Status of OpenFL for Game Consoles ? (PS4, XBox One, Switch, etc.)


#1

Hey there, I was wondering if anyone knows the status of game console targets for OpenFL, and/or if there is a central place one can monitor any developments? Two years ago there was a presentation going over the work in progress, but i haven’t heard any updates since.

I also saw there was one thread recently already regarding a new Power Rangers game built with OpenFL for PS4 and XBone. Although that project contains some proprietary work it sounds like a huge deal to me, but I can’t find any public information anywhere about the overall status of console support for the open-source community.

Just to provide some context- I’m a Flash/AS3 veteran and have been mostly satisfied with AIR for my projects, but each year OpenFL seems to be gaining more and more momentum. I’ve written tons of AS3 code over the years and would love to be able to contribute back to the OpenFL community, but without the prospect of console support I’ve been a bit hesitant to pick up Haxe/OpenFL.

If anyone knows anything that would be great!


#2

Every console (generally) has a unique API for graphics rendering. This often causes a lot of extra work for supporting each platform. Next, to complicate things further, each platform stakeholder surrounds their development in NDAs that mean that they cannot be publicly discussed and many kinds of source code cannot be released in open environments like GitHub :slight_smile:

I know of four separate solutions for consoles, one is a partnership with a popular console game developer, who has helped provide middleware that runs on nearly every platform, unified with a single renderer. This is mentioned in the presentation you linked, I believe there are releases coming pretty soon using that stack.

The other ones are custom in-house solutions, designed specifically for one or two console platforms. I know one or two of these developers, and may be able to look and see if they would be interested in contributing to a more general open-source library that does not require licensing, but the solution above (in the video) may still be best for most of the platforms.

Even in open-source, due to NDA, these projects would have to be in private repositories

I believe things may be getting brighter for making it easier to port to consoles in the future, though. We have seen Microsoft making bridges between Windows and Xbox development, and the Nintendo Switch (by all appearances) is an ARM device running OpenGL ES and/or Vulkan, both of which are general rendering APIs. OpenFL supports OpenGL ES rendering already for mobile, and we don’t have to hide any of that behind an NDA curtain, so Switch support seems promising!

Happy to talk more, and welcome :grinning:


#3

Thanks singmajesty! I appreciate the quick and thorough response.

So it sounds like console support could be on its way, but there are probably a lot of technical and legal challenges that lie ahead. If that’s the case I’ll try to at least keep an eye on things and try to learn a little more about OpenFL along the way.


#4

I know Kha has a Unity target, which would let your games run on Consoles. But you’d have to port your code to Kha obviously.


#5

@meowman9000 Just looked up Kha, this is my first time hearing of it and it does look pretty cool. But even with a Unity target, isn’t it likely for consoles to come with their own SDKs and/or Unity Add-Ons that would be required to compile for the conosle? With all the different input devices and nuances between consoles I can’t imagine being able to write a console game with Kha alone, and I doubt there are any efforts to maintain such interfaces at the moment.


#6

Plus, the cost of Unity licensing is orders of magnitude more expensive than the option presented at WWX, and probably a worse result


#7

Revive!
Any update regarding game consoles? Everybody are heading to (i.e.) Nintendo Switch? Can we?


#8

^ I too wouldn’t mind hearing if there are any updates on this front


#9

Multiple games are being released (or have been released) using the PS Vita, PS4, Xbox 1, Wii U approach that was mentioned before :slight_smile: (Papers Please on Vita is the most recent)

Work is ongoing for Switch, targeting an approach with less middleware


#10

Nice! Would love to hear about it once the first Switch title gets released, I think that would be encouraging to many devs


#11

Reply from Lars Doucet @larsiusprime :

“[…] turning my attention to Nintendo Switch. […] I think we’ll be able to do it without even using licensed middleware.”.

Good news indeed, I need more spoilers! :smile: