The Lava Station! Free Side-Scroller Platform Art

GameArtPartners has a new platformer game art package and it’s FREE!

It includes moving platforms, lava falls, animated lava pits, foreground and background art, in-game collectible items like gold, grenades, crates, health packs, and there’s TONS more. You can break up / combine the art in Flash to create hundreds more elements and dozens of interesting levels. You’ll receive…

  • Adobe Flash CC files (vector based source art)
  • 1x, 2x and yes, 3x PNG Exports
  • .xcassets folder, for easy import of the png files into Xcode*
  • Texture Atlas Folder for animated game elements (lava, lava-falls, doors, and more)*
  • Tiled, .tmx files which contain many of the elements already imported*
  • Property List file*

*These files can be used with the Fantastic Worlds iOS Starter Kit to play this level within minutes of downloading. Buyers of the kit can simply drag and drop in most elements and copy properties from the plist to play the level almost instantly.

Royalty Free Platformer Art


John Nyquist’s Flash-Made App Hits the Store

You all remember John’s fantastic AS3 Strategy Games tutorial series?  Well John turned his final project from that course into an iPad app, Astra Itinera which is available right now for just 99 cents.

For others working with Flash to make iOS apps: John had only one very minor issue submitting this to the store. Originally it only supported one landscape orientation (Apple wanted the opposite landscape mode as well), so on the next submission John toggled on  “Auto Orient”, and after another looooong 7 days of waiting, it was approved.

Here’s some pics from the game, click any to jump to the store…..

Adobe vs Apple discussion followup!

Wow, I’m reading some excellent comments from my last post (17 is probably a record). I want to keep hearing them, but I also wanted to post an article this weekend, so lets keep it on the same topic. Last night Adam posted this video below which is news to me. A version of Quake 2 done in HTML5…

…hopefully thats as ugly as HTML5 will ever get (because that game is just plain ugly) but it does show what HTML5 is capable of. A lot.

Also I want to say despite my recent game dev course for the iPhone and the game I made for the iPad, I’m not at all siding with Apple here. I would love to see Flash on the iPad, but not only that, I’d love to see  Flash development stick around for another 10 years. And I think it will. Reasons…

  • Developers, aplenty! I have no actual stats on the number of Flash developers there are right now, but I’d guess many, many millions. Flash is taught in high schools now! Its like THE computer technology course these days.  I get emails from 12 year-olds about Flash. I get emails from high school teachers wanting to teach 200 kids Flash. I get emails all day long about Flash. Its never been more popular.
  • Flash is like a gateway drug. In a good way. There are people that start drawing with Flash that become good illustrators, when previously they couldn’t even draw on paper. Same with animation. Same with programming! How many of you have started with Actionscript, then realized “holy cow, all these other programming languages are pretty similar to AS” . Count me as one. I didn’t know jack about programming until Flash. And when I come back to it, its like home base. It feels good to write in Actionscript.  Developers are going to keep coming back to a great program that they can work quickly in.
  • Director is still around!! Talk about a “dead” program, how did Director get an update in the post Adobe-merger days?? Who’s using it? Director MX 2004 really should have been its death knell, and somehow it got an update 4 or 5 years later.  Point is, software is made for people that use it. And apparently Director still had like 200 people using it, so Adobe figured well 200 guys times $999, hey not bad. And Flash has a bazillion more users than Director ever had. Adobe just needs to keep expanding on what Flash is great at.
  • Flash isn’t going away as a browser plugin. Its pre-installed in most computers, and even if it wasn’t, everyone knows you need it. When that “update your Flash player” prompt appears, people don’t think, they just do it. Its not like 8 or 9 years ago when a clueless parent’s kids were the ones that finally got around to updating their home computer’s Flash player.  But let me say again, I don’t think the future of Flash development is tied in with the future of the Flash plugin. Both will survive much longer, but in 10 years I think new Flash developers will be like “what’s this S.W.F. format thats listed in the Publish Settings?” .

Sidebar: My friend John, who is like my guru of all things computer related, disabled Flash years ago. Actually what he did was make it so you have to activate Flash if you see an empty box with the Flash icon. He did it to deactivate ads mostly. And I know why, because on a Mac occassionally a Flash ad will freeze the hell out of a page that loads up. Safari will then crash, and guess what happens then: a popup comes out that says “do you want to send this crash report to Apple”. That report gets emailed to and he goes storming around the castle yelling “wtf, Flash crashed another browser!!!”. So when you hear that Steve Jobs hates Flash, thats probably what started it.

One more reason…

  • AIR is just getting off the ground. And it is an awesome aspect of Flash development. Every one of you that knows Actionscript 3, became an “app developer” the day AIR came out. The thing thats missing right now, is some kind of catalyst for AIR like what the App Store was for iPhone apps. But that’ll come. And some other hot tablet will have an AIR App store with 100,000 games overnight.

So anyway, stay positive. Keep your clients informed. Keep your friends informed too. If someone says “Flash is dead, dude”, tell them to disable it for a day and see how they like their internet in iPad-mode (it sucks by the way).

But with all that said, every one of us is gonna have to buck it up and learn HTML5 whether we want to or not. If you’re a freelance developer (or a guy like me, that sells stuff to guys like you), new shit is on the horizon that we all gotta cram into our brains.  So I leave you guys with Alec Baldwin, talking about something important….

…and I know you’ve seen it before on this blog, but this is required viewing every month. And if your client says they want an App version of their site for the iPad, and you tell them its gonna cost $8,000 to develop, and they say “okay, lets do it”, you’ve earned your coffee. Coffee is for closers remember. Then you just gotta start learning. You sell what you know.

