If you were at Flash on the Beach this year you’d have seen fellow gaming evangelist Lee Brimelow demo a new set of ActionScript APIs enabling you to leverage the users GPU via Stage3D for 2D games. At Flash on the Beach it was just referred to as “the API that cannot be named”. Well today it gets a name, and that name is Starling.
The great thing about the Starling framework is you don’t need to learn a new language to work with the GPU, as the Starling API is identical to the way you already work with the DisplayList. While it doesn’t use the standard DisplayList it does provide familiar syntax so you can easily render those items using the GPU.
Starling is aimed at game developers so it provides support for sprite sheets, Bitmap text and particle effects to name a few of the features. I’ll be posting up some examples shortly, but if you can’t wait head over to the Starling site (http://www.starling-framework.org) and grab the code, documentation and samples, and have fun. Remember, you’ll also need to grab Flash Player 11 from Adobe Labs (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplatformruntimes/flashplayer11/)
Oh, one let thing. If Starling seems familiar then you’re right it’s a port of the iOS framework Sparrow (http://www.sparrow-framework.org/) and was written by the same developers and funded by Adobe. Like Sparrow, Starling is open source so you can fork it on Github (https://github.com/PrimaryFeather/Starling-Framework) and help “the little bird fly” :p