Week 9 and 10

Overview

This week we will begin a real-time 2D action game. In this game you will create a hero character that will move up and down, side to side, and even diagonally. The hero will shoot lasers to destroy enemies. The game will advance in levels and there will be increasing difficulty and addition types of enemies to destroy. There will also be objects to pick up. I have modeled the game after one of my favorite childhood games, Robotron. 

Week 7 – 9 Assignment – Create a Robotron Game with Actionscript 2.0 

Due Date: End of week 11, send me your finished fla file (CS5 format), zipped in an email attachment.

This game will take three weeks to develop, so it should look pretty complete at the end. By the time you are finished the game should have the following features minimum:

  1. Start screen and start button,
  2. Instruction screen and button,
  3. Win and lose screens, with replay button,
  4. Score – A running score based on points,
  5. 3 heroes – You get three heroes per game with the possibility of bonus men.
  6. 4 levels – at least 4 levels to the game need to be complete
  7. High score board – with the ability to retrieve and add names and scores
  8. 4 enemy types – at least 4 types of enemies need to be complete
  9. and all of the game functionality necessary to make it playable. 

See my articles and video tutorials on creating the Robotron game using Flash and Actionscript 2.0:

Robotron AS 2.0 – Part 1 ,

Robotron AS 2.0 – Part 2 ,

Robotron AS 2.0 – Part 3 

 

Week 5 and 6

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Catching Game Overview

This week we will begin a basic catching game. A catching game might be a simple game where objects are falling down and it is your job to move a catcher character and catch important objects, while avoiding other objects. {loadposition adposition5}Difficulty can be created by speeding up the objects, mandating a certain number of successful catches, avoiding falling traps, etc. The game might also be altered so that the catcher also becomes a shooter.

Week 5 & 6 Assignment – Create a Flash Catching Game

Due Date: End of week 7,

Instructions: Please post your finished game to the Danscourses.com Forum and also send me your finished .fla file as an email attachment.

Your finished game will be graded on the following items:

  1. Start Screen – A Start screen with a Start button and an Instructions button (1 point),
  2. Instructions Screen – An Instructions screen with back button (1 point),
  3. Game Over Screen – A Game Over screen, with replay button (1 point),
  4. Scoreboard – A running score based on points (1 point),
  5. 3 Lives – You get three lives or tries before losing (1 point).
  6. Game Theme – Catching game theme, idea, and graphics (2 points)
  7. Game Code – Catching game actionscript code (3 points)  
  8. Game Sound – Catching game sound effects (extra credit)

To create your catching game you will work through 4 stages of Flash and Actionscript game development: stage 1) the catcher, stage 2) the falling objects, stage 3) collision detection, and stage 4) game screens and lives. For each of these stages, I have prepared an article with information and video tutorials to help guide you through the process. Click the links below to work through the game stages in linear order:

Here is a great example of a completely finished catching game by Colin:

 

Week 4

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Flash Mystery Game Overview

So far we have learned how to create Flash graphics, movieclip animations, and write some basic Actionscript for simple button and timeline interactivity; now we will put all of these things together, to create a mystery, find the hidden clues game.

Week 4 Assignment: Create a "Mystery Hunt & Click Game"

Due date: End of Week 6 – 10 points

Create a game where you travel through the game from a first person point of view, solving puzzles, finding clues and items, and choosing paths in order to reach the end and solve the mystery.

Game Requirements

Your game should contain the following elements:

  • an introduction screen and a Start Game button,
  • at least five different places in the game where the player has to click a button to choose a path,
  • at least two animated transitions (use classic tweens),
  • buttons that are either invisible, or are made out of graphics,
  • at least two puzzles to solve like a key to find, or a numerical combination that will open a lock, or a treasure map, etc..
  • a winning screen, and a losing screen,
  • and a Start Over button

Game Extra Credit

Here are some extra ideas that you can add to your game for extra credit:

  • Adding background theme music (not loud and annoying)
  • Adding sound effects

Here are some websites where you can get free sound FX and sound loops:

Game Examples

For ideas take a look at these online mystery hunt and click games:

Game Assignment Tutorials and Resources

To help you make your game, I created video tutorials. Watch the videos and create the project. Save your flash authoring file (ie. “.fla”) zip it, email it to me as an attachment, and post it to the dancourses.com forum.

Click here to go to "Mystery Hunt & Click Game – Actionscript 2.0 – For more information and video tutorials

Click here to go to Flash Animated Flickering Light Effect

Click here to go to "Mystery Hunt & Click Game, Part 2 – Actionscript 2.0 – For additional game features, and video tutorials.

