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egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 17:00:56 Reply

At 9/20/12 02:10 PM, Toast wrote: To elaborate on what I said - in my case, I am very bored by games that don't challenge me to develop technique (ie usage of the various game mechanics or dexterity with controls(keyboard/mouse)) or strategy in order to survive.

You spent the time writing it, so I spent the time reading it.

honestly I can't do that to games. I can't look at a game and say "this is good, this is bad, this is overpowered, this needs to be buffed"
It's a mixture of things, really; for one, the last console I owned was a PlayStation. The computer I had before this one (only a few months old) was built in 2000 and had a 1.8GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
Basically I couldn't play games if I wanted to back then.
The computer problem is fixed, so there isn't a problem there.

The last bit is the hardest to overcome: I can't play a game for more than a few minutes without wanting to make something of my own or at least try to take it apart. I get so caught up in analyzing how the game works and how it's made that I never stop to think about what I like and dislike about it, and when I do I can't come up with anything more than "I don't know"

This is why i'm asking so many questions. I need gamers to tell me what they like and don't like so I can improve. I can make educated guesses based on general psychology, but that doesn't go very far.

anyway, thanks for the information. I'll look into the issues you pointed out and see if I can't come up with a new solution or two ^.^


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-21 01:53:10 Reply

At 9/20/12 02:10 PM, Toast wrote: To elaborate on what I said - in my case, I am very bored by games that don't challenge me to develop technique (ie usage of the various game mechanics or dexterity with controls(keyboard/mouse)) or strategy in order to survive.

Oh man, I JUST WROTE a fat design analysis of DARK SOULS like an hour ago! You might be interested in that game, it really forces you to stay alert, and study the enemies. It does have a strong sense of tension and pressure, and the environment's really well made, but it's not 100% open for playing creatively, so maybe you wouldn't LOVE it...

If you're looking for deep and demanding combat systems though, you are TOTALLY barking up the wrong tree with these RPGs and MMOs. I hate games like that. Check out Street Fighter 4 or Devil May Cry or something. Each attack and combo is a tool fit for a unique situation, that moves your character into deliberately choreographed positions.
Heck, play Geometry Wars or Team Fortress 2. These are the games that have no excess fluff, and no skill cieling.

Check out this blog if you're interested in game combat design, he's had years more experience than me.

Y'know what, I am TOTALLY waiting for this game design forum.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-21 02:07:27 Reply

Y'know what, I just read the rest of the post, and Starcraft n Counter Strike are already PC games that do that, and you're already playin em. I don't play PC games, so I didn't notice.

Alright nevermind, you're fine. Carry on.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-23 18:41:42 Reply

Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-23 19:01:04 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

A massive headache with studying for a dynamics test. My RPG hasn't made progress in a while...and I got bored and I'm trying out Flash Pro as a level editor

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-23 19:06:04 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

I'm working on an actionscript source code obfuscator written in Java; it is already functional and I've been testing it on various open source actionscript projects. Now I just need to fix some minor things, add some more features and options; and maybe create a GUI for people who fear the terminal.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-23 22:18:34 Reply

An old school schmup game with a twist. Currently the engine is almost done as well as the level selector. Still have a lot of work on it though

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 00:46:44 Reply

At 9/23/12 10:18 PM, Splyth wrote: An old school schmup game with a twist. Currently the engine is almost done as well as the level selector. Still have a lot of work on it though

there's always a lot of work to be done on it....somebody famous or something once said an artists work is never really done, just abandoned......


*citation needed

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 08:41:12 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

nothing flash-related at the moment. Working on a general-use API (basic DB connection, basic security, etc.) in PHP so I can finally finish my website layout.
After that i'll probably get back to work on my last Flash project, Tactics.

Though I might want to make a completely separate API for handling Flash requests...

*cries*

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 09:34:23 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

Losing momentum with my zombie game...though I always switch between making music and programming in phases of a few months.

But another reason for losing momentum is my project getting cluttered, gotta refactor it and clean up the code so that I can actually understand what's going on again. (I sort of can, but I just have that feeling of everything being all over the place and not working...)
After that I'll take the suggestions of collaborative diffusion, after really looking into it, seems really really cool! Either way, my AI will have access to doing A* in the cases where it needs to, otherwise diffusion seems to go really fast.

