Game Development Reference
You can also adjust the magnification of the stage by selecting a magnification per-
centage in the Zoom option menu at the top-right corner of the stage.
The best way for you to learn how these tools work is just to start playing with them. Flash has the
most accessible and easy-to-use vector drawing system around, and you'll soon see how much fun and
quick it is to create graphics for your games. You don't need to be the world's best designer to create
servicable graphics—rectangles and ovals can take you pretty far!
For much more detail on graphic design with Flash than I have space for in this topic,
you might want to pick up a copy of Foundation Flash CS4 for Designers , by Tom
Green and David Stiller. It also includes a detailed discussion of the four more special-
ized tools ( Bone , Bind , 3D Rotation , and 3D Translation ), which I haven't discussed here
but have great potential for use in games.
Creating a character
Let's create a cat character for the storybook. You'll create the character as a separate Movie Clip
symbol and then drag it into the scene from the Library . This will give you a lot more flexibility to
manipulate the character with AS3.0 code a little later in the project. Follow these steps:
1. Select Insert ° New Symbol . The Create New Symbol dialog box opens. Give your new symbol
the name Cat . (Make sure to follow the naming convention for classes and use UpperCamelCase
for Movie Clip symbol names.) Select Movie Clip from the Type drop-down menu. Select the
Export for ActionScript option and click the OK button.
2. Click the OK button when the class definition warning box appears.
3. Flash opens symbol editing mode for your new ?]p symbol.
Before you design your character in Flash, make a quick sketch on a piece of paper to give you
a rough idea of how it might look. Remember that you'll probably need to organize different features
of the cat onto different layers so that you can put certain features above or behind other features.
For example, you probably want to put the cat's eyes on a layer that's above the body. Create a layer
for each of these features and then use Flash's drawing tools to draw the feature on the correspond-
ing layer. When you put all these individual features together, your character will appear fully formed
from all these parts. Refer to the section on layers if you're still unsure about creating and using
4. The timeline has an option called Preview that shows you a small thumbnail image of each
layer directly in a frame. This is a great way to work when designing objects on layers like this
because you don't need to remember exactly which graphics you drew on which layer—you
can see it directly. To turn on Preview , click the Timeline Option button at the top-right corner
of the timeline and select Preview , as shown in Figure 2-40. (The Timeline Option button is very
small and hard to locate, but don't give up—you'll find it eventually!)