Will CS5 be the fix for IK in Flash

Chris at has glimmer of hope…

As most of us know, Adobe introduced Bones (inverse kinematics) to Flash CS4. What most of us may not know is that the IK span (created when using the Bones tool) supports the control of graphic symbols containing nested animations. Why would you not know that? Because there seems to be a legit bug in Flash CS4 that doesn’t update the symbols on the stage when changing the frame that you want to be displayed. So, if you have tried experimenting with this, you may have assumed it doesn’t work. In reality it does work, it’s just a stage core issue because if you publish or test your movie you will see the appropriate frames updated in the player. If you save. close and re-open the FLA you will see the changes updated on the stage.
Fortunately this has now been fixed for CS5 (not released yet as of this writing). What this means is, we can use inverse kinematics for character animation and control the frames of nested graphic symbols and see these changes updated on the Flash stage.

Read the rest over at his site, complete with some animations proving this fix (I’m assuming he’s using the CS5 Beta)!

Flash CS5 means a million more piranhas in the App tank.

So the big news yesterday was that Flash CS5 (or Flash 11 for those like me still waiting for a strictly numbered comeback) will export to a native iPhone app. I heard that word “native” a few times in Adobe’s demo video, so I’ll use it too.  What’s implied is that this export from swf to App won’t be like some floral pattern knee-patch job on your coolest pair of  jeans. Apparently you’ll actually get a real iPhone app not a self-executing swf that launches like an app. Which if true, would be fantastic. Of course us animators all know how well Flash’s export frame-skippy-record to Quicktime can behave at times, but honestly I have a better feeling about this. Code converting to other code seems possible. Although I’ll admit when I read this announcement today my mind-pants exploded a little. If Adobe can really make this happen, they can do anything.

So what about this pile of Objective C and iPhone books on my desk? Are they headed to the shelf? Which in my world is akin to putting Woody’s Roundup Gang back in storage. A lot of sad unplayed-with training books are looking at the back of my head right now.  A Guide to Flash MX never even got the binding cracked .  Well the answer is no, these  iPhone books are still on the desk.  In fact I just got done with another chapter.  It’ll be interesting to see how this Actionscript-export handles things like the accelerometer, multi-touch swipes, location tracking, and other functions that are somewhat unique to the iPhone. But I did read some rumors today that Adobe is planning some workarounds for things like the swipes. What will be nice though is creating quick & easy apps that a lot of us Flash folks already know how to do, like  galleries, micro-sites,  music players, and games.

And a little side-announcement is that Flash CS5 is still using Actionscript 3. Hooray for everyone busting hump to learn As3! Double-hooray for slackers like me that still have hours and hours of AS3 training to sell for another 18 months or more!!   Actionscript does not equal Actionscrapped, for at least one more upgrade. One love, people. One love.

No definite word yet on when Flash CS5 will be released though (another reason those books aren’t shelved yet)  But for those looking for Flash and Actionscript 3 training right now, like TODAY, (here’s my chance to pounce >)  go to CartoonSmart’s Actionscript 3 section

Click here for more on Flash CS5’s new features  (like an improved Actionscript editor!)

Or click the pic below to watch a demo of some Flash-made apps ALREADY in the App Store….

THIS JUST IN: A lot more piranhas in the App Store tank

New CartoonSmart Tutorials! Papervision3D and After Effects

CartoonSmart Tutorial Discount: Papervision Menu Tutorial and After Effects Moving MaskPoint your peepers at this month’s tutorials! Discounted as usual for $15 for both.  Plus this month’s download comes with a coupon code for 30% off anything on the site (except the Bulk Package w/Free Hard Drive, sorry).

The first lesson is on Papervision3D again. Our instructor Manu D’Macedo, did a tutorial on this topic last month too, so this is kind of a followup, although he goes over the initial setup again, so you wouldn’t be too lost skipping ahead to this one. It’s focused on creating a very cool 3D menu, which is hard to describe how cool it is here, so please check it out on the official sales page.

And Jeremy Hicks has returned with his last After Effects tutorial for a little while. He taught this iPhone course , so if I can pull him away from his day job, it will probably be for more of those. His AE course teaches how to do some advanced masking techniques, which create an effect similar to the opening titles in Stranger Than Fiction.

Now for the FUTURE….

What next? I’m still working on slick (but easy) Menu tutorial for Flash. “Still” meaning, still haven’t really started. So hit me up with some comments on things you’d like to see. Tutorials-aside,  I’m also toying with the idea of some kind of cartoon template for easy-character creation, but I dunno. I feel like that gets into the clip-art realm, UNLESS I could find some really fabulous illustrators to contribute to it. Thoughts?

Freelance request: Supercar-related job posting on the forum. Sounds fun!

Click here for details on what sounds like a really cool freelance Flash project. Here’s some details…

  • A visually pleasing, interactive application allowing users to completely customize an exotic supercar with various body styles, accessories, and colors.
  • A base model supercar with several customizable parts. (rims, wheels, doors, decals, front-ends, rear-ends, windows, brake calipers, mirrors, interior parts, exhaust, engines, etc .)
  • These parts change as the user hovers over the desired part choices.
  • Different exhaust choices will determine different sounds. This must be heard when exhaust choices are made.
  • Each part/accessory will have a price which will need to be added to the base price displayed somewhere within the application layout.
  • The supercar will pivot slightly as the user makes adjustments.
  • The view and angle of the customized car will be manipulated by the user to be analyzed.
  • A user will have the option to save his/her supercar in their “factory”. At this point the user will be asked to sign-up or login. Their customizations to their car must be saved through their registration process.
  • A user will submit their final choices to their “garage” to purchase their car online.

More details are at the CartoonSmart forum.

I should note, this isn’t a job I’m posting, but this does sound like a good opportunity.