OH, and I'm working on a .swf to tilesheet generator (which I'll opensource and put out for free, because more of them aren't), since I might port (the zombie game) to Haxe/NME to get it running as a native app, squeezing out some performance for some gfx, yummy.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 11:44:19 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

A while ago I submitted this art, and I wasn't happy with it so I'm doing it again. Looks better now. It's concept art for a game I won't shut up about.

But I can't get back to that game til I finish my animation job to make a tonne of animated intros for this site. Which is gettin pretty boring actually.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 12:00:52 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

Still trying to keep a steady flow of updates rolling out for The Drawing Grounds while also whipping up a concept for another game that can use the NG API as a sketchy multiplayer platform.

Sadly I am just running low on free time due to school and other commitments :/

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 13:45:37 Reply

At 9/24/12 12:00 PM, Mattster wrote: Still trying to keep a steady flow of updates rolling out for The Drawing Grounds while also whipping up a concept for another game that can use the NG API as a sketchy multiplayer platform.

Sadly I am just running low on free time due to school and other commitments :/

Congrats on being the first guy to make a multiplayer game with NG's api :D

I'm still working hard on Concerned Joe the downloadable version. It's coming along pretty solid, we're trying to make it as awesome as possible, and we're trying to slowly build a following since I'm told marketing is very very very important in the downloadable market.

www.concerned-joe.com

So check around gaiz!

The other thing I'm really really happy with is how we handled the animations.

Since making spritesheets for HD graphics would be very large, and not very dynamic (if you wanted to slow down animations for example) so I ended up writing a sort of script that lets you animate in flash, and then exports every movieclip's properties in every frame as a JSON (or XML) and labels the frames and everything, so they can be easily animated in any engine in any language, even with frame interpolations and stuff.

The game's also time based so it can run at any FPS from 20 to 500, the faster the computer, the smoother the motion and animation.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 14:03:14 Reply

At 9/24/12 01:45 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: I'm told marketing is very very very important in the downloadable market.

I'd imagine so. I remember a friend of mine was making a C++ game, and was ripping on Flash for it's limitations. The one thing I pointed out was how much easier a flash game can be to distribute, especially when you're just a student starting to get into industry.

Even if the game is garbage, people will usually let a .swf load and hit play, rather than downloading a potentially dangerous and unknown .exe and running it.

Concerned Joe looks pretty neat! For some reason my FlashPlayer is screwing up any game with an ENTER_FRAME handler (it just decides to drop the framerate to 6-10), maybe I can properly play it in the future haha.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-24 15:41:22 Reply

At 9/24/12 01:45 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: Since making spritesheets for HD graphics would be very large, and not very dynamic (if you wanted to slow down animations for example) so I ended up writing a sort of script that lets you animate in flash, and then exports every movieclip's properties in every frame as a JSON (or XML) and labels the frames and everything, so they can be easily animated in any engine in any language, even with frame interpolations and stuff.

This sounds super interesting...mind sharing how you're rippin' the movieclips apart? Are you using the format library?

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-26 02:40:31 Reply

At 9/24/12 02:03 PM, Mattster wrote: Concerned Joe looks pretty neat! For some reason my FlashPlayer is screwing up any game with an ENTER_FRAME handler (it just decides to drop the framerate to 6-10), maybe I can properly play it in the future haha.

Thanks! The flash version was super buggy and laggy anyway, the downloadable version hopefully won't disappoint.

At 9/24/12 03:41 PM, PSvils wrote: This sounds super interesting...mind sharing how you're rippin' the movieclips apart? Are you using the format library?

It's actually a lot simpler than it sounds. At first when I heard that my artist had worked with a programmer who "wrote a plugin to export animation data from flash" I was like "holy crap".

But then when I thought about it, all I really need to do is loop through the frames, and on each frame, loop through the children of the movieclip, get all their properties, x, y scaleX, scaleY, colorTransform etc... and export that in a JSON along with the frame labels and whatnot.

The only really tricky part was getting it to export in the format I wanted, and having to write an XML to JSON converter in AS3 because apparently I couldn't find one that worked.

