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Why Flash?

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

web standard.

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

Internet users.

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.

About the Author: Author Bio::


Jonathan White

flash web design

flash website design


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