Last week's Mobile Monday we highlighted an open source/source available particle system/library for Windows Phone, Where there's smoke, fire and explosions... there's the 3D particle engine, Tranquility, which can be used as is or as a basis for learning how to create a like library yourself.
This week we're highlighting another framework that while only available in binary form (through of course the demos and samples include their source) is also free, has been around a while longer, and has a much broader deployment reach, including not only Windows Phone 7, but also XBox 360, Windows and even the Zune!
DPSF (Dynamic Particle System Framework) is a tried and tested, free programmer's tool for creating custom particle systems in XNA quickly and easily.
Incorporate particle effects into your project within a matter of minutes by using the provided Default Classes.
Unlike other particle system APIs / libraries, DPSF is flexible and allows you to code your own custom behaviors into the particle system; You are not limited to only using the parameters provided by the framework. You can create and control your own particle properties to make just about any effect you can imagine; If you can code it, you can create it in DPSF.
Upload particle systems you create to the DPSF forums and download particle systems created by others.
If you use DPSF in your project, be sure to post a link to your project on the the DPSF forums.
Here is a list of some of the features DPSF provides:
- A single API for multiple platforms: supports 2D and 3D particles for Windows, Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, and Zune.
- Easily integrates with graphics engines, including Synapse Gaming's SunBurn engine.
- Full API documentation is provided in the help file, as well as in the online help documentation.
- Tutorials and their source code are provided in the installer. The tutorials (without source code) are also available in the online help documentation.
- Allows particle systems to be created in minutes by using the Default Particle Systems provided; Just set values for the built-in parameters, such as position, velocity, acceleration, rotation, external force, start/end color, etc.
- The Default Particle Systems may be extended, allowing you to provide any extra required functionality. Want your particles to have a weight property that determines how fast they accelerate? Or do you want your particles to follow a specific path or pattern? You can code the behavior to make it happen!
- Templates to start from are provided to make creating new particle systems quick and easy.
- You write the particle system code, giving you full control over the particle system and its particles, allowing you to create any type of particle system effects you desire. Your imagination is the limit.
- Easy to integrate into existing projects; just add a reference to a dll file.
- Use the built-in Effects (i.e. shaders) as well as custom Effects.
- Modify the default Effect (i.e. shaders) to create new custom Effects quickly and easily.
- Particle System Managers are provided to make updating and drawing many particle systems easy.
- An Animations class is provided for easily creating animated particles.
- Easily create a sequence of images, tile-sets, or animated gifs displaying particle system animations.
- Particle systems may be implemented as DrawableGameComponents if required.
Check out these videos;
DPSF show's its maturity in a number of ways. First, there's good documentation.
Secondly there's a nice set of tutorials;
And finally the demo app is pretty awesome, showing off many of the capabilities of the framework. The demo ran for me the first time, with only a reference fix-up required;
All I needed to do was point that DPSF reference to the folder where I installed the framework and all was well.
One of my favorites (not sure why, maybe because the dog is cute...lol) is the Photo demo.
This demo shows off some of the cool things that DPSF can do. From 3D features;
To different ways the photo can be "particle'ized"
And yes, you get the source for this demo and particle systems.
If you are looking around for a mature particle system, one with a price and license that's hard to beat, you run, not walk, and check out DPSF.