Get ye Flash (tutorials)

(I never did quite finish that game back in high school. Brownie points and perhaps actual brownies if you know what I’m referring to.)

So practically six weeks later, here are some good Flash tutorials I’ve been using for my gamedev classes lately for the little kids, as promised. My own tutorials for Angry Birds…well…blew up. Thankfully, the art of Flash has been around long enough where people smarter and more clever than myself have made wonderful tutorials that are good for both learning and implementation.

Whether or not you still use Flash and want to brush up on your skills, or never even used it before, searching for helpful tips and code can be like sailing into a hurricane. Is this AS2 or AS3? Does this go on the main timeline or in its own .as file? Will I ever truly get ye Flash?

Below are two of my favorites that I’ve been using lately, though as I come across more I’ll add to the list. If there are some you also like that you want to highlight, leave a comment below and I can add it to this master list here. I also plan to do something similar for CoronaSDK and Ren’py. I would do one for MarmaladeSDK, but honestly its own documentation is so good that I haven’t been as satisfied by other outside sources when it comes to that type of bare-bones Lua. That’s my own two gold dubloons though.

kirupa

Kirupa is a great tutorial hub for not only Flash, but for anything else webby – CSS, Javascript, so on.

Kirupa is similar to SourceForge, StackOverflow, or Tuts+. (In fact if you’re fairly seasoned with searching for coding tutorials you probably know all of that.) It offers a variety of different tutorials for coding languages, however unlike the other examples, this one is run by Kirupa Chinnathambi, a Program Manager at Microsoft. Aside from his own helpful tutorials (yay pictures!), the forums are also a great treasure trove where other users can pitch in to help out with your questions and coding problems. I’m featuring Kirupa specifically, as opposed to the others, since I was able to find AS2 examples fairly easily, and some have been the best ones I’ve found in a long time. Anyone who still uses AS2 or wants to do something quick in it (regardless of what skill level they are) can vouch for how difficult finding something for it can be.

Emanuele has great visual tutorials on not only Flash, but newer software such as Stencyl.

Emanuele has great visual tutorials on not only Flash, but newer software such as Stencyl.

These days, virtually anyone can set up camp on the Internet and fish out great tutorials, but there are some who are the cream of the crop. Emanuele Feronato, Italian programmer, is one of those fine folk where once you see his work, you’ll scream around the house wondering where he’s been all your life and why you haven’t found him sooner. While the downside for you AS2-ers is that you might be out of luck finding ANYTHING done in that, a great way to learn AS3 is to check out the tutorials here. However, if you happen to be on Team Flash-is-Dead, there’s also tutorials for Stencyl and HTML5. Don’t worry, I won’t pry on why you’re looking at a Flash reference page if you feel that way. Denial is the first step, and is a misspelling of a river that runs through Egypt.

Flash is a great tool whether you want to get into programming, want to do something that’s not just animation, or you’re looking to flex your finger muscles and your mind. If you find other sites that have helped you out in a pinch, comment below. Thanks for reading and good luck!

A word on Project: Mittens and others

Two announcements! First off, I can finally release artwork and a demo based on the 2D RPG game I was working on with a colleague, Project: Mittens. Link opens to the demo we have so far, and a more finalized version will be out at September 30th.

Starting classes you can choose from, at left to right and top to bottom: Ninja, Wizard, Monk, and Engineer.

 

Example of one of the enemies you’ll be fighting, a rat. Armor coming soon!

 

In the mean time, a working demo is almost finalized for The Chair: Prison Break, based off of the successfully funded graphic-novel-to-indie-movie Kickstarter. Surprisingly enough, I got collisions working, and some obstacles and projectiles are now moving across the screen! (Will have a better gif at the end of the week to demonstrate this.)

Of all things though, the next hurdle became showing the player how many lives they have left! Arrays didn’t work, and when I used spritesheets instead, Marmalade decided to run out of memory and crash the game for the night. I’ll have to come up with a backup solution for the time being, but it’s a method I’m not fond of using for the final release unless nothing else works.

