Working with Multiple Resolutions in Animate CC

I wrote a new post for Adobe’s official Animate CC blog recently. It covers a few new features that can be found in Animate surrounding screen resolution, high-definition video export, and how to rotate the stage to make like easier when drawing.

Export your animations to multiple screen resolutions.

While most stuff I write is about code, this one’s really more focused on things for animators and designers. But you know, it’s good to step out of your comfort zone now and again and try something a little different. Hopefully you guys will find it useful.

So if you’d like to find out more, head on over to Working across Multiple Resolutions with Adobe Animate CC on the new Adobe Animate Team Blog.

Creating WebGL Content with Animate CC

There seems to be quite a lot of excitement surrounding the rebranding of Flash Professional CC to Adobe Animate CC. It’s also extremely pleasing to see Adobe actively promote Animate CC and also to see so much positivity from the animation and design community in general.

One thing that’s been lost somewhat in the noise of the new release is the fact that Animate CC still offers the same great development features that were provided by Flash Professional. This includes Adobe’s push towards WebGL with Animate CC’s WebGL Runtime API.

Target mobile browsers with Animate CC’s WebGL Runtime.

I’m delighted to announce that I wrote a tutorial for Adobe that takes you through the process of writing a simple WebGL beat-em up game using Adobe Animate CC. It shows how easy it is for even those with no programming experience to create simple scripts that can be used to add interactivity to a project and then export that project to the modern web without the need for a plugin.

So if you want to know how to create ‘Flash’ content that runs in a mobile web browser (yup even on iOS) then take a look at Creating Interactive WebGL Content with Adobe Animate CC on the new Adobe Animate Team Blog.

Flash is now Adobe Animate CC

Flash Professional is now Adobe Animate CC. The rebranding seems to have been met very positively by the community and it’s also extremely pleasing to see that Adobe are putting their full weight behind Animate CC. The first release of Animate CC also sees a raft of brand new features, many of which are described in the video below. I’m also delighted to say that you’ll find some WebGL content that I worked on showcased in the video too.


It’ll be interesting to see if this brings new people to the product (it should) and it’ll also be interesting to see if AIR & ActionScript will get some much needed love at some point too. It’s great to see focus on the design and animation tools at the moment since that’s where Flash’s roots are, but as a developer I know Adobe’s platform continues to hold bags of potential in other areas too.

Looking forward to seeing what people produce with Animate CC.

May the Force Touch be with you!

You guys been to see The Force Awakens yet? Isn’t Kylo Ren an awesome bad guy? I thought so too but it’s clear the dude isn’t very good at catching lightsabers. So I thought I’d write a little app to help Kylo complete his training. Sure, I know Supreme Leader Snoke is suppose to be helping with all that but if you wanna be a bad-ass Sith then you really need to be training even when you’re at home and lazing on the sofa. And that’s where my awesome “Kylo Ren: Force Training” app comes in handy.

I’d been wanting to tinker with Apple’s new ‘force touch’ feature for a while now but was struggling to come up with an idea that could take advantage of it. Until I saw the new Star Wars movie that is. The other thing that was stopping me was my complete lack of artist abilities. Thankfully the awesome guys at RetroStyle Games very kindly offered their amazing talents to the project.

In the app you play the role of Kylo Ren and must use the force to complete a series of tasks. Simply apply pressure to the screen in order to lift and throw objects. The more you press your finger down on the screen, the more force you’re actually applying to the target object. After a little delicate coaxing, you’ll soon have Luke’s lightsaber sticking out from the snow. Then after a little haptic feedback from the device, just apply a bit more force and watch in amazement as the lightsaber shoots out of the ground and hurtles towards you. Easy peasy!

Catch that lightsaber.

Actually, come to think of it, it’s not easy. It’s actually pretty damn hard but I guess mastering the force isn’t supposed to be easy or everyone would be doing it. I actually had Flappy Birds in mind when I was coding it up. I was wanting the app to have a slightly hardcore nature combined with that ‘just one more go’ feel. It was also important to me that there was a real sense of achievement when you finally manage to lift something off the ground or complete a task. Imagine how Luke must have felt when he was starting to get to grips with his powers!

The app’s difficulty is also a good way of measuring if someone is more inclined towards the darkness or the light. My brother is definitely in danger of being seduced by the dark side. He could only manage a high score of 2 points and threatened on more than one occasion to smash my iPhone up. I, on the other hand, am really quite good at it. My bro said it’s because I “coded the damn thing” but the truth is, I actually have real force powers.

Anyway, take a look at the video of me playing the app and let me know what you think. For those who are interested, I coded the app using Swift 2.0 and used Apple’s Sprite Kit for the graphics and game physics. The whole thing was hacked together in about a week, with a few additional weekends to get the sound dropped into it.

Destroy that BB unit.

