Flash/Haxe tech demos and unfinished games
by Kostas "Bad Sector" Michalopoulos
Around 2008 i found about Haxe and decided to try and make some Flash 9 games with it. Haxe is a Java/ActionScript-like language which at the time was the only free way to create Flash content. My first attempt was a parallax scrolling 2D game engine, but i lost interest in that - and the code soon after. The second attempt was a Wolf3D-like raycaster engine i called RayFaster, for some sort of "escape the room" game i considered making.
Note: all demos can be controlled with the arrow keys, some of the RayFaster 1 also support WASD (A and D turn left/right). If the controls do not respond click on the demo to give it focus.
- Handsome Harry and the Haunted Hill - this is the early demo i have around from RayFaster when it was a game. I thought instead of just escape the room, to have you escort people from several places (each map would be a place) to a safe space. In this version i had only drawn the sprites and textures for a hospital where you'd escort doctors and nurses while avoiding zombies. It didn't really expanded further from that. I reused the doctor sprite for the "punk Hulk Logan" enemy in Rombo though :-P
- Rombo (2009) and Rombo Rush (2011) are two games i actually made with the engine (Rombo Rush was basically Rombo with a different maps that rotate).
- Early highres build of Rombo this is a glitchy high resolution build of Rombo i made while developing the game to check if it would be worth it to use full resolution instead of half resolution (double pixels). I abandoned the idea because it was too slow for the machines i had around.
RayFaster 2 engine
(note: all these builds are new, i didn't keep SWFs around, only the code and the resources)
- The first demo showing the engine. This is the most i made with the engine since it was never used in a game - not much later i lost interest in Flash. The engine was quite a bump in terms of features from RayFaster 1 having a Doom-like world structure made of sectors, 3D objects, variable per-sector lighting with light animations and optional diminishing lighting, 3D point physics, texture scrolling, aligned sprites and decals, portal-based rendering, dynamically modified world geometry and even a simple scripting language that could be attached to triggers. Also it had its own editor with realtime WYSIWYG preview (the editor was in Java so i actually wrote the rendering code twice :-P).
- The same demo in high resolution. Unlike RayFaster 1 which had the resolution hardcoded, RayFaster 2 was able to be built to use any resolution. Although in the systems i had in 2009 (and i expected others to had similar systems) 320x240 was really the only practical resolution.
- The only game i tried to make was a System Shock 1 like action/exploration game which never went beyond the "room prototype" stage. I lost interest in Flash since it didn't seem to be a platform good for more than quick time wasters (a role today played by smartphone games). Well, i drew a HUD at least.
- Same as above, except in high but without the HUD (actually the HUD is still drawn, it is just obscured by the rendering viewport)
Between 2009 and 2011 i didn't do much in Flash (except Rombo Rush in 2011 but that was like a weekend's project at most). In 2011 i tried to make a sidescrolling game called Miltor and while i had fun drawing the sprites, making the levels and writing the game logic, but i got blocked by music. For the previous games i released (Rombo, Rombo Rush and Dungeon Knight) i had paid others for the music, however as i said i was disillusioned by the Flash market and had barely made back the (very little) money i paid for the music. Miltor was mostly a fun project and i didn't want to spend any money on it, so i decided to write the music myself. In previous games i used MOD music using a player i wrote in Haxe, but for Miltor i wanted something that sounded more chiptune-like. Sadly i couldn't do it myself since i lacked (and, well, i still lack) the skill, tried to overcome it by designing some sort of "music programming language" (that basically looked like MML) and then going off in other directions until i lost interest - and then i decided to format the computer and forgot to keep a backup... or at least i think so because i think i got one, but i just cannot find it.
Miltor was the last game - or anything, really - i made in Flash. I was toying with the initial stages of a new 3D engine for it that would use Stage3D and be a polygon-based engine (which, to keep with the naming of my previous Flash engines, i called PolyFaster) but Adobe decided to be greedy and locked the use of Stage3D and the "alchemy opcodes" behind a paywall - essentially asking money for performance - which really turned me away from the platform itself (i had already lost any commercial interest on it and was doing things mostly for fun - and Adobe took the fun out of it).
- This is the only version of Miltor i have available. It contains more or less the first few levels (there are two other inaccessible levels which contain more tiles and a new much harder enemy - i had fun "scripting" this enemy just from level placement, but i didn't want to reveal it to beta testers yet.... which means now i cannot access it myself either :-P). The main screen and story are placeholders. One nice thing it has is the gratuitous amount of particles - especially blood particles. The default setting was for the computer i had at the time, but you can max it for even more splatter.
Kostas "Bad Sector" Michalopoulos