Cube Designer tool ( Facebook Instant Game )

Hi folks,

Here’s a WIP of a digital toy I’m working on, that allows you to interact with cubes up to 15x15x15 ( click on the Options icon in the bottom right, then move the slider and press the button - an Ad should appear ).

The main exercise here was to create something relatively simple that I could put onto Facebook, get an ad displaying, and get access to the revenue generated on that ad ( ie be able to monetize online ). I’m nearly there, I’ve a few more features to add to the app before I start to promote it ( mainly the solve timer )

Let me know if it works for you, and if you see the ad ( or not ) when you set the cube size to be greater than 3.


Works fine for me. I do find the controls and instructions a bit counter-intuitive. For instance the layers rotate horizontally just by clicking but you need to use a drag “gesture” to do a vertical rotation.

The ad displayed, but the length of that ad is super-annoying. I think you’d be better off annoying the users with more frequent shorter ads than one long one. But that’s just my gut feel on it.

Oh - one more interesting thing that you may already be aware of. When I open that link on a browser where I’m logged into Facebook on our studio account, I don’t go to the game but go to our studio account instead. On a different browser where I’m logged into my personal account, I go directly to the game. This looks like an intentional re-direct from Facebook.

Very cool - nice job. What would be even cooler is writing up what you did as a guide for anyone else interested in making an Instant Game. I’ve been meaning to do that myself for ages… :smiley:


Works fine for me. I do find the controls and instructions a bit counter-intuitive. For instance the layers rotate horizontally just by clicking but you need to use a drag “gesture” to do a vertical rotation.

The controls are something I’ve got on the list to fix.

The ad displayed, but the length of that ad is super-annoying. I think you’d be better off annoying the users with more frequent shorter ads than one long one. But that’s just my gut feel on it.

I’m not sure if I can specify the length of ads, I’ll check into it though.

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What would be even cooler is writing up what you did as a guide for anyone else interested in making an Instant Game. I’ve been meaning to do that myself for ages…

Since the start of the year, I try to get two days a week to spend on a few PlayCanvas projects - most of that time has been spent working around issues in Playcanvas ( mainly due to not having visual access to the hierarchy in an imported FBX ) and reporting bugs ( most of which seem to get ignored ).

Here are a few suggestions…

  • The PlayCanvas development team need to have a more visible presence in these forums - maybe have each dev take an hour every other day, and go through them to see if they can help.

Yaustar does an excellent job, as do some other developers, but the actual PlayCanvas dev team need to be doing this ( or hire a support engineer ). A lot of times, they seem to only post after someone complains.

  • Have an actual Bugs category, which could prioritize what your devs have to look at ( and could act as a triage for engine bugs reported to GitHub ).

This could also serve as a place to report UI bugs - the GitHub repo seems for engine problems only.

  • Take a few days out to update a number of the larger demos that were created by PlayCanvas for showcasing ( eg Swoop Tanx ) to use the current version ( they are currently Legacy, so can’t really be used as examples for new users )

  • Maybe have an AMA every few so often, to help increase customer engagement?

  • Fix the issue with… breaking on iOS ( having to use the /e/p workaround )

I’ve had a PlayCanvas account for ages, but never considered used it for projects for a long time as I assumed it was too slow on iOS, due to the published link being broken on iOS.

I also recently gave a one day PlayCanvas course about a month ago to about 10 artists, one of the first things I do is show how quickly users can publish their content and see it on their mobile phones. On top of learning everything else, I then had to also tell the artists how to edit the published URL to include the /e, as it was of course showing the issues ( broken loading, bad aspect ratio, slow FPS ). Half of them had iOS devices, and most of them wanted to send the link to friends who had iOS devices - having to explain that this was currently broken, was reported, and would hopefully be fixed soon, is a step I’d rather not have to add.

  • Update the WebVR polyfill - quite a few people have asked for this, and have reported issues with the camera shaking ( due to radians / degrees change ) in Chrome.

This is a great example actually of many devs reporting an issue and asking for a fix, and it being seemingly ignored by the PlayCanvas developers*

*If this is a quick fix, can this be prioritized - or is there a reason why it hasn’t been done?

If you need examples of any of the above, just let me know.

Just to wrap up on the original question about writing a tutorial - a) I’m not sure if I’m doing it the right way, I want to try a few different methods to strealine the process, b) Up until now, four days game development takes me a month, due to trying to work around bugs etc, so I don’t have any spare time. c) It would totally make sense for one of your team to spend time doing this. If a tutorial had existed, it would have saved me about 8 days ( two months for me ).

