Developing Flash Games For Fun and Profit

Flash games have became increasingly commonplace in recent years but despite this, the creators of them seem fairly resistant to any real form of change. This is evidenced by virtue of the fact that they are continuing in producing the same tired material with no thought of expansion. A part of this can be explained by the fact that Flash games and the creation of them is a difficult process.

One of the major hurdles to cross in relation to the creation of Flash games is that you need to be proficient at Flash coding, in addition to a multitude of other skills. For example, the Flash game developer will need to cultivate their proficiency and experience with the creation of graphics as well as the development of audio. The following is a breakdown of the cycle that a Flash coder should adopt for the creation of a game.

First and foremost it is crucial that we appreciate that games of any description are very demanding, complex and difficult items to produce and this is due to the fact that they require a significant amount of different items included in them. This can range from audio to movie clips even to ordinary graphics.

Given that there are so many different components firmly in play this means that if you move headfirst into the coding stage you will not only make poor progress, but end up with a very mediocre result for your efforts. I will always begin my game creation with a brainstorming exercise to list and identify the things to cover. It is only by listing all of these assets and items that I will be in a stronger position to actually make progress.

Once you have successfully developed the draft version the next logical step in the chain is to actually make a dummy version of the Flash game. This stage will identify the best ways to write code which will render the game functional and which will also pinpoint particular areas needed for improvement. Please note that I DO include holder graphics at this particular stage (if only for completion more than anything else) although on the other hand I will keep audio out unless it is critical.

Once the dummy version of the game has been successfully written and exhaustively tested the next logical step is to then proceed to merge the graphics as well as the audio together. How well I completed the design stage will have a profound impact upon the successful completion of this stage. I will usually delegate a lot of the graphical work to an artist to ensure that I keep myself clear for the coding.

It is only when the game is for all intents and purposes “complete” that I will then proceed to add things such as level screens and the like. This means that I will keep the testing stages firmly under control, as they will not be bloated with unnecessary code.

As can hopefully be seen, even a very basic Flash game can be a fairly demanding task to achieve. Therefore, careful and strategic planning is essential in all instances in order to keep the workload to an acceptable median. Break down the work into manageable chunks and you will be able to make more progress quicker. Delegate when and where necessary!

Please note: if you have never actually made a game entirely by yourself then the best thing maybe for you to simply focus purely upon modifying existing code to achieve a desired result because this will provide you with a much needed boost in experience.

Developing games can be a lot of fun, a great learning experience, and also quite profitable if done properly. They can also be a real headache thoughg so my advice is to take it slowly, learn at a gradual pace and enjoy the journey!

Bill is a web designer and Flash games developer. He teaches Flash games development at Flash Games Classroom and runs a number of sites where you can find Free Flash Game

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