 0;

    /**
     * The spot where the user has right clicked letting the engine check the ship's center is in this area.
     */
    private final Circle stopArea = new Circle();

    /**
     * A group contain all of the ship image view nodes.
     */
    private final Group flipBook = new Group();

    /**
     * A key code will be used for weapon selection.
     */
    private KeyCode keyCode;

    public Ship() {

        // Load one image.
        Image shipImage = new Image(getClass().getClassLoader().getResource("ship.png").toExternalForm(), true);
        stopArea.setRadius(40);
        RotatedShipImage prev = null;

        // create all the number of directions based on a unit angle. 360 divided by NUM_DIRECTIONS
        for (int i = 0; i < NUM_DIRECTIONS; i++) {
            RotatedShipImage imageView = new RotatedShipImage();
            imageView.setImage(shipImage);
            imageView.setRotate(-1 * i * UNIT_ANGLE_PER_FRAME);
            imageView.setCache(true);
            imageView.setCacheHint(CacheHint.SPEED);
            imageView.setManaged(false);
            imageView.prev = prev;
            imageView.setVisible(false);
            directionalShips.add(imageView);
            if (prev != null) {
                prev.next = imageView;
            }
            prev = imageView;
            flipBook.getChildren().add(imageView);
        }
        RotatedShipImage firstShip = directionalShips.get(0);
        firstShip.prev = prev;
        prev.next = firstShip;
        // set javafx node to an image
        firstShip.setVisible(true);
        node = flipBook;
        flipBook.setTranslateX(200);
        flipBook.setTranslateY(300);

    }

    /**
     * Change the velocity of the atom particle.
     */
    @Override
    public void update() {
        flipBook.setTranslateX(flipBook.getTranslateX() + vX);
        flipBook.setTranslateY(flipBook.getTranslateY() + vY);

        if (stopArea.contains(getCenterX(), getCenterY())) {
            vX = 0;
            vY = 0;
        }

    }

    private RotatedShipImage getCurrentShipImage() {
        return directionalShips.get(uIndex);
    }

    /**
     * The center X coordinate of the current visible image. See <code>getCurrentShipImage()</code> method.
     *
     * @return The scene or screen X coordinate.
     */
    public double getCenterX() {
        RotatedShipImage shipImage = getCurrentShipImage();
        return node.getTranslateX() + (shipImage.getBoundsInLocal().getWidth() / 2);
    }

    /**
     * The center Y coordinate of the current visible image. See <code>getCurrentShipImage()</code> method.
     *
     * @return The scene or screen Y coordinate.
     */
    public double getCenterY() {
        RotatedShipImage shipImage = getCurrentShipImage();
        return node.getTranslateY() + (shipImage.getBoundsInLocal().getHeight() / 2);
    }

    /**
     * Determines the angle between it's starting position and ending position (Similar to a clock's second hand).
     * When the user is shooting the ship nose will point in the direction of the mouse press using the primary button.
     * When the user is thrusting to a location on the screen the right click mouse will pass true to the thrust
     * parameter.
     *
     * @param screenX The mouse press' screen x coordinate.
     * @param screenY The mouse press' screen ycoordinate.
     * @param thrust  Thrust ship forward or not. True move forward otherwise false.
     */
    public void plotCourse(double screenX, double screenY, boolean thrust) {
        // get center of ship
        double sx = getCenterX();
        double sy = getCenterY();

        // get user's new turn position based on mouse click
        Vec v = new Vec(screenX, screenY, sx, sy);
        if (u == null) {
            u = new Vec(1, 0);
        }

        double atan2RadiansU = Math.atan2(u.y, u.x);
        double atan2DegreesU = Math.toDegrees(atan2RadiansU);

        double atan2RadiansV = Math.atan2(v.y, v.x);
        double atan2DegreesV = Math.toDegrees(atan2RadiansV);

        double angleBetweenUAndV = atan2DegreesV - atan2DegreesU;

