Archive | January, 2009

A Graphic is a MovieClip is a Sprite

07 Jan09

Spent some hours figuring out a bug that others may want to know of if they get Flex assets as SWFs generated with the Flash IDE. If you create a “Graphic symbol” in Flash and later change it to a MovieClip in the library of the IDE, it will look like a MovieClip but it is still considered a Sprite by the Flex 3 compiler. It doesn’t matter if the symbol has one or more frames, Flex will insist it’s a Sprite since it came from a Graphic symbol.

The error I got was this:

TypeError: Error #2007: Parameter child must be non-null.
	at flash.display::DisplayObjectContainer/addChild()

I this case, it was me that had changed the Graphic symbol to a MovieClip, so I was able to figure out what caused the problem. If the change was done by the designer I got the FLA from, I’d have no clue at all. So, if you run into that error message for no reasonable reason, try copying the contents of the problematic symbol into an empty MovieClip, export the SWF, clean your Flex project and then re-export.

Updated: I did a little more testing yesterday and it appears that it’s Flash CS3 that is the culprit. As soon as you add more than one keyframe, the symbol will change from graphic to MovieClip in the SWF. Extending the timeline will not trigger the update since it can still be considered a Sprite.

Best Flash game of 2008? (Now with url as well)

06 Jan09

I just wasted (too much) time on a classic platform game done in Flash called The Fancy Pants Adventure World 2. Why? It’s just so well executed. The levels are clever and varied, the controls are intuitive and responsive and while the graphics may look simple, but they’re really well animated with lot’s of humor.


There’s an incredibly high level of detail in this game - from the characters hair blowing in the direction you’re running/jumping, when he’s almost slipping off and edge, fixing his hair or going to sleep if you don’t do anything. It’s full of charm and 100% child-safe, so if you have an hour (or more to waste) check it out! Despite the simple style, I know that making a game with this good flow is incredibly hard so this game gets my vote for best Flash Game 2008!