The End of This Blog

Hey there!

This place has been dead for way too long, so it’s time to make a proper funeral!

I started this blog with all good intentions, but without a plan. That’s probably why it never became more than a few post about random AS3 things every once in a while. But if you’ve enjoyed some of that, it haven’t been all a waste :)

I’ve always thought that the design of games is really interesting, but I’ve never talked public about it. Well now is the time, to make the funeral memorable I’ve made a few extra posts. (also about some other stuff)

If you want to get more into that kind of stuff, you should get The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses and A Theory of Fun for Game Design. It’s also well worth reading Daniel Cook’s blog

Anyway, thanks for reading, and have fun!

oh yeah, sorry about this theme being so awful for reading…

Posted on November 24th, 2011
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User Experience is Everything!

Many developers forgets the importance of the overall user experience.

If you’ve created the worlds best game mechanics, but made the worlds worst UI and control scheme, it’s not going to be a hit!

My Mistakes in Alienocalypse

That’s one of the reasons my game Alienocalypse didn’t do well:

  • The UI was very unintuitive!  Most times when I saw someone playing my game I had to tell them what to do to get the game started, and how the whole thing worked.
  • Controls wasn’t super either.  Changing between aliens to spawn was never really good.
  • It’s tutorial was very bad.  It was basically a separated wall of text with small animations between them.  90% of the people I’ve seen play the game have pressed skip on them, the last 10% didn’t really understand everything either.

So invest some time in the work flow of the UI, controls, options and the tutorial!  This may not be that exciting, but it matters a lot.


Even a big company like Amazon haven’t done this right!  I have never seen their listed price was the actual price I had to pay.  Sometimes they add an extra 25% in taxes, sometimes is 15$ more in shipping.  It’s shouldn’t be hard to make a good solution to this, they just never did it.  This means that if I can get something somewhere else than Amazon, I buy it there.

Posted on November 24th, 2011
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My Experience Createing Flash Extensions

Is that Adobe doesn’t support many of their features in JSFL! I’ve also seen various examples in their documentation that would never compile, because the code is outright wrong!

So if you know the people in charge of this, please go tell them to make sure their shit works before they ship it!

Here are two examples that I encountered, that really pissed me off:

  • You can’t set the stroke to empty with the API, but there’s no problem setting fill to empty. My workaround is to swap colors, then set fill to empty, then swap again. (Thanks Justin)
  • They did add support for setting the matrix of a gradient fill, they somehow just forgot to implement it in Flash. So nothing happens!



Anyway, if you want to get started creating these things, you should check out these two articles:

Their live doc is pretty awful, but they have published a pdf for each version with faster access for documentation.


Extra Awesome

Finally, I’ve just seen the “Creative Suite Extension Builder“. I’ve never heard of it before, but sounds like something really cool! They’ve made a wrapper for all the features in the different IDEs (Photoshop, Illustrator) so you can access that with AS3 – just not with full support for Flash! But if you want to create some extra functionality for an Adobe product, go check it out!

Posted on November 24th, 2011
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When Social Elements Ruin Your Game

If you create too much focus on the social element of your game (fx having the best score), it can ruin the experience for the player.  I saw this just recently:


Under a lecture at my university a guy just started playing Angry Birds on Google+.

He completed the level in first try, but didn’t get all the 3 stars, so he restarted to get all of them.

But once he did that, he noticed one of his friends had a really good score (~34,000).

Seeing that he wasn’t the very best made him try and beat the highscore… for a long, long time.

Actually he sad there for the entire lecture (55 minutes), and tried to beat the score.

At one point I started a stop watch to see how many tries he did in one minute, he did 6. If we remove the time he used to check his battery status (and shaking his fist at the sky), we could say he did this 45 minutes in all: 6*45 = 270 tries on level 1.


Do you think that he had a good experience, and that he will come back and play this game again? I doubt it!

So, if you’re adding social features to your game, watch out that they don’t go in the way of the overall experience!

