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Showing posts from April, 2009

Creative Commons is a tease!

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I think Creative Commons licensing is pretty cool. If Flickr and CC images had existed when I was at university doing interactive art projects and learning design, it would have been a massive help. But unfortunately, I think 2 factors have aligned to make it a bit useless to me. These factors are: Pretty much everyone is using the non-commercial license Because of things like Adsense , pretty much everything is commercial If you post an image on your blog, and your blog has ads, that's basically a commercial use, right? If you make a Flash game with CC non- commercial artwork, you shouldn't even upload it to a portal, as the portal will sell ads around it and so make money. Look at Aral Balkan's stitch-up by Sys -Con as an example of the mess that CC can get things into. Should I even post CC images on my blog? It doesn't have ads, but isn't it kinda part of my business? Case in point: I love this set of CC sprites by Philipp Lensenn They are brilliant, b

Flash Games: dimensions, resolution and screen size

What's been on my mind today is the size of Flash games. Not the minutes of gameplay , number of levels or the file size , but the amount of physical screen-size the game occupies. There are 2 competing forces pulling in opposite directions here - the world of slick experiential websites as showcased by thefwa is trending towards high-resolution, full-screen, immersive experiences, and many of these sites are games. On the other hand, there is the world of game-portals and indie-developers keeping resolutions lower, where the game only occupies a part of a larger HTML layout. Here's some positives and negatives of each approach: High Resolution (i.e. 800 px + in width, often full-browser or even full-screen) Positives: More immersive . Occupy a decent percentage of a high-resolution monitor. More room for gameplay elements and user interface. Greater detail possible in artwork. Artwork right-size to port to console Negatives: Slower performance. No keyboard support in fu

Scarygirl: a game-changing Flash game

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I have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to Flash as a games platform. I know from experience that Flash is a great tool for creating games, but I still can't stop myself looking for the next thing: XNA , iPhone, Unity3D, etc, etc. Maybe it's the lack of joypad support, maybe its the small window size, but something about Flash games just never seems as impactful as a console. I was trying to compose these thoughts into a blog post, when Scary Girl landed in my Twitter feed (follow twitter.com/iainlobb by the way). And wow is all I can say really. This is just awesome, and proof if proof were needed that Flash is the real deal for games. So I'm going to get over my tech envy for now, and replace it with some creative envy for this game... brought to you by the Australian tax payer I believe :)

PushButton Engine - a game engine for Flash. But will anyone use it?

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First off, I recommend you go over to Jeff Tunnel's blog if you want a great read about the business of independent games. Jeff knows a bit about games, having co-founded Garage Games, and his latest venture is PushButton Engine , an open source game engine / library for Flash. I had to re-read the description a couple of times to understand what they're trying to do, but basically it's an MIT licensed AS3 library with pathfinding , physics etc, that they eventually plan to make money from by selling add- ons to developers. I've thought for a while that Flash gaming needs something like this, to make it is easier for newcomers to create more advanced games. So my first question is - who's the target market? And I guess the answer is I am , since I make my living from Flash games. But here's my problem with that idea - surely anyone who knows enough about both Flash and game development to find this project, learn the API and make a decent game can alrea