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What is a good alternative to Flash/Flex ?

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Hi!

(If you don't like reading long texts, just skip to the next paragraph.)

Recently I got soo bored of my day job, that I started to build a game as hobby. Having loved games like MUDs, MUXes, X-Com, MOO2, Civ etc.., I decided to give a shot to a simple MMO, similar to OGame and maybe Travian. The only languages I knew were Delphi and Ansi C, so I had to learn new languages anyway.

So I choosed PHP & MySql for backend and Flash with AS3/Flex. I'm also using the Flashpunk engine (Great btw.).

I don't have any problem with those. Everthing is going fine and the game progresses. However, due to the recent buzz that Flash is dying, I thought maybe I should leave Flash, before diving any more deeper.

In that case, what can you suggest as alternative to Flash? What I liked in Flash was:

+ Flash Builder 4.5 (althoug IDE is slow), with solid UI library, like buttons, data grids, etc..
+ Easy to send XML POSTs to PHP pages using built-in HTTPService components.
+ Easy to get XML data from PHP using the same components.
+ Very easy to draw decent graphics on the screen using Flashpunk. Tilemaps, sprites, spritesheets, animation,...easy as cake.

Thanks :)

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I don't have any problem with those. Everthing is going fine and the game progresses. However, due to the recent buzz that Flash is dying, I thought maybe I should leave Flash, before diving anybro more deeper.


Flash isn't going anywhere for PCs. Whether you think PCs (and laptops and netbooks) are the future of gaming or not is very much a matter of opinion :-)

The only other option for a 2D browser game that makes sense is HTML5 + CSS3 + JavaScript. For rendering, you can use DIVs/jQuery, or Canvas, or SVG. There are various libraries that help with the construction of the front-end, such as backbone.js or jquery or underscore.js or others, and even some libraries that help with the back-end, such as socket.io (assuming you use node.js).

For 3D, it's a shoot-out between WebGL (which is unlikely to be supported by Internet Explorer anytime soon) and Unity3D (which requires a plug-in, and a proprietary tool with a free "lite" version to author). ChromeFrame with WebGL might help with the IE story, if you're prepared to do the legwork to pull all the pieces together. Flash 3D is also getting penetration (with flash player 11.1) but Silverlight 5 with XNA 3D seems like it's on the way out, as Microsoft has put significant doubt about the future of Silverlight. Neither of those two work on cell phones or tablets, either.

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Thanks for the quick reply. I'll ask some more (most possibly dumb) questions then :}


First of all I don't think I can crank out all the basics by myself, so I want to use an engine, or at least a decent framework.
It doesn't have to be a first grade think. I prefer simplicity and easiness to use over bleeding-edge technology. I checked Unity but seems overly complicated for me. Also I don't need 3D.

That said, I googled around and found impact.js but, (now comes the dumb question). Does these .js things work together ? Seems like impact.js doesn't have network support. What I want is simply to draw some 2D graphics and send/receive XML to PHP pages.

By the way how does Travian or OGame works? With HTML5+JavaScript+CSS ?
Anyway, maybe I should keep on actually produce and ship something with Flash and later worry about those things :-I

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Thanks for the quick reply. I'll ask some more (most possibly dumb) questions then :}


First of all I don't think I can crank out all the basics by myself, so I want to use an engine, or at least a decent framework.
It doesn't have to be a first grade think. I prefer simplicity and easiness to use over bleeding-edge technology. I checked Unity but seems overly complicated for me. Also I don't need 3D.

That said, I googled around and found impact.js but, (now comes the dumb question). Does these .js things work together ? Seems like impact.js doesn't have network support. What I want is simply to draw some 2D graphics and send/receive XML to PHP pages.

By the way how does Travian or OGame works? With HTML5+JavaScript+CSS ?
Anyway, maybe I should keep on actually produce and ship something with Flash and later worry about those things :-I


you can use jquery to simplify loading of xml or json data. (i find json to be a bit easier to deal with)
I think Travian is just plain old HTML4 + php with little or no use of JavaScript (These games are very common as they are easier to write, the drawback is that the entire page gets reloaded when an action is performed which increases server load quite alot.) (I have not played travian or ogame though so i don't know exactly how those are built)

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Does these .js things work together ?


If they do different things, then you can use them together. For example, jQuery + socket.io will work fine together, because they don't step on the same areas of work. Meanwhile, YUI and jQuery UI are unlikely to work well together, because each of them approaches UI construction differently.


By the way how does Travian or OGame works? With HTML5+JavaScript+CSS ?
[/quote]

No idea. How about you "view source" and look at the page that comes back? I find that Chrome Developer Tools and Firebug in Firefox are excellent tools when picking a site apart (most commonly, your own site, which you'll need to debug a lot :-)

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