Archive for the ‘ Flash ’ Category

5 Seconds to Glory finally updated on app store

well, after finally convincing them that my “submit score” and leaderboard was identical to Keith’s “falling balls” game, they finally approved my 1.1 update last night.  Now we’re able to see how people rank against each other as “world’s fastest drummer”!

This version is re-written from the ground up in objective-c.  The previous version was built with Unity and did a good job, but this version is much smaller in file size, more accurate and responsive.  Thanks to Keith for helping me out with some leadboard code!  And a big thanks to the guys over at Geocade for the leaderboard service – they seriously rock \m/

Ok, I mistaken about the Ratings/reviews – Thanks.

Thanks for clearing it up for me everyone!  I feel stoopid for not realizing the difference.  I’d never given just a rating personally, and what with all the bogus ratings problems apple had previously, well, I’m sure you can understand why I thought what I thought.

But now I’m up to date ;)

Now, to the person who suggested that I should write a better app for better ratings: Bite me.  Thanks.   (this person is likely the BIGGEST predictable marketing stooge in his age group.  I will refer to him as the “Koolaide fluff boy”).

I can handle getting bad reviews – for sure.  Trust me, I’ve had plenty of critism in my time.  But this application happens to be the most simple application available.  You either like it or you don’t – and as it so happens, the ratings that came through reflects exactly this.

So do I still have a beef?  Hell yes.

It’s simple – doing ratings when you uninstall just isn’t a fair time to ask for an assessment.   My opinion is that most of the people uninstalling the app are unhappy (or clearing space) and therefor, at that moment are more apt to give you a bad review.  So, I have 240 ratings, but over 3000 installations.  So am I to assume that I have 2760 satisfied 4-5 star customers?  Yeah, MAYBE, but my ratings on iTunes don’t reflect that happiness AND there is no JUST AS EASY way to rate an app as when you uninstall it.

I guess I should see if asking for a rating within the game is possible.  If it were possible, at least I could have a chance for positive ratings on my app.

Oh, and an update on the approval process:  14 days later, I get a rejection email saying I hadn’t done something to comply with their SDK when in fact, I had.  So I wrote back, complained and was told “thank you for explaining, please resubmit”.  Now I have to wait another 5-7 (or 14 days).  I think this is rediculous.

Flash Grden Says: Flash on Tap is going to ROCK \m/

It’s true, if you’ve been to a Flash conference in the last year or so, you havent’ seen me around.  While most close friends of mine know why, most flashers generally don’t.  It’s simple really – I have a family and traveling was hard on them, so I made some changes and now I travel ALOT less.

However! There are a few exceptions that I WILL travel for and one of them is Flash on Tap!

Ok, so you might think: “Yeah, that’s only because Keith, Andy, Chris, Dominick, Rebecca, Seb, Ralph, Grant, Phillip, Michelle and Moses are going to be there”.  Not true!  You forgot the 12th member of the 12 muskateers!  BEER.   It’s like the “one ring to rule them all” affect.  Someone was smart enough to put Flash and Beer together for a legitimate conference.  So I guess we should call this “The fellowship of the beer” really.   hmmm…well I guess “Flash on Tap” IS more marketable, keeps bosses away from the thought of people drinking on company time, while communicating its real intent in a “coded/play on words” sort of way.

And I quote Wyle E. Coyote “SHHHHHHHeeeeeeer  Genius!”  (in the episodes where he could think or speak of course)

[ insert Phillip Kerman YouTube video he hasn't made yet that makes fun of Flash on Tap for its name and covert operation]

Now, ok it’s true, I AM going there to actually speak and teach – YAY!  I figure if I’m going to get out and do something, it’s gonna be big.  Andy and I are doing a full day’s workshop on Papervision3D goodness on Thursday May 28th!  We’re going to cover as much PV3D as we can in that full day and then some!  I figure I only do this every so often, so I’mma make this count.  If you got questions on PV3D or you want to learn, then get signed up ASAP.  As usual, the sign ups have gone quickly with the PV3D course, but there are 3 other courses to choose from so take a look!

I’m not sure what everyone else is presenting on in thier own 1hr time slots, but I know that Ralph ALWAYS blows people away – you won’t want to miss him!  Also, I’m sure Andy’s gonna have something to blow your mind, and if you haven’t met him in person yet, you need to get out to FOT – he’s a great guy!  I’m speaking on performance with Papervision3D – usually a fun topic, but I’m likely to add some special sauce to it but I can’t reveal JUST yet.

