Spine – 2D skeletal Animation software + runtimes KickStarter- discounted for 2 more days!

I funded this awhile ago, and it was very relevant for a project I was working on, but if you guys are interested- the KickStarter has it discounted quite a bit:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/esotericsoftware/spine

I’m using it instead of flash for animating characters for my game, and it does a good job, as well as being lightweight.

They also have runtimes for libGDX, cocos2d, and since they made their goals, AS3, C#, javascript, ect.

Made by one of the two guys who are the main contributers of LibGDX.

Definitely more than worth it if you intend to ever use 2d skeletal animation in a project.

I spent a couple months writing a AIR program to convert flash XML files into easily read XML/JSON files, then loading them into my game, and it is still quite a ways off their app (That also includes the program to actually animate).

You can also buy it not off their website, but for a bit extra outside of the KickStarter(if you can’t stand waiting 2 more days)
http://esotericsoftware.com/uncategorized/kickstarter-stretch-goals/

Review of Box2D for Flash Games (Author: Emanuele Feronato)

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Emanuele has come out with a new book, which is a great overview of using Box2D with real-world examples.

He had announced it back in the end of November on his blog ( http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2012/11/28/box2d-for-flash-games-book-is-on-the-shelves/ ), and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

(Example of one of the “Totem” like game you create, with my “Crysis-like” graphics.)

(Click on certain bodies to destroy them)

Box2d is the most well known 2d physics engines, used by many mobile, flash, and indie games. This book starts with taking you through the very basics of setting up a Box2d world, to creating “Angry Birds”, and “Totem” like levels with gameplay. On top of that, it guides you through the different available abilities of Box2D, and demonstrates how to use them as you would when creating your own games.

You’ll learn different mechanisms you have for handling problems and when and how they should be used, so you can imagine applying them to your own game concepts.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has been interested in Box2D, or using physics in their games, as well as people who have used Box2d before, but haven’t discovered much more than the basics of creating bodies. You should be comfortable working with Box2D by the end of the book, and you’ll learn how to skin Box2D with your own graphics.

The book covers pretty much everything you would need to learn about Box2D to make any kind of game involving 2d physics, and even better, shows you how to use them in real world examples.

You can pick up the book here:
http://www.packtpub.com/box2d-for-flash-games/book

Included Project Files for FlashDevelop

I decided to test all the examples in FlashDevelop, and I will show off each demo with a description, and have ALL the FlashDevelop project files attached after each demo in this review.
Most of the examples I simply copied into the basic FlashDevelop AS3 project, with only the custom graphics chapter requiring me to use a different method for rendering the Bitmaps.

Also Useful For Other Programming Languages/Platforms

I will also be creating the examples for Android using LibGDX in Java, to also demonstrate that the book can be useful to you, regardless of whether you work primarily in Flash/As3, Java, or C++.

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Game Competitions

There are a couple game competitions that I know of right now, and I wanted to share with everyone.

Jonathan Harbour RTS game contest for beginners
(Due 12/25/2011) Jonathan Harbour has a contest for beginners to develop their own real time strategy(RTS) game, and has some prizes as well.

It would be a good excuse to work on a new game, and you don’t even have to have scrolling- just one screen. Don’t let that fool you though, any game project still requires work and determination 😀

1st Place Prize: App Game Kit (AGK) – Retail value: $112!
http://www.appgamekit.com/

2nd Place Prize: $30 voucher for the TGC Store!
http://www.thegamecreators.com

http://jharbour.com/forum/index.php?topic=1804.0

Intel Level Up 2011
(Due 3/19/2012) Also, the “Intel Level Up 2011” game competition is finally up. It’s almost 2012, but the prizes are pretty nice, though the competition is not just beginners, but also includes students and Indie companies.

Level Up 2011 Competition

My RTS WIP
I’m currently working on the RTS one, and you can see my latest demo here(although fill in graphics, and lots of bugs still – but a week to finish :D):

http://chrismweb.com/projects/rts_game_12_2011/V4/index.html

Review of Flash Game Development by Example (Author: Emanuele Feronato)

When I found out the author of the largest Flash game development blog had written a book, I was very eager to pick it up and try it out.
(his announcement on his blog HERE)

Emanuele’s blog has been around for many years, and he has great information from starting out in actionscript and beginning game programming, all the way up to developing complete games, using 3d and physics engines.

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Creating an Asteroids Flash Game Using the Display List Part 5: Lives, Scores, Restarting, Pausing, Creating Levels, and a Basic GUI

Chris Moeller Web Asteroids Flash Game Part 8 - lives levels and menu

In the last section, we created a way to detect collisions, created particle explosions, and broke the asteroids up into smaller pieces when hit.

In this section, we’ll keep track of the lives, score, make levels, and create a GUI for starting, restarting, and pausing the game.

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Begining Flash Game Programming and ActionScript Programming Part 2 ALTERNATIVE (FOR MAC OR LINUX USERS): Downloading and Setting Up Eclipse (with the flash builder plugin) and Compiling Your First Program

Who This is For

This post is primarily for anyone that has to use Eclipse for actionscript programming, which is primarily for Mac, Linux, or even PC users who would rather use the eclipse platform.

FlashDevelop is only supported in windows (programmed using C#), so if using a Mac or Linux, you would have to use Eclipse with the Flash Builder plugin, or the Flash Builder, or for Mac users, code in the Flash IDE (CS3, CS4, CS5, ect).

Continuing

In the previous section, I listed pros and cons of creating games in ActionScript, as well as useful terms you may encounter when programming in ActionScript.

In this section, we will download and install Eclipse (with the Flash Builder Plugin), and create our first program.

(NOTE: I installed using windows, but using a Mac or Linux should be something somewhat similar – I’ll later try to borrow a Mac, and install Ubuntu to have screen shots from them as well)

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Creating an Asteroids Flash Game Using the Display List Part 4: Detecting Collisions and Creating Particle Explosions

Chris Moeller Web Asteroids Flash Game Part 4- Adding Explosions

In the last section, we created an asteroids class to easily create a variety of asteroids, as well as move them around on screen.

In this section, we’ll create a way to detect collisions between the asteroids and the ship or bullets, and create particle explosions when the collisions happen, as well as break apart asteroids upon collision.

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Quick Note About Text Not Showing Up or Displaying in Flash

I created a few buttons, and have some default text for them. When I import them into FlashDevelop and try to update the text on the buttons, it just shows blanks.

Flash famously have severe problems when working with/ embedding text. Normally if you do not embed text, Flash will try to find the font on your computer, and fall back on a default font if the one specified in the SWF doesn’t exist on your computer.

Apparently that doesn’t work anymore- So if you have a problem with text not showing in your swf after having the default text show find, test out using some of the characters from the default text, and see if it only shows those characters.

To fix it, in the flash IDE select your textfield, under the properties panel select the button “embed”, and select ‘All’ to be safe, or decide on what characters you’ll need and embed them.

Creating an Asteroids Flash Game Using the Display List Part 3: Creating Asteroids

Creating an Asteroids Flash game part3 - Creating The Asteroids

In the last section, we created bullets, and a method of wrapping the ship and bullets to the other side of the screen when they reach an edge of the screen.

In this section, we’ll create an asteroids class that allows us to make a variety of asteroids quickly and easily. We’ll also move them around, and wrap them on the screen.
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