Texas outline

October 2009

The Flixel Experience

Learning Actionscript3 and working with Flixel these last few weekends has been an absolute joy. Two weeks ago I sat down, knowing absolutely nothing about Actionscript coding, and banged out Invaders — a bog-simple Space Invaders clone with a minimalist streak and a misguided theme of non-violence. It was, to say the least, a terrible game. But I wrote it in something like eight hours — eight hours at the start of which I didn’t even know the language.

Actionscript 3 is fantastic. Flixel is beautiful.

Last weekend I thought I’d try it again, and got myself immersed in building another simple game, a little avoidance game where you navigate a ship through a cluttered trench. Owing to (unfortunate) science-related obligations, I had to put it away for the week — but a few hours of polishing menus and hacking audio this afternoon brought it up to something like a completed state. It’s nothing special, but you can play Trench Run on Kongregate if you’re so inclined. There are certainly worse ways to spend your next 97 seconds.

The Flixel community, while small, is growing by leaps and bounds, