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Flash Is The Number One Tool For GameJams!

Posted by molkman - February 2nd, 2013

Last weekend we participated in the Global GameJam here at our local town 0711. Sadly we didn't manage to finish our game, although we had four pretty swell programmers on our team. The game is all about cool folks dancing their facess off on a weird planet. The software/framework that was used at the gamejam was Löve2D.

So after this gamejam, the first one we didn't use Flash at, I am super sure about one thing. Flash (and Unity) is the number one tool for GameJams and basically for wrapping up a quick thing in no time. Seriously, with pretty much all other programming languages, I feel that programmers need to spend at least half a day to just get the program to show the graphics ingame. And with Flash and Unity, you have that all set up already. In Flash, I can draw a funky character, put about 10 lines of code on top of that and I can already move that character around. Takes about 15 minutes.

I really don't get why so many programmers are hating on Flash.

In other juice, Caesar's Day Off is one of the finalists at the IndieSpeedRun, the gamejam it was created at. It's all done in Flash.

Ride on, handsome!

Flash Is The Number One Tool For GameJams!

Comments (3)

Yes, right on. Flash is an absolute dream if you need something done by the end of the day.

Well, the tradeoff always seems to be between development speed and processing power. The more generic you make the code, the less well it will run. So flash is just weak and slow compared to what you can accomplish by delving into lower levels. This has changed a little over time with flash, but it's annoying to have to keep waiting for Adobe to stop dragging their feet on everything. I think people tend to hate on them because they aren't challenged by any other software platform in the niche they've carve out online, so flash progresses very slowly. I mean, they didn't even have 3D capabilities until a year or so ago, and they botched that pretty badly, IMHO...

As a counterpoint to what you said; if you build your own framework solidly, you only have to do it once, and you can update it yourself whenever something new comes along. The programmers you're jamming with just don't have their own framework, so it seems like flash is much faster because they're using one that's already made for them. Someone had to write the code at some point, though. The only real advantage flash has is that you'll be able to release it online for a wider audience. This is still a big enough plus that lots of people will use it (though, with lots of grumbling, hahaha).

It's great to be able to easily put up a game online. That's what I get with using Flash. I think nowadays people don't want to download games to play them, especially those small minigames. You'll lose a great portion of the audience if the game isn't playable in a browser.

On the other hand, I think a skilled programmer can use knowledge from other languages like Java und easily translate them to ActionScript/OOP and get a .swf build without even using Flash.

i think flash is a weird beast in that programmers and artists are using the same piece of software, which almost never happens. maybe it doesnt for a reason though and thats why flash is so flakey and never really nails anything correctly

Yea, Flash isn't really precise in many things it does.