Well that’s another year over and it’s been a hugely satisfying one. I’ve also just realised that I’ve kept this blog going for just over three years now, which I’m actually pretty damn proud of. You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged as frequently this year. That’s intentional as I wanted to focus more on writing good quality tutorials rather than just feeding you guys community news that can be found anywhere else.

I thought I’d take the opportunity in this post to recap my achievements over the past 12 months and to see how close I came to actually accomplishing the goals I set myself at the start of the year.

Flash iOS Apps Cookbook

February saw the release of my Flash iOS Apps Cookbook, which I’d spent the majority of 2011 writing. It was real labour of love for me and something I put every ounce of energy and time into. To be honest, it left me completely exhausted but the response from the community has been fantastic and I’m quite chuffed that it has currently received 5-star ratings on Amazon from everyone who has reviewed it.

I also decided to spend the remainder of the year supporting the book via this blog by releasing material that didn’t make it to print. There were various reasons that content had to be dropped, but it was mostly down to the fact that I had a page count to stick to. I’ve made it available in the Additional Material/Tutorials section of my support page where you can also find two whole chapters that were dropped at the last minute.

I also get frequent emails from those who have read the book, which has been great as I get to see all sorts of interesting iOS projects that they’ve gone on to create. So a big thanks to everyone who has contacted me.

I might continue to push out additional material this year but it really depends on my time and how much effort is required to get some of the stuff to an acceptable standard. Quite a lot of the remaining material didn’t make it past the initial draft stages so will need some work.

Other Publications

I was also given the opportunity to write a few magazine articles over the past 12 months. It wasn’t something I’d done before and enjoyed the experience. I wrote a few Starling Framework tutorials for Flash & Flex Developers Magazine, and also an introduction to CreateJS and JavaScript. I was also asked to be section editor for an issue of Software Developer’s Journal, which was good fun. In fact, for SDJ I managed to bag an interview with Daniel Sperl, the author of Starling. It was great getting the opportunity to speak to Daniel about Starling and the Flash platform in general.

Match Mee for iOS

At WeeWorld we released Match Mee, our first Adobe AIR-based iOS game. This was a huge deal for me personally as until that point all our mobile content had been written using either Objective-C or Java. I’ve certainly got nothing against either language, but considering the Flash expertise we have in-house it always seemed odd that we hadn’t utilised it on mobile.

It became clear at the beginning of 2012 however, that Adobe AIR had matured to the point where it was a more than viable mobile development technology. Adobe had done a great job of getting the performance there on lower-end devices and there were more than enough native extensions out there to plug any holes in the AIR API.

We’ll probably spend a few months adding some updates to Match Mee and there’s also the chance we’ll be pushing out an Android version too. The fact that we can publish to both iOS and Android is obviously a very strong reason for using AIR and ActionScript 3 in the first place.

Other Programming Languages

I certainly didn’t restrict myself to Flash and ActionScript over the past 12 months. One of my goals for 2012 was to look more closely at HTML5 and JavaScript. To that end I worked on a handful of small projects, some of which found their way onto this blog. Plus, I also wrote a few HTML5 tutorials, both on my blog and elsewhere. Some of the projects were ports of previous ActionScript work I’d done such as the Monster Dash styled scroller, and my speedometer app. A few others used the excellent CreateJS framework.

I also spent a few weeks in June doing a spot of C programming. It’s been many years since I wrote any serious C or C++ code so thought I’d spend some time proving to myself that I could still write in it 🙂 Nothing came of it that was worth blogging about but I’m hoping to spend a bit more time with C/C++ this year again.

Reading List

I had quite a few technical books on my reading list last year. I didn’t get through them all but did manage to find time for a couple of Flash books including Thibault Imbert’s excellent Introducing Starling. I also spent a few days working through Box2D for Flash Games by Emanuele Feronato, which I’ll write a proper review of soon. Emanuele runs a really great Flash games blog, which you should check out.

Outside of Flash, I spent some time tinkering with Unreal Development Kit and found Unreal Development Kit 3 Beginner’s Guide by Richard Moore to be a decent introduction. I also got about a quarter way through Unreal Development Kit Game Programming with UnrealScript: Beginner’s Guide before I got distracted by other things. Hopefully I can pick that book back up this year.

Looking Forward to 2013

So I managed to tick quite a few boxes this year. The only disappointment was that I didn’t get to spend as much time learning 3D games programming. It’s something I tell myself every year that I’m going to seriously look at then get distracted by one thing or another. Maybe this year.

In my next post I’ll outline my rough plans for 2013.