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[web] Textured Isometric (flash)

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I've seen countless tutorials/demos about isometric in flash, but none of them are textured. Why is that? Is it too slow?


First, to clarify terms, I assume you mean why do the demos/tutorials use vector art with solid-color fills instead of bitmap fills or sprites? (Flash can't do true polygonal texturing, but the latest versions can do some 2D approximations.)

Most of the tutorials/demos I'm aware of the web (like TonyPa's or Kirupa's) were written for Flash 5 or Flash MX. In these versions of Flash, bitmap operations were not all that accelerated and didn't offer much of an advantage over vector art. Plus, most of these creators were using the Flash tool itself to generate the example art in their demos.

Now, with Flash 8 and 9, Adobe has introduced some significant bitmap optimizations including a class (BitmapData) that gives direct, fast access to bitmaps and allows the developer to create offscreen buffers, sprite sheets, etc., just as one would in a traditional bitmap API like SDL or DirectDraw.

I consider Flash Player 8 to be equivalent to an SNES or 386+VGA PC. So, I'd imagine you could implement just about any game with comparable performance from thsoe platforms in Flash. Flash Player 9, which has a JIT, probably gets more in the ballpark of a 486+SVGA.

Of course, there are some operations in Flash that are as fast as would be expected on current hardware, such as the bitmap filters (blurs, drop-shadows, glows, convolution filters) and audio (MP3 decoding, mixing, spectrum analysis) because they are implemented in native assembler. As a result, there are many operations that Flash can do significantly faster (and more on par with native code) than can be done in straight ActionScript.

My impressions, though I've not dabbled yet personally, is that Flash Player 9 with ActionScript3 (which is JIT'd) will give you results more similar to Java (when its JIT'd) in timing pure ActionScript code. The advantage of Flash is all of the built-in graphics operations (and of course, lower content overhead).

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Original post by Simagery
I consider Flash Player 8 to be equivalent to an SNES or 386+VGA PC. So, I'd imagine you could implement just about any game with comparable performance from thsoe platforms in Flash. Flash Player 9, which has a JIT, probably gets more in the ballpark of a 486+SVGA.

I agree with you most of the statements in your post, but this one unfortunately is wrong beyond wrong. I actually have an isometric engine in Flash that could rival one build in any other language/API (obviously not 3D rendering with an isometric angle, I'm talking a 2D API) and the bonus is that it works in a browser or as stand-alone. With Flash 9 and JIT compiled ActionScript it is quite an awesome platform now.

I highly doubt the game Dofus (which is MX/8 targetted not even 9!) would run on a 386. Also here is a small RTS demo.. I would still use a 386 if it could do this.

[Edited by - Saruman on October 18, 2006 3:33:05 PM]

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Saruman i've seen the tonypa tutorials, they are good theory but none of them employ textured isometric views.

The small demo you provided in your final post is exactly what I'm aiming for... how do you accomplish that?!

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Original post by Saruman
Quote:
Original post by Simagery
I consider Flash Player 8 to be equivalent to an SNES or 386+VGA PC. So, I'd imagine you could implement just about any game with comparable performance from thsoe platforms in Flash. Flash Player 9, which has a JIT, probably gets more in the ballpark of a 486+SVGA.

I agree with you most of the statements in your post, but this one unfortunately is wrong beyond wrong.


I should have been more clear: *computationally*, I'd put Flash Player 8 on par with a 386. As I mentioned, when it comes to some functions (like bitmap ops in Flash8+), Flash is equivalent to any current 2D API. The point I was trying to make was that if you wanted to do something like Doom, which certainly runs on a 386/486, you'd be hardpress in Flash because the *ActionScript* part doesn't run anywhere near as fast as native code. Of course, you could probably get pretty close by decomposing it to bitmap ops (which some have done to get Wolf3D-style rendering).

Don't be mistaken, I'm *completely* all for Flash game development and have absolutely no qualms with its performance (particularly in Flash 9). You can certainly read all of my grandizing at my blog.

Quote:
I highly doubt the game Dofus (which is MX/8 targetted not even 9!) would run on a 386. Also here is a small RTS demo.


To be honest, Dofus would probably run on a 386 *if* the bitmap ops were accelerated (like they are in Flash, but wouldn't have been on a 386). As would the RTS demo (there's like 3 sprites moving at once, not exactly a performance demo). Don't take my suggestion of "386" as also meaning "320x200, 256 colors", because that's certainly a leg-up Flash has: true color bitmap ops at high resolution (and square pixels!).

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