With the newly updated MGE, this brings a level of coding creativity that I haven’t had since I was working with Visual Basic and created something called the “DXGame Engine”. The “DXGame Engine” at the time was one of the few high level 2d frame works available. Thanks to DirectX hardware support, performance was very smooth, even in a “basic” like language as Visual Basic. I did end up releasing several games using this frame work, “Retroblast” was probably the most popular.
I made the move to a language called “BlitzMax” which was cool because I could deploy on PC & Mac. Over the course of a year I improved upon DXG and MGE was born. I released a game called “Christmas Clix” for the PC/Mac using this framework. MGE was easily ported over to C and allowed us to port over Christmas Clix for the Wii very quickly. I also was hired to be part of a team what worked on a multi game app for the Wii which also used MGE. I had planned on doing SEVERAL pc games using MGE, but at that time Flash games were growing and I really loved the idea of coding small’ish games that could be played in the browser so I took a look at Flash using FlashDevelop as my IDE of choice.
One thing I quickly realized was that at the time, to really maximize what Flash could do, you had to get low level and dirty. It was common a few years back to see a Flash game running very slowly, with very few objects on screen. There was a faster way of doing things, and luckily I was already familiar with the “blitting” process coming from my work on the Atari ST. After a few simple ideas, I started working on a proof of concept demo. The demo was basically an “anything goes” type with little to no structure. One thing lead to another, optimized code, etc, etc, and something called “Retroshoot” was born. It wasn’t even supposed to be a game really. lol.. In any event it did turn some heads in the Flash industry, and it was my first game ever sponsored. Looking back, it was also the least amount of money I made from what’s called a “primary” sponsorship. Luckily the game went on to sell a ton of site lock sales. I think the smartest thing I did was put a site lock on Newgrounds. Every sponsor who wanted the game couldn’t take it from Newgrounds so they had to contact me directly.
So I’ve been using Flash for almost 5 years now and up till recently I’ve been using the old school “copypixel” blitting method for everything. And to maximize performance you need to “pre render” your sprite images as much as possible. And that is…well…..was… a pain. But the results were pretty cool. Games like RetroShoot, BalliesShoot, GemClix all make good use of that low level pixel pushing engine. Ofcourse now days, you could get similar results just using normal display objects, pc’s are fast enough not to worry about it.
So…with the updated MGE and Stage3D I’m back to what I call “pixel freedom”. Creating my fun little games has never been easier or more fun! It’s brought back a level of excitement that I haven’t had for a long time! Ofcourse this does come at a price. I’ve been informed that Stage3D games can’t go viral, don’t get sponsored, etc. No prob, because I’ll just self sponsor the games anyway. And at this point in my life, as I wind down my game development career, I might as well just have some fun and code whatever the hell I want to.
And in the process, if one of my games has entertained you for even just a few minutes…I’ve done my job.