Xelu talks about this in this post: http://concerned-joe.com/devblog/?p=396 (except replace "with this guy's nifty invention" to me having to write one from scratch, as it was overcomplicated and had a lot of features that I didn't use, and was a bit hard to customize to exactly the way we wanted")

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-26 03:44:06 Reply

At 9/26/12 02:40 AM, 4urentertainment wrote: But then when I thought about it, all I really need to do is loop through the frames, and on each frame, loop through the children of the movieclip, get all their properties, x, y scaleX, scaleY, colorTransform etc... and export that in a JSON along with the frame labels and whatnot.

Ah, so you still do render the clips to a spritesheet, except just them originally, and animate with code later on? That sounds shpamtastic. I'm currently writing a .swf-.spritesheet converter, and it would be cool to have this kind of an export option.

Just read Xelu's blogpost and I now get the idea! (At first I thought you were decompiling the swf and getting the raw graphics data from objects, rather than just clip x/y/properties.)
Thanks for the enlightenment on this, really is pretty cool, and so simple I don't know why I haven't heard of something like this before!

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-26 18:49:11 Reply

At 9/26/12 03:44 AM, PSvils wrote: (At first I thought you were decompiling the swf and getting the raw graphics data from objects, rather than just clip x/y/properties.)

I've played with this before a while ago and I'm gonna revive the idea for my next c++ game because fuck spritesheets, closure editor had like 3 different things I needed to do to add animation playback speeds / metadata into graphics (like where to attach objects to when a character is holding something and whatever). I wanna be able to just use the shitty form of nesting objects together in flash to be able to organize stuff.

It took about 2 weeks to get it working nice with my test, not a large investment of time at all. I get no gradients or line styles or bitmap fills, but its easy enough to work around that (convert line to fill in flash), and gradients/bitmapfill wouldn't really be that bad if you limit the number of control points you add to them. It renders it all in vector. Its not that bad actually, but I might make it so it caches ones to a bitmap if some flags are set on them.

I would recommend trying it if your curious and have a little bit of experience with opengl and c++, it really wasn't that bad.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-26 19:16:41 Reply

I forgot how awesome NAPE is. It's black magic, I swear.

Artist AWOL, writer AFK, need something to do...
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-26 19:18:36 Reply

At 9/26/12 07:16 PM, MSGhero wrote: Artist AWOL, writer AFK, need something to do...

Compile a bunch of useful stuff into a library or API :P


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-27 01:36:58 Reply

At 9/26/12 06:49 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote:
At 9/26/12 03:44 AM, PSvils wrote: (At first I thought you were decompiling the swf and getting the raw graphics data from objects, rather than just clip x/y/properties.)
I've played with this before a while ago and I'm gonna revive the idea for my next c++ game because fuck spritesheets,

I think that's what Tom was talking about a page back or two. The moment I realized that everything was just data that you can access in some way or another was awesome.

Like how "fla" is just a renamed .zip file and extensions are all just superfluous ways for the programs/system to know what programs open what. Like I could make a .joe file and it would work just because it's a file and it has data in it and it's called file.joe

Also, to Glaiel, where you working on Closure full time or were you in college or something?

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-27 12:38:28 Reply

At 9/27/12 01:36 AM, 4urentertainment wrote:
At 9/26/12 06:49 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote:
At 9/26/12 03:44 AM, PSvils wrote: (At first I thought you were decompiling the swf and getting the raw graphics data from objects, rather than just clip x/y/properties.)
I've played with this before a while ago and I'm gonna revive the idea for my next c++ game because fuck spritesheets,
I think that's what Tom was talking about a page back or two. The moment I realized that everything was just data that you can access in some way or another was awesome.

I once did try to extract line data from a .swf to use for map editing (AI pathnodes), but it wasn't a serious project, and I only started to grasp half of the way it stored the data...but decompiling .swf's is really cool! Funny thing is I was using an AS3 library for that if I remember right...as3 decompiling as3 :o

BTW, Pascal...is bullshit...amiright?

P.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-27 13:26:24 Reply

At 9/26/12 06:49 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote: I've played with this before a while ago and I'm gonna revive the idea for my next c++ game because fuck spritesheets, closure editor had like 3 different things I needed to do to add animation playback speeds / metadata into graphics (like where to attach objects to when a character is holding something and whatever). I wanna be able to just use the shitty form of nesting objects together in flash to be able to organize stuff.

