Union Platform : a multiuser environment with actionscript

While there are alternatives to actionscript for doing a multi-user application, Colin Mook and Derek Clayton had teamed up (to form User1.net) to do Union Platform. The platform itself provides alternative languages to develop application with, the most notable feature is one can create multi-user applications with actionscript only. Thats a lot of good news on itself. Well, even a sample server environment is free for 1000 users at one time! Huge! Its called “tryuion.com” and provides a testing ground to test your skills for a multiuser application.
The even bigger news is Union Platform is now on cloud in collaboration with Influxis and its at unioncloud.io. Union Cloud is free till its in Beta, so the time is now to build a multi user application with Union Cloud , the feature list looks awesome.
Happy Flashing

Geting started with Starling, running Flash in GPU.

With Flash player 11 comes Stage3D, which enables us to run Flash content in GPU. While its all good, coding for a simple task looks as if something real big.

Fortunately Starling-framework makes the life easier. Its a framework on top of Stage3D(codenamed Molehill). The best part of it is one can just use it as if using flash’s own API. It has movieclip, sprite, events and displaylist. While I was trying my first handson this framework, found some must to do things, which may save someone’s time.

Minimum requirement,

To run
1. First of all, it needs Flash Player 11.
2. It must be run inside a browser. Yeah, SWF must be embedded inside a HTML page.
3. Inside the embed code, “mode” must be set to “direct”.

<param name="wmode" value="direct">

4. Embeding the swf with SWFObjectdoes not work for me. So used the minimum default Object-embed method. To author 1. Need Flash Player 11 SDK 2. Overlap it on Flex SDK 4.5.1 , so that you got the compiler ready. 3. Compile with extra compiler argument as ” -swf-version=13 “.

The basic HTML boilerplate code to embed look as

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en" xml:lang="en">
<head>
        <title>HelloStarling</title>
        <meta name="google" value="notranslate">         
        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
    </head>
    <body>
        <object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="600" height="600" id="movie_name" align="middle">
    <param name="movie" value="Startup.swf"/>
    <param name="wmode" value="direct">
    <!--[if !IE]>-->
    <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="Startup.swf" width="600" height="600">
        <param name="wmode" value="direct">
    </object>
    <!--<![endif]-->
</object>   
   </body>
</html>

 

 

Happy Flashing.

Flashplayer Throttle : Solving a problem or creating one !

This might be a little late, but worth keeping an eye on. As we know since Flashplayer 10.1, the player is throttled in situations. What does that mean is the FlashPlayer will run the EnterFrame and Timer based events at much lower rates, when the player is not visible. Much lower means, as low as 2 FPS (2 frames per second) and AS2 Intervals as well as AS3 timers will low down to 2 events per second!!

This throttling is best for mobile and other devices which can run FlashPlayer now. Throttling means saving of energy and increasing battery life of the device. So it seems its the best thing happened to Flashplayer, while we are making content for the devices.

The problem arises when we create stuffs for desktops or laptops, where FlashPlayer was running since a long time, conventionally. And we still think we can go on developing our applications and games with the same mind set as we used to do till now. While developing games, the most used event is ENTER_FRAME and when throttling happens, all of the logic of the application/game goes wrong!! While the logic of the game still holds good if the player is active all the time but once the player is invisible, the player starts to throttle and frame-rates and timer events start to fall. This will happen even our game is running in a browser tab and we are in another tab. This can happen if we scroll down a page and the game is on the top portion of the page! The tricky part is different browsers behave differently and there is no clear idea about when the player starts throttling. So there is no fix solution for the same too.

Continue reading “Flashplayer Throttle : Solving a problem or creating one !”

FlashDevelop goes beyond Windows only

This is good to see, finally the powerful opensource IDE for actionscript, haxe and php is targeting cross platform. With its newer community release version, apart from the major upgrade to the coding environment, the whole IDE is moving to Linux and Mac OSx. These ports are bridge based, but the intentions are clear. So exciting to see the whole of the IDE running in other platforms.

Well, the core feature of the IDE is updated to a significant level. The development and publish settings for AIR is now having a visual dialogue box. There is a project template for AIR for Android. These are some of the things apart from the whole list of features listed here.

Happy Flashing

Two impressive things from day one keynote of Adobe MAX 2010

Edge : A tool to take control of HTML 5 animation capabilities
Can not say more about this, one must watch the video on the link. Feels like early Flash days, when timeline was everything.
Molehill : A new set of lowlevel 3D APIs.
The details of this new 3D API and its capabilities are here at Adobe Labs. Definitely that would open up some more fun on gaming side and as we can see the demo car race is already impressive. Just thinking whether the game studios will be interested in porting the native codebase to SWF or in AIR. Or how much re-writing may be necessary for the translation. If at all the games are ported into SWF with/without the help of Alchemy can those still maintain the frame-rate and the massive multiplayer requirements (which again should not be diffiicult with P2P in Flashplayer). If those are going to be of some standard result, then I think all the games are playable in all the Operating systems. I mean the games will not only become windows only. One can play the same game on Linux, MAC and Windows. No Code re-write, hopefully I guess. As everything will boil down to AIR or SWF. Ohh, I am forgetting the AIR and Flash are coming to TVs, so gaming consoles also could take that advantage. The keynote already showed gaming controls like joysticks and steer wheels. Will Flash take on the gaming industry by storm this time?!! Time now is to just wait and watch.

IPhone game framework for Flash developers!

Let me face it. The syntaxes of ObjectiveC is very different from any other language out there. At first it is not at all readable. No. Not even a single sentace. It took me sometime to get used to it. I said get used to it, not even get going in it :) Now, the point is, once you are a little comfortable in knowing it, it even scares with pointers and memory management. Lets put that aside. Knowing a different language and how it works always helps. As a flash developer, I was wondering how to apply my skills in this language. And fortunately there are some very nice frameworks out there which can feel just right for it.

Sparrow. Yeah, its an opensource, free game framework for iphone. Finally a framework which is made for people, who have come across actionscript. I have recently completed a simple game ( as you know, flash developers start with it :) ) and can only say that it does what it says. Forget about all the difficulties of objectiveC stuff and think about your game. So, familiar things, like Sprite, MovieClip, addchild, addEventlistener, bubbling etc are all there. Its so simple that the documentation is just one page. And there is a quite nice community arround it. I must say, a very nicely done framework for actionscript developers. All the best to the Sparrow team for the effort.

Happy Flashing :)

Basics of a scripting language

I must say, the more I read the basics, the more I get hooked to the basics. I have just finished reading a book on UnityScript Basics for Noobs. Must not confuse with the name of the scripting language. Since actionscript, javascript or UnityScript or any other scripting language for that matter shares the same ideology. So, if you are new to a scripting language, just get this book reading. And I am sure that will make the basics of your clear. As this book itself says its for Noobs, it is for Noobs but then written very nicely to make you understand the core of a scripting language.

Best of all its free to download too.

Happy Flashing