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Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler

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Design Web-based Flash Games

Bring your retro game concepts to life with animation.

If you’re looking to expose your games to as many people as possible, Macromedia’s Flash is one of those rare cross-platform tools whose reach extends as far as the eye can see. You need a Gamecube to play Smash Bros. You need an Xbox to play Halo. You need a Windows PC to run an .exe. With Flash, all you need is a web browser. Anyone who has access to the Internet (certainly a sizeable percentage of gamers) can experience your vision without the need for specific hardware or expensive upgrades.

While Flash’s Interactive Development Environment (IDE) makes it easy to keep track of the objects you’re working with, it is by no means a substitute for coding. The latest version of Flash MX, without writing any of your own code, gives your applications about the same capabilities as Flash 1.

You can download a free, 30-day trial of Flash MX from http://www.macromedia.com (you’ll have to register). It’s fully functional, comes with plenty of helpful tutorials and documentation, and any games you create will remain playable forever. If you find that you want to continue using Flash after the trial expires, you can purchase a copy from Macromedia for $400. This hack is going to assume you’re familiar with basic Flash terms such as the stage, timeline, panel, as well as the standard drawing tools and their various settings. If you’re already scratching your head, spend some time with the samples Macromedia ...

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