Flash Game Development Inter-web mash up:September 22, 2008
The latest in Blog entries and articles that might interest Flash game developers. This week I decided to find search out some new sites (or ones I haven't covered in a while), as well as cover the usual suspects...
This time we cover some a new As3 Key class;AS3 Gotchas;Quad trees;A Zinc Browser; Blitting v. Sprites; Psychology for game developers; AS2 tile game theory; a bunch of games ( including 5 by deflogic), retro stuff and more.
Broken Button is a relatively new blog where JC has added some pretty cool content. This week he unveils his own Key class to replace the non-existant one in AS3. Also, his AS3 Gotchas includes some work-arounds for the non-existant XMLSend() method, as well as a list of other things missing or annoying about AS3.
The hatu.biz site has a very interesting 80% complete game up for you to test out. Called WhiFlash, you play a golem with a Flail, kicking some ass in a dungeon (that's my description, there is a much better on on the site). It's got the makings of a fun action rpg!
Over at Photon Storm, Rich as busied himself with some tests on Blitting v. Sprites and has some interesting findings. I also point you in the direction of my own findings that while not completely contradictory, paint a slightly prettier picture for the blitting crowd. Mine mostly covered ways to Blit and Animate: basically replicating MovieClip functionality, while Rich has replicated Sprite capability (no timeline animation to try and replicate with a blit). I will summarize because it is a LONG boring article that I wrote: I compared 5 different types of rendering with animation. The ones that used BitmapData were the best. The two best methods included individual sprites or a single blit canvas (done two different ways). Now, both of these use BitmapData to animate, it is just that the Sprite Method keeps an individual BitmapData object for each sprite frame of animation in an array and loops through them. All of the individual sprites are added to the display list, while the Blit canvas uses just one display object. The two different blit versions use either an array of BitmapData objects to animate from or blit directly from the tile sheet. At 100 - 1000 objects on the screen, the blit and the the individual sprite methods had the same basic frame rate, but at 5000-10000 objects, the blit version starts to outpace the the individual sprites with less memory used and a higher frame rate. Now, what does this all mean? Not much, you can choose to make games anyway that you want, but if you want to create a lot of particles and effects, you will probably find yourself with the need for 1000's of particles on the screen. But remember, The traditional GotoAndStop methods started to CRAWL at 500 objects and died at 1000. After reading Rich's post, I cannot figure out if he was using GotoAndStop or array of BitmapData for his fish. I can't see if the fish in Rich's example were animating through a series of frames, but that will definitely have an impact on performance. I certainly feel that Rich has a good point. I think the ease of Sprites, combined with the beauty of blitting an animation could be combined (as I did with my game RetroBlaster in AS2). Recently though, I have gone the entire Blitting route, and while I feel the game engines are very solid, I yearn for the ease of sprites...
Squize has added to his ever growing game development diary with a post about his latest for Gimme5.
Mr. Sun has added to his list of skills all game developers need with
Skills that All Game Developers Need Part 2: Psychology.
Here at 8bitrocket Towers, we have added a few new things in the last week:
Some Cool Retro Gaming stuff from around the Interweb-o-sphere
Steve added a simple beautiful fake commercial for an Intellivision version of Grand Theft Auto.
Some Fresh Kill From Mochi (games that are keeping me from working on my own)
Dante's Inferno - Kick ass Robotron like Action. This one is going in the Retro Showcase, pronto.
Flat Land - another retro masterpiece, destined for our Retro Showcase
(since the other two games were by deflogic, I decide to play the rest of his games on Mochi)
Check out Elecktra and Replicator and Swarm for absolute Retro action!!!
Look for all five to be added to our Retro Showcase later this week.
As always, check out Flashgameblogs.com for your daily dose.