Posted on November 24th, 2011
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Even Small Stories Matters

If you really want to make your game a big success, you should include a story!

It doesn’t have to be anything big, just a little something to make your players emotionally attached to your game! (If you make your story too big, you’re probably looking at a different target audience).

I’d like to illustrate my point! I’ve found two games that are very much the same – they’ve even been made by the same developer! But, the one has a story!

Wake Up The Box

This one is about bumbing physics objects into the box, so he can wake up. It’s a pretty fun concept and has some cute animations. But after playing the first few levels I stopped playing – it wasn’t entertaining me anymore. It has no story.


Here you have to help a man, sad about his common life, to get some money so he can be happy again. You have to push the coins to him by making wooden plancks. After some time I again felt bored with it, but I actually played this one though – I wanted to hold my commitment about helping him!


So does this mean that Sticks became way more popular? Doesn’t really seem so…

Wake up the box has 1,223,968 plays on Kongregate and 2,161,432 on ArmorGames, but Sticks only has 13,859 on Kongregate and 658,883 on ArmorGames.

So does that mean that stories doesn’t matter at all? Not at all! Story is a powerful element that can increase the players interest tremendously. You just have use it right and according to your target audience!

Posted on November 24th, 2011
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Fixed Levels vs. Generated Levels

So the good man Daniel Cook has been promoting the idea of generated levels a lot!

His arguments is (simplified) that you open up for endless enjoyment, as players aren’t limited for the handcrafted levels. It should also ease up the development process, and make it easier to try out new thing.

And I think that’s awesome, but I also feel that in some cases it just works better with fixed levels… or at least fixed goals!

Take Mario for example, what if it was never ending? And each time you just did a little better? My guess is it wouldn’t have become such a big success.

Personally I’m very competitive, so when I play a game, I want to win. Even if I don’t I have great fun trying to do so. Games with endless levels don’t usually have a win feature, only a loose feature. So when I’ve had some fun with the game mechanics, and mastered it to some level, I simply quit. That’s why I stopped playing a game like Tripple Town (which is great btw). I simply mastered it. Sure, you can keep fighting to get an awesome highscore, but that’s not really doing it for me. (I also have no friends that matches my skill… maybe I should have played it on G+…)

I just checked – no one played this week, not even DanC! I think that illustrates my point very well! All my friends on G+ who played it probably had a lot of fun, but they will not be enjoying this game forever (even though the mechanics let them).

I also think some part of it is about generated levels usually start from scratch and get more and more difficult the longer you survive. This way your skills are not met with suiting challenges at first, which means you’ll be far away from a state of flow.

Posted on November 24th, 2011
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Alienocalypse Is Released!

Alienocalypse is now live, go give it a play here.


I’m very happy with the results, I think it turned out to be a very nice game!  It’s been a long journey, but it’s also been fun.  I have actually done more than just programming for this game!  I’ve made a couple of the animations – and adjusted even more.  I edited the sound effects so they would fit the game (fx making the building collapse sound NOT last 5 sec) . I also helped out with game design and some of the user interface.

I also want you to notice how the sound effects work in the game!  If you’re right of a sound event, it’ll be played in your right speaker (and the other way around) and your distance to it will determine the volume.  It’s not something I’ve seen in many flash games, and at least it’s something I’m proud that I made!  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 1st, 2011
Filed under My Games | 3 Comments »

Review: Flash Game Development by Example

So I finished reading Flash Game Development by Example, and here’s my verdict: it’s not really that good!
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 31st, 2011
Filed under ActionScript 3, Flash, Review | 3 Comments »

Winner Announced: Flash Game Development by Example

In my contest for winning a free copy of the book Flash Game Development by Example, we’ve found a winner!

It’s Daniel from VaragtP, congrats!

For the rest of you, it’s still possible to get the book here.

Posted on May 25th, 2011
Filed under ActionScript 3, Flash, Review | 1 Comment »

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