Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Flash’

Ultima IV – The Flash Version

July 8th, 2010 2 comments

Oldschool RPG fans can now enjoy playing the classic Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar directly on the web via this impressive Flash port. The game is an almost one-to-one conversion of the 1986 original but the author Blair Leggett also made some enhancements to it.

Flash Version of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

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Setting up Eclipse for Flash Development

February 18th, 2010 18 comments

This guide explains how to set up a Flash and Flex development environment with Eclipse, FDT, Flash Builder and a couple of other editors that you want for ActionScript coding and Flash development with style! This guide is based on Windows because that’s what I’m using but I’m sure you Mac and Linux guys can figure out the parts that differ on your OS! Let’s get started …

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From the Labs: Tetragon Tile Engine Early Preview

February 11th, 2010 2 comments

An early tech demo of the tetragonLib Tile Engine on which I restarted work on recently again. Click the image to view. There’s not much interaction yet though. You can scroll around with the cursor keys and apart from that open the Rhombus App Framework built-in debug console with F8 and the FPS monitor with SHIFT+F8. Everything is still under heavy development.

However the demo already shows some of the special features of the tile engine. It’s a blitted multi-layer engine which supports animated tiles (but it doesn’t use MovieClips or Sprites for this but animated Bitmap tiles). The demo shows two layers, one as a backdrop and the other with the maze on it. Additionally layers can use layer effects like the second layer here uses a drop shadow filter which is also defined in the tilemap file.

The engine tries to be resource friendly. If there is nothing to update it will not waste render cycles. E.g. if you move to any area without animated tiles on the screen the engine will shortly after start to consume less CPU.

tile_engine_2_early_demo.png

Quite a list of features is still planned to be implemented, for example map-wrapping (to create endless maps), auto-scrolling and support for hexagonal as well as isometric tiles has already been started before but these implementations are going to be completely overhauled.

If you’re interested in having a look at the engine’s tileset and tilemap data files, they can be found here.

Flash for big Games?

August 26th, 2009 20 comments

Even though I love ActionScript more than my daily meal I’ve recently started to think about if the Flash Platform is actually the right stuff for developing big games. Most Flash game developers write small-scale games for the web which is totally fine and I too like to write a small coffee-break game sometimes but often I’m craving for more! My dream has since long been to design and develop a large-scale role-playing game and I’m usually overflowing from new ideas coming to my mind every day that it’s almost hard to track all of them.

I could go on and make this project an oldschool-style game with 2D graphics like some other indie devs are doing but I feel that going 3D would be the best bet to convey atmosphere and tactical gameplay at the same time (you could use switchable first-person and third-person views). This makes me think if ActionScript is actually sufficient for this but the experience of some of my recent coding tests with Away3D which already start to bog down the CPU with a few hundred polygons on the screen tend to say “no!” to my ambitious plans.

Since this is a desktop game my platform choice is AIR which offers more freedom that the Web Player but there are still many let-downs that make you grind your teeth …

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RPG Design: Choosing the right Graphical Projection

August 11th, 2009 6 comments

Neverwinter Nights 2 Banner

I’ve been designing on a rather ambitious Role-Playing game project since a while now (in fact quite a long while but I’m not in hurry to finish it anytime soon) and while I’m in the process of working out the story, technical details like the combat mechanics, skill system etc. and creating interesting characters I still haven’t made a decision on the type of graphical projection for the game so far. I’ve been thinking about five kinds of projection from the most basic one (2D orthographic) up to full dynamic 3D which would be quite an effort. As my development platform of choice happens to be Flash, the resources in terms of 3D are limited.

So with that in mind I thought it would be good opportunity to introduce some of the most-used projections in computer and video role-playing games to get to know them a little better. This is by no means a complete list of all sorts of projection used in games but I believe these the ones most commonly used for role-playing games.