        // if abs value is greater than 180 move counter clockwise
        //(or opposite of what is determined)
        double absAngleBetweenUAndV = Math.abs(angleBetweenUAndV);
        boolean goOtherWay = false;
        if (absAngleBetweenUAndV > 180) {
            if (angleBetweenUAndV < 0) {                 turnDirection = DIRECTION.COUNTER_CLOCKWISE;                 goOtherWay = true;             } else if (angleBetweenUAndV > 0) {
                turnDirection = DIRECTION.CLOCKWISE;
                goOtherWay = true;
            } else {
                turnDirection = Ship.DIRECTION.NEITHER;
            }
        } else {
            if (angleBetweenUAndV < 0) {                 turnDirection = Ship.DIRECTION.CLOCKWISE;             } else if (angleBetweenUAndV > 0) {
                turnDirection = Ship.DIRECTION.COUNTER_CLOCKWISE;
            } else {
                turnDirection = Ship.DIRECTION.NEITHER;
            }
        }

        double degreesToMove = absAngleBetweenUAndV;
        if (goOtherWay) {
            degreesToMove = TWO_PI_DEGREES - absAngleBetweenUAndV;
        }

        //int q = v.quadrant();

        uIndex = Math.round((float) (atan2DegreesU / UNIT_ANGLE_PER_FRAME));
        if (uIndex < 0) {
            uIndex = NUM_DIRECTIONS + uIndex;
        }
        vIndex = Math.round((float) (atan2DegreesV / UNIT_ANGLE_PER_FRAME));
        if (vIndex < 0) {             vIndex = NUM_DIRECTIONS + vIndex;         }         String debugMsg = turnDirection +                 " U [m(" + u.mx + ", " + u.my + ")  => c(" + u.x + ", " + u.y + ")] " +
                " V [m(" + v.mx + ", " + v.my + ")  => c(" + v.x + ", " + v.y + ")] " +
                " start angle: " + atan2DegreesU +
                " end angle:" + atan2DegreesV +
                " Angle between: " + degreesToMove +
                " Start index: " + uIndex +
                " End index: " + vIndex;

        System.out.println(debugMsg);

        if (thrust) {
            vX = Math.cos(atan2RadiansV) * THRUST_AMOUNT;
            vY = -Math.sin(atan2RadiansV) * THRUST_AMOUNT;
        }
        turnShip();

        u = v;
    }

    private void turnShip() {

        final Duration oneFrameAmt = Duration.millis(MILLIS_PER_FRAME);
        RotatedShipImage startImage = directionalShips.get(uIndex);
        RotatedShipImage endImage = directionalShips.get(vIndex);
        List frames = new ArrayList<>();

        RotatedShipImage currImage = startImage;

        int i = 1;
        while (true) {

            final Node displayNode = currImage;

            KeyFrame oneFrame = new KeyFrame(oneFrameAmt.multiply(i),
                    new EventHandler() {

                        @Override
                        public void handle(javafx.event.ActionEvent event) {
                            // make all ship images invisible
                            for (RotatedShipImage shipImg : directionalShips) {
                                shipImg.setVisible(false);
                            }
                            // make current ship image visible
                            displayNode.setVisible(true);

                            // update the current index
                            //uIndex = directionalShips.indexOf(displayNode);
                        }
                    }); // oneFrame

            frames.add(oneFrame);

            if (currImage == endImage) {
                break;
            }
            if (turnDirection == DIRECTION.CLOCKWISE) {
                currImage = currImage.prev;
            }
            if (turnDirection == DIRECTION.COUNTER_CLOCKWISE) {
                currImage = currImage.next;
            }
            i++;
        }

        if (rotateShipTimeline != null) {
            rotateShipTimeline.stop();
            rotateShipTimeline.getKeyFrames().clear();
            rotateShipTimeline.getKeyFrames().addAll(frames);
        } else {
            // sets the game world's game loop (Timeline)
            rotateShipTimeline = TimelineBuilder.create()
                    .keyFrames(frames)
                    .build();

        }

        rotateShipTimeline.playFromStart();

