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What About Flash? Can We Really Make Games With It?

What About Flash? Can We Really Make Games With It?

We've heard this story before: big-game developer gets tired of big-game team size, pressure, and politics, and switches to making small games. New companies filled with people escaping the retail AAA industry, developing these "casual" games, are popping up all the time.

By Scott Bilas, Oberon Media, Inc. These aren't the silly little things that get forwarded to us in email and hold our attention for 30 seconds. These are games that make money, and hearken back to the days of yore when a couple geeks in a garage could put together a hot shareware title in a few months and get rich quick. The big difference today is in the tools. We can build bigger, better, prettier, more advanced games with fewer people in less time and for less money than ever before!

One of the most respected (and reviled) tools for making interactive content is Flash. Well, what about Flash as a game development platform? It has grown in power considerably over the years. The casual games we build today are equivalent in production quality to the AAA games that were shipping around 10 years ago. Can we do it in Flash instead? And why would we want to?

This paper is the story of the Oberon development team's experiences with building games in Flash. All of us came from big games where we built our own tech (the author was a C++ game systems engineer for nearly ten years), so why did we choose Flash as our development platform instead of building our own casual games platform? What was so hot about Flash, and what caused us headaches? And, most importantly, when should we avoid using Flash entirely?

What is Flash?

Advantages of Flash

What is a Flash Game?

Flash Performance

Odds and Ends

Flash Resources

Developing with Flash


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