Archive | September, 2005

Texfield Wrangling

30 Sep05

Textfields in Flash are not all they could be to say the least. Today I spent 2 hrs trying to debug an application that does funky things to HTML in textfields. My conclusion this far: Flash is actually changing what I set the htmlText property to just as it pleases. No matter what SIZE I use in the FONT-tags, Flash will replace whatever my size with it’s own number - 11.

I’m inputting this HTML:

<FONT FACE="Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif" SIZE="18" COLOR="#000000" LETTERSPACING="0" KERNING="0">
<B>dcfg fdsgfd sgfdsgf ds</B>

For some reason this turns into this:

<FONT FACE="Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif" SIZE="11" COLOR="#000000" LETTERSPACING="0" KERNING="0">
<B>dcfg fdsgfd sgfdsgf ds</B>
<FONT SIZE="18">

Notice the font-tag at the end. My size info moved there? Anybody ever experienced something similar?

PS: if you think the HTML look ugly (non standard), this is the only kind of HTML that Flash is using. Capital letters on all tags and less than standard sizing to say the least.

Wolfenstein in Flash 8

28 Sep05

Glen Rhodes has written an almost complete Wolfenstein-copy (you shoot, but take no damage). This game and Andre Michelle’s 3D experiments (try the one called “mode7_1”) really shows how fast the new bitmap engine in Flash 8 is when coded properly. Andre’s engine goes well beyond the Wolfenstein clone and adds Camera roll, height and even Focal controls - all at amazing speed (with fewer objects, but way better looks). If you are serious about making games, you should check his OS Project GamePackage. I recently used it for a game and it rocks performance-wise, though the documentation was sparse. With Flash 8 optimizations, it’ll be much faster still.

PS: Seems like Glen Rhodes got too much traffic after this got blogged. He now demands registration to try the game?

IKEA 360 Kitchen viewer

24 Sep05

This new IKEA minisite takes an “old” idea from the Matrix movies and implements it in a beautiful way. It is in fact so beautiful that you instantly start exploring and playing with it. Brilliant use of Flash Video! It’s very seldom I see something genuinely new like this in the field of advertising.

When I saw this ad I thought “Darn! I could have come up with such an idea if given the chance”. Online advertising is in many ways the stepchild of the business. The success of an online campaign is much easier measured than other media and the media has a solid future ahead. I just read that a video on CNN is seen by about 150.000, but more than 3 million will see the same video on their website (via JD). If the shift in viewership is that dramatic, why doesen’t the advertising business go after this crowd?

The primary reason for this is often the way agencies are organized (at least here in Norway). Conservative and dull banner ads are created by the thousands and nobody ever cares to listen to their developers or technologists to understand what the web can offer as a medium. I can almost hear them saying “Bringing one of the nerds to a client meeeting? No thanks! God know what they could suggest? Maybe they’d suggest something we cannot take the credit for…”

At my company we don’t try to win prizes or contests in the advertising business. We work for several agencies and have actually won several prizes without ever trying. We really could not care less, but in advertising this is seen as an important confimation to the so called “creatives”.  I’ve worked for agencies where they have over-paid, pretentious bullies as ADs. The higher the self-esteem - the lower the skills and opposition to others ideas is the rule for these people. They are so used to having the “winning idea” that if you suggest otherwise, they’ll just run you over.

Some months ago I worked on a campaign for a big telco. The AD had a basic idea and I was the who would execute it - Flashwise. I was only invited to the third or fourth client meeting since that was when they needed to solve “the technical problems” (the AD had already solved the creative issues). Anyway: in the meeting we discussed back and forth the ideas pitched and I came up with an idea that the client, the project manager and the Copywriter loved! The AD however couldn’t stand not “winning” so despite everyone else being for my suggestion, she started to work against it. It was a really weird situation sitting there listening to someone defending a clearly poorer idea, just because it was hers.

The web will dominate our lives more and more. I seldom watch TV anymore and I primarily read my news on my phone while sitting on the train. I even view newscasts on the phone. The advertising business will need to understand how new technology change our habits and what one can do. One example: with the new On2 video technology in Flash 8, you’ll soon see HDTV quality streaming services available. This will be available before the European Broadcasting Union is able to implement the HDTV format here in Europe. The web just moves so much faster than other mediums and the advertising business is not paying attention. Luckily there are exceptions to this rule producing groundbreaking stuff such as this IKEA microsite.

Garbage collection in Flash

23 Sep05

(Yet another) Great post by Tinic Uro about the new garbage collection in Flash Player 8. I’ll test this later today working on an app that has a memory leak, so I’m excited that this have been changed! Maybe the new method will prevent the leak? If you do Flash programming and haven’t read Tinic’s blog already, make sure you read some of the older posts too. Brilliant stuff that really explains the new features and the hurdles implementing them.

Get Opera free?

20 Sep05

It’s true. Just weeks after the 10 year anniversary giveaway, Opera has decided that “reach” is a good thing rather than pennies. Now they are giving away the ad-free version as well. Go grab one here.

Easy does it…

20 Sep05

Simple but very playable new game from Kerb: EasyCruice. Be the Captain and dock your Ocean Liner in the Caribean. Be careful when you navigate so you don’t ruin the Port and surrounding objects…

I just can’t wait for the Revolution!

17 Sep05


Make sure you view the video to fully grasp what this could do to future gaming! This is bound to be more fun than any other console! Here’s a good read about the Nintendo showcase.

(via Lessrain )

Some nifty AS2 classes

15 Sep05

Found a nice site with some nifty Open Source AS2 code. I especially like the Array2, MovieClip2 and TextField2 extensions. They add the features I often miss using these objects in Flash. The “JSFL Batch Image Quailty”-extension could have saved me some hours if I knew about it. Good stuff.

Flash 8 is out!

13 Sep05

Now you can go to Macromedia and download! Flash 8, Dreamweaver 8 and Fireworks 8 is all available for download. If you want to buy, use this link to support Flashmagazine.

Since I am Press through my pet project I’ve had Studio 8 for quite some time already. Unfortunatly I got a bad case of meningitis last month so I have not been able to play as much as I wanted. Still: this is by far the best version of Flash to work with ever! Macromedia have really listened to developers this time around - it’s not just something they say. Just download and start working with it, and you’ll see what I mean. THere is so many small and big things that makes the Flash 8 IDE so much better to work with. The Flash MX2004 IDE was actually so bad that it delayed AS2 takeup, at least on my part. Flash 8 just feels really solid :)

Snowy - great platform game

07 Sep05

Snowy is a classic platform game (and also the nickname of one of my colleagues). The gameplay is brilliant. With professional animation, sound and well produced levels. A little Flashgaming Gem.