Now, I think FOT is going to be awesome in one other aspect and I think that’s “relaxation”.  Well, not total “boneless chicken ranch” relaxation, but I think if you wanted to go to a conference where you had access to all these flash developer’s and be able to hang and chat with them, THIS would be the one to go to for sure.  And when you see Keith Peters for the first time – don’t be thrown by his quiet demeanor.  He’s like a lawn mower – hard to get started, but once you do, watch out :)  He’s a riot and alot of fun to be around!  [ BAM ]

Seriously, in an economy where you *have* to make a good choice on which conference to attend, THIS is the one.  Great speaker lineup, great venue, hosted by some of my best friends and Beer.  If you don’t like beer, that’s ok, it’ll be entertaining none the less!!

’5 Seconds to Glory’ now Free @ App store

I decided to set this bird free on the app store.  Sales were stale, and after having my first experience with an iphone app (personall), I think I can see why this would do better as a free app with ads.  The ad version is in the process of being reviewed by apple, but the price change was effective last night.  I’d love to add high scores in the futures, but that might take a bit of doing since this is a unity app ;)

Have fun!

new LocalConnection API rocks – and its OS :)

Evan Gifford over at Blitz has just come out with a new LocalConnection library over at google code called FlashLCS

When i finally get over to doing Xray again, i’ll be looking at retro fitting the LC code i’ve been using for years with this new library.

Some features as listed on the site:

  • Dramatically reduces code and time required for runtime collaboration.
  • Enables unlimited two-way communication between any two Flash files running on the same computer at 5MB/s or more.
  • Enables new functionality for the Flash platform; from Flash pop-up panels in a browser to website companion desktop applications and multi-threaded Flash applications.

The demo over on Blitz’s site shows passing bitmapdata over an LC which really does rock.

Flash and Muscians go hand in hand

When ever I talk to a Flasher at a conference, about 95% of them are muscians.  It’s such an oddity, that I went out and bought FlashDrummers.com and FlashMusicians.com in hopes of providing a place where flash and music/drumming could come together.  Well, I ran out of time and never did anything with those URL’s :)  And then there’s the “Flash 5 Experiment” band that’s played 2 conferences now that include a whole host of well know flash developers

But I HAVE done music based applications like the drumming tool and the virtual 3D guitar using Red5 and Papervision3D.  Well, to continue my efforts in marrying the 2 worlds I love so much (coding and music), I’ve put out an iPhone/iTouch app that’s kept my two kids in total competition for a week now!

Main Screen

Main Screen

screen_3

Instructions

It’s called “5 seconds” and you basically play your device with any 2 fingers you like to see how fast you are in 5 seconds.  This is the real deal – your Beats Per Second is matched against world class speeds and if you’re fast enough, you could even break into world record speeds (over 20bps is consider world record speed).

Anyway, I KNOW there’s a ton of flash drummers and musicians out there with ego’s and need an outlet to silence the posers – am I right?!  My best time is 18.2 so far and it took me a week to break 17.2bps – once you get over 16, it becomes exponentially harder to get faster!

Please post your times here and if you do a video on youtube, use the tag “5SecondsToGlory” so everyone can find it!  ROCK ON \m/

Results Screen

Results Screen

Rankings:
< 5bps : A Drummer, you are not.
< 10bps : Garage Band Drummer.
< 15bps : Drum Corp Material.
< 17.5bps : Elite.
< 20bps : World Class.
> 20bps : WORLD RECORD!

All other info can be found HERE!

iFly: From Flash to Unity3D to iPhone game!

iFly Launch Pad

iFly Launch Pad

Well, its finally out in the iTunes App Store as reported by Keith Peters!.  I’m pretty excited about how it turned out.  It runs at a solid 28-30fps on my 1st gen iPhone as well as my 3G iTouch.

The idea is simple enough:  fly through as many gray rectangles as you can and land on the landing pad (circle that looks like a man hole cover) before the time runs out.  If you do, you get 5000 extra points.  If you miss the man hole or don’t make it to the bottom, you don’t get the bonus points.  if you go through the red rectangles, you loose points and points are scored according to the size of the rectangle – the smaller they are, the more points you get.

The Crippler (3rd in the hard levels) rocks \m/  -  Chris had me beat with 8800 for a day, then I smoked him with 9600.  It’s a fun one where you basically dive bomb the entire way just to make it to the bottom in time!

