posts tagged with: as3

Maybe Updating Offspring Fling!

Maybe Updating Offspring Fling!
I'm dipping back into the wild world of AS3 for the next few days and pushing out a small update for Offspring Fling (if everything goes according to plan.)

You see, many years ago when Offspring Fling was being made into a downloadable application instead of a flash game, I wanted to add joystick support. I ended up going with a native extension called JoyQuery that was able to do it.. sort of. It had a few issues, but the game had joystick support for being an AIR application which was pretty awesome.

Unfortunately, JoyQuery caused some issues on some people's computers. The game would run incredibly slow, or the game would straight up crash on some PCs. I think the game doesn't work at all on Windows 8 right now unless you put it in Windows 7 compatibility mode.

So that's where AIRControl comes in. The creator of JoyQuery released it a little while ago, and so far it's looking super promising. Getting it integrated with Offspring Fling even after not touching the code in a very long time was really straight forward. This is also coming from someone who tried to use the new GameInput stuff that Adobe has exposed to desktop applications in AIR. I really tried to get GameInput to work, but I have no clue how it works still, and AIRControl took me less than an hour to get rolling.

Anyway, stay tuned for an Offspring Fling minor update that should fix the last remaining issues with the game related to JoyQuery!

Disable ESC in Fullscreen on Adobe AIR

Disable ESC in Fullscreen on Adobe AIR
One of the issues with building a desktop application with Adobe AIR is that there is a built in function in the runtime that will cancel any full screen mode when the user pushes the Escape key. This is mostly a functionality of Flash, but it carries over to AIR since AIR is pretty much an extension of the Flash runtime.

Fortunately when you're using the AIR runtime you can actually override the default functionality of the Escape key and keep your application full screen when the user pushes Escape. This came up in Offspring Fling because I was using the Escape key in my UI design. The user pushes Escape to return to the main menu, pause the game, or skip cutscenes, so it was a problem when escape also canceled the game's full screen mode.

The fix for this is super easy and straight forward. First you just need an event listener on the stage for the KEY_DOWN KeyboardEvent.
//listen for key down event and trigger escOverride function
FP.stage.addEventListener(KeyboardEvent.KEY_DOWN, escOverride);
Now here's what the escOverride function looks like.
private function escOverride(e:KeyboardEvent):void {
if (e.keyCode == 27) {

The keyCode for the Escape key is 27, so whenever a key is pressed the function escOverride is called. If the keyCode was 27, then the preventDefault() function will prevent the default action from being triggered. In this case, it's the "exit fullscreen" action.

There you have it! With just 4 or 5 lines of code total you can prevent your Adobe AIR game from canceling fullscreen when the user pushes Escape. With great power comes great responsibility. (Also note that I believe this is impossible in a normal swf build. The preventDefault() function only works in Adobe AIR.)

FlashDevelop to iPad Workflow

FlashDevelop to iPad Workflow
I recently got one of them new fangled iPad things and I heard on the internet that Adobe AIR is actually pretty decent at building things for iOS. Offspring Fling used Adobe AIR so I'm already a little familiar with how to build for Windows and Mac, but it turns out that iOS is an entirely different beast... sort of. The set up and configuration of the whole workflow can be a nightmare, but once it's over then you'll have a set up that lets you push F5 to build right to your device!

Follow along on this series of text and images and hopefully you will be enjoying pushing the F5 key on your keyboard and seeing an app pop up on your iOS device! Also put on some relaxing music because some parts of this tutorial might be hard to understand and frustrating. I'm using Windows 7 64-bit for this.

Adobe AIR Window Scaling

Adobe AIR Window Scaling
Over the past week I added some menus and options to my Global Game Jam game remake. I'm doing this super early on in the game's life because having some awesome polished menus makes it feel like a "real" game, which motivates me to work on it more. One of the first things I did for the game options was window scaling. The game natively runs at 320 x 240, so obviously players are going to want some various scaling options unless they really want to run it at 1x and barely see the game on their screens that are now probably 4000 pixels wide.

