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31.14. Turbulenz SDK 0.21.1

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31.15. Turbulenz SDK 0.21.0

31.15.1. Summary

Turbulenz SDK 0.21.0 is an update for both the Turbulenz Engine Installer and SDK components.

Please see the Change List for details on API changes.

31.15.2. Requirements


The Turbulenz Engine Installer is now included with the SDK. If you intended to develop using this SDK, you will need to install the engine located here: *SDKINSTALLDIR*/engines/0.21.0/. This Turbulenz Engine is a pre-release for developers and is only intended for development with the SDK. If you want to access games on, make sure you check to ensure you have the latest compatible version. In the future, engine version management will be taken care of automatically.

Windows XP/Vista/7

The Turbulenz SDK for Windows is available from as a downloadable a self-extracting installer exe. This contains the tools, samples and engine components required to develop Turbulenz applications.

The following software should be installed before installing the Turbulenz SDK:



It is not possible to use Python 3.X with the Turbulenz tools.


  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 - Used to compile speed-ups for python environment if available on platform.
  • PDF reader - Required to read documentation in PDF format

After installing the essential and recommended software, install the SDK:

  1. Visit and login
  2. Download SDK 0.21.0 for Windows
  3. Run TurbulenzSDK-0.21.0.exe
  4. Follow the instructions


Performance of any Python modules could potentially be slower if speed-ups cannot be compiled. It is recommended that you install Visual Studio before installing the Turbulenz SDK, so that the speed-ups can be configured in the environment. If you are using a 64bit version of Python you must have installed a 64bit version of the Visual Studio compilers.

Mac OS X 10.6/10.7 (BETA)

The Turbulenz SDK for Mac OS X is now available to developers in beta from as a self-extracting shell script. This contains the tools, samples and engine components required to develop Turbulenz applications.

The following software should be installed before installing the Turbulenz SDK:



It is not possible to use Python 3.X with the Turbulenz tools.

Mac OS X 10.6

  • Xcode 3.2.6+ - This MUST be installed before running the script so that Python can compile certain modules.


Only the command line development tools are required from Xcode and the iOS SDK is NOT required.

Mac OS X 10.7

  • Xcode 4.3.2+


  • Command Line Tools for Xcode (February 2012 or later)


If you don’t already have Xcode installed, Turbulenz recommend the command line tools only, which is the minimum required for Turbulenz development.


After installing the essential and recommended software, install the SDK:

  1. Visit and login
  2. Download SDK 0.21.0 for Mac
  3. Open a terminal in the same directory as the SDK installer and type:
  4. chmod a+x
  5. ./
  6. Follow the instructions

Linux (ALPHA)

An Alpha release of the Turbulenz SDK for Linux is now available from as a self-extracting shell script. This contains the tools, samples and engine components required to develop Turbulenz applications. Not that the Linux version of the browser plugin is not released. Developers must use ‘canvas’ mode when running on Linux.

This release has only been tested against Ubuntu 12.04 (64bit), although feedback from developers using other recent releases of other distributions is welcome.

The following software should be installed before installing the Turbulenz SDK. We recommend installing via your package manager:


  • Python 2.7.2+ (incl. development files)

    • Under Linux, the Python development package (libraries and header files) must be installed. On Ubuntu, this can be done with the following command:

      sudo apt-get install python-dev
    • It is recommended that you install virtualenv and setuptools for Python from your for your distribution’s package manager. On Ubuntu:

      sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv python-setuptools


It is not possible to use Python 3.X with the Turbulenz tools.

  • GCC (including g++)

    • This MUST be installed before running the script so that Python can compile certain modules.
  • Cg Toolkit 3.0+

    • The cgfx2json tool in the SDK relies on this library being installed. Either install from your package manager or visit to download the latest version. Make sure you have the correct configuration for your system (32 / 64-bit).

