If you’ve noticed that my blogging has been less frequent the last few months, it’s because I was approached by Software Developer’s Journal magazine about taking on co-editing duties for their July issue. To be perfectly honest, I’d no previous experience as an editor but thought it would be a good opportunity to learn something new, and hopefully get to meet some new people.
I opted for a series of articles that would take Flash developers out of their comfort zone and explore two different areas that are a concern to them. The first of course is HTML5 and its relentless march towards ubiquity on the web. The second was gaming, which Adobe is now pushing Flash and AIR towards.
Moving back to Flash itself, I thought it would be a good idea to cover a few popular topics. The last few releases of Adobe AIR have made it a serious candidate for the creation of mobile and tablet games. While the AIR SDK certainly provides a rich API there are certain mobile-specific APIs that it currently doesn’t provide. Thankfully this is where AIR Native Extensions come in, allowing developers to extend AIR’s SDK to include features that aren’t provided out of the box. Unfortunately writing your first native extension isn’t easy, which is why I was delighted to be able to include the first of a two part tutorial detailing how to do just that.
Another hot topic at the moment is the Starling Framework, which allows for the creation of GPU-accelerated 2D graphics within your Flash games. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to interview Starling’s creator, Daniel Sperl, who provides some wonderful insight into Starling’s development and also provide some practical advice for developers wishing to utilize it. The final article took a look at Flash’s SWF file format, explaining what it all means and pointing you to some interesting tools that would help you get your hands dirty with some low level binary SWF manipulation.
I was extremely fortunate to find some fantastic developers who were willing to contribute these articles, and I genuinely learned a huge amount from working with them. So a huge shout out to the following individuals in no particular order: Ian Beveridge (@izb), David Wagner (@kaeladan), Daniel Albu (@danielalbu), Chris Gannon (@chrisgannon), Richard England (@englandrp), Daniel Sperl (@PrimaryFeather).