Hope that all makes sense. Basically, take your good product and make it a great product. Also, the customer isn’t always right, but if enough of them are pointing out some issues, then maybe they aren’t wrong :slight_smile:

I’m not sure how many of the development community will agree with the points above, please feel free to share your thoughts…

I just updated the FB Instant Game to be able to share your screenshot. I’m going to try to extend this, so that when you share the link, it’ll share your currently scrambled cube, which can then be solved by anyone clicking on the link.

Great project! Is inspiration for new developers.

Some progress? I found this platform to take the games to facebook. It is completely downloadable and in my opinion, gives you more freedom than phaser. Maybe it can become ineffective to Playcanvas through a downloaded project. I hope it is useful


Hi @Mal_Duffin. Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond to this. But I wanted to have a chance to actually make some progress on things before coming back to you. OK, let’s go:

It’s on our roadmap for this year.

I’m sorry it has seemed that way to you. I had the team prioritize and fix the particle bug that was affecting you. Actually, the overhaul of the particle system we deployed today just allowed me to close 8 particle-related issues on GitHub which is really cool.

We’re on the forum perhaps a little more than you realize but yes, spending more time would be good. We try our best to balance development vs support activities - I wish there was more time in the day!

I absolutely second this!

Already on it! Stay tuned.

Could do that, yeah. But the forum isn’t a great bug tracker. When we read about bugs on here, we either redirect the reporter to GitHub (if it’s regarding the engine) or we create an issue on our internal bug tracker if it’s about the Editor. We’ll consider creating a new category though.

I have spent the last few weekends updating the original Seemore demo (which is now broken) to the latest version of PlayCanvas. It’s taken a huge amount of my personal time but it’s been fun (and challenging). It’s a very complex demo indeed. I’m in talks with ARM at the moment about open sourcing it when it’s ready.

But yes, generally, I’m all for updating demos to the latest engine version and keeping them working. If you have any requests beyond SWOOOP, let me know. BTW, the TANX project still works fine. But the server bust a while back. I’m trying to allocate some time to get that repaired too because IMHO, it’s an awesome game! Plus a great example of what PlayCanvas is capable of!

How would we run that? Is that normally done on Reddit? Or should it just be a forum thread. I mean, I would hope any PlayCanvas user could ask us anything at any time on the forum!

Fixed today!


Once again, sorry about that, but hey, at least it’s fixed now.

We’re working on adding the ability to add any JS framework to your project and have it load as soon as the page loads. This will allow us to stop adding the WebVR polyfill ‘internally’ and instead allow you to drop in whichever one you want. This should resolve this problem. Stay tuned.

I think the key word here is seemingly. I know I read these requests and I genuinely feel bad when I can’t jump on them immediately. I care a great deal about problems being faced by PlayCanvas developers. But in this particular case, there should be a workable solution coming soon.

No worries. I just often try to encourage developers to contribute to the open source aspect of what we do. We’ve had some incredible contributions over the years and I hope that continues to accelerate. But people shouldn’t feel obligated to do so, of course. It’s just cool that you spend time making stuff with PlayCanvas in the first place!

Thanks so much for taking the time to send us your thoughts on PlayCanvas. I really appreciate it. And I hope this response goes some way to proving it.

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Some developers/studios will publish a roadmap or have some sort of task board (e.g Trello) public to show what the team will be working on/currently working on. That could help with the transparency without having to keep too much of a presence on the forum?


Can I also add a suggestion of being able to work and publish with any version of PlayCanvas? Occasionally, a new version of PlayCanvas will break something and ideally in the middle of a project, I would like to keep the same version unless I need the new features or a particular bug fix. I have a few older projects which are now ‘broken’ due to changes with the UI system :frowning:

Absolutely agree!!

I can pull up animations that I created 20 years ago and modify them today if I want. Why? Because I have copies of the original programs that I used to create them (Though I do admit that we don’t have the Amiga 2000 and 3000s and related software that were used to create our oldest animations.) The idea that a simple change (perhaps requested by a client a couple years after publication) might involve an extensive re-write because the software version I developed the original app on is no longer available is very unattractive.

Although fiddly, it is possible to use an older version of PlayCanvas in the launch window via: and as the engine is open source, all releases are available if that helps alleviate the concern a bit?

I have a hard enough time just getting up to speed with basic coding. Fiddling with developer side stuff is not at all attractive to me. But it is good to know that this might be available and helpful if the situation were to arise in the future. But from a user standpoint, I’d want to have a straightforward toggle of some sort between major versions.

Yep, definitely agree with having ease of access.

I’ve been flat out coding on client stuff, my own stuff, and speculative stuff, and then on top of that, out enjoying life, but I’ll try to get time this weekend to answer the answers above :slight_smile:

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