The awesome thing about working in AIR is that it will automagically resize the game's window to the size of the flash stage, so all I have to do is set the stage width and the stage height and the window will resize to match. However, there are some funky issues that can arise.

The flash stage has different scaling modes that you can use. There's EXACT_FIT, NO_BORDER, NO_SCALE, and SHOW_ALL. For the case of this game, I'm using EXACT_FIT after I resize the window. The reason for this is so that players with super huge monitor set ups can scale the window themselves.

This was actually a problem with Offspring Fling until the lastest update. I had a player that had a desktop width of over 4000 pixels because of their multimonitor set up. They couldn't play in fullscreen mode because it would scale across both monitors, and they couldn't play in windowed mode because it was too tiny. Changing the window mode to EXACT_FIT made it so anyone can scale the window to whatever size they want. I could've also used SHOW_ALL, which would maintain the game's aspect ratio as it scaled, but some users wanted to stretch the game to fill their entire monitor. (WHY?!)

Flashpunk NineSlice Class (Updated!)

Flashpunk NineSlice Class (Updated!)
Last week I posted a quick NineSlice class that I wrote to work in Flashpunk. It was a little clunky, so this past week I cleaned it up and integrated it with Flashpunk's graphic system. The new version now extends Image, so you get all the awesome Image effects like color tinting, rotation, scaling, and more. Check out the new version!

As a quick example, here's how I'm using it in my current project. Check out this screenshot of a menu:


Thanks to the handy dandy nine slice object, most of this menu is just drawn with a couple of simple source images. I scaled them up 4x so you could see them a little better.


Just using these images as sources means I don't have to make a new image every time I want to change the size of one of the widgets. I can also do some cool animations with tweening the width and heights of the panels over time.

Feel free to use the class however you want. If you use it or improve it in anyway, let me know!

A Flashpunk 9-Slice Object

A Flashpunk 9-Slice Object
As I've been working on this Global Game Jam game remake, I've been trying to come up with solutions for problems that I can hopefully reuse for more projects in the future. One of the things I've been thinking a lot about is managing and drawing the various user interfaces for the game. Even though I'm not quite sure how much UI stuff this game will need, I wanted to have some sort of solid base to start with so that I could get stuff up and running quickly.

One of the most basic core structures of drawing a cool UI (in my opinion!) is a 9-slice graphic object. What's a 9-slice graphic object?! Well, here's a quick example of one that I have working in Flashpunk right now.


The box that is being drawn above the red player rectangle is a working example of my NineSlice class. It's being drawn from a source image of nine tiles. The source file has four tiles for the corners, four tiles for the sides, and one tile for the center. Here's what the source looks like (blown up 4x because it is tiny.)


This is incredibly useful because it's now possible for me to draw stylized boxes for potential UI components at any size without having to draw each one individually. One thing that I wish that I had spent more time on in Offspring Fling is the UI for the menus, so in the future I want to make my menus and interfaces as awesome as they can be, and having some functions do a lot of the fancy work for me is a big step in that direction. Here's what it looks like right now:

Here are some snippets of code from the example shown above:
//initial set up
private var nineSliceTest:NineSlice = new NineSlice(Assets.IMG_NINE_SLICE_TEST, 3, 3, 3, 3);
//in the entity's constructor
nineSliceTest.scrollX = nineSliceTest.scrollY = 0;
nineSliceTest.width = 40;
nineSliceTest.height = 40;
nineSliceTest.x = 50;
nineSliceTest.y = 50;
//in the entity's render function
Right now this is a very rough first pass on this kind of thing. Ideally it would be some sort of Flashpunk graphic extension that would plug directly into the Flashpunk rendering system. For now it makes use of the Flashpunk Draw class, and some utility functions that I've written for myself. Feel free to use it or improve it, and if you end up improving it then let me know!