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 :)

Would you like to see what online communication will look like in 2010?

Posted on June 2, 2009 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Technology, Web 2.0.

E-mail, instant messaging, wikis and blogs. All of them are about to be revolutionized by Google Wave.

I am amazed.  I cannot wait to start collaborating across the web using wave.  Being a web citizen is about to get much better!

Who will be the first to write an Adobe Air API for wave? :)

AIR != Silverlight

Posted on May 21, 2008 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Blogging, Technology.


Myself and many others have been high frustrated in recent months to hear the large number of tech journalists who have made incorrect comparisons of AIR and Silverlight. I’ve even heard respected tech journalists confusing Flex and AIR. These are people who really should know better, and they in turn create wide spread confusion within the wider internet community.

Peter Elst has started a badge campaign to help spread the word, and Mrinal Wadhwa has created a badge that people can use on their blogs (see the top of this post).  What you do makes a difference!  Just incase someone ever asks you about Silverlight and AIR, here’s a great quote I read on Mrinal’s blog:

Microsoft Silverlight is a browser plugin and is sort of similar to Adobe’s Flash Player and Flex Framework taken together.

Adobe AIR is cross platform desktop runtime that allows developers to build desktop applications using web technologies, it has no real equivalent in the Microsoft world.

Spread the word!

Flex Builder 3 – My shiny new box!

Posted on March 14, 2008 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Flex.

Picture 7Woohoo!!! My shiny new copy of Flex Builder 3 Professional came in the mail today!

Thanks heaps to Adobe, and to the members of the NZFXUG for making it possible for me to get a copy of FB3.  I can’t wait to start trying out all the new features! :)

It’s funny, but I’ve never owned a boxed copy of an Adobe product before.  I guess that’s because we live in the age of software downloads and emailed serial numbers.  Either way, this is getting pride of place on my shelf, ready to impress anyone who might ask me to code for them :)

An Eventful Day

Posted on February 27, 2008 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Flex, Life.

image Yesterday was an eventful day for me:

  • Flex and AIR were both released which is a fantastic leap forward for application technology.  I can’t wait to start playing with these properly.
  • I found out that I didn’t win the Degrafa derby, which was sad for me.  I put a lot of effort into PostACard, but congratulations to Erno Aapa for his winning entry!
  • I went to the New Zealand Flex User Group meeting to celebrate the new product launches.  I got a cool Adobe AIR (head) T-shirt, and I also won the raffle for a copy of Flex Builder 3!  Thanks to Adobe and Campbell for putting the event on for us.

So I didn’t win the Degrafa derby, but PostACard is still in the running for the 360|Flex API contest. Don’t miss your chance to vote!

SmallWorlds as an AIR App

Posted on February 4, 2008 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Flex.


Munkiihouse.com is my own personal blog.  The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of Outsmart or SmallWorlds.

SmallWorlds has been in a closed beta for two weeks now and development is hurrying onward towards our full release. If you haven’t got an account yet, leave a comment on this post with a valid email address, and I’ll make sure you get an invite sent out to you.  The response to SmallWorlds has been overwhelmingly positive with many people commenting on both the user experience and technological achievements on display. One question which has come up a few times however, is whether or not we will be releasing SmallWorlds as an AIR application.


Adobe Flex Builder 3 Public Beta 3

Posted on December 13, 2007 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe, Flex.

image The third (and final?) beta of Flex Builder 3 has now been released.  Head on over to the Adobe Labs and check it out.

I hope they’ve sorted out the chrome issues in Vista  for this one.  Then I can really start to play :)

Adobe AIR Developer Derby

Posted on June 15, 2007 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe.

Since Adobe have just released the AIR platform, and since Adobe are keen to get lots of people using AIR as soon as possible, Adobe is running the Adobe AIR Developer Derby.

The competition is to build an application using AIR, and submit it before September 5th.
The prizes are pretty amazing, so I highly suggest you head over and check them out.

The top five entries  all win “The Ultimate Development Environment” featuring, among other things, a Mac Pro with 8 processing cores, 4 gigs of RAM and 1.5 terrabytes of hard disk space.

Aswell as a cool computer, the top entry also wins a $100,000 travel voucher from Adobe
to be used for the travel of their choice.

I’m blown away by amount of money that Adobe is putting into this competition, and I think a lot of people are going to be learning AIR for this one.  I’m build an app to enter into the contest which may slow down my rate of posting over the next little while.  When I get the chance however I’ll blog about some of the new AIR features I’m learning.

Adobe Integrated Runtime

Posted on June 11, 2007 by Tony Fendall.
Categories: AIR, Adobe.

The wraps came off apollo today aswell, the official name is Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). The beta release is now available on
Adobe Labs, and can be downloaded here.

The new Flex Builder has built in support for building AIR applications, and there’s an amazing competition on Adobe Labs which I’ll blog about when I get a chance.