Sunday, March 30, 2008

Learning Flash: Experimentation and Google Vs.

When you first get flash CS3 and it arrives at your doorstep, you get really excited, install it as soon as possible, open it up, and start playing around. After a couple hours of pressing buttons, typing invalid code, and Google searching you get the hang of AS3. Give yourself a week and you have your first game. At this point, you've already spent a lot of money (especially if you're like me and need Ps CS3, Ai CS3, and Ae CS3) and flash lessons just aren't appealing enough when you're able to come up with a game on your own.

However, when your dad just so happens to have a subscription to (due to his own Final Cut project) you just have to take a look in there! I spent a good 6 hours and learned more about AS3 than I would in 30 hours with Google searches, annoying forum questions, etc. I'm not saying that you can't learn these things for free elsewhere, I'm just saying it saves so much time that a short term subscription is probably worth it.

An extreme example, which I hope no one else has done, can be seen in my two games (one before taking lessons, one after). When you play Alpha Corp, my first game, you'll notice very stingy controls and predictable enemies. It was programmed entirely without custom classes for objects. I somehow managed to create a single function that managed all 10 enemies/allies, their paths, rotations, bullets, wall collisions, spawning, etc. As amazing a feat as this is, it's quite ridiculous.

If you look at my second game, Galactic Dodgeball, you will see tons of asteroids and several other kinds of objects such as tiny people or explosions. I obviously discovered the power of a custom class attached to individual objects. Also, thanks to the flash calculus lessons, and a little help from my physics teacher, I was able to create my own physics engine from scratch to mimic the attraction of two masses.

In conclusion, has my regards. I admit they only took me so far, but it has really brought my programming to another level. Now to return to my Google searches and forum questions!

P.S. I've taken on a huge project creating a sort of GTA in space. I'm hoping to release some screen shots and a demo in a couple of weeks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grande Blog Opening

I've decided to put my thoughts on web servers in the form of blogging. Here I will talk about new projects, changes, interesting encounters with CS3, and whatever else may become my concern. I hope this will become something of use, or at least interest, to other programmers and fans (if you're out there).

Keep checking back,