Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
the amount of code we will encounter in later chapters. This is
normal; take a deep breath. Development in Flash has always
been a marriage of different disciplines, and games are possibly
the ultimate example of this notion. Each task Flash has been
designed to make easier has aspects that translate to game
Things Flash Was Built to Do
Animation versus Games
Possibly Flash
application. Much like postproduction programs (like Adobe After
Effects) or multimedia authoring tools (like Adobe Director), Flash
is centered around the concept of a timeline. By default, events
occur in a linear order, and objects on the timeline can have time-
lines nested within them. This allows for very complex animations
to be built relatively quickly.
Consider for a moment an animation of a character walking. In
order to look convincing, all the character
s appendages would
need to be separated and animated independently. Additionally,
they need to move across the Stage so the character is not just
walking in place. To move all the parts at the right speed would be
very cumbersome and time consuming. Instead, with nested time-
is moved at a different rate across the Stage. Although this concept
is not at all new to anyone familiar with Flash, it speaks to a hierar-
chy that will prove very handy later.
Application versus Games
Though it started as an animation tool, Flash has grown into a
number of other uses. Since the last few versions of Flash, Adobe
has started marketing it (along with Adobe Flash Builder) to create
what is referred to as Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). In brief,
RIAs are applications that perform what were traditionally desktop-
bound tasks from the Web. They can be anything from shopping
cart applications to billing software to a weather forecast widget. To
provide flexibility and to make rapid development of this kind of
software possible, Adobe includes a number of components
prebuilt pieces of code designed for easy reuse. These components
are items such as scrollbars, text boxes, radio buttons
devices you
might see on a typical Web page in HTML. Although these compo-
nents are great for RIAs, they serve little use directly in games
(though I will show later how they can be very useful in tools that
aid game development).
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