Choice of Technology

A few years ago, when i started thinking about developing games, I had not many choices about the technology. I wanted my games to be playable on the web (for easy distribution), on mobile (iOS & Android only, at this time) and on PC, at least for developing. The technologies I found (with large community to get help easily, and which I am quite sure the companies will still exists in a few years) was:

  • HTML5
  • Flash
  • Unity

I discarded HTML5 because performance was not good enough at this time, and authoring may be a concern later. Unity was growing large but still not widely used. As I don't see Adobe forfaiting its Flash technology, I choose this road. I am still not sure about this choice, Unity now supports a wide range of consoles while Adobe acknowledge the death of Flash Player on Mobiles ...

But anyway, Flash it is!

In fact it is more actionscript (the programming language for Flash) only project, it just end up in creating swf usable both with Air (the standalone executable environment for flash) and of course in Flash Player.

Dev Tools

IDE

I've tried Flash Pro but it is definitely not the best tool for games, except for making animation. Actionscript coding and debugging was not greatly integrated and price was overkilling! It is more a graphic designer tool in my opinion.

Flash Builder is a decent tool, with most of the usual features a developer can expect form an IDE. My choice ended on Flash Develop (http://www.flashdevelop.org/). Similar with Flash Builder, but free, I deeply recommend it for starting at least, and I still don't see reasons to change now.

Source control

You can't build a decent project without source control solution. As I was used to SVN, I search for a free SVN host and found Assembla (http://www.assembla.com). Always available and not a single problem in 2 years!

Client side I use TortoiseSVN (http://tortoisesvn.net/)

Graphics

Now you got anything you need to develop Flash games... But you still need graphics. Jul (from Storybird Games http://storybird.mobi/) use the widely known Photoshop (http://www.photoshop.com/). But I have from time to time to create some debugging graphics (or cut Jul's graphics in resizable parts). I use both Paint (yes, from Windows) and Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/) when i need transparency support. Beyond the graphic modification, we used two additional wonderful tools:

  • pngout (http://advsys.net/ken/utils.htm) to optimize your PNG size (up to 95% reduction, even on small png)
  • png2swf (http://www.swftools.org/) to create swf animation from a png sequence. Most animations in 1Quest are created this way, only a few are created using actionscript
  • hxswfml (https://code.google.com/p/hxswfml/) to packages graphics and musics into a single swf for faster loading