After installing the essential and recommended software, install the SDK:

  1. Visit and login
  2. Download SDK 0.21.0 for Linux
  3. Open a terminal in the same directory as the SDK installer and type:
  4. chmod a+x
  5. ./
  6. Follow the instructions

31.15.3. Recommendations

As technology and tools are updated, so too will the recommendations for development environment. Turbulenz aim to recommend versions of various third party tools and services that are the most stable, reliable and representative of the final product for development of your projects. Web Browser & Debugger

The web browser is the focus point for development. Games developed using Turbulenz are run, debugged and profiled from the web browser. Although performance of the browsers in release mode is relatively consistent. The choice for debug mode, depends on the performance of the browser and the tools available for it. Most JavaScript debuggers are either integrated into the browser or add-ons. These debuggers allow developers to pause execution, step through code, inspect variables and execute functions via the console.

Supported Development Platforms:

Turbulenz recommends for debugging in debug mode:

For canvas configurations: Chrome with Developer Tools (built-in)

  • In canvas 3D (WebGL), Chrome offers the best performance.

  • Chrome’s tools also includes a heap snapshot feature for looking at memory usage.

  • Alternative(s)
    Windows:Firefox 14 with Firebug 1.10.2
    Mac:Safari 5.1 with Web Inspector (built-in)

For plugin configurations: Firefox with Firebug

  • Firefox 14 is recommended in debug mode. For good performance it requires the browsers to be configured to run plugins in-process. See Running in-process.

  • Alternative(s)
    Mac:Safari 5.1 with Web Inspector (built-in)


Performance of plugin configurations in release mode is unaffected by being in or out of process. This is true across all supported browsers. Code Verification

Ensuring accurate JavaScript code is written before runtime is an important step when developing with JavaScript. There are a number of tools that are designed to inspect JavaScript usage and check syntax. Turbulenz recommends for code verification:

  • The original code quality tool written by JSON creator, Douglas Crockford.
  • Version: 2010-01-04
  • Url:


JSHint & JSLint can be run on JavaScript code in many ways:
  • Directly on the site.
  • From the command line using Node.js
  • From the command line using cscript (Windows script host)(JSHint)
  • Integrated into IDEs and editors (Both are now shipped in Komodo Edit 7) Minimization and Compression

For JavaScript code optimization, a minimization tool is required that combines speed with accurate optimization. Choosing an appropriate minimizer improves the workflow of developing and ensures that the code will run as expected on the Turbulenz JavaScript engine. Turbulenz recommends for minimization:



Requires Node.js - to be run from the command line. Editor/IDE

To edit JavaScript code for Turbulenz applications, there are very few restrictions. The choice of editor should meet your development needs and include the features you require. Turbulenz recommend using an editor with a minimum of JavaScript syntax highlighting, code verification options and external command execution. If you are looking for a basic editor to try, Turbulenz recommend:

Komodo Edit

31.15.4. Change List New Features

  • Typed arrays are now available in the Turbulenz plugin (see for details). We recommend that game code use them where practical. See Typed Arrays.

  • A new function AABBTree.rayTest has been added to cast a ray through multiple AABBTree’s concurrently with callback-defined filtering on external nodes.

  • Native JavaScript implementation of PhysicsDevice. This implementation has some differences with the plugin version and not all features have been implemented, but is suitable for use in many game projects.

  • New SDK sample: Physics_Benchmark running on both Canvas and Plugin.

  • New Memory Analysis section in the JavaScript Development Guide. Some additional notes were added to the Profiling section.

  • Draw2D object added providing a 2D sprite drawing API built on top of the GraphicsDevice using WebGL.

    Related SDK sample: Draw2D running on both Canvas and Plugin.

  • TextureEffects object added providing an effects API with Gaussian Blur, Color Matrix, Bloom and Distort effects.

    Related SDK sample making use of Draw2D also: TextureEffects running on both Canvas and Plugin. Changes

  • The SDK now requires Python 2.7. See the requirements section for full details.

  • The JavaScript VM in the plugin has been upgraded which can result in significant performance improvements. To get the best results make use of Typed Arrays. This is especially true for functions used to create and update VertexBuffers, e.g. setData().

  • The MathDevice is now implemented in JavaScript using Float32Array objects. This generally gives a performance improvement over previous versions and reduces garbage collection pauses.

  • In plugin mode JavaScript code can no longer access browser globals directly. A global ‘window’ object exists which refers to the ‘window’ global in the browser. Game code that interacts with objects on the HTML page should be updated appropriately.

