Tag Archive for game development

An experiment with HTML5 in HaxeFlixel

I’ve been looking for a crossplatform solution lately, a solution that can export to HTML5, Android and iOS. Being a Flash developer I’ve been building successful apps with the powerful Adobe AIR crossplatform system, but one of the platforms it doesn’t support is HTML5. Not the best platform, but one that is gaining a lot of traction, and is being heralded as the future of the web. As much as I prefer the power of Actionscript coupled with AIR sometimes you can’t fight the trend, and it makes it especially hard when Adobe themselves just don’t seem to care about their own product.

I’ve looked at Phaser as a pure HTML5 framework, and I’ve actually been impressed with the performance shown by the game samples I’ve made with it.

After getting the thumbs up from me, I moved away from Phaser, and this week I’ve been looking at Haxe, OpenFL, and the HaxeFlixel Framework.

HaxeFlixel

Now, HaxeFlixel doesn’t fully support HTML5 export yet, with documentation citing only ‘experimental support’. So I took an experimental look. I chose to persist with HaxeFlixel instead of rolling back to OpenFL because HaxeFlixel is designed as a game framework, with built in physics controllers, advanced Math and Tweening abilities, it’s the perfect framework for game developers. I noticed a lot of similarities with the Phaser Framework I was playing with last week, which is no real surprise as both Flixel and Phaser were existing Flash frameworks before people starting jumping ship from the slowly sinking goliath.

And the results from my experiment? Positive.

It isn’t optimized, and slightly buggy, but HTML5 export is definitely possible with Haxeflixel. So possible in fact that I built a breakout clone today. This was built using the current “dev” branch of HaxeFlixel on GitHub, so the improved HTML5 support over the “master” branch is still being worked on.

Before you click the link, keep this in mind

– resizing the window will resize the game, which will break the “replay” button at the end

– It may be slow and chuggy on mobiles not being optimized, but mobile play does work. EDIT: Not on iOS devices it seems. “Experimental support”!

– Like my other games in the last week, this is a simple prototype with only basic game elements.

That being said, click the image below to be taken to the game.

breakout

Desktop, Android, iOS, and hopefully very soon HTML5, HaxeFlixel’s future as the number one crossplatform solution is looking bright.

Breakout assets provided by http://kenney.nl/

‘Innovation’ in the mobile market

The Flappy Apprentice

 

When a new game is released on PC or console there are bound to be some imitators, it just comes with the territory. A rival company takes note on what makes a game so popular, and decides to have a crack at it too. But because of the nature of console games, and their lengthy development processes, the end result is usually a similar genre but a new game completely. There’s too much risk making a blatant copy of the latest AAA title. Why pay 60-100 dollars for a game that is just a copy of the last 60-100 dollar game you bought?

But Mobile games? That’s another story.

We’re playing games that were made within a month, a week, sometimes even a day. They’re simple games designed to be played for quick bouts at the bus stop, on the train, waiting for a doctor, standing in line at the coffee shop. They’re coffee break games, for the most part anyway.

And since quick to play usually means quick to make, you’re going to see imitators everywhere. As soon as a single game becomes popular, or in todays case, “viral”, the App Store and Google Play become inundated with not only similar games, but downright carbon copies with different assets.

The most prominent example being Flappy Bird, as the original creator pulled the game, leaving a void at the peak moment in the games viral popularity. Given the simple nature of the game and the quick turnaround with Google Play, we began to see copies within a day of the viral explosion that Flappy Bird experienced. These clones, which run anywhere between free and a couple of dollars, are so cheap to make and cheap to buy, that it actually makes sense in the mobile market. Why waste time making an original game when you can ride the coattails of a popular one?

This is a mentality that needs to stop, but won’t. Not in todays mobile game market. There are so many games being churned out that it doesn’t allow for really unique and actually fun games to shine. Their luminosity is muted by the grey seas of by-the-numbers clones.

What can we do as mobile developers to stop this?

Nothing, not to stop it anyway. It has become so bad that only a radical shift in the nature of the purchasing power of the consumer needs to be the driving force behind change. The only thing we can do is attempt to influence this change with unique and exciting titles, but that’s a risky and costly venture.

Until any change happens, we’ll have to ride out a storm that looks like this, have you played Clash of Clans? Then you may find every single one of these games a little too familiar.

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