Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to Start Develop Flash Game?

Before we start the topic on 'How to Start Develop Flash Game?', we need to know some basic on the 'Flash' first. Flash is one of the program (like Java) that allow you to interact on animations, forms, games and it can be embedded into Internet Webpage. It is a dynamic object-oriented scripting programming, and integrated the video, graphic, audio with playback functions. Surely, you need the Adobe Flash Player to play the games or products that developed in Flash technology.

How to Start Develop Flash Game?

You need to setup the basic development environment with some of the below tools first in order to start develop the Flash game.

1. Download and install the Adobe Flash Player.

2. You need to have the Flash debugging tool (Projector and ActiveX) for the Flash Player. There are many tools available in the Internet, and you can use below two tools which are recommended by FlashDevelop.
- Flash Player 9 ActiveX Debugger Tool (for the Microsoft Internet Explorer, with embedded SWF player in FlashDevelop)
- Flash Player 9 Projector Debugger Tool (an external player to allow you see trace action in output panel)

3. Install the Java runtime version 1.6 and above in order to be used for the Flex SDK compiler later.

4. Install the Free Flex SDK 3 (Adobe Flex 3 SDK is free and open source) to be used for the ActionScript 3 (AC3) development. Once you downloaded the Flex 3 SDK, then you can unzip and put into your D:\ drive (i.e. d:\flex3)if you are using the Microsoft Windows platform.

5. Get the latest FlashDevelop tool (FlashDevelop 3) and install it into your system to support different development workflows language - ActionScript 3 or ActionScript 2 or Haxe. You can manage your development project by the default templates or embed assets. You can refer to FlashDevelop features thru this link.

6. Configure the FlashDevelop to use the Adobe Flex 3 SDK. You can goto Tools -> Program Settings, then select the 'AS3Context plug-in' and put the Adobe Flex 3 SDK folder path (i.e. d:\flex3).

7. Download the Windows DLL file (msvcr71.dll) and put into the Microsoft Windows system32 direcotry (i.e. C:\WINDOWS\system32).

8. Below few basic workflows that you need to compile using Flash. You can refer to this link to get more detail.
- Create a Flash project
- Create a AS3 Flash document and save the 'FLA' in the 'src' for your project
- Configure the FLA in 'Publish Setting -> ActionScript 3 Parameters' to uncheck the 'Automatically declare stage instances'.
- Define the document and symbols classes
- Create a class under the project tree with a class name
- Declare the elements on stage
- Add the 'timeline code' to make your class much lighter.

9. You can download a sample FlashDevelop flash project from here to start practice it. The classes for this flash project is 'packaged' which is a unit where you gather from a common project or common role.

Today, i believe the flash plug-in to the Internet Browser (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc) is the MOST COMMON compare to Realplayer, Quicktime or Java, because of online flash game and advertisements in most of the famous website now.

If you are Java or Microsoft dot.Net developer, then i think is not VERY difficult for you to start pickup the ActionScript programming language, as you already familiar on the logic development and write the script all this time. In order to develop a great online flash game (i.e. Facebook Farmtown, Facebook Pet Society, Facebook Restaurant City, etc), the best is to have a team members who expert on this few areas like programming, graphic design, database, network, web servers platform, etc. Example, Playfish is one of the great online Flash game development company.

Join the Flash World! Join the Fun!

More great Flash Game Development info for below links:-
- FlashDevelop is a free and open source (MIT license) source code editor
- Ten tips to help you develop better Flash Lite games
- What About Flash? Can We Really Make Games With It?
- Flash Lite and Open Source Technology
- Adobe Flex SDK open source developer documentation