Certainly many of you heard some speculation recently that the iPhone might finally be getting Flash, only to be followed by the disappointing announcement of – No, you wish, keep dreaming. Quite frankly I wasn’t too surprised or therefore disappointed, but still a little bitter. The idea of developing for perhaps the biggest technological craze of my lifetime would be both financially and ‘spiritually‘ intriguing. Since Flash content makes up a huge percentage of the web now and the iPhone is all about that it makes sense right? I mean even some of the clunkiest of phones now have the ability to display Flash content. So why won’t the iPhone get with the freakin’ program already?
Basically it all comes down to the fact that Apple can’t make any money off of browser based games and utilities. It would kill their App Store – Not to mention: Why would anyone still be willing to pay $100 A Year for the SDK if all you needed was some hosting space and a domain name?
It’s ok.. I didn’t think “There’s a Website For That.” was too catchy of a slogan anyways.
Flash Builder 4
I’ve been using Flash Builder 4 beta for a couple of months now and for the most part have been quite pleased. FB is the follow up to Flex 3. Adobe states that the name change is to help distinguish between the open-source Flex framework and their commercial IDE. Makes sense, but personally I like the name packaged with the initial beta release – ‘Gumbo’!
So anyways, the license on my copy of Flash Builder mysteriously stopped working yesterday. After a brief panic attack I decided to check out the Adobe Labs website and noticed that the beta 2 release was out. Cool! As with beta 1, my Flex 3 license is supposed to provide me with a new working FB copy – however, licensing software is one of my least favorite things to do so I’ll get back to that after the weekend. The renewed 60 day trial will suffice for now.
In this post I would like to introduce you to a custom class I wrote for working with sprite sheets. Now “what’s a sprite sheet?” you might ask. Well, while I’m not going to delve into much of the theory or the speed benefits from using them, you should know a few things:
A sprite sheet is a collection of sprites arranged into a single image, where each sprite represents a frame of an animation, an asset, a part of an image, or something to that extent. The idea of a sprite sheet has been utilized for a long time, namely in early gaming systems like Atari and Nintendo. In recent times they are most often used for efficient bitmap animation and are extremely useful in tile based games for level creation.
When loading external assets, many times you will find that it is much more time and code efficient to load many in one state – Not to mention that when used effectively this can save memory. Also, once you start animating many objects in a scene you will see a real performance spike when compared to regular Flash keyframe animation. Props to 8bitrocket for some useful info.
Once you really get going into designing basically any kind of computer game – whether it be a 2-D platformer like Contra or even online video Poker – you are eventually going to need some kind of keyboard control besides general typing. Traditionally this could be the arrow keys or W,A,S,D for movement, spacebar for jumping or plasma-ray firing, R for retry or Q for quit, but really the level of control is up to you.
So I’m sitting here, having recently misplaced my glasses, and it’s become quite apparent to me that I can’t see. Somehow in the midst of the unfortunate circumstances I find the inspiration for my first tutorial: