2nd Aug 2011
I love the Internet. Well, more accurately I love the developers who hang out on it. And how sometimes they can throw unexpected delights at you, like one did tonight. An innocuous little tweet from @Borundin (one Magnus Gustafsson) caught my eye in an otherwise quiet Tweetdeck session: “Excellent tutorial! added some “multiplayer” features to Nutmeg using smartfoxserver”.
Hang on, you’ve gone and done what?!
Nutmeg was a 2-part tutorial I wrote for .net magazine, showing how to use Flixel to make a retro platform game. It was utterly single player in design. But Magnus had decided to throw Smartfox Server into the mix and make it multiplayer. Needless to say I logged on instantly and was greeted by several other little chicks charging around the land, collecting stars and bounding off pink cats. Quite frankly it was awesome
There are further details and a link to play on Magnus’s blog post. Me, I’m just pleased that someone felt inspired enough to do this. Being an author and open source developer is usually a very one-way process. It’s really nice when you get such a great kickback like this now and again. Motivation to continue indeed.
19th Jul 2011
A month ago .net magazine published part 1 of my article on how to build a Retro Game using Flixel. Well Issue 218 has now hit subscribers doormats and should now be in stores, and it contains the concluding article.
Part 2 deals with adding: A title page / attract mode, pink cat shaped baddies, a Game Over sequence, and music and sound effects. Everything audio in this part was composed by the mentally talented Brendan Ratliff (better known as Echolevel). He created a suitably “chick like” chiptastic title tune and plenty of in-game effects to pump-up the mood. The article includes a decent section on how he approached the music and the tools he used. Check out his work at echolevel.co.uk and if you want some top tunes for your game, drop him a line!
There’s a bit less Flixel code in part 2, and more general “wrapping up your game” topics such as selling it on FGL and distribution. But I hope you find it an interesting read all the same. To those of you who have gone out of your way to acquire the magazine to read part 1 I really do thank you – I know it’s not easy to buy, especially outside the UK. You may be pleased to know I’m in advanced talks with Packt Publishing about creating a Flixel specific book. Rather than spend 10 months churning out some monster that is utterly out of date the second it hits the press, Packt instead want to try publishing much smaller, more focused books. So 70 pages instead of 300+, quicker to author and much cheaper and more relevant as a result. If there is anything you’d like to see specifically covered in this book please drop me a line or leave a comment.
You can buy issue 217 (Part 1) and 218 (Part 2) from the magazines web site in download or print format
20th Jun 2011
.net magazine is apparently the “world’s best-selling magazine for web designers” which may be of little interest to game developers reading this, however issue 217 just hit the news stands and it contains Part 1 of my article on building an 8-bit inspired retro platformer in flixel
The article starts from ground zero and builds up, covering sprite sheets, tile maps, cameras and collision. Written for almost total beginners, with lots of well commented source code (available as a download) to accompany, it should serve as a gentle introduction to flash game dev. I will post the article on my blog eventually, but not for a couple of months. So if you’d like to see it earlier take a wander into your local newsagents, or you should be able to buy the issue online from the .net site. Part 2 will appear in issue 218 (September 2011)
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