Week 2

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Overview

This week we will to continue to learn how to create Flash game assets, mainly Flash movieclips and Flash buttons. We want to be able to create game graphics and game animations which can be accessed by or loaded into our Flash games. {loadposition adposition5}We will also begin to learn some Actionscript basics to create some interactivity in our Flash projects.

You will want to visit these articles and watch the video tutorials on Actionscript basics:

Actionscript Basics – The Actions Window 

Actionscript Basics – Comments & Tracing Output

Actionscript Basics – Variables 

Actionscript Basics – Operators 

Week 2 Assignment – Create an interactive flash spaceship with movieclips and buttons

Create a spaceship movieclip with 3 different states stopped, thrusting, and shields. In this assignment, you will create a simple cartoon spaceship and convert it to a Flash movieclip. You will create three simple Flash buttons and you will write the Actionscript code to toggle the spaceship from stopped, to thrusting, to shields. I have created video tutorials that will walk you through the project. Watch the videos and create the project. If you want to create a car, hero or alternate character or sprite please feel free to do so.

A Flash Spaceship with Movieclips and Buttons – Actionscript 2

Due date: End of week 3
Please post your Flash Spaceship Sprite assignment, Flash document (.fla) file and Flash movie (.swf) into the Danscourses Forum under the appropriate topic. See if you can embed your Flash movie (.swf) in to the post so everyone can see it easily.

A Character Armature with the Flash Bones Tool

Overview

One of the newest ways you can animate your puppet characters in Flash CS4 and CS5 is by creating an armature for them using the Bones Tool. Once your armature is created you can simply click and drag on the character’s armature or linked parts and the parts will follow like the joints of a puppet. The Flash bones tool uses inverse kinematics to achieve coordinated joint interactions.

{loadposition adposition5}The adobe website has a great tutorial on how to do this: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/character_animation_ik.html. I recommend spending some time studying that article in depth. In order to use the Bones Tool your Flash document will have to use Actionscript 3.0 and Flash CS4 or CS5.


Video Tutorial

In the video tutorials below, I use the bones tool to create an armature for a simple Flash puppet character and animate the characters arm and leg by dragging the armature. In part 2, I show how to constrain the rotation of the armature to help with the Flash animation process.

 

Create a Flash Puppet with Movieclips

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Overview

For games to be fun, they usually need characters or protagonists. It is important to know how to create your own characters, also called sprites, by either using Flash’s built-in vector drawing tools or importing bitmap graphics into Flash and then turning them into movieclips.

{loadposition adposition5}You will also want to know how to use Flash’s timeline, keyframes, frames and motion tweening to animate your characters. All of this combined, gives you the ability to create compelling graphics for your games. The goal of this assignment is to learn to create an animated character using movieclips and keyframes on the timeline. Remember that every movieclip symbol or character in Flash, can have its own timeline, and therefore its own motion routines and subroutines.

 

 

 

Video Tutorial

In this tutorial, I convert basic shapes to movieclips and then I create a small animation using keyframes and frames.

 

The Flash Timeline, Keyframes and Frames

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Overview

Before you start programming and creating games in Flash, it is helpful to know how to use Flash’s built-in timeline and movieclip structure. With the help of the Flash timeline, keyframes and frames you can create reusable animations and graphics that can be easily incorporated into your games. {loadposition adposition5}Most web games need graphics and usually small animations as well, Flash’s built-in graphics and animation tools will help make your development time a lot quicker by allowing you to manipulate graphics and animation within a graphical, timeline-based interface.

Video Tutorial

In the tutorials below I introduce you to the Flash interface and timeline, and I demonstrate working with keyframes, frames, layers and movieclips. All of these things are necessary in building interactive Flash movies and games.

 

 

 

Week 1 – Welcome to Flash Game Programming

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Introduction

I have been using Flash since 1993, and since that time the Flash player has been the main technology for delivering dynamic multimedia content over the web. Today, there are new web technologies like HTML5 that are making headway in delivering multimedia content over the web. {loadposition adposition5}Even with its detractors, Flash is still the most versatile multimedia tool on the web. It is an amazing vector animation and graphics tool, an excellent video delivery tool, and has an extremely powerful object oriented scripting language for programmatic interactivity as well.

In this class, we will learn how to make games for the web using Flash and Actionscript. We may also experiment with HTML5, Javascript, and other scripting languages as well.