Just for curiosity, what was the closure editor like? Did you build it yourself form scratch, or are their tools out there that you can plug in for certain tasks? While I don't see myself jumping into C++ anytime soon, having the correct tools at hand will be important when I have time to move onto something like C# or java.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-27 15:51:32 Reply

At 9/27/12 01:36 AM, 4urentertainment wrote: Also, to Glaiel, where you working on Closure full time or were you in college or something?

Dropped out of college in 2010 to work on it full time when we got funding (from the behemoth actually, woo newgrounds)

At 9/27/12 01:26 PM, 23450 wrote: Just for curiosity, what was the closure editor like? Did you build it yourself form scratch, or are their tools out there that you can plug in for certain tasks? While I don't see myself jumping into C++ anytime soon, having the correct tools at hand will be important when I have time to move onto something like C# or java.

I coded pretty much everything in closure 100% from scratch except for box2D, which I still ended up having to edit the source for it to get it to work right with bitmap physics.

The editor sucks. Its actually accessible in the steam build of the game just go set the flag for it in the config file and copy resources over into the /mods folder (there's a readme for it there).

There's about 3 different "editors" included in closure, and within those there's a few sub editors. Animation editor, sprite editor, level editor

Animation makes you input a PNG, then you define how many frames of animation on there, and how they're arranged (4x5 grid of frames, 18 frames total), and how much time to spend on each frame (with a little bar graph you can edit). There's a sub-editor here where you can place hotspots on each frame of animation (a.k.a. in the hands of all the "holding orb" animations for characters, and a few other ones), hotspots are referenced in the game code to attach objects together or just get points from the animation.

Sprite is a list of animations in a specific order, and dimensions of the sprite. This was wrong dimensions should have been part of the animation, but too bad by the time i realized that that was wrong it was too late to change it.

Level editor had 4 modes to it, collision editor, object editor, decorations editor, and properties editor.

Almost all main actions are done with hotkeys. Object editor has a selection menu though which I added when I ran out of hotkeys for objects. You can make a turret by placing a spotlight then hitting "t" while the spotlight is selected to set its turret flag.

Its a pretty nonintuitive editor, but since I made it myself I was able to add fixes to it all the time to clear up annoyances I had with it, and it ended up being really really efficient to work with for us in the end.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-27 23:21:55 Reply

These recent posts reminded me about using Flash Pro as a level editor. Holy shit! it's so much better than hardcoding those numbers in. After a snafu with bmd.draw and the matrix parameter, I came up with this.

Luckily this computer can easily handle alt tabbing while FPro is open. Efficiency!

I can see this working for menu layouts as well, which would help my (nonexistent?) artist transfer layouts to me. And it'll probably cut down the amount of code by a ton since a huge chunk of it is addChilding menu stuff and setting xy's. Awesome.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-28 00:01:25 Reply

At 9/27/12 11:21 PM, MSGhero wrote: I can see this working for menu layouts as well, which would help my (nonexistent?) artist transfer layouts to me. And it'll probably cut down the amount of code by a ton since a huge chunk of it is addChilding menu stuff and setting xy's. Awesome.

Why was a huge chunk of code addChilding menus, anyway? o.o?


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-28 00:11:31 Reply

At 9/28/12 12:01 AM, egg82 wrote: Why was a huge chunk of code addChilding menus, anyway? o.o?

Listeners, x, y, alpha, defaultTextFormat and all that textfield crap (made a class just to avoid typing out all of that every time), addChild, drawing menus via sprite.graphics (I-don't-have-an-artist programmer graphics), width, height, or the default text of 53 different buttons, menus, or textfields ~= 400 lines. It's not a HUGE chunk considering the class is 4700 lines, but still...removing lines without breaking the game makes me happy ^-^

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-28 00:38:41 Reply

I'm working on an actionscript source code obfuscator written in Java; it is already functional and I've been testing it on various open source actionscript projects. Now I just need to fix some minor things, add some more features and options; and maybe create a GUI for people who fear the terminal.

