Thursday, 25 June 2009

Suggestions for RSS feed of Flash game developer blogs, and a look a Yahoo! pipes



Since the excellent site FlashGameBlogs, which aggregated many developer blogs, has mysteriously stopped working, I am trying to fill the gap with a new rss feed. I'm using pipes and feedburner. Pipes is one of the most unusual pieces of software I've ever used - a visual programming environment for creating mash-ups - all running within the browser with just javascript.


Anyway, this is the call for requests. Please have a look at the feed and tell me: have I missed anyone? I'm looking for feeds of bloggers who write mostly or entirely about Flash and other web games (e.g. Unity3d) - be that coding, art, business, whatever. Comments please!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Open-source ActionScript libraries for creating Flash games

For some reason the incredible power of Open Source is on my mind today. In light of that, here are some open source(ish*) ActionScript libraries I've come across that can help you make games. I haven't tried them all, but maybe you will? *check the licenses before using.

To get code from google code you may have to use a subversion client. On PC use the free TortoiseSVN.
  1. Glaze - super-fast, easy to use rigid body physics engine based on Chipmunk. Prettier syntax than box2D. Demo.
  2. Box2D - uglier (sorry) syntax than Glaze, but has more features (e.g. types of joint), and is better documented.
  3. PushButtonEngine - framework to build games on - doesn't do too much out of the box, but is an admirable attempt to standardise Flash game code structure. Demo.
  4. Collision Detection Kit - Pixel perfect collisions in Flash!
  5. Game Poetry (blog) and CheezeWorld (blog)- these excellent blogs post the source for many of their examples and tutorials on google code.
  6. PixelBlitz - engine for retro -stylee games. Blurb from Photon Storm.
  7. Flixel - another retro-engine. Cool Demo!
  8. PaperVision3D -if you want to go into the third dimension, this is the daddy. Also check out Away3D - it has some features that haven't yet made it to PaperVision3D. Hey, different strokes for different folks!
  9. Jiglib Flash - Physics in 3D!!!
  10. TweenMax - since fusekit was was sadly never ported to AS3, this tweening powerhouse has taken over the whole show. Not only is it great for animating your user-interface, menus etc, I have actually built whole minigames using only this library for all movement and animation. Also gives you quick ways to adjust brightness/contrast etc of images. Only downside is that it is time-based only so won't play nicely with your game if it has a frame-based tick - but this option has been added to the beta, and as you read this is probably now in the live version. If you need frame-based tweening, you can also check out GTween, although Grant is discontinuing the project.
What have I missed? Leave comments!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Better rollovers in PaperVision3D

I found a little perculiarity in the latest release of PaperVision3D today, and came up with a fix, so I thought I'd post it. The way it currently works, rollovers and rollouts may not be detected if you have a moving camera (which I normally do - hey it looks cooler!).

To fix, all you need to do is open org.papervision3d.core.utils.InteractiveSceneManager and delete or comment out line 236 if ( hasMouseMoved() ) in the handleMouseOver function and line 247 if( !hasMouseMoved() ) return; in the handleMouseOut function.

Now you will get nice responsive mouse events even if you have a nice drifty camera. I have tipped off Seb from the PV3D via twitter so I think those clever people are going to look into it.

By the way, if you haven't tried combining PaperVision3D with TweenMax, I highly recomend you do! I've had some freakin' incredible results that I wish I could post (but I can't).