Monday, December 1, 2008

Sidetracked... Flash Gaming

10 Days without a post... I think that is a new record. Not one I am proud of, but it happens.

Between deadlines, eating turkey, and celebrating my birthday, I've been busy researching Flash games. It started as a simple assignment, which was to come up with a few examples of game types that we (the basement) could make. Basically an example of a point and click, example of a shooter, example of a platformer/side scroller... etc etc.

Well shit, once you open that Pandora's box you find yourself stuck playing Flash games for days. I have gaming systems, I have a gaming pc, I recently bought Bioshock... but somehow, ever since that assignment a couple weeks ago, I find myself staying up late playing Flash games. There is just something about a good Flash game that is hard to pass up. You think you are going to play for just 10min before you head for bed and then you find yourself saying "just 1 more try" at 2am in the morning. DOH.

Anyways, I've compiled a small list of sites that have sucked me in recently.

First and foremost: Kongregate. This site is incredible. It is not just your everyday game portal, it has a built in rewards system that keeps you coming back for me. Reward are given out for playing games, making games, and reviewing games and they come in forms of points, kreds, and cards. For example, if I build a 600 foot tower in 99 Bricks then I get 30 points. The more points I get the more I level up. At this stage, leveling up is only for prestige, but in the future it could lead to unlocking certain features of the site. Kreds on the other hand are used for buying extra content in games. Cards are unlocked and used in the Kongai Card game. All three of which give you a great reason to keep playing a variety of games into the wee hours of the night. I still can't get my tower past 490, damn it.

From there you need to check out Jay Is Games. They have daily dose of reviews of a variety of games (not all Flash). I enjoy going to JayIsGames because they tend to spotlight games that aren't being featured on the big game portals. These games usually have something unique and don't follow the beaten path. Therefore, it is a great place to go for inspiration.

After Jay comes my friends at 8 Bit Rocket. Their weekly inter-web mash up contains a wealth of information about the Flash gaming world that will keep you busy for hours. Beyond that they also offer their own news, opinions, and plenty of in-depth tutorials. They also have a nice collection of games they've developed, including: Jack's Beach Blitz.

This wouldn't be a proper Flash game post without sending some love to Emanuele Feronato. If you ever have any desire to make Flash games on your own then you absolutely have to read his 9 part series on monetizing Flash games. He breaks down his experience and process step by step showing you what to do and what to avoid. Its a priceless read for any aspiring game developer.

I could go on and on. But those are the biggies... the ones I check daily.

From all of this reading and research I have been inspired to start my own side scrolling/platform engine in my free time. Eventually I see it being used by the basement, but currently it has no face and is just a core engine that will be able to be skinned and reused. Here is a very early prototype that just shows some basic movement, scrolling, and wall collision detection. (click on the screen then use your arrows to move/jump). I am implementing the Blitting and Collision Detection technique I researched back in May (wow, I hate to be clique but time is flying). I am combining that research with the bitmap techniques I learned in Mario Klingemann's presentation to help me find the bounds of the different walls the character is colliding with. So far it is running very smooth. We will see if that holds up once I add projectiles and enemies.

Thats my story lately. Now I need sleep.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mark, thanks for the Plug. I really enjoy reading your site too.

Ickydime said...

Of course man. Always finding new gems at your site. If I were to write this post again I would have to add Squize's page to the list. ( Stumbled across his blog through one of your mashups I think. Now its another daily read.

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