The demo is due by the weekend, so my next update will have all of the goodness I can show for, as the game wraps up quickly. I’m excited to finish up this amazing project, it’s taught me well on the ins and outs of Lua, and while some parts can still be frustrating, it’s becoming to make more sense to me. I’ve even looked at my code now and realized how much more efficient I can make it for the final release.

So with that, Project Mittens, and This Game Is Not A Dating Sim being wrapped up for demos soon, it’s fun seeing everything come together in one big package. For so long everything I’ve done or helped with has been under development that it felt like there was no end in sight. Good to see some great feedback out of it!

 

Speaking of, two Let’s Players reviewed my game for Insanity Jam #2! One was brought on by Lone Roach Studios and was quite extensive and amusing to watch! I didn’t even notice I had a few grammatical errors in the dialogue, so I appreciate him going out of his way to really provide good feedback with his LP!

The 2nd is Jupiter Hadley, who did a brief LP for all of the submitted games. I recommend watching through all of them (many on there I liked myself), but if you wanna jump to just mine, it’s towards the end. A great shoutout no less!

Currently, the game is still tied for first place for the jam with a whopping 8 out of 10! I kindly ask you again to spread the word, and play and vote if you hadn’t yet. You have until August 11th! (I was misinformed last time, you have an extra day!) Thank you, and good luck everyone!

Smells like progress

Hello all! I mean to update the other day but then it escaped my mind, so for this update I decided to just post early rather than wait midweek again.

I have a progress gif of the finished sprite for Sullivan; he since is bigger now but here’s his animation regardless.

 

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Now walk it off! 1, 2, 3, 4…

 

Next update I’ll have other elements added, most likely not sprite related but some more things regarding game mechanics.

I also finished cleaning up my new portfolio site, though I still need to add other examples of my more recent work. I wanted to add collapsible divs but the code I was using wasn’t cooperating with it, so I went for anchor jumps instead and so far it’s worked well. It’s also much more mobile friendly than my previous layout.

 

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How come my color schemes always remind me of ice cream flavors…

Adventures in Lua and Pixel Art

So after my dilemma regarding CoronaSDK  and iOS development using Windows, I had since moved on to Marmalade and I love it! I still like Corona but I will use it for Android builds only, though since I took advantage of a free yearly license kudos to the GDC, why the heck would I switch? Both cost the same and Marmalade does way way more. Very powerful stuff. Remind me to kill my Corona subscription later next year.

(Though a colleague of mine reminded me Unity has a 2D engine now, and I could have used it in the first place. We won’t talk about that however, since it just reminds me that I’m a dingus of a developer sometimes. Or I just wanted to do some Lua bonding that bad. Oh my.)

 

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Some basic elements for the game so far. Background was made by me; the sprites are from tutorials as placeholders.

 

Nothing super fancy so far going on for my brother’s game (see above), but I did get a timer and score going, as well as other basics like laying out animated sprites and touch events. Though I made the background to be more finalized art, there’s a chance it won’t be the final version used for the game. Still playing around with how pixelated I want the style to be. For my next update I plan to have a jumping animation and even a hit box test, so that you can collect the coins and improve your score that way. The hit boxes will also be useful for obstacles and collecting other things like power-ups.

Somewhat game dev related, I also am remaking my current portfolio site. For some reason the JQuery on my 2nd page died, and won’t load the new beautiful version I set up on my FTP, despite the preview working well beforehand. At least it shows part of my script for Compendium, but still. Since my portfolio needed some organization anyway, I figure it was a good opportunity to jazz it up.

 

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Mmm, smells like HTML5 and CSS3!

 

I’m using a responsive grid gallery kudos to codrops, since I generally like their tutorials and their HTML5 galleries, in particular. I’m a sucker for good web design though, and the marvels we can do with it. I still get really excited when I discover new things about it, such as that CSS3 allows embedded fonts! No more same old Arial or Helvetica here! What you see in the screencap is a working page, not a Photoshop mockup! Beautiful stuff.

I also made the resume icon you see at the top right corner there, and am considering making a high-res vector of it that others can use as well. (I may reverse the colors so that it matches better with the other ones though.) I miss making icons and vectors. Even though I just made a handful last week for another game project.