Many possible technologies exist that can power web based
games. Php, HTML, CGI and Java amongst them, but the most
common plugin used to design browser games by far is Adobe
Flash, previously known as Macromedia Flash. One of the
biggest reasons for this is that Flash has become a definite
Many PCs come with the Flash player installed. It is compatible
with Linux, Apple Mac, BSD, cellphones, PDAs and a whole host
of other devices. Over 520 million unique installations of Flash
have been recorded, and it has been around since the days of
Windows 98. This statistic accounts for approximately 95% of all
Flash Player is also a free download, so if the user does not
have it, it's only a few seconds and negligible bandwidth away,
no matter the platform. Likewise, Adobe Flash is a comparably
cheap product for the developers, and time input required is
minimal to create simple games, compared to using other
A powerful but often overlooked feature of Flash is that it
makes small files. For ten megabytes, in Flash, you can get
a full featured game. This helps Flash to appeal to dialup
or slower broadband users where Java or C couldn't. Flash
can also use database connectivity to save scoreboards,
progress and account details, which is rare in a format so
Flash is efficient, applets made in it tend to run on computers
that you'd be hard-pressed to find outside of an antique shop.
It is the empowering technology of choice on a certain well
-known pet site, which almost certainly has users on dialup and
on poor computers.
Something to remember is that Browser Games have a completely
different TA (target audience) than that of AAA list games.
Browser games are made for the casual player, someone who
wants to play immediately and at his/her convenience, as such
it must load fast, play fast and keep the user's interest.
Developing a successful Flash game is very difficult, because
generally if a user becomes disinterested, one or two clicks
will take him/her to a completely different game.
So, what about monetizing a Flash game? Well, the standard
is based on the shareware model. You have a teaser version of
a game on a website and then allow users to download a 'Deluxe'
build for a set fee. Often the producer will allow lots of sites
to list their 'teaser' games; this is a clever form of viral
Possibly the most solid reason to use Flash is that it would
always be fairly easy to find people willing to draw in the
Flash SWF vector format. Other technologies would require
external animation but with Flash, the motion, the drawing
and the script can all be done in a single interface.
Graphical objects within this interface can have specified
alpha values, positionings, angles of rotation, explosion
effects and many built in motion tweening effects. It is
this versatility and built in function that makes it a real
joy to work with.
Flash is fast-becoming the only standard for browser based
gaming, because it requires no real programming knowledge.
The scripting language is very well explained on several
websites, and in the included tutorials.
But the main reason? Simple. There are many very dedicated
sites out there which will effectively get your product out
for free. Even if all the other points in this article didn't
exist, it is the only format with true open distribution.
Article written by Jonathan White.
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flash web design
flash website design