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Showing posts from 2008

Code you can believe in! Vote Iain on 25lines.com!

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Here's my entry - Trigonometry Wars (requires Flash Player 10). Thanks to everyone who has voted for me so far, I'm about 5th out of 12 at the moment, which is cool by me. Here's the source code . Here are my thoughts on the process and the contest: Keith is dead right that we need to put the Flash back into Flash. Flash is the perfect technology for this contest. I can't imagine many other languages where you could do something like this. JavaScript? Processing? Lingo? (if you know any more, post in the comments). Having a constraint was a great spur to creativity, but I think I spent more time squeezing the code than making something cool. Lines aren't a good metric for measuring amount of code written. There are too many little tricks for squeezing things onto one line. A 3k of ActionScript challenge, for example, would have been more fair. Limiting how much code you write encourages bad coding, so reading the posted source code isn't the best way to lea

5 tips for Flash developers in 2009

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I've got lots of unused holiday to take this December, so I'm starting the end-of-the-year posts early. I have consulted my magic crystal ball, and here are my tips for Flashers in 2009 Get out of the Flash ghetto. While I predict that Flash will own the plug-in space until at least 2011, it still seems like an exciting time to learn something new. One place to start might be learning C# - which you can use with Flash competitor Silverlight , XBOX360 game development framework XNA and the amazing Unity3D plug-in (which also lets you target Wii and iPhone). The spirits tell me that Java will also be having a renaissance, with the emergence of Flash rival JavaFX finally bringing native sound, video and vector graphics to the Java plug-in, along with a new scripting language JavaFX Script - which is spookily similar to ActionScript . If you really want to try something different (and you own a Mac) you could check out iPhone development and its scarily alien language Objecti

Cool free and open source software for creating Flash games

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You can do so much these days using only free and Open Source tools (although I couldn't surive without the Flash IDE). I've been collecting a list of the best ones - apologies to Mac users, some of these are Windows only. FlashDevelop . Up there with FDT and FlexBuilder as one of the best ways to write ActionScript . I use it together with the Flash IDE (using the IDE for layout, animation and compiling), but it also works with the official free Flex SDK and with unofficial free alternatives MTASC , swfmill and haXe , so you can create Flash games without spending any money at all . If you've ever used Microsoft's excellent Visual Studio, this is the closest thing for Flash developers. FlashDevelop knows the contents of all your classes and provides amazing code completion that seems to know what you want to do before you know yourself. This also gives another good reason to use static typing if you're not already. Paint.NET . Lots of people know that Gimp is

The Princess Rescuing Application - a great lecture on game design

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If you've got 15 minutes to kill and you want to get inspired, head of over to Lost Garden and download the pdf (or click here ) of Danc's awesome presentation about how the principles of game design can be applied to creating usable applications. It's relevant whether you make games or applications, or like many of us, both.

Bio-bak, the best Flash website I have ever seen?

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I'm not normally into just posting links, but the website I just went to - bio-bak.nl - is so cool, you gotta see it!

Meta4orce nominated for a BAFTA!

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When I launched this blog back in August with a post about BLOC 's animation / gaming crossover Meta4orce , I had no idea how positive the response would be. Thanks to [draw.logic] , PaperVision3D Blog , Flash Bookmarks and Richard Legget my post picked up thousands of views and loads of great comments, including a "congratulations" from PaperVision teamer Ralph Hauwert . I've also had the honour of fielding game-design questions about the project over at Adventures in Primetime and the awesome Brainy Gamer blog . Anyway, I've just found out that Meta4orce is nominated for a children's BAFTA ! I'm dead chuffed; this is great news for a project that looked for a while like it would sink without a trace. With competition like Little Loud/Channel 4's Bow Street Runner , and Amanita Design's awesome BBC educational game Questionaut , we have no chance of winning, but just to be nominated is a great feeling. UPDATE - Bow Street Runner won it - well

The Wrong Door: creating PaperVision3D character animation with the Flash timeline

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NOTE: I am now a freelance developer, and no longer an employee of Bloc. Over at my employers, BLOC , we recently put the finishing touches on a new website to support BBC3's mad comedy show The Wrong Door . The site has lots of silly toys, interactions and animations to amuse you, but I thought the best one to document would be the experimental method I used to get some basic character animation into PaperVision3D . The animation in question is of a giant robot walking around an asteroid on the site's homepage. My unorthodox approach was to make a side-on animation of the walk cycle using a set of MovieClips on the Flash timeline , then at runtime update the positions of the 3D robot's limbs based on the positions of these MovieClips. The obvious drawback of this method is that all movement can only happen in 2 dimensions - so the effect will never look as cool as true motion capture and bones - but the advantages are that editing the movement is very

NO JOY? My campaign for joystick and gamepad support in Flash starts here!

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Joypads, gamepads, joysticks, game controllers... call them what you will, Flash doesn't support them . Why should you care? Well, you only have to look around at Kongregate , MiniClip or TheGamesList to realise that Flash is a proper gaming platform now - you could even say FLASH IS THE NEW CONSOLE! (don't actually say that). As I'm sure you already know, Flash has some great features for games development : great 2D graphics and animation, sound, video and a decent programming language with AS3. When it comes to input devices though, it's less than ideal. While the keyboard support is great for games, the mouse support is not perfect - it doesn't let you "wrap" the cursor, so true FPS movement is impossible, and right-click can only be used for the Flash context menu. You also have the seldom-used option of supporting microphone and webcam (but more on that in another post). Anyway, any of these methods is obviously going to be second best to

Meta4orce: creating 3D Flash games with PaperVision3D

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NOTE: I am now a freelance developer, and no longer an employee of Bloc. Over at Bloc we recently launched Meta4orce, a unique interactive sci-fi TV show which was broadcast on BBC2 and is also available globally via the website . With a story created by legendary comic-book writer Peter Milligan , it's a project I'm very proud to have worked on. When viewed online, the show integrates broadcast quality animation with high quality interactive games. (Please note, it's very much a broadband only site as it features a lot of video, and the games do require a decent PC or Intel Mac to run smoothly). UPDATE: If you want to know even more about the project, I've been answering game design questions over at the excellent Brainy Gamer blog. We wanted the site to invoke the gritty, futuristic feeling of the show, and also offer a gaming experience that resonated with console gamers. To this end we made extensive use of PaperVision3D , specifically version 2.0, dubbed

Biography

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Hello, I'm Iain. I've set up this blog so I can tell you what I know about designing and developing games with Adobe Flash . Here are my career highlights: Companies In January 2009 I embarked on a career as a freelance Flash developer. Before this I was the Head of Interactive at Bloc , an award-winning digital studio. During my time at Bloc I co-created some of the best-loved games on the web, including ZW0K! , Stackopolis and Pop Pirates and Meta4orce . Before joining Bloc in 2004 I worked on factual broadcast television for TwoFour , including several programmes for BBC1 and Channel 4. Before that I was a Flash-focussed designer/developer at specialmoves where I worked on many great interactive projects, including The Osbournes ' award-winning site. In print My work has been featured in a few magazines, including Creative Review , Computer Arts , Computer Arts Projects , .net and The Daily Mail , and in two books: Web Design Studios 2 and Web Design: Music