Once again, a huge thanks to RetroStyle Games who helped make this project possible. If you like what you see in the video then please visit their site and take a look at their portfolio of amazing work. I also need to give a huge shout out to Pixel That whose excellent pixel art lightsabers I used as a reference for Luke’s lightsaber.

Oh and before anyone asks. Just like my X-wing Targeting Computer app, this new app is just a personal project and won’t be released anywhere. Sorry about that but it’s very unlikely I’ll ever be able to convince Disney to release it. Jedi mind tricks don’t seem to work on them 🙂

Anyway, hope you enjoy watching the video and may the force be with you, always.

Flash iOS Apps Cookbook Deal

Good news everyone! My book, Flash iOS Apps Cookbook, is available for $5 until the 8th of January. So if you’d like to learn how to build apps using Adobe AIR or simply brush up on your AIR & ActionScript skills then why not head over to Packt Publishing’s official site and grab yourself a copy.

In fact, the generous folk at Packt have actually made all their eBooks and video courses available for only $5, so even if AIR isn’t your cup of tea then I’m sure you’ll find something that will interest you.


If you do pick up a copy of my book then drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Web Assembly

There has been a lot of talk about Web Assembly, the new binary format for the web. But what exactly is it? The presentation below by Google’s Nick Bray is definitely a good place to start.

Freddy’s First Steps to Game Dev Stardom

My five year-old nephew wants to be a ‘game inventor’ when he grows up. He’s got all sorts of mad ideas for games he’s gonna make including one where Sonic the Hedgehog teams up with the robots from Pacific Rim to kick Doctor Eggman’s ass. Sounds awesome!

Not one for waiting around though, wee Freddy has decided to start climbing the game dev ladder already. With the help of his daddy, he provided some feedback on a beta build of Shred It! which is a gorgeous endless runner snowboarding game for iOS and Android.

Freddy and his daddy proudly showing off the latest version of Shred It!
Freddy and his daddy proudly showing off the latest version of Shred It!

Freddy had a brilliant list of questions and observations that impressed the guys at Extra Mile Studios so much they gave him a credit within the app! How great is that!

Here’s some of the feedback and questions Freddy asked his daddy while playing Shred It! I’m sure you’ll agree it’s all valuable stuff:

  1. Rufus is my favourite character.
  2. Why is Rufus so good at snowboarding?
  3. Make Rufus go faster dad!
  4. Look! A hot air balloon!
  5. Can Rufus jump in that hot air balloon?
  6. Can Rufus fly that hot air balloon?
  7. Haha! Rufus fell in the snow.
  8. Why are you so good at Shred It! daddy?
  9. I made Rufus do a trick!

I’ve played the recent version of Shred It! and it’s really great. Freddy’s feedback (and his dad’s) has really helped tighten the gameplay up and keep you playing. A huge thanks to Bobby from Extra Miles Studios for sticking Freddy’s name in the game’s credits screen. It really made Freddy’s day and he keeps telling people that he helped make a game.

Shred It! was recently featured on the App Store and has a full five-star rating across all versions. If you fancy a game that will put you in the right mood for Christmas then Shred It! is for you.

Shred It! iOS
Shred It! Google Play

Have a great Christmas everyone!

Almost There!

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just over a week away, I thought I’d get everyone in the mood by posting a video of my X-wing Targeting Computer app that I threw together a while back.

Fingers crossed JJ Abrams delivers the film I’ve been hoping for, and I can’t wait to see some X-wing fighters on the big screen again! May the Force be with everyone!

Corgi Warlock Released!

If you’ve been following my blog recently you may have seen my WebGL experiments that featured some cute game characters that had been created by my buddy Alex. Well those characters were from a game he was working on called Corgi Warlock, and the good news is that it’s now available to purchase on Steam! Yay!

I must congratulate Alex on an amazing effort. He was the sole designer, coder, artist, and animator on the project and has worked quite tirelessly on it for well over a year. I’ve absolutely no idea how he managed such a feat! The sheer volume of characters that he’s designed and placed in the game is simply bonkers! Don’t they look great!

Alex primarily comes from an animation background and created all the artwork and animations for Corgi Warlock within Flash Professional. The game itself was built using Construct 2. He’s got tonnes of great game ideas so I’m really looking forward to seeing what project he moves onto next.

Corgi Warlock is available on Windows.

Flash Professional Is Being Renamed

So the big news today is that Adobe are renaming Flash Professional. From early next year it’ll be known as Adobe Animate CC. This will more accurately reflect Flash’s position as an animation tool for the web and beyond. It’s also obviously an attempt to get around the negativity that is constantly attached to any content produced with Flash.

Given the fact that Flash Professional has been targeting other platforms as well as the SWF file format for a few years now, re-branding was always something that was on the cards. Animate CC will continue to support Flash and AIR as first-class citizens. And as you’d expect, its support for HTML5 Canvas and WebGL will continue to grow. You can find more details over on Adobe blogs.

It’ll be interesting to see the Flash community’s reaction to this, especially those who come from a development background.