The cool part about this that we pulled the same 3D model and code for creating the rectangles that we have on the infrared5 web site ( click “fly me”  to fly paper airplane ) right into Unity3D and with a few syntax tweaks, it was up and running!  Since Unity3D has strictly typed version of Javascript, it’s practically ActionScript3 with some slight differences that are a non-issue.  Most of the time was spent optimizing the game and getting the UI straightened out.  Unity’s GUI controls are ok and if you’re familiar with CSS, you’ll probably jump right in without too much problem.  Though in saying that, doing things like fades on 2D textures isn’t exactly as straight forward as it is with Flash.  But it IS doable.

Total time invested was approx 4 weeks.

flying around in The Abyss

flying around in "The Abyss"

Landing on the main hole cover

Landing on the main hole cover

Seb’s Papervision black hole

THIS rocks!  I just had to give a shout out to Seb for giving me my first Papervision3D inspiration of the year!

I’d try to explain it, but I think you should just check it out for yourself ;)


Merry Christmas! ( and a little Unity Christmas card )

Merry Christmas from RockonFlash.com!

Merry Christmas from RockonFlash.com!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I figured since I’d just went and blasted everyone about Unity3D, I should put my money where my mouth is. Click on the image to see it in the unity web plugin (you’ll have to install it to see it :)

So, this isn’t Winterwonder land from last year, but for about an hours worth of effort, it was cake to get smoke, snow, 3D model (text, which is over 15,000 polys) and the entire scene together.  Like I was saying, it’s very attractive and easy for Flasher’s to get into!

Anyway, Merry Christmas, hope you guys have a great one with your families!

John

Unity3D \m/’s – Adobe should buy them.

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, and I have a REALLY good reason for it ;)  You see, Andy Zupko had been dropping comments here and there about how he’d wanted to do Unity3D work.  First couple of times I heard him say it, I was thinking “yeah yeah flash master Andy, what’s this unity thing anyway?”

Well, I finally asked him what Unity3D was and he pointed me over to http://www.unity3d.com and then showed me their Tropical Paradise demo and my jaw began to hit the floor.  This was a web plugin?  holy polygons/lighting/shaders batman!

Tropical Paradise - Terrains, streamed terrainse

With OpenGL and DirectX support, this little web plugin ROCKS.  It’s a complete game development tool that allows you to code in JavaScript, C# and a dialect of Python called Boo.  The JavaScript is strictly typed and compiles to native machine code – it’s just as fast as C# or Boo.  Not to mention 20x’s faster than Flash’s ActionScript.  And for me, getting into Unity took practically ZERO time.  I was up and importing FBX (you can export as FBX from 3D Studio Max) models and practically doing what I do in Papervision3D with very little effort!  In fact, moving some of my classes over to Unity for this game that Andy and I are working was a matter or some simple refactoring to accommodate Unity’s api.

Now, before we start getting totally OHH and AHH over this, let’s take a look at the discussion that’s already on your mind probably at this point in the post:  Why can’t FLASH/ADOBE have this?!?  I know, cause I was thinking the same thing ;)  The answer might be something like “I don’t think there’s a good reason anymore”.  It USED to be a really big discussion about player size.  I remember back on Flash6 beta, I was begging for w3d support since you could use those files in Director at that time, and they were fairly lightweight.  But the argument was around hardware support and player download size.

But check this out:

Flash player download = 5.5mb
Unity3D web player download = 4.5mb

Ding.  Round one over.  The winner?  Unity3D.

Ok, so is that a fair comparison?  No, not really, but in the argument about the player growing in size seems to be greatly reduced from the days of a 700k Flash player plugin download.  I realize that 5.5mb + 4.5mb = a bit more of a struggle to convince people to download, BUT, I’m SURE there’s a conversation that could be had about loading and running SWF’s into Unity3D like Director does.  Yes?  Did I mention Unity3D is cross-platform compatible?  Publish standalone builds for Mac OS X (Universal Binary, or specific, smaller Intel/PPC-only builds) and Windows 2000/XP/Vista – OH and then put it on the web…cause you can.

If that wasn’t enough to sweeten the pot on Adobe buying out Unity3D – Unity3D does iPhone apps with a single click ( watch the Demo Movie of the iPhone development setup – that’ll sell you right there ).  Hmmm I love me some iPhone :)  Not enought??  How about Wii Development?!  BAM!  NOW WHAT?

