About this Site
About Project Homura

Project Overview

The Homura project is a collaboration between Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and BBC Research and Development. We are actively development three projects related to the development of cross-platform, cross-browser, hardware-accelerated 3D games, which could be utilised as an alternative to Flash. The projects in development are:
  • Homura Games Framework: Provides a set of APIs, examples, technical demos and tools for the production of cross-platform, cross-browser, hardware-accelerated 3D games applications using OpenGL and Java. The library is current on release version 2.0 and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Net Homura Web Framework: Web-based toolkit for the generation of PHP-based web applications with deployment support for Homura 1.0 and 2.0 based applications.
  • Homura IDE: Game Development IDE for the production of Homura 1.0 based games applications.
Homura - Net Homura - Homura IDE: LJMU and BBC Collaboration

Homura Games Framework

The Homura project's game development framework provides an Open Source (LGPL-Licensed) API for the creation of Java and Open GL based hardware-accelerated 3D games applications, which support cross platform, cross-browser deployment using Java Web Start (JWS) and Next-generation Applet technologies. The framework is available from the downloads section from the web site, with version 2.0 available as a workspace for the popular Java development IDE's Eclipse and Netbeans. Version 1.0 is also integrated into the Homura IDE project (see below). The framework bundles together several example applications and technical demos, which demonstrate and explain how to implement common games functionality in your application; An application template, which acts as a great starting point for development your own Homura related games; The APIs of both Homura and the key open-source projects it builds upon including the Java Monkey Engine scenegraph API, jME Physics Library, MD5 Model Importer, GBUI User Interface Libraries and many more; External Tools for the creation of Font Assets, Particle Effects and Levels for the games.
Several examples of the sample applications can be found in the showcase section of this site, illustrating its direct integration with Web Platforms.

Please click here for a more comprehensive look at the Homura games framework.
The Many Faces of Homura

Net Homura Web Development and Deployment Framework

The Net Homura framework aims to facilitate the online web deployment of games developed using the Homura framework in a cross-platform, cross-browser manner, using the Java Web Start (JWS) and Next Generation Java Applets technologies. The Latest release of the Net Homura framework focuses on providing seamless integration with the new Homura 2.0 games framework, allowing developers to easily deploy their Homura creation via standard web technologies. The framework is designed to be incorporated with a variety of Web-Server configurations in a cross-platform manner, such as the Apache HTTPD Server, Microsoft IIS, LigHTTPD and many more. The framework is designed to work as part of a standard xxMPP web server configuration, using MySQL as the relational database management system and the Perl and PHP web scripting languages (e.g. the Linux-Apache variant of this configuration is typically known as a LAMP configuration, whilst the Windows/IIS combination is often referred to as a WIMP server configuration). Net Homura has been designed primarly for use by games developers who are not skilled in web development. The Net Homura framework consists of a set of PHP libraries to facilitate the creation of a tiered web-architecture with a database back-end, utilising HTML, XHTML, CSS and JavaScript for the front end, and integrated support for the dynamic creation of Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) descriptor files (in XML format), which describe how a Java application can be deployed onto a client machine. The library features a page templating system, and a scene-graph like approach to building up hierarchical page layouts, for Homura developers without prior knowledge of web technologies. It's modular design allows skilled web-developers to incorporate core functionality into their own PHP-based web applications, such as the deployment toolkit, or page templating system. The framework is distributed as a workspace for use with Eclipse's PHP development tools (PDT) in order to provide an easy-to-use development environment which can be utilised side-by-side with the Homura games framework. In order to illustrate the capabilities of the framework, the distribution includes the three-tiered deployment portal web application and a file-system based deployment test-bed, allowing you to easily test the web-based deployment of your Homura-based applications.
Several web sites and web applications have been developed with the framework including the Deployment Portal Showcase, Dr Bubbles concept site and of course, this very site.

Please click here for a more comprehensive look at the Net Homura web framework.
The Many Faces of Net Homura

Homura IDE

Homura IDE is a game development solution which is aimed at programmers who wish to make games using the Homura framework, but have the ease-of-use that comes with using and editing in-game assets in line with the Java game code that utilises these assets in a standardised environment. IDE provides a standard Homura project structure which aids with asset loading and discovery. Homura IDE is built on top of the Eclipse Platform, leveraging the existing functionality that this provides, and is comprised of a set of plug-ins from different projects, such as the Java Editor from the JDT (Java Development Tools) plug-ins. Our own custom plug-in framework supplies Homura / jME functionality, alongside the Positional, Curve, and Game Detail editors. Augmenting these editors are the standard views, which include the Homura Explorer and Model Viewer. Also, there are a number of wizards to help the user to set up new projects and create new assets. The IDE is designed to provide an all-in-one solution to develop Homura-based games, so that programmers and artists can work in tandem to produce the data that comprises a modern games application. The IDE is designed to be compatible with version 1.0 of the Homura games framework and is distributed with a workspace containing the example games, libraries, technical demos and assets to get you up and running.

Please click here for a more comprehensive look at the Homura Game Development IDE.