Parallax: A simple solution

Posted by aBethke on Friday Jun 18, 2010 Under Bag o' Tricks, Game Development

Recently when I was working on Star Fall I needed to develop a basic Parallax implementation as part of the game design. Ive done this type of implementation before but never built anything reusable. In fact, I’d love to tell you now that I did just that when developing Star Fall but that, sadly my friends, would be a lie. I have however taken the code I wrote for Star Fall and developed it into a very basic Parallax system which I offer up now to the gods of the interwebs and anyone else that might be interested.

The basic breakdown is pretty simple. You instance the SimpleParallax class and then begin adding layers to it and defining their properties via the methods I have created. The layer handling system uses a name to keep track of the layers. When you create a layer you assign its name and then reference it layer via the same name. There is no active depth sorting, simply create the layers in the order you wish them to appear.

[cc lang=”actionscript3″ line_numbers=”true” no_links=”true” width=”100%”]
package com.goldengear.core
import flash.display.DisplayObject;
import flash.display.Sprite;

public class SimpleParallax extends Sprite
public function SimpleParallax()
mouseEnabled = false;
mouseChildren = false;
addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, handleEnterFrame, false, 0, true);
protected function handleEnterFrame(in_event:Event):void
var i:int;
var num:int;
var layer:DisplayObject;
var layerName:String;
var scrollSpeed:Number;
var loopX:Number;

if (!isPaused)
num = m_layerNames.length;
for (i=0; iSimpleParallax – Test Application

As I poke at this class more I will probably release the updated versions. Enjoy!

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TO Jam 5 – Development Video Blogs (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by aBethke on Wednesday May 26, 2010 Under TO Jam

In a short time the TO Jam Arcade and final judging for the People’s Choice Award will be upon us. Andrew and I have been doing some revisions on the game slowly while working on other projects. At this point Ive kicked most of the remaining work to Andrew at his request and have moved onto other Golden Gear projects.

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Mashin’ Meeces – Countdown to launch day

Posted by aBethke on Tuesday May 4, 2010 Under Mashin Meeces

Welcome once more to the blog series leading up to the final launch of my current project Mashin’ Meeces. A couple highlights to begin:

  • – MM will be on display and playable at TCAF from 2 to 5 pm on Sunday May 9th down at the Toronto Reference Library. Event Details
  • – MM is being prepared for final release mid-May for IndieCade. Contest Details
  • – Once released, Mashin’ Meeces will be up for licensing and sponsorship/hosting so if you are interested, let me know.

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TO Jam 5 – Development Video Blogs (Part 2 of 3)

Posted by aBethke on Tuesday May 4, 2010 Under TO Jam
Reentry - Missile Stage

Reentry - Missile Stage

*sniffle* Oh how I already long for the arrival of TO Jam 6 next year.

Andrew and I are continuing development on Reentry, which is going good for the most part. We are having a big debate between us at the moment because he really likes the point and click control system and I want to use the keyboard system I have implemented. Its a big problem because of game balance and how the game would evolve from here so we need to make a decision soon. From my play testing research most people find the mouse based system really annoying. I think the game would benefit much more by allowing the user greater control and increasing the overall game speed. We will get it sorted out soon enough though.
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Toronto Comics and Art Festival (TCAF)

Posted by aBethke on Tuesday May 4, 2010 Under Mashin Meeces

This weekend I will be exhibiting, for a limited time, at TCAF. Specifically Im planning to demo the pre-release version of Mashin’ Meeces. Im very excited for this event,  I think its going to be a lot of fun.

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IndieCade 2010

Posted by aBethke on Tuesday Apr 20, 2010 Under Mashin Meeces

I’m getting really excited for this year’s IndieCade because I will be submitting a game! The project Ive been working on now for what seems like forever is almost done and the completion date will align nicely for IndieCade. Once my minions and I recognized that, we decided to target that as our final deadline and have been pushing to complete it. TO Jam this year will actually present a slight hiccup to that goal but I think I can afford the weekend to crank out another game.

I have realistic expectations about the success of the game at IndieCade, which is to say Im not expecting to blow anyone away in a landslide, but it’ll still be good to get something out there that is truly my own. Too much working for other people will make you crazy. The voices tell me that all the time. 😉

Yay for IndieCade and deadlines!

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TO Jam – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 1 of 7

Posted by aBethke on Monday Apr 19, 2010 Under TO Jam

Quick Overview
If you are reading this you probably already know what TO Jam is but just in case, the quick and dirty is that it’s the single greatest Toronto based event all year. 72 hours of video game making madness where you and your cohorts (who must be equally insane to have signed up) will take a game from concept to complete. Noobs, Veterans and the spectrum in between will be in attendance all trying to make the greatest of Toronto Indie games.

As someone with experience in game development and TO Jam I wanted to offer some advice on the event to anyone who was interested. 🙂

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TO Jam – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 2 of 7

Posted by aBethke on Monday Apr 19, 2010 Under TO Jam

Why attend TO Jam?
At TO Jam, there are a wide range of participants from beginners to professionals. Various people attend the event for different reasons and I thought I would start with a quick breakdown of some of the reasons why someone would want to be involved with TO Jam.

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TO Jam – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 3 of 7

Posted by aBethke on Monday Apr 19, 2010 Under TO Jam

Finding a Team
So you have decided to attend the event and need a team. First off, good for you! TO Jam, as was previously stated and will certainly be stated again, is an awesome event. Ahh but now you are faced with the logistical challenges of finding a team. You have a number of options:

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TO Jam – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 4 of 7

Posted by aBethke on Monday Apr 19, 2010 Under TO Jam

Game Selection
This is an extremely important topic for TO Jam and one that usually requires a little bit of experience to properly temper your final choice. One of the best ways to break down the decision of what type of game to make is to determine what purpose you want the game you make to serve. What do I mean? Allow me to elaborate…

Your First Game
Perhaps you have never made a game before or its your first time at TO Jam. For these people TO Jam is a great opportunity to sit down with a bunch of other very passionate people and try to make your very first game. Even if it goes horribly wrong and you don’t finish your game you will have gained a ton of valuable experience, especially for next year, and hopefully had some fun in the process.

Start Now, Finish Later
This is an approach I have taken in the past with games like Der Baron von UberCheesen’s Cheese Factory and Flip the Beach. The idea is very simple, start a project at TO Jam which will become a prototype for a larger project later. One of the best features of TO Jam is the fact that it makes you do a lot in a very short amount of time. What would have taken potentially weeks or months on your own gets done in a single weekend. As such, TO Jam becomes a great place to prototype game concepts that you want to take further after the event, while still giving you a completed game for the event itself.

People’s Choice Award
Ahh yes, the coveted People’s Choice Award. Who doesn’t want their game to rise above the rest to shine like a golden shiny thing of shiny goldeness and wonder; to be hailed as the greatest amongst them all! The People’s Choice Award, as quick background info, is the award given to the top three games as chosen by you the people at the TO Jam Arcade post-event event. If you are making a game with the idea of winning this award then you should focus your game design on something that is visually crowd pleasing, quick to learn, easy to play and it doesnlt hurt if more than one person can play at once. Take into account the logistics of the presentation event when picking a game type: Multiple games displayed at once in a crowded bar style environment (historically speaking) jammed full of TO Jam participants and as many of their friends that would come out to support them. Over the years Ive seen many types of games do well as far as the judging goes but some of the key characteristics Ive noticed that they all share are simply: They are entertaining for the passive audience to watch, they usually allow for more than one player at a time and they are easy to pick up and play with minimal to no instruction.

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