Cool Links Category

  • Welcome to the Social Arcade

    Today The Game Creators released the first alpha of Social Arcade onto Facebook. I’ve been testing this one for a while, and it’s especially note-worthy for this blog because a) it’s written entirely in AS3 and b) it could flourish into something really big.

    The concept behind it was to create a “drag and drop” game maker, but all built into Facebook. So the games you make you can share with your friends, who in turn can go in and play your game – and if they like what they see, they can edit your game, create their own version, and share that with their friends too. And thus, it spreads.

    Only one game-type is supported right now (a scrolling platform genre) but I’ve seen the shoot-em-up core in action, and I know full-well that they’re going to be really expanding this system in the coming months. The ultimate goal being that you can create pretty much any type of arcade game.

    It’s only an alpha release but the guts of it are there. While the interface could do with some serious TLC and usability testing, the core concept is sound. Once more game types and behaviours are available (especially the ability to import your own assets, or even better create sprites by directly taking a photo from your Facebook gallery) then this could explode.

    Here’s a screen shot of a game I built (click it for a high res version). If you want to add the application for yourself then here’s the linkage: http://apps.new.facebook.com/socialarcade/

  • The 8bitrocket 24-hour game challenge

    Over on 8bitrocket Jeff is going through the motions of creating a game in 24 hours (that’s just 24 man-hours.. not all spent at once) and is blogging about the process.

    The game he has settled on is a loose remake of the Atari 2600 game Air-Sea Battle. In his first entry he’s spent an hour going over the different game types, how this could map to various levels within the game, and what his next steps will be.

    I have to admit I found the post very interesting. Both from the point of view that I’d love to do something similar (a 24-hour game challenge for myself), and also because I think he’s spent too long on stage 1 :) Planning is crucial, no doubt about it, but I think the plan is far too complicated at the moment and has too many differing factors in there (game stages, different potential level designs, etc). So I’ll be curious to see how many items on his list actually make the final build, because 24-hours for a complete game with original non-ripped graphics (kudos to him for using them) is actually a very short time.

    I also think because he is such an experienced programmer I bet it will take him a lot longer than say someone like Emanuele Feronato, who claims to create whole games in 45-minute plane trips (when you see the code, you appreciate why). I do wonder if Jeff will fall into the trap of wanting to make it sound on a code-design basis as well as game-design – and that takes precious time. Can’t wait to see how this plays out :)

  • SWF format goes totally open!

    The Flash blogging world has pretty much erupted today with this news. I read it first on Aral’s blog, but the short of it is that Adobe are going to make the SWF/FLV/FL4 formats totally open, with the license restrictions removed. This is massive, and this video details it all. The more pervasive the format becomes (across multiple devices, hello iPhone!) the more avenues we’ll have to deliver our content into. Which can only be a good thing!

  • AS3 Going’s On

    Flash on the Beach 2008 is coming September 28th. See you there!

    Francis Cheng has a fascinating blog entry about the new way you can use Object Initialisers in ECMA4

    Jack over at GreenSock has released two great new classes: TransformMatrixProxy and ColorTransformProxy – being a Shockingly Green Club GreenSock member I already had these :) but it’s great to see them in the wild.

    The uber-particle system Flint has been updated to version 1.0.1. This new build changes the way the renderers work, allowing you to now specify how large the render target is (before it was the full stage size). Release 1.0 also included particle flocking, which is great fun! Definitely check it out.

    Over on the Adventures in Actionscript blog a new entry gives away the full source to a feature-rich AS3 pre-loader that includes MochiAd, MochiBot, simple Domain locking and a Vista style glossy progress bar. A nice little package. You can get the progress bar on its own if the rest doesn’t appeal to you.

  • Animated Amiga Tribute

    I was always an Atari boy myself, but I can’t help but smile and adore this charming animated video – created on an Amiga4000 by none other than the mega-mighty Eric Schwartz. Click for YouTube goodness.