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LordZod6

Flash for full length non-browser games?

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I'm developing a game for children that involves point and click gameplay and some keyboard interaction. The game will have relatively simple 2D animations. I've been recommended to use Flash 8 and Zinc (Zinc allows you to compile he flash file into an exe). I was wondering what you guys think of Flash for game development. Does anyone in the industry actually use flash to create non-browser games? What are its limitation in terms of performance? What are its limitation in terms of functionality? Any compatibility issues? I guess I’m just paranoid that Flash won’t have the performance I need (even for a simple 2D game). Any thoughts or opinions would be helpful. Thanks.

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there are some games made with flash,
but I can't recall some names, I have to admit ^^

for creating a .exe you don't need an external tool,
flash itself could create an executable flash player...


Marc

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Almost forgot about this post...

So far flash is performing well for me. I had some problems at first
because the artist has some filter effects set on the clips. The frame rate
dropped by almost 50%

Once I turned off the filters it was fine.

Marc, with Zinc you can also change the resolution, create full screen apps,
use a joystick, etc. I'm not sure if flash can do all this but if it can,
awesome. I'll look into to that.

Thanks.

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I believe that I remember reading on theZBuffer.com a while ago that the Xbox 360 XBLA game Hexic HD was totally done in Flash. ZMan rewrote the game with XNA for the GDC '06 conference a few months ago.

I also believe that several other XBLA games are also flash. I could be wrong though...

[Edited by - Billr17 on July 22, 2006 3:36:09 PM]

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I've seen a few full-length games done with Flash. I don't like the Flash environment nearly enough to put together one, but I can certainly see how you would be able to do it. The portability to OS X is a nice 'gimme' too.

One of the guys on the YakYak forums was putting together a Spectrum-style screen-based platformer with Flash and just produced an executable Flashplayer for OSX and Windows. Several games are using FlashLite for menus and whatnot in modern console games. John Hattan is using flash for his standalone puzzle games, hooked up to a C++ core that handles XML, file management, and some other stuff.

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I remember Star Wars StarFighter on the Playstation2 uses Flash for its GUI. I know some games on the PS2 and Xbox use Flash in the same way like this article explains back from the vaults. But ive never heard of games made purely in Flash making it on consoles, besides examples mentioned above that are available on Xbox LiveArcade.

The only issue with flash players that the rendering is done mainly through software, which affects the performance at times. Once Adobe points and sorts out this situation, your justification that you are paranoid about performance will be put away. I last heard that future Flash players will be rendered through OpenGL via hardware, which is a positive step. Until that has been inplemented into Flash, the quality of games will vary due to performance of the Flash players.That will not do justice to your product.

A simple 2D game will be viable, but it is best to understand Flash weaknesses and assess how you are going to go around these problems. I used to develop flash games, and the main frustration is the lack of freedom of control in how to run your app. Sometimes you have to have full control so you can do the messy development stuff that can improve performance like memory allocation, etc.

I would recommend you to develop a full running flash game, but be totally aware of the total weaknesses of the performance of the flash player. Plan and analyse how you can make you game run efficiently as you do not use too much animation as most users have low-to-decent spec PC. I think like that as for that reason, as i would like to reach to as many potential users as possible. The best thing about flash is that a flash player exe can run on VIRTUALLY any Windows PC that runs from Windows95 onwards, theres no problems like you would get in games developed in DirectX,etc. Most computers can run flash , but not all can cope with its performance lapses. So expect lags in rendering, sound and input.

Because i havent messed with flash for a few years i cant fill you in with the latest technologies. But another alternative for the kind of thing you are trying to do is Director MX 2004. It is a lot more powerful, and more expensive. It was made specifically for standalone apps, rather than web like flash. It handles point and click as keyboard interaction is a whole lot better in my opinion than flash. It has all the things you want and more. I am not a rep from Adobe,trust me. I havent used it since Uni, and i used it for several years before, but for a quickly developed application with functionality like point and click with more performance consistancy use Director.

Look at your options first, as I feel there are many reasons to do a game in a standalone flash exe, but there are many issues that are included. But Director can do the good things Flash can but with better performance and more functionality. Compatibility is around the same as it can run on most Windows PCs (as long as you dont render your game in DirectX using Director!)...

Hope that helped mate...
Regards

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I doubt that flash will ever have hardware rendering, it was never designed to be used for games, and never will be. The way it is right now ensures that it it is completely platform independent, and, like what adobe wants to use for, will even run on cell phones, and PDA's, which hardly have any video hardware that you could use. Personally i would not use flash for serious games, it's simply not made for it, and will lack some things that for example C++ would be able to do. Like any 3D game with the current graphical detail that most games have. This, obviously is mostly my personal opinion, you certainly can make a full game in flash if you wanted to, then again, i could argue that i could write a game for my digital camera ( in theory ), it would work, but would it be optimal? hardly. I suppose in the end it's all about what exactly you want to do with it. I'd say 3D is a 'no go', but 2d games should work.

As a sidenote, i happen to know dofus, and it's pretty smart how they made that, but you can notice the limitations with flash, as you have to move thru every map, a bit in the same fasion of the 2d zelda dungeons.

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You might consider shockwave as well. Lingo is an easy language to learn and shockwave has some added benefits. It remains cross platform, it does hardware accelerated 3d if you want the option of 3d, and has havok physics built in. Also, it already has the ability to compile to executables(called projectors).

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