Straightforward way to learn Flash/Shockwave game design?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SurfDoctor, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I have an idea for a game-based, online educational application and need to learn to write games using flash and shockwave. I'm open to books, video series, online classes or any combination of those. I would just like to get through it with the least amount of fuss. Any suggestions on the most straightforward way to do this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2013
  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    My 14-year-old grandson learned Flash/Shockwave quite thoroughly from the splendid video lessons at lynda.com | Online video tutorials & training. Lynda has a huge number of video courses, with access to all of them for a total of $25 a month, no contracts. Lots of long free samples, too. I've used it happily for learning inDesign, PhotoShop Elements, advanced iPad techniques. My wife is using it for their detailed photography courses in the SLR world.
     
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Great source, indeed, Dr. Bear. "Been there" myself. If I can leave the Flash/Shockwave discussion for a moment, your wife might be interested in the (free version) Harvard Extension course in digital photography, below. The lecture videos are downloadable, if one chooses. IIRC, the MP4s all fit on one DVD. I'm a photography enthusiast too - and this is some of the finest instruction I've seen.

    Exposing Digital Photography / OpenCourseWare

    Johann
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2013
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    There's a lot of question about the future of Flash and Shockwave. Might you be interested in game development using HTML5 to guard against its possible lack of future support? If so, Udemy offers a course on that.
     
  5. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Steve, could you tell me more about the issues with Flash and Shockwave? I have never heard of this. Thanks.
     
  6. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    +1. Flash is a dead end, if only because of the fact that mobile support is so poor. No flash on iOS, and Android 4.0+ no longer has flash available. If you're making a serious play in online, your focus needs to be on mobile / table - forget flash.

    Good luck!
    Fortunato
     
  7. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    +2. Flash is going the way of the dodo bird for the reasons Fortunado and SteveForester mentioned. You definately want to go the HTML5 route instead. Support for flash is dying off.

    Here is a website with tons of examples of games written in HTML5:
    HTML5games.com | games powered by HTML5

    There are tons of books and tutorials about the topic. Just type in "HTML5 game development" in amazon (for books and ebooks) or google (for online tutorials).
     
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Steve, mchon77 and Fortunato,

    The application I envision will be used only on desktop computers at schools. This thing will never be for mobile devices, it's a school thing. Even in schools that use mobile devices, this would never be used on them. Is Flash and Shockwave still a bad idea?
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Enh, it will probably take quite a while for it to die off altogether on the desktop. I guess it depends how long your planning horizon is. And there are swf to html5 converters available, although I'm not sure how well they work.
     
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    It will probably take a long time for Flash to die on the desktop, but I suspect that many people wish it would hurry up. Adobe issued three emergency security updates for Flash February 2013 alone. Because of the security concerns, Apple has been deliberately blocking old versions of Flash from running in Safari, and Mozilla has been doing the same thing for Firefox.

    In the long term, Flash may not have a bright future, given the lack of iOS or Android support. This may not matter for your application, but most other developers would probably prefer a more universal solution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2013
  11. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    You're assuming that schools will have desktops for your app to run on, an assumption that I think is seriously flawed. Desktop computers are quickly becoming niche items, targeting two markets, gamers who need/want performance you can't get in a notebook form factor, and businesses who want to seriously lock down the user experience.

    I don't know anything about your app, except that it will take time to develop and market. You need to aim for where the market will be when your product is ready, and right now that looks like a post-PC kind of world.
     
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Notebooks run Flash and Shockwave the same as desktops do. It's tablets that differ, and it will be a while before they've completely taken over. And personally, I hope that's forever. Still, though, that doesn't mean HTML5 isn't the future proof choice. And if you're learning something new either way....
     
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    My idea revolves around learning to write papers and typing. I think that typing papers and assignments will most likely be done on desktops or laptops for some time in the future. I suppose tablets have the little keyboards you can attach, but I have a hard time envisioning schools using them as their main device for typing. While schools will surely adopt the use of mobile devices for learning, the school where I work is doing this, it still seems like there will have to be a computer lab at schools for awhile. Correct me if I'm wrong.


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  14. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    HTML5 can support games just like Flash and Shockwave? If so, you may be right.
     
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, that sounds reasonable to me.
     
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah -- it can, big time. There's a whole arsenal of resources out there for it - and for learning it, too.

    I think Fortunato is absolutely right about the declining desk-top market. What peeves me about it is:

    A desktop, one can learn to assemble from scratch, exactly in the config. one prefers. And if a desktop goes wrong, or something needs to be replaced or upgraded - it's largely serviceable by a user with reasonable knowledge. (And there's usually room to work inside it!) Laptops and pad-devices -- well, not nearly so much, if at all.

    Johann
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  17. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Agree. I think pad and other mobile devices are pretty much considered disposable anyway. It's an awful high price tag for a disposable product, but not much way to fight it that I can see.

    Thanks for the info on HTML5, I'm going to look into that.
     
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, other than don't buy one?
     
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The transition reminds me of what's happened with cars. Over the years, they've largely ceased to be user-serviceable. Same trend with computing devices. Same reason, too. No money in producing something that can be fixed and kept alive for a long time by the purchaser.

    I'm with Steve. Don't buy what you don't like.

    Johann
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  20. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, still using a flip phone and a laptop. Same phone for over 7 years. It's so ugly that I'm proud of it. Got nuthin else, want nuthin else. I'm going to be forced to become up-to-date sometime soon because the school where I work is slowly switching to a mobile device based learning paradigm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013

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