Flash Games in Flex Part 2 – World Builder

Posted on September 21, 2009 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Flex, Gaming.

Since my last post I have continued working on little ‘cat herding’ game as a way of learning about how a simple 2D game engine works.  It quickly became apparent to me however that I was going to need a tool to help me define levels for the game as manually typing out the level definition (several large int arrays) was becoming very tedious.

A ‘World Builder’ application is quite a different puzzle to building a game, because the world builder not only needs to be able to render the level to the screen, but it also needs to be able to update the level in a fast and elegant way.  These constraints are directly contradictory when you are trying to decide on the data structure to represent your world, and it took me several different attempts to get it right.  What I eventually settled on can be seen above, and you can download the source here.  Read on for an explanation of how it works.

Note: All of the tile assets used in this demo (and my previous one) have been borrowed from the application RPG Maker XP. It’s an awesome piece of software!


Let’s Go Walk About- Flash Games in Flex

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Flex, Gaming.



Recently at work I haven’t been doing much actual Flex development.  Instead I have been spending my time working on a data mining/business intelligence system which is an intricate combination of some complex SQL, Ruby scripts and some software called Pentaho.  Long story short I was starting to miss the feeling of getting my hands dirty in Flex code, so a few days I go I started messing around with building my own rudimentary game engine from the group up.

Above you can see what I have built so far in about 3 hours total coding time spread over the last four days.  The age old adage “never re-invent the wheel, unless you want to learn something” has proven true here once again also.  There is quite a lot of trickery to get even this small number of objects to draw themselves onto the screen in a fast, efficient way.

I’ll probably release the source code pretty soon. It’s still a bit in a state of flux so I’m not ready to let other people read it just yet :)

If I continue to have a bit of free time up my sleeve in the next few weeks I hope to port this project to AIR and have a go at trying to construct the map and characters from a definition in a text file.  At present the layout is defined in a 2D int array, so the conversion will hopefully be fairly simple.  If that works out then I’ll probably try and remember some of the AI techniques I learnt back in university… Should be fun :)

Having Fun in SmallWorlds (PICS)

Posted on March 11, 2009 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming.

Here are a couple of snaps I took this afternoon while hanging out with some of my SmallWorlds Friends.  Mysterio’s is a great place to come and hang out because there’s always plenty of magic handy :)


If I had to pick one thing I love most about SmallWorlds, I’d have to say the variety. 
I love how different and colorful everyone looks.  Having loads of
cool spells on hand helps too :)


SmallWorlds Interviewed by Robert Scoble

Posted on March 5, 2009 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming, Technology, Web 2.0.

Last week, Robert Scoble interviewed SmallWorlds co-founder Mitch Olson and discussed some of the revolutionary features which have been built into SmallWorlds.  The interview covers a very good overview of SmallWorlds as a platform and covers features such as:

  • Accessibility and embedability (Adobe Flex)
  • User generated spaces
  • User generated missions/games
  • Widgets and 3rd party API integration
  • Social network integration


Age Restrictions in Websites

Posted on March 3, 2009 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming, Technology.

Disclaimer: While I do work for SmallWorlds, the views and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the view and opinions of SmallWorlds.

pg13shirt I notice that most online games (most large websites also) carry age restrictions around who can play or participate in them.  Let’s not be naive here, the web is a dangerous place, and there are lots of things that younger people need protecting from.  Recently however, I have been thinking about this strategy a lot, and I am starting to wonder whether blanket age restrictions really are the right way to approach this issue. (more…)

StarCraft II – First Look At The Zerg

Posted on March 11, 2008 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming.

This video was shown recently in Korea, and provides the first look at the Zerg race as well as some interesting insights into the new story line. Check it out!

Edit: I removed the video because the embed code broke my site.
You can see it here: http://gamevideos.com/video/id/17918


SmallWorlds Now in Beta (Screenshots)

Posted on January 19, 2008 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Adobe, Flex, Gaming, Technology, Web 2.0.

Update: SmallWorlds will be in public beta from 2pm 03/06/08. Come and check it out!

SmallWorlds was released into private beta yesterday afternoon after months of development. It’s been amazing to see this grow from nothing, into the greatest Flex application every built!

SmallWorlds features:

  • Built in Flex and running on top of Red5 on Amazon’s EC2 servers
  • Highly flexible avatar builder where you have heaps of control over face shape, facial features and it even has a dance studio where you can design you avatar’s groove
  • Heaps of furniture and theme packs to make your room just like home
  • You can fill your room with lots of great widgets/applications such as the pool table, arcade machine, YouTube TV, Flickr photos, Last.fm radio and heaps more

The beta is currently invite only, so if you’d like to get in and see it for yourself, leave a comment on this post with a valid email and I’ll send one through to you.


Unreal Tournament 3 Beta Demo

Posted on October 13, 2007 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming, Life, Technology.

image It’s been quite a weekend for PC games.

Hot on the heals of Portal coming out, I just got word that the Unreal Tournament 3 playable demo is now available for download.

It’s only the a beta demo, but by all accounts, this game is going to be pretty excellent.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

Once you do have the game, you can find details of some game servers available for the demo here.

All out of portals :(

Posted on by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming, Life, Technology.

image Portal really is one of the best games released in a while, but unfortunately, after having the game for only 24 hours, I’ve already played it through from start to finish… twice!

The good news is that there is a Portal SDK, which should enable people to build and share their own levels.  So what we need now is wait for the first  fan-built level pack to come out.  Then I’ll be able to play again.

I’d love to look into build some levels myself too, so if anyone has any idea how to even start doing something like that, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Ps. The ending credits of Portal  are great! :)

Now you’re thinking with Portals

Posted on October 11, 2007 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: Gaming, Life, Technology.

imageThe Half-Life 2 mini game Portal came out today.  This is an amazing puzzle game where you can place portals, and thus teleport instantly from place to place.  This game is from the same people who created Narbacular Drop (free), and I think it is one of the most fantastic concepts for a game I have ever seen!

If you haven’t done so already, check out the trailer video below, and then head on over and grab the game.  You can download it through Valve’s Steam client, and it costs $19.95 USD.

This game is seriously fun! :)