Just wanted to announce the launch of the new game section of the site. I added the Space Invaders game which is the first full-on ‘game engine’ I’ve developed. I really wanted to preserve some effects from the original, such as the way the shields get gradually eroded by bullets. Ended up using the BitmapData APIs a lot, both to create these effects, and also to avoid the high CPU usage effect that causes my MacBook to sound like a plane taking off whenever there’s more than a dozen sprites on stage and a semi-decent framerate. Another reason is the awesome Bitmap collision detection which is so fast and easy to do. I’ve tried doing games before, but ended up getting sidetracked by figuring out more and more complex collision detection - and never actually getting the game done - until I realized that most of the arcade games that I love the most use only very simple collision detection. I know it’s a very basic game, and it was mostly an exercise in solving the basic problems involved in creating an arcade style game, but I still found myself actually enjoying testing it :) So if you have nothing better to do, go ahead and play…no quarters required. **note – it has sound effects.. so you may want to grab some headphones to avoid annoying others.
Since Adobe announced the launch of Flash Player 10.1, targeting mobile devices, I’ve been thinking that such small casual games such as these are a good fit for mobile devices, so I will release mobile-sized versions, once I have a better idea of the target platforms’ screen sizes. Then if any of the games get popular, I could also release a standalone AIR version for a small price for the serious addicts, which would provide better performance, screen size, and probably a few bonus features. Since I do have some commercial ambitions here, I’m not releasing the final game code in full, but I hope to document some of the more interesting techniques I’ve used, such as the dissolve effect, in later posts.