    }

    /**
     * Stops the ship from thrusting forward.
     *
     * @param screenX the screen's X coordinate to stop the ship.
     * @param screenY the screen's Y coordinate to stop the ship.
     */
    public void applyTheBrakes(double screenX, double screenY) {
        stopArea.setCenterX(screenX);
        stopArea.setCenterY(screenY);
    }

    public Missile fire() {
        Missile m1;

        float slowDownAmt = 0;
        if (KeyCode.DIGIT2 == keyCode) {
            m1 = new Missile(10, Color.BLUE);
            slowDownAmt = 2.3f;
        } else {
            m1 = new Missile(Color.RED);
        }
        // velocity vector of the missile
        m1.vX = Math.cos(Math.toRadians(uIndex * UNIT_ANGLE_PER_FRAME)) * (MISSILE_THRUST_AMOUNT - slowDownAmt);
        m1.vY = -Math.sin(Math.toRadians(uIndex * UNIT_ANGLE_PER_FRAME)) * (MISSILE_THRUST_AMOUNT - slowDownAmt);

        // make the missile launch in the direction of the current direction of the ship nose. based on the
        // current frame (uIndex) into the list of image view nodes.
        RotatedShipImage shipImage = directionalShips.get(uIndex);

        // start to appear in the center of the ship to come out the direction of the nose of the ship.
        double offsetX = (shipImage.getBoundsInLocal().getWidth() - m1.node.getBoundsInLocal().getWidth()) / 2;
        double offsetY = (shipImage.getBoundsInLocal().getHeight() - m1.node.getBoundsInLocal().getHeight()) / 2;

        // initial launch of the missile
        m1.node.setTranslateX(node.getTranslateX() + offsetX + m1.vX);
        m1.node.setTranslateY(node.getTranslateY() + offsetY + m1.vY);
        return m1;
    }

    public void changeWeapon(KeyCode keyCode) {
        this.keyCode = keyCode;
    }

}

Vec

The Vec class is a simple helper container class to assist in holding a mouse click’s screen coordinates and converting them to Cartesian coordinates based on the center of a sprite, image, or shape. This class is used to help determine the angle between two vectors [Math.atan2(y,x)]. By determining the angle the ship is able to perform the rotation animation of the sprite image.

Shown below is the source code of the Vec class. Click to expand.

package carlfx.demos.navigateship;

/**
 * This class represents a container class to hold a Vector in space and direction
 * the ship will move. Assuming the center of the ship is the origin the angles can
 * be determined by a unit circle via Cartesian coordinates.
 * When the user clicks on the screen the mouse coordinates or screen coordinates
 * will be stored into the mx and my instance variables.
 * The x and y data members are converted to cartesian coordinates before storing.
 *
 * I purposefully left out getters and setters. In gaming just keep things minimalistic.
 * @author cdea
 */
public class Vec {
    public double mx;
    public double my;

    public double x;
    public double y;

    /**
     * This is a default constructor which will take a Cartesian coordinate.
     * @param x  X coordinate of a point on a Cartesian system.
     * @param y  Y coordinate of a point on a Cartesian system.
     */
    public Vec(float x, float y) {
        this.x = x;
        this.y = y;
    }

    /**
     * Constructor will convert mouse click points into Cartesian coordinates based on the sprite's center point as
     * the origin.
     * @param mx  Mouse press' screen X coordinate.
     * @param my  Mouse press' screen Y coordinate.
     * @param centerX Screen X coordinate of the center of the ship sprite.
     * @param centerY Screen Y coordinate of the center of the ship sprite.
     */
    public Vec(double mx, double my, double centerX, double centerY) {
        this.x = convertX(mx, centerX);
        this.y = convertY(my, centerY);
        this.mx = mx;
        this.my = my;
    }

    /**
     * Returns a Cartesian coordinate system's quadrant from 1 to 4.
*
     *     first quadrant - 1 upper right
     *     second quadrant - 2 upper left
     *     third quadrant - 3 lower left
     *     fourth quadrant - 4 lower right
     *
     * @return int quadrant number 1 through 4
     */
    public int quadrant() {
        int q = 0;
        if (x > 0 && y > 0) {
            q =1;
        } else if (x < 0 && y > 0) {
            q = 2;
        } else if (x < 0 && y < 0) {             q = 3;         } else if (x > 0 && y < 0) {
            q = 4;
        }
        return q;
    }
    @Override
    public String toString(){
        return "(" + x + "," + y + ") quadrant=" + quadrant();
    }
    /**
     * Converts point's X screen coordinate into a Cartesian system.
     * @param mouseX Converts the mouse X coordinate into Cartesian system based on the ship center X (originX).
     * @param originX The ship center point's X coordinate.
     * @return  double value of a Cartesian system X coordinate based on the origin X.
     */
    static double convertX(double mouseX, double originX) {
        return mouseX - originX;
    }

