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Mac OS or Flash?

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I want to get started in game development, but I'm not sure what programming language to use. I already know C, Objective-C and a bit of Java. And a couple of years ago I developed a couple of DOS games at school. The problem I have is that I'm developing on a mac, so I basically have two options, to develop games for mac, or to use Flash. I want to start with some relatively simple 2D games, although after that I would like to learn OpenGL and start creating some games in 3D. The most natural approach would be to start developing mac games, however not many people will be able to play them, and I don't know how easy would it be to port them to Windows. On the other hand, Flash and ActionScript do not look very promising, but at least pretty much anyone with a web browser can play them. Anyone got any suggestions? Also, if you think that I should go for Flash, what is the best way to start? Using Macromedia Flash and do everything there, or use Eclipse with either the ASDT or FDT plugin?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Have a look at SDL (http://www.libsd.org), which is a cross-platform multimedia API. With a little care I think you could get your software running on both Windows and OSX without too much work, but I haven't done cross-platform development so don't take my word for it. ;) If you want OpenGL to go with it that's of course available as well.

Depending on your requirements, you could also go with a higher-level language such as Python. There you can gain access to SDL through the PyGame library (http://www.pygame.org/).

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I come from a deep background of Flash. It's great for 2D stuff, but it's abysmal at 3D. Actionscript (AS) is terrible for debugging (no variable types... you can take a variable and make an int, double, object, movieclip, whatever). AS2 (Flash MX04 or later) is better, but it's still not in the same caliber as conventional languages. It's really easy to turn your code into string cheese too, since you can stick it all over in various movieclips. Overall, Flash is really really slow, but for 2D web-based stuff, it works really well.

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Quote:
Original post by neop
The problem I have is that I'm developing on a mac, so I basically have two options, to develop games for mac, or to use Flash.

You have many, many more options than that. For instance, you could work in a high-level, portable language like Python or Ruby (with an appropriate game programming library like PyGame). Or you could use a platform abstraction layer like SDL to make your games source portable across Mac OS, Windows, Linux and other platforms. Or you could develop your games in Java.

Quote:
Original post by marshdabeachy
I come from a deep background of Flash. It's great for 2D stuff, but it's abysmal at 3D. Actionscript (AS) is terrible for debugging (no variable types... you can take a variable and make an int, double, object, movieclip, whatever).

Static type checking is the lowest form of debugging, and has the least positive impact on overall program stability. Plus, given the dynamic nature of ActionScript (it's ECMAScript, just like JavaScript), you can trap runtime exceptions, modify state dynamically, transparently express things that are impossible in a statically typed language like C++, or difficult in a half-ass typed language like Java.

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