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Interesting product of the day

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Namo FlashCreator. Far as I can tell, this is the first serious competitor to Flash for building SWF content.

I played with it a bit and here are my initial impressions
  • The interface is a shameless ripoff of Flash. Just about every panel and tool is a pixel-for-pixel lookalike.
  • Once you get under the hood, the capabilities of the tool pale compared to the real thing (importing video, tracing bitmaps, scriptable environment, components, etc). Still, it's good enough for most stuff.
  • Startup time is extremely fast compared to the real thing. Full-blown flash takes quite a bit of time to start up. This thing, in comparison, is instantaneous.
  • It supports ActionScript 1.0 and 2.0, which puts it miles ahead of other competitors like Swish that's scripting is so rudimentary that it can't even implement Click The Yellow Rhombus.
  • Far as I can tell, its project file format is 102% incompatible with Flash's (and vice versa). If you intend to buy this with the thought of "graduating" to the real thing later, prepare to do a lot of cutting and pasting when it comes time to move your projects over.
  • At $45, it's about a 90% discount from the real thing.

In short, it's not a "world-class" application development tool with a million features, but it's got enough Flash in it to make some reasonable content. And it's priced well in the range of hobbyists. It'll be interesting to see if some of the BlitzBasic/DarkBasic/Torque/GameMaker crowd latches on to this tool, as it'd certainly work for that kind of audience.
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