Terrain, Shaders, Physics, Lighting, Cross-Platform, multi-depolyment option, multi-lingual, Game churning tool!

Have you ever found yourself saying: ” I wish Director used Actionscript – if it did, I’d move right on over to it and develop there!” Well, ok, maybe that’s too drastic and silly, but Unity3D gave me more power than Director and it was extremely easy to get into – the “power” here is that it is realized and made available to *me*.  I’ve had access to Director for nearly 10yrs now, and not once did feel like I could get into it easily.  I realize you can do Javascript now (Lingo was an abomination), but after my bad experiences in the past, I wasn’t willing to get into the the Director mess again.  I saw Unity for 5 minutes and downloaded it instantly. Unity’s IDE rocks – flat out.  It’s fairly easy to understand, and debugging 3D scenes at runtime is awesome.  You can have the scene up top with the game running below and you have access at runtime to really dig through and manipulate all objects and properties at runtime (hmmm… where have I heard that before…XRAY ;)

Unity3D IDE

One of the other nice things is that you can configure TextMate with a Unity3D bundle for editing.

I think I’m a fairly good indication of what *could* happen when other Flashers like me get a hold of Unity3D.  I hope Adobe’s listening ;)

With all of that, combine the fact that SilverLight is working hard to compete with Flash and they have access to DirectX – it won’t be long until Adobe see’s they need a kick-ass solution.  THIS one actually works cross-platform with a ton of speed, easy adoption rate by the development community and a smaller player download size than Flash.  Either they’re already looking at Unity3D as I type this post or they soon will be.

One other thought I had is that, I’m not sure the Flash player is going to keep up or IS keeping up with the abilities of hardware that have been out for a while now.  I can see where they’re going with Pixel Bender etc, but I know I wasn’t the only one disappointed with what came out in FP10 in terms of hardware acceleration etc and so on ( I don’t need to restate what others have already said ).  I think that’s exactly what draws me to Unity3D – total frustration over speed/performance.  With Unity, it was like a massive breath of life for me in terms of developing games and playing in my own time.

Avert Fate - Particles, physics, ragdolls, image effects and custom shaders

So, let’s put our money where our mouth is, shall we?

By now, you know I work for Infrared5 with a ton of great developers.  If you want Flash / Flex / Red5 work done, we can do it. Duh.  But what about iPhone development?  what about serious game development?  What about product/marketing efforts that need more than what the Flash Player can give us in terms of power?  Where would we turn?  Well, we’ve officially added Unity3D and iPhone game developement to the list of services BECAUSE of Unity3D.  Considering that any one of our developers can get up to speed in a matter of an hour or less, it’s a no brainer to expand our service base.  SO, if you’re in the market for iPhone game development or app development, let me know, and I’ll get you in touch with the right people ;)

Given how well many iPhone / iTouch apps are doing in the app store with Apple, I think there’s a bonanza of opportunity there – HUGE.

Ok, so the payoff for even posting this…post, is that I wanted to FINALLY show a few screen shots of a game I’d story boarded 4yrs ago and promised I would produce wayyyyyy back in 2002 (8/16/2002 to be exact) when I released my first Star Wars game – Escape of the Falcon.  I’m not going to show too much, but you guys and gals need to see I’m serious about what I just typed above.

Escape of the Falcon

Original Star Wars game: Escape of the Falcon

Web Version of the Trench Run

Web Version of the Trench Run

And Since Keith was showing off his iPhone Gravity fun, I wouldn’t feel right not sharing since he mentioned a Star Wars game ;)

iPhone Trench Run - low poly trench model

iPhone Trench Run - low poly trench model

I have to thank Andy for getting into Unity though! I don’t know that I would have heard of it or gotten into it if he hadn’t pointed out the obvious to me ;)  To say the least, he’s in hog heaven with real physics, custom shaders and streamed terrains!

I seriously suggest that if you’re into 3D, Gaming and Flash right now, you should try Unity3D.  And yes, I fully expect that I’ll drive SO much traffic their way that they’ll give me a license ;)  Thankfully, IR5 got me one !  LOVE YOU CHRIS/REB/DOMINICK!  LOVE you.  Man love.

And Finally:  Adobe – if you’re reading this, you guys should seriously consider buying out Unity3D.  I can’t say it any more plain than that.  If you don’t, I don’t know how you’ll COMPETE with them.  As soon as they’re able to support running SWF’s in Unity, i’m going to be doing alot more work over there ;)

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