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ActionScript: Beaten like a ginger stepchild

August 10th, 2009 19 comments

Recently there has been a lot of uproar about ActionScript from some of the more nominated ActionScript developers. People like Joa Ebert, Nicolas Canasse, Andre Michelle and Peter Elst spoke off their dissatisfaction about the current state of ActionScript, that’s it’s stuck in the middle of nowhere, that Adobe isn’t open enough about their plans with the Flash platform, that ActionScript has become too OOP, etc. etc. And though all this bashing hurts, they all got a point about their complaints.

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FDT Template: Quick-create Child DisplayObject

July 18th, 2009 1 comment

Let’s burrow some in my FDT templates crate … how often do you have to add a child display object to another display object? If the answer is ‘very often’ then this small FDT template might save you some time.

${property} = new ${cursor};
addChild(${property});

It’s very simple but effective. Usage: Let’s for example name this template “newDisplayObject” and after invoking it with CTRL+SPACE you start typing the name of the display object property that you defined as a class property before which then should be auto-completed, then you hit TAB and then CTRL+SPACE to quick-insert the type after the ‘new’ operator (FDT is finding the correct type for you) and Voila, you’re finished, no need to add that extra ‘addChild’ manually.

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AIR needs GPU support!

June 24th, 2009 No comments

Imagine you’re writing an AIR-based game that uses fullscreen at a rather high resolution and a full-frame rendering engine like, say, PV3D and you find out that AIR can’t really handle this.

After a lot of research it turns out that there seems to be no way in an AIR app to use the GPU mode that is otherwise supported by Flash embedded in HTML via wmodes parameter. In fact the docs state it’s not even supported by AIR …

… Flash Player 10 introduces two window modes, direct and GPU compositing, which you can enable through the publish settings in the Flash authoring tool. These modes are not supported in AIR …

While this is a definitive must for a hopefully soon appearing update there’s another issue with fullscreen modes … AIR doesn’t really feature any decent solution for fullscreen! You can have your app to be either in fullscreen OR in windowed mode but trying to be able to switch between both looks very ugly because the system chrome isn’t being disabled automatically when switching to fullscreen which results in that the window size will simply get maximized. So creating applications where you could let the user switch between fullscreen and windowed mode seems to be impossible at the moment with AIR 1.5.

I can understand that the Flash player on the web needs it’s security restrictions in this regard but AIR should definitely not be touched by this! I hope Adobe will improve this for a future update, AIR is a great platform for (complex) game development but these two issues are serious limitations to that!

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Setting up Eclipse for Flash Developers

April 12th, 2009 35 comments

I’ve been using Eclipse and FDT for several years now to develop Flash (and Flex) applications but I never really managed to set up Eclipse to exactly fit my needs. Either some desired tools were missing or I installed plug-ins that slowed down Eclipse with a truck load of stuff that I never need.

So today I finally figured out how to install the plug-ins that I really need and nothing else (well … almost nothing else). The following guide describes how you can set up your own custom Eclipse tailored for Flash/Flex development which features FDT plus Subclipse, a HTML, CSS, JavaScript and XML Editor and then some. The CSS Editor becomes especially useful for Flex Stylesheets.

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Alcon 3.1 Update

April 5th, 2009 No comments

Although Alcon version 4 is currently under development I’ve decided to release a small update for Alcon 3, version 3.1 since I’ve received a code signing certificate from Adobe and wanted to keep up with re-releasing the now-signed application on the AIR Market Place.

Besides that Alcon is now code-signed there is exactly one new feature in v3.1 which I called Key Tracer. You can toggle Key Tracing Mode from the Log menu. If you enable it you are able to press any keys and their key code (and if available character code) will be listed in Alcon’s output window which is a useful feature if you want to know the codes for some specific keys quickly.

More features where planned (and already started) like a Search function, Log Level Filtering and even a Calculator but these haven’t made it finished yet into v3 so most of them will come with version 4, which is – yet again – a complete re-write (I do loathe my source code that is over one year old ;) ).

The newest version can as always be found here.

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