Cool actually you should share this with us when you're done. I have tried other obfuscators. Even paid for them. I can never find a good one. I've always wanted something simple that will just rename my class, variable, and method names. As far as I know, theres nothing that exists that can do that free and easily.

nothing flash-related at the moment. Working on a general-use API (basic DB connection, basic security, etc.) in PHP so I can finally finish my website layout. After that i'll probably get back to work on my last Flash project, Tactics.

PHP is OK. I personally am not a huge fan, though. What is Tactics ?

Losing momentum with my zombie game...though I always switch between making music and programming in phases of a few months.

I agree. I read Tyler's post about his version of A* and it is very cool. I would love to know exactly how it works, though. How do you assign initial values to the nodes? It seems that every time the player makes a move then each node. 1: Decreases it's 'scent' value. 2: Sets the node at the players current position to 100% scent. Am I missing anything else ?

Still trying to keep a steady flow of updates rolling out for The Drawing Grounds while also whipping up a concept for another game that can use the NG API as a sketchy multiplayer platform.

Thats awesome. I agree w/ 4urentertainment. Ulitizing these NG APIs is probably good. I mean thats why they made them right?

I'm still working hard on Concerned Joe the downloadable version. It's coming along pretty solid, we're trying to make it as awesome as possible, and we're trying to slowly build a following since I'm told marketing is very very very important in the downloadable market.

Wow! That looks amazing. I really need to catch up your dev blog. Do you have a twitter that I can follow ? I am really impressed w/ your progress. Hope to be playing a full length concerned joe within the next year. :)

Even if the game is garbage, people will usually let a .swf load and hit play, rather than downloading a potentially dangerous and unknown .exe and running it.

Flash player still has 99% web browser penetration. There is value in that, regardless of what web technology hipsters tell you. :P


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-28 07:31:05 Reply

At 9/28/12 12:38 AM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Wow! That looks amazing. I really need to catch up your dev blog. Do you have a twitter that I can follow ? I am really impressed w/ your progress. Hope to be playing a full length concerned joe within the next year. :)

Thanks for the kind words! Although I don't really use twitter that much, I just made this: https://twitter.com/ConcernedJoe

Until we start posting there, the devblog is probably where you'll find the latest stuff. We even made a mailing list that you can sign up to on the blog to be notified of new posts and stuff!

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-28 16:46:16 Reply

At 9/28/12 12:38 AM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: I agree. I read Tyler's post about his version of A* and it is very cool. I would love to know exactly how it works, though. How do you assign initial values to the nodes? It seems that every time the player makes a move then each node. 1: Decreases it's 'scent' value. 2: Sets the node at the players current position to 100% scent. Am I missing anything else ?

The way I did that demo was not quite scent based, but it was based on the idea. That one had 4 maps, a "distance from wall" map, a "distance from targets" map, a "number of zombies on each grid space" map, and then the final combined pathfinding map, every frame it would generate the number of zombies per grid space map, then run flood fill out the pathfinding map using the others as weights for how much effort was required to pass through a tile (to keep them away from walls and tiles with lots of zombies). I dunno I did it in 2010.

The way to do real scent-pathfinding (I did this before too but don't have a sample of it)

You have your pathfinding grid, each grid space is just a float of how much "scent" it has
To emit scent into the map, just add scent to the grid space the emitter is on. For targets you want to avoid, you add negative scent to the map.

Now to diffuse the map, its just a blur operation pretty much. Don't do it "in-place", you diffuse onto a NEW map then swap the new one in place of the old one. For grid space (x, y) in the new map, you just sum up the values from (x, y),(x-1, y),(x+1,y),(x,y-1),(x,y+1) from the old map, and divide by 5. If one of those spots is a wall, its value is 0, and the divisor decreases by 1 (not entirely necessary, you can also treat walls as just emitters that set their current value to 0 always, instead of adding or subtracting a flat amount). You're gonna want to multiply the value of each tile by .99 or something every tick too to prevent stuff from spiraling to infinity. Also you're gonna want to use sufficiently large values for emitters, otherwise tiles far away will have extremely small scent values (denormalized floats) which are REALLY slow to compute

Play around with it its fun. I curious about it for a while. Seems really like, suited for zombie games.