Class Materials

The content of this class is designed to help you learn the basics of game programming and Flash. The class assumes the student has beginning level knowledge. Along with this website, we will utilize video tutorials hosted at http://youtube.com/danscourses 

Class Schedule and Policies

This class is offered as both a Self Directed Learning (SDL) course, and an online course. SDL students are required to be in the computer networking lab (GMB133), a minimum of 2.5 hours per week. Here is a list of common questions:

  • When can I come to the Lab?
    I am in the GMB133 class/lab over 30 hours per week, for my exact lab times click on Lab/Classroom Hours.
  • Can I work in the Lab when you are not there?
    Yes, if the door is open you are welcome to come in and work. If the door is locked you can also enter through the Flex Lab, GMB130. The Flex Lab has its own hours.
  • Can I work with Flash in the lab?.
    Yes, in the lab, the HP desktop computers have Flash and other Adobe products installed.
  • What if I am an online student, and I can’t work with Flash in the lab?
    If you are an online student you will need to work with Flash on your home computer. In order to do this you can purchase Flash either directly from Adobe.com or through an educational discount reseller like http://creationengine.com or the http://academicsuperstore.com . As a college student you can get an amazing price on Flash. You will need to provide proof that you are a student by attaching your current class schedule and to an email and sending it to them. The general public also has the ability to try Flash for free for 30 days by downloading the 30 day trial from Adobe.com  
  • When should I come to class?
    As soon as you can you should stop by the Lab in GMB133 and introduce yourself. Remember SDL students are required to be working in the lab 2.5 hours per week. It is up to you to decide exactly what your schedule will be. For both the online students and the SDL students, I will be hosting online class meetings using the Collaborate/Blackboard online conferencing tool.
  • How can I assure that I will be successful?
    The students that show up regularly, week by week, both online by logging in to DansCourses and in person by coming to the lab are the ones that will be successful. To finish this class, I recommend you sit down and create a schedule of times that you will work on the class and its assignments.

  • Is there a syllabus?
    The syllabus outlines the course, please download it and save it for your records: To be posted shortly
  • How will I turn in assignments?
    All assignments will be turned in as email attachments to dan.alberghetti@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view itThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • How will I be graded?
    I grade on a point system. Every week you will have the opportunity to earn points by doing projects. This class is about project based learning. Each week you will be asked to complete a different game programming project. To earn full points on a project or assignment, you will need to follow my instructions and accomplish the task presented to you as well as add your own creative process and individuality. If you follow the instructions and apply yourself in a thoughtful manner I am sure you will receive full points! Ultimately your final grade is based on scale of total points earned to total points possible. 
  • When is the end of the week? – Regarding when to turn in assignments, the end of the week is midnight Sunday evening.

Week 1 Overview

If you are an online student you will need to secure a copy of Adobe Flash to work with at home (See above: What if I am an online student, and I can’t work with Flash in the lab?). At http://creationengine.com type the word "Flash Professional" into the search box, press search and you will find the current version and price for Flash. Make sure you specify either the Windows or Apple platform. Currently, with a student discount, the cost of Flash is approximately $180, which is pretty reasonable.

Week 1, Assignment 1 – Introduce Yourself

  1. Acquire Adobe Flash –  The 30 day trial version of Flash Professional is available for downloading at http://adobe.com. Copies of Flash are available for student use in the GMB133, computer networking lab, at Sheridan College.
  2. Introduce yourself – Create a user account on this website. You will need to verify it through your email. Once your user account is activated, login to the website, go to the Forum area, and post an introduction, under the introductions topic under Flash Game Programming.

Week 1, Assignment 2 – Animate a Puppet Character Using Keyframes. Create a simple puppet character like a robot and make a short animation of the puppet character. Make the character do either a dance, a jump, a kick, or any other kind of simple movement. For this assignment, I would like you to create your own character from scratch, even if you draw only very simple graphics. To help you with this assignment I have created some introductory Flash tutorials: 

1. The Flash Interface

2. Drawing with Vector Graphics in Flash CS6

3. Create a Cartoon Penguin in Flash CS6

4. The Flash CS5 Timeline, Keyframes and Frames

5. Create a Flash Puppet with Movieclips 

These tutorials use an older version of Flash, but are still a valuable learning tool:

puppet1.wmv
puppet2.wmv

Example files:
puppet_start.fla

puppet_finished_demo.fla

Due Date: Due by the end of week 3.
Zip your finished Flash file and Flash movie and post it to the Flash Puppet Topic in the Danscourses Forum

Week 1, Assignment 3 – Create an Armature for your Character Using the Bones Tool, then Animate it.
Using the same character or maybe even a new one. Create an armature for your character using the Bones Tool. Note: All of the pieces of the puppet need to be movieclip symbols,  you may need to convert grouped objects to symbols to successfully link the armature to the skeleton. After the character is rigged with an armature skeleton create a short animation by adding frames and moving the movieclip pieces. I have created a tutorial to help you with the assignment:

Character Armatures with the Bones Tool 

Due Date: Due by the end of week 3.
Zip your finished Flash file and Flash movie and post it to the Flash Puppet Topic in the Danscourses Forum