Game Development Reference
Some of you might be new to Flash CS4 and AS3.0, but have used previous versions
of Flash and have programmed in AS1.0 or AS2.0. To ease the transition process, this
topic will also point out the major differences between the new AS3.0 way of doing
things and the way it used to be done in earlier versions of the language.
What kind of games can I make?
The focus of this topic is on two-dimensional action, adventure, and arcade games; it also touches
on puzzle and logic games. Flash is a fantastic medium for creating these types of games. Each chap-
ter guides you through every step of the design process, but the projects are very open-ended and
encourage you to come up with your own original ways of using the techniques in your own games.
Flash CS4 is actually pretty good at 3D, but 3D is quite a large topic that deserves a whole topic in its
own right. The great thing is that most of the game design techniques you learn in the context of 2D,
particularly how games are structured, can be applied directly to 3D games with little or no modifica-
tion. To simplify the learning process and make sure the material is as focused and clear as it can be,
however, I decided to stick to 2D games in this edition.
Learning some new terms
Like any large specialized field, programming comes with a lot of new terminology to learn. This topic
will try to sidestep as much of the jargon as possible in favor of slightly longer and concrete descrip-
tions. Some terminology is so widely used that you should learn it, and this topic will explain all new
terms in the text.
Laying the foundation
As a game developer, you can think of yourself as an architect. All buildings of any size or shape have
some fundamental things in common: they all have a foundation, walls, and a roof. No matter how big
or small, humble or grand your house is, you need to dig a foundation, erect some walls, and put up
a roof. After that you can start the really fun stuff: designing the interior layout, doing the landscaping,
buying the furniture, and throwing a housewarming party.
Over the course of the rest of this chapter, you'll write a very simple program that will lay the founda-
tion for all the games and programs you'll be creating in the rest of the topic. If you haven't done any
programming before or are just starting to get to grips with AS3.0, this chapter is for you.
If you have prior programming experience, you might want to jump ahead to the end of the chapter
to see how much of the technical and conceptual material looks familiar. Make sure that you become
acquainted with the structure you'll be using to build your games and programs, but feel free to skip
this chapter if it all looks pretty straightforward.
In a tip-of-the hat to the history of computer programming, you'll write a program called a Hello
World program . It is traditionally the first program that novice programmers write when learning
a new programming language because it's the simplest complete program that can be written. It does
something very simple; it just outputs the words Hello World! in Flash's Output panel.