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Pro and Cons of building a game using Flex instead of Flash

April 16th, 2010 - Category: ActionScript 3 , Developers , Flash , Flex
After a discussion on the forum of MochiAds I decided to summ up all the things we said about using Flash IDE or Flex to make a game.

One important thing that came up since the first moment is that you can develop with FlashDevlop using Flex for free, instead of paying up to $700 to buy a license of Flash.
Using FlashDevelop to code is much easier due to the code predictor, you just start to write something and the program finishes it.

In terms of code editing Flash is really bad, so Flashdevelop or Flex itself is better.The Flex framework for example is useful to build menus very quickly.

Flash allows the creation of vector graphics, animations, and movie clips right away and pretty fast, also it makes possilbe to code directly on the timeline, which sometimes is very useful.

In Flex SDK you are almost restricted to using sprites and make all your graphics with PNG and then generate animations with tweener, this process would be too long to be considered fun.

Flash and Flex

But if you use both Flash and Flex one thing you can do, is create all your assets in Flash, export all the symbols in the library, then publish the swf. Embed the swf in Flex/FlashDevelop, then you can access all the assets in the swf, no matter what they are, in a similar method to the original embed.

A way of embedding assets is putting all the images into a .zip-file, embed it as a ByteArray into flash and then unzip it at runtime add put all the images into a Dictionary for later use. That way you dont have to write a huge amount of Embed tags, and also it's handy to have an instance of each image at a central place, easy to reuse the same BitmapData instance for several Bitmaps. For this you can use the BitmapZipDispenser.
Flex gets you far better control over your application, and it's usually easier to debug large projects. Also compiling is a lot faster since the Flex compiler only need to recompile the classes you edited since last compile, and it doesnt need to compress your assets for each compile.

Flash is a lot more visual, you actually see what you you are doing, and in my personal experience is more fun.

The conclusion is that it depends only on personal prefecence.

If you come from desktop development (Java/C/Delphi) and you are used to handle graphics by png/bmp sheets, using Flex is more likely what you did in the past. If one is more familiar with vector stuff than Flash is the choice.


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Article Comments


Sasha MacKinnon - April 27th, 2010
Awesome!
I actually use almost exactly this workflow, I develop all of my assets in flash, export them for AS and then embed them in flex. It works like a charm, especially since you can embed movies and reference their children using their instance names.
I've actually been thinking about creating a post describing my workflow, just like you have here. It took me far to many months of using flash before I worked out this out!

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