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What I like about Flixel

by pixelpracht on November 15th, 2009

I’m amazed how many flash games not only have the visual style but also the gameplay of the games of past decades. While there are good reason for pixelated graphics I’d really love to see a more variety in gameplay and presentation.

The technical limitations of the past are gone. Is there a reason not to have physics, particles, dynamic lighting, line of sight or shadows, AI driven enemys, complex simulations and cooler stuff that I can’t even think of in the games? No, not even when we’re talking about Flash games. Why we’re not seeing more of this stuff is because this technology is not made easily available to developers by the toolkit they’re working with.

A great example for the sleeping potential is the flash port of the Box2D physics engine that got released in September 2007. Even though it’s a pretty straight forward port that’s not optimized for flash at all a flood of games got released since, featuring completely new gameplay or enriching established genres with physics. The basis of a good game is a good choice of engine, tools and middleware.

A flash game engine on the rise (just my subjecitve impression) is Flixel. A game Fathom that the author of Flixel developed with it caught my attention: It’s not not only extremely polished but also had a surprising story-twist and unique elements like a fish swarm guiding your way, dynamic gameplay-relevant lighting and beautiful particle effects…

This speaks for the author’s talent but also for the engine. And based on how well Flixel is embraced by the community it’s apperently also easy to use unlike PBE a flash game engine I’ve been working with. I think “ease of use” is really a key factor for any tool or software targeting the hobbyist. Game development should be about asking what while most people seem to struggle with the how. I’d wish for game development to be as accessible as painting a picture or writing a story. In it’s current sate it’s a form of media that most can only consume not express themselves with. The crucial step of evolution would be to overcome this barrier. Everything that helps that goal has my sympathy and that it seems like a step in the right direction is what I like about Flixel.

From → Thoughts

One Comment
  1. I’m going to have a look at flixel now, I just saw/commented on your game over at wayofthepixel.

    Agree with what you’re saying here about eas of use. By the way, have you seen the Box2d Flash Alchemy Port? All the joy of Box2D with much of the speed of native C++ code…

    I’ve stepped away from Flash to work with Java in my present project, but Flash continues to present some interesting perspectives. Also if you’re ever keen on getting higher processing power with a Flash-like API, check out PulpCore.

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