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gonadgranny

Beginner game programming: Flash vs Engine

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gonadgranny    110

Hi. I am an artist/ designer with a bit of experience programming with actionscript 3 and also with arduino so i have an idea of the fundamental concepts of programming. 

I have recently been considering creating a simple game, similar to something like abes odyssey. It will mainly be story and art driven, I just need to implement the sidescrolling mechanics and some simple enimies etc. 

My question is, would it be worth using a game engine or could i achieve something like i described quite easily using flash? I am running os x so it would need to run on that and preferably be free. I am not sure how much freedom engines/ game builders give you and whether learning the new scripting language would be longer than using my as3 skills in flash. I am also drawn to flash since you can create the artwork and animations directly in the program itself but am worried that trying to create the engine myself might be a bit of a tall order,

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Dan.

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Bogdanas    131

You can use Flash or even GameMaker for side scroller, internet is full of tutorials how to create simple platformers . What platform are you targeting to "release" Your game? If You are creating it just for fun, You could even use some HTML5 engine (programming javascript)

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Serapth    6671

You are comparing apples to hand grenades.

 

Flash is a programming language/platform, very similar to Java for example.  There are a number of engines built on top of Flash ( flixel, flashpunk, etc ).

 

What you are describing is very easily accomplished in Flash.  It's a language that is vilified because of the plugin, but dont let that put you off.  You could accomplish the same thing in a great deal of other languages and products too however.  At this point, use what you are comfortable with.  If you like Flash, go with it.

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Digivance    1724

I would personally advise against flash for three major reasons.  First that there are many mobile devices that do not support flash at all.  Secondly, even devices that DO support flash may require the user to install a compatible version of the flash player even if they already have flash installed (which is known to drive potential players away).  Finally, HTML5 and Javascript powered engines and games sport just as much if not more performance than flash games and are much more lightweight.  No additional downloads, installs, browser restarts or any of the hassle you may potentially incur with flash.

 

With all of that said I also have to agree with Serapth that Flash is a platform that powers a proprietary programming language and can not be compared to an engine which is a set of API's, classes, methods and so on that simplify the game creation process.  The answer I think I'm getting at here is pick a programming language that best reaches your target audience with fewest hassles and find an engine for said language if possible.

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Serapth    6671

I would personally advise against flash for three major reasons. First that there are many mobile devices that do not support flash at all. Secondly, even devices that DO support flash may require the user to install a compatible version of the flash player even if they already have flash installed (which is known to drive potential players away). Finally, HTML5 and Javascript powered engines and games sport just as much if not more performance than flash games and are much more lightweight. No additional downloads, installs, browser restarts or any of the hassle you may potentially incur with flash.

With all of that said I also have to agree with Serapth that Flash is a platform that powers a proprietary programming language and can not be compared to an engine which is a set of API's, classes, methods and so on that simplify the game creation process. The answer I think I'm getting at here is pick a programming language that best reaches your target audience with fewest hassles and find an engine for said language if possible.

You are mixing Flash the plugin up with Flash the programming language.

You can compile Flash programs to iOS native, Android Native, to Air and bundle it, etc... So you can make it so the end user have no dependencies, etc. you can even compile to HTML now.

Flash the plugin should die in a fire, but Flash the programming language isn't all that bad.

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gonadgranny    110

Well thanks very much indeed to all who have replied. This really is just an exercise for fun, I'll be showing a few friends but have no real intention of publishing so the flash plugin problems aren't a real issue.Out of curiosity, why does everybody hate the flash plugin so much? Is it really that hard to download an update? It's been buggin me for a while since I keep hearing that its a dying technology but it seemed to me like a very comfortable platform for an artist to dabble in interactivity. For someone who works primarily in visuals a wysiwyg editor which also handles the animation side of things worked great. I think I've (with the help of you all) answered my own question here but maybe one of the reasons I was concerned is due to the bad press which Flash has been getting. 

another thing: Is it possible to import libraries into flash like for example a physics engine?

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Serapth    6671

Well thanks very much indeed to all who have replied. This really is just an exercise for fun, I'll be showing a few friends but have no real intention of publishing so the flash plugin problems aren't a real issue.Out of curiosity, why does everybody hate the flash plugin so much? Is it really that hard to download an update? It's been buggin me for a while since I keep hearing that its a dying technology but it seemed to me like a very comfortable platform for an artist to dabble in interactivity. For someone who works primarily in visuals a wysiwyg editor which also handles the animation side of things worked great. I think I've (with the help of you all) answered my own question here but maybe one of the reasons I was concerned is due to the bad press which Flash has been getting. 
another thing: Is it possible to import libraries into flash like for example a physics engine?



The biggest reason is style over substance. Flash is responsible for sooooooooooo many horrible websites, websites that are not scalable to the device screen, aren't compatible with screen readers for the blind, websites that scream audio, even though you rarely want that.

On top, Flash is a CPU whore, so it's hard on battery life, power consumption, slows your computer down etc... Plus the added crash and security problems. Flash has always been a tad on the unstable side,

And yes, it's possible.

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