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Endless Tunnel

Endless Tunnel is a sample game that shows how to:

  • use the Android Studio C++ support
  • implement a game using Android native glue
  • implement joystick support, including robust DPAD navigation for non-touch screens

It is NOT the goal of this sample to show the best way to write the game logic, load resources, etc. The game itself was intentionally kept rudimentary in order to keep the focus on the Android Studio C++ integration. For example, this game contains textures and geometry hard-coded in code, which works for small demo games like this one, but doesn't scale well to real games.

This sample uses the new Android Studio CMake plugin with C++ support.


  • Android Studio 2.2+ with NDK.

Getting Started

  1. Download Android Studio
  2. Launch Android Studio.
  3. Open the sample directory.
  4. Open File/Project Structure...
  • Click Download or Select NDK location.
  1. Click Tools/Android/Sync Project with Gradle Files.
  2. Click Run/Run 'app'.





This project uses the OpenGL Mathematics (GLM) library, available at:

For more information about this library and its license, please see Tunnel/jni/glm/readme.txt and Tunnel/jni/glm/copying.txt.


Most of this code was written by Bruno Oliveira.


Source code is under app, it only contains C++ code, which is sitting at its default location (same as for other samples) at app/jni.

The game starts at the android_main function, defined in android_main.cpp, like any standard NDK game.

Scenes And The Scene Manager

We have a singleton class called SceneManager. As the name says, it's the class that manages scenes. There's always an active Scene, and the scene determines what's visible onscreen and how the game reacts to input. The main menu is a scene, the gameplay is another scene.

As the game runs, the display might be initialized and terminated multiple times, corresponding, for example, to the app losing focus and being brought back into focus. This is why the SceneManager (and the Scene's) have the notion of StartGraphics() and KillGraphics(). These two methods may be called multiple times along the lifetime of a scene. So everything that has to do with graphics context (like shaders, textures, etc) has to be initialized in StartGraphics(), and has to be torn down in KillGraphics().

The NativeEngine::InitDisplay function is where we set up OpenGL for our game, and call StartGraphics() on the active scene. The NativeEngine::KillGLObjects is where we call KillGraphics() on the active scene.

Input arrives by way of the NativeEngine::HandleInput function, which does some basic input classification and delivers the input to the scene manager. Incidentally, here we also synthesise DPAD events based on the joystick hat axes (many game controllers generate hat events when you press the directional pad), because that way we can use that directional pad to drive UI navigation in the main screen.

Tke a look at scene_manager.cpp, scene.cpp, etc to familiarize yourself with them.

Geometry And Rendering

The game's geometry is represented by VBOs and IBOs. A VBO is represented by the VertexBuf class, and an IBO is represented by an IndexBuf. A shader is represented by the Shader class, of which TrivialShader is a concrete example.

Now, onto rendering. Everything in the game is rendered by a Shader.

Normally, to use a Shader, you call BeginRender() and give it a VertexBuf. This means you will be rendering one or more subsets of that geometry. After that, call Render(ibuf, mat) where ibuf is the IndexBuffer that represents the part of the geometry you want to render, and mat is the transformation matrix. You can call Render() multiple times to render different subsets of the geometry with different matrices. When you're done, you call the shader's EndRender() method.

As a simpler alternative when you only want to render a single copy of an object that's defined by a VertexBuffer and IndexBuffer pair, just call RenderSimpleGeom(), which takes a matrix and a SimpleGeom object (which, in turn, is just a pair of VertexBuffer and IndexBuffer).

The shader subclass is responsible for knowing what to do to render a geometry. For example, if the shader needs texture coordinates, it will query the geometry for texture coordinates as necessary -- if it doesn't have them, it will throw an error (that being just an euphemism for an ugly native crash). So, yes, you have to be careful that the geometry you're feeding to a shader has the data that's needed by that shader.

Particularly, TrivialShader only needs position and color info for each vertex. The more complex OurShader class (in jni/our_shader.cpp) needs texture coordinates.

The Normalized 2d Coord System

For all 2D rendering, we use a normalized coordinate system where the bottom-left of the screen is (0,0), the X coordinate increases to the right and the Y coordinate increases upwards. The Y coordinate of the top of the screen is defined to be 1.0. The X coordinate of the right side of the screen is the screen's aspect ratio. So, on a 4:3 screen, these are the coordinates of the four corners of the screen:

(0.000,1.000)       (1.333,1.000)
       |              |
       |              |
       |              |
       |              |
(0.000,0.000)       (1.333,0.000)

What this means is that Y=0.5 is always the vertical center of the screen regardless of the screen size, and that X=aspect/2 is always the horizontal center of the screen, regardless of physical screen size.

This coordinate system is set up like this:

    glm::mat4 modelMat, mat;

    // set up projection matrix
    float aspect = SceneManager::GetInstance()->GetScreenAspect();
    glm::mat4 orthoMat = glm::ortho(0.0f, aspect, 0.0f, 1.0f);

    // ... (set up modelMat as needed)

    // determine final matrix for rendering
    mat = orthoMat * modelMat;

    // render something
    mShader->RenderSimpleGeom(&mat, mGeom);

The Main Menu

The game's main menu scene is in welcome_scene.cpp. It renders all the buttons on the interface and manages the navigation. It can also show popups ("About", "Story", "Play").

Game Logic

The whole game logic is contained in play_scene.cpp. We won't dive into a full discussion of it, but start reading from the PlayScene::DoFrame() method and it should become clear. It's a standard game loop that handles input, updates the world, checks for collisions and renders.


If you've found an error in these samples, please file an issue.

Patches are encouraged, and may be submitted by forking this project and submitting a pull request through GitHub. Please see for more details.


Copyright 2015 Google, Inc.

Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership. The ASF licenses this file to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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