Sign in to follow this  
TenTrHook

[web] flash game dev

Recommended Posts

TenTrHook    122
Howeya... I'm a student in a game development course... I am going to be making a flash game this year as one of our class projects ... The emphasis will be Game design.. such as making a game that plays well rather then looks fancy.. though gfx will play a part.. What is the lowdown with flash... It doesnt seem at first glance to be good with imported gfx (png images etc) ... would i be much better of going the route of vector gfx.. or is there some tips to using flash well... such as using 256 colours or such... basically i want the game to run smoothly as possible so as not to hinder the game... so any NOTICEABLE hints on how to get things to flow smoothly... lowering the screen size>? ...fullscreening the game etc... want to use the forum user's shoulders to leapfrog the pitfalls... as college is jam packed as it is help apprieciated...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Katta    560
Use vector graphics for small size. Keep everything as simple as possible for both size reduction and redraw speed. Don't disable manual video quality adjustments.

Newer computers don't have much trouble playing complex flash smooth, just so long as you don't full-screen it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hellz    356
Are you specifically talking about working with Flash, or the .swf file format? If you're talking about the file format, be aware that Director yields better results in terms of performance. That doesn't mean to say that all games should be produced in Director, it's just something I'm pointing out.

As it happens, I much prefer Flash to Director anyway, but I'm drifting off-topic.

As Katta has rightly pointed out, vector graphics really are the way to go. Flash was never designed to produce huge .swf files, and even with Flash 5, exported .swf files of 3MB and up, are quite unstable. I'm not sure how the goalposts have changed for MX, but it should be a bit better than that (at least, I'd like to think so).

Anything you can draw in vector instead of using .bmps or .pngs would be of huge benefit to you. However, remember that you can actually convert files into vector graphics by continuously using the break apart command from inside Flash. I think it does lower the detail, but check it out and you might find it to be of use.

Also, you could always turn the quality of your movie down. That would certainly give you a performance increase, but it depends whether you're fine with the graphics quality decrease. Experiment before committing to a specific quality level.

Oh and one other thing that can significantly lower performance is any kind of bitmap tweening. As always, use vectors wherever possible.

Incidentally, what sort of game are you actually looking to produce? Is it something like Pong/BreakOut or something more complicated? If it's a side-scroller, definitely make sure the scrolling background is drawn with vector graphics. Doing that with a bitmap would be a very bad idea.

One last note, in case you need it. You can get plug-ins to export to Flash from programs such as 3D Studio Max. That means you can create a 3D model, render a specific animation that you'd like and export it to frames in Flash. It will dramatiicaly increase file size, but can be useful for small high-detail sequences or more extended, low-detail sequences.

Good luck with the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnhattan    2346
Unlike Director, Flash doesn't care about screen depth. Since it's largely vector-oriented, using tricks that would work on raster-oriented programs (like lowering the bit-depth) won't make a bit of difference.

Definitely work on optimizing the size of vector objects, though. That means breaking 'em apart (so that you're not drawing a lot of vectors that will never be seen because they're underneath other stuff) and optimizing 'em for the fewest curves. That way the renderer's not spending a lot of time drawing a complex image when a simpler one would look just as good.

In one of my games, I imported some clipart and it turned out to have thousands of curves, slowing down my program when I moved a bunch of it around. Thankfully, the images were fairly small on the screen, so I let Flash do some aggressive curve optimization. The new images looked pretty horrible zoomed in, but looked just fine when very small, and the game performed much better.

Oh, and don't be afraid of bitmaps. Flash can move bitmaps around fairly well. It's just that scaling and rotating bitmaps is a pretty computationally-expensive operation while scaling and rotating vector objects is comparatively cheap. If you don't have plans to scale and/or rotate a bitmap, Flash can display it without much trouble.

"Fullscreening the game" in Flash terms just stretches the game's window to the size of the screen (unless you're using a tool like Flash Studio Pro or Screenweaver that can adjust the machine's resolution). That means that all of your graphics get stretched proportionally. That's a problem if you're using bitmaps. If you want your game to run full-screen, and you don't plan to adjust the machine's resolution, you'd better be all vector. Trust me on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fractoid    703
To hijack the OP's thread, albeit on topic, does anyone know any free tools for authoring Flash? I'd be interested in learning how to use it (java is dying as a web-page-embeddable environment, and flash looks great for rapid prototyping among other things), but I don't want to cough up $$$++ for Director.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnhattan    2346
I'm not aware of any free (or even cheap) tools that can author Flash to the extent that you could create a game with 'em. Most cheap Flash tools are just wizards that allow you to easily make cool text effects or simple animations for ads or web page effects.

The only tool that's got reasonably good support for scripting in Flash is Flash itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this