Here’s something I’ve been secretly wishing for for quite some time now. The boys and girls at Gamua just announced that a JavaScript port of their open source Starling gaming framework will soon be made available.

Starling JS will share the exact same API as its ActionScript 3 sibling and will even feel familiar to ActionScript developers who only have experience working with Flash’s classic display list. Interestingly, Starling JS has been written in TypeScript meaning that you’ll be able to take advantage of ECMAScript 6 features and type safety too. Of course, for purists, a vanilla JavaScript version of the API will also be available. One of the nice features of using TypeScript however is that your code will look almost identical to the AS3 equivalent.

The initial release won’t target WebGL but will instead use HTML5 Canvas to render its display list. Seeing as Starling has always been about blazing fast hardware accelerated performance, the use of Canvas as the renderer might make it feel as if Starling’s wings have been clipped slightly but it will guarantee maximum compatibility across desktop and mobile web browsers. In fact, I tried an early Starling JS demo on my iPhone 5 and its performance within Safari was very impressive. Of course, the prospect of having a WebGL powered version of Starling is mouth watering and is something Gamua intend to implement in a future release.

While there’s a plethora of JavaScript graphics libraries already out there, many of them don’t have adequate documentation, decent code examples or an active community. With Starling (and also Sparrow for iOS) there’s already a thriving community and I’m sure we’ll see the same high quality documentation and code samples that developers have come to expect from Gamua.

If you’re as excited as me then be sure to register here for notification of Starling JS’s official release.

  1. iOS 5+ has one of the (sadly) few hardware accelerated canvas implementations. You should give it a bash on an Android device too.

    Turbulenz is fully WebGL’d up though 🙂

  2. Yeah Turbulenz looks awesome.

    Christopher (Author)