    /**
     * Converts point's Y screen coordinate into a Cartesian system.
     * @param mouseY  Converts the mouse Y coordinate into Cartesian system based on the ship center Y (originY).
     * @param originY The ship center point's Y coordinate.
     * @return  double value of a Cartesian system Y coordinate based on the origin Y.
     */
    static double convertY(double mouseY, double originY) {
        return originY - mouseY;
    }

}

RotatedShipImage

A RotatedShipImage class inherits from a JavaFX’s ImageView class, but also contains references to a previous and a next RotatedShipImage instances making up a doubly linked list. Figure 3 depicts 32 images of the of the “ship.png” rendered in each RotatedShipImage which are all placed in a JavaFX Group node. When the ship appears to rotate, one image is displayed at a time.

Shown below is the source code of the RotatedShipImage class. Click to expand.

package carlfx.demos.navigateship;

import javafx.scene.image.ImageView;

/**
 * Represents a double link list to assist in the rotation of the ship.
 * This helps to move clockwise and counter clockwise.
 */
public class RotatedShipImage extends ImageView {
    public RotatedShipImage next;
    public RotatedShipImage prev;
}

Missile

The Missile class inherits from the Atom class. The Missile acts as a marker class to differentiate between spheres (asteroids) and missiles. When missiles are created, they will contain the same direction of the ship (where the ship’s nose is pointing) with a larger velocity.

Shown below is the source code of the Missile class. Click to expand.

package carlfx.demos.navigateship;

import javafx.scene.paint.Color;

/**
 * A missile projectile without the radial gradient.
 */
public class Missile extends Atom {
    public Missile(Color fill) {
        super(5, fill, false);
    }

    public Missile(int radius, Color fill) {
        super(radius, fill, true);
    }
}

Conclusion

Input is so vital to any game play that it is often hard to get right. Older game engines will poll during a game loop. When using JavaFX 2.x’s event handling, you  implement the type of event to be added to the scene graph or to an individual Node object. Hopefully in the future, we will see more ingenious input devices used in gaming (see Oracle’s Java Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter).  Keep your eyes open for Part 4 which deals with collision detection. So, stay tuned and feel free to comment.

References:

7-Eleven: http://www.7-eleven.com

Playing Asteroids: http://www.play.vg/games/4-Asteroids.html

Asteroids: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroids_(video_game)

Scott Safran: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Safran

Arcade in Backyard: http://www.themysteryworld.com/2011/02/guy-builds-video-arcade-in-his-back.html

StarWars downsized: http://techland.time.com/2012/04/26/man-builds-16-scale-star-wars-arcade-game/

Trigonometry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometry

JavaFX Node API: http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/Node.html

JavaFX Scene API: http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/Scene.html

JavaFX SVGPath API: http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/shape/SVGPath.html

Multi-Touch and Gestures Support: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javafx/overview/roadmap-1446331.html

Pro JavaFX 2 Apress publishing – pg. 62 chapter 2 section on “Handling Input Events” . http://www.apress.com/9781430268727

Java 7 Recipes Apress publishing- pg. 602 chapter 16 Recipe 16-3 “Animating Shapes Along a Path”. http://www.apress.com/9781430240563

Video Game arcade cabinet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_arcade_cabinet

Raster Graphics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raster_graphics

Part 3 source code at the GitHub: https://github.com/carldea/JFXGen/tree/master/demos/navigateship

JavaFX Canvas Node: http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/openjfx-dev/2012-April/001210.html

JavaFX- Optimizing Performance for JavaFX Applications: http://www.parleys.com/#st=5&id=2738&sl=0

Oracle’s Java Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter: https://blogs.oracle.com/javaone/entry/interfacing_with_the_interface_javafx

Video Game High School episode 1: http://www.rocketjump.com/?video=vghs-episode-1

Video Game High School episode 2: http://www.rocketjump.com/?video=vghs-episode-2-5








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