26th Aug 2008
The post title says it all really! If like me your AS3 coding life depends on FlashDevelop, then do yourself a favour and grab the new 3.0.0 Beta 8 release (and leave Mika a donation in the process!).
New to this release include improved GUI changes, various code completion updates, new templates and even basic PHP highlighting.
14th Aug 2008
Ricardo Cabello released a really nifty stats tracker the other day. Just download the Stats.as file from his Google Code site, create the following folder structure: net / hires / utils and place the Stats.as file into that. Once done you can import the package into your own code and make use of it.
The end result? A beautiful little real-time performance display that looks like this:
The FPS gives you a current and maximum frame rate count (the maximum is derived from the stage frame rate setting). The MS is a micro-second counter. MEM is the total memory (in MB) your SWF is using.
The cute little graph below that is a historical visualisation of these three things, so you can watch for spikes / peaks during activity. You can click the top/bottom of the stats to increase/decrease the stage framerate.
Using it is as simple as adding one line of code:
All I’d say is remember to make sure this happens on the TOP of all of the rest of your display list items.
4th Aug 2008
Somewhat inspired by my previous vectorball tests, and also from unearthing a load of my old demo source code, I decided to start porting some of the effects to AS3 into a single easy-to-use library, Demo FX Lib. Today I coded a nice image “drop down” effect, and a comprehensive 3D starfield routine. I’m very pleased with the starfield as it’s both smooth and versatile, you can literally tweak every value as it’s running, for some nice real-time effects.
The object of these effects is that you can literally pull them into your game as needed. None of them mess with the stage, all of them return (and work on) either a single bitmap or sprite, so can slot-in easily to an existing system. I want to add a classic scroll-text system, plasma and some other traditional effects before I release the library.
3rd Aug 2008
I was messing around with a little of my old DarkBASIC code last Friday, and figured it would be fun to port it to AS3. I threw in some extra effects and a new shiny ball graphic and here is the end result of an hours work. Adding scaling and z-depth sorting was pretty easy. You do get quite a bit of “popping” because I only z-depth once per loop, but I can live with that
Adding a depth blur or hue shift is next on the list if I feel like it. There are 18 different wave forms in total. The SWF is 640×480 and published at 60fps (really meant for running on the desktop, but there we go)
3rd Jun 2008
The awesome Alternativa 3D demos released a while back blew the Flash blogosphere away. Now the company behind them have released the full AlternativaPlatform package as an SWC for you to play with. It supports Flash10 out of the box as well. This is great news if you’re after a monstrously fast 3D engine for Flash.
The only downsides (and they are quite significant) at this moment in time are:
1) If you don’t speak Russian, the documentation is non-existent. Even the ASDoc dumping is fully Russian, so unless you can figure out how the whole system works from a couple of demos and a huge list of method names, you’re going to have to do some SERIOUS trial and error!
2) The Commercial use license costs thousands of Euros. If you can absorb this cost (or rather if your client can!) then it’s not an issue. But I wonder how things will fall with regard to people who make the games for free, then try to get them sponsored, or put adverts on the front via MochiBot / GameJacket. I’m guessing that would breach the current license policy.
So, given these two things I won’t be jumping in just yet – but it’s certainly something to keep a VERY close eye on!
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