    For example:

    if (console)
            // ...

    would now be:

    if (window.console)
            // ...
  • SDK Samples Physics_CollisionMesh and Physics enabled on Canvas.

  • To improve canvas sound support, sounds are now stored uncompressed on the hub and gamesite. Any sounds currently stored on the hub have been uncompressed. If you have deployed a game previously, and wish to do so again with the same sound files, you will need to delete the following from your local deploycache (found at SDK_ROOT_FOLDER/devserver/localdata/deploycache): “my-game.json.gz”, and the “my-game” folder where “my-game” is the game slug (see the Manage tab of your game on local to check the slug).

  • To improve use of memory, the getOverlappingPairs method of AABBTree has been modified to insert overlapping pairs as consecutive elements of the array, instead of as an array of two elements. This method as well as getOverlappingNodes have both been extended to permit re-use of the array by providing an optional startIndex parameter at which to begin insertions, and returning the number of insertions made. See AABBTree.

  • For consistency with the badges the leaderboards icons are now 48x48 pixels rather than 46x46 pixels. Any icons in the old format will be automatically adjusted by adding a transparent border around the image when the game is deployed.

  • The VMath function m34Scale behavior has changed to be consistent with the other matrix scale functions. Previously, the source matrix was modified. Now, the source matrix is left unchanged and the function takes an optional destination parameter. Fixed

  • badgeManager.listUserBadges callback now gives an array (previously a dictionary) on local to be consistent with the documentation, hub and gamesite.

31.15.5. Support

If you are having difficulties with Turbulenz Technology, the following support resources are available for developers: Turbulenz Documentation

Documentation should be the first port of call, wherever possible. Documentation for each SDK is included within (In HTML/PDF format). The latest documentation can be found online at

Having a problem with a programming interface? Take a look at the API reference. There might be an argument you are missing or dependency you need to include:

Something slightly different in a previous release? We put interface upgrade information in the release notes for each SDK. If there’s something different you have to do, you’ll find it listed here:

Do we already know about your problem? The known issues contain a listing of caveats, some of which we are fixing, some which 3rd parties are fixing and a few facts of life. Make sure you look at the known issues for the version of Turbulenz you are working with. Issues do get fixed!

If you think something is not quite right, doesn’t make sense or is missing, give us some feedback. Turbulenz Knowledge Base

This is where you can find important notifications, useful articles and frequently asked questions. If there’s something we think our developers should know about, we’ll put it here. The knowledge base will grow and update over time to keep coming back, there might be an better way to it! Submit A Support Request

If you’ve racked your brains, searched the documentation and you are just plain stuck, then maybe its time to send Turbulenz a support request. Questions, issues, feature requests, advice, whatever you need help with... put it in the form and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Once you’ve submitted it you can track your request until you get the right information and the issue has been resolved.

To use the support system, navigate to and click on ‘Support’

In some cases we may give you an additional issue reference so you can find out exactly when the issue fix is available. In these cases you can compare your issue with the release notes for the version of the SDK your issue was resolved in.

Once you have started your support request, you can correspond with the support team about that ticket via the support site or email.

31.15.6. Known Issues

The following is a list of the changes to the known issues in this SDK. Updated

  • Due to a Firefox bug, key up events are not sent in Firefox 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 on Mac OS 10.5.
  • The alpha release for Ubuntu 12 Linux (64 bit) does not include a browser plugin. Developers can build and deploy plugin versions of their games, but only run the canvas versions. Unchanged

  • Placing Firebug breakpoints before window.onload in debug builds results in the Turbulenz Engine failing to load properly.

  • The “insert” key is not supported on macs when using the plugin.

  • On IE the samples’ slider and text controls are not fully functional.

  • With the canvas versions of applications the captured mouse can move outside of the browser’s window. This is because a consistent definition of ‘mouse lock’ functionality for canvas is yet to be defined.

  • Creating a GraphicsDevice with width or height of 0 may fail on some configurations on Windows where Angle is used.

  • On Windows Vista with an ATI video card, Firefox may not refresh the display until the browser is activated or moved.

  • The plugin implementation of the Turbulenz Engine on the following configurations may be slower than the Windows equivalent:
    • Mac OS X 10.6 and above : Google Chrome, Firefox 4.0 and above
    • Mac OS X 10.5 : Google Chrome
  • Under Mac OS X, switching to full-screen browsing under Firefox 3.6 while the plugin version of the engine is running can result in rendering being halted.

  • Certain samples don’t have canvas equivalents due to utilizing plugin only features. These include:
    • deferred_rendering (Multiple render targets)
    • loading (External resource dependency issue)
    • physics_constraints (Uses plugin physics device)
  • WebGL performance in Firefox may be limited by the browser’s current implementation. Consider using Chrome to get a better representation of WebGL performance.

  • The plugin implementation of the engine requires a CPU that supports SSE2.

  • When running intensive JavaScript applications that push the performance of the platform, such as the multiple animations, the browser may become less responsive. You may have to manually terminate the process to regain control. Make sure the browser you are using can handle JavaScript running at full load and scale up slowly. See the Turbulenz recommendations for the preferred browser to use for development.

  • The following browser(s) do not fully support the majority of samples in the following debug configurations:
    • IE 6/7/8/9 - canvas, plugin
    • Opera 10/11/12 - canvas, plugin
  • The following browser(s) do not fully support the majority of samples in the following release configurations:
    • IE 6 - canvas, plugin (Styling issue only)
    • Opera 10/11/12 - canvas, plugin
  • The following browsers and configurations show low performance and unreliable behavior when running the debug samples with the plugin: * Chrome * Firefox 4 and above (with out of process plugins enabled. See Running in Process).

  • In debug mode with out-of-process plugins enabled, Firefox can invoke callbacks during calls to the engine. This can lead to apparently erratic behavior. (See Running in Process)

  • Some browsers don’t support delete on engine object properties (plugin only), e.g. delete techniqueParameters.diffuse does not work, use techniqueParameters.diffuse = undefined instead.

  • Erratic behavior has been observed in Safari 5.0 on Mac OS X, relating to input and debug mode applications. Turbulenz recommend using Safari 5.1 if any of this behavior is observed.

  • The SVG samples doesn’t work on Internet Explorer 8 in any mode. This is related to IE8 not parsing the SVG file correctly.

  • The nVidia drivers (version - bug causes multiple render targets to render the output for the first target to all target textures. The current work around for shaders generated with cgfx2json is to reorder any writes to gl_FragData so they are in order. nVidia have now fixed this bug through windows update or the latest driver download on their website. If an update is not possible follow the steps in this example.

  • WebGL is currently unsupported by Firefox on Mac OS 10.5.

  • For shader support the plugin implementation of the engine requires a GPU that supports GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language).

  • The SDK HTML help search feature does not work on Chrome. See

  • Running Turbulenz tools at the same time as the local server can sometimes result in access errors in “simplejson_speedupds.pyd”. Please close the local server before running any Turbulenz tools.

  • When debugging with Chrome it may repeatedly warn the plugin is unresponsive.
  • Sound stuttering can be heard when the browser is using 100% of CPU.

  • Compatibility
    • Shaders
      • tex2DProj does not work as expected on some Intel chip-sets, e.g. G41. tex2DProj requires a float4 with w=1.0 to be passed, rather than a float3. The sample shaders use tex2DProjFix to work around this issue.
  • In some cases on Windows 7, the SDK installer is unable to automatically open the Windows Firewall for the Local Server on a local network if UAC is enabled. To allow the local server to be accessed over a local network, please manually update the Windows Firewall rule.

  • When using the InputDevice, certain browsers can take a little longer to release the mouse pointer when pressing ESC. Try holding ESC for a longer period of time, or alternatively use alt-tab to navigate to a different window (windows only) or end the process if the browser stops responding.

  • The mouse wheel does not send scroll events in Safari 5.0 on Mac OS 10.5.

  • The middle mouse button does not send click events in Firefox on Mac OS 10.6 and 10.5, and in Safari 5.0 on Mac OS 10.5.

  • Switching window or tab on Safari 5.0 and Firefox on 10.5 does not send a blur or mouselocklost event.

  • The browser is not in focus when exiting fullscreen in Safari 5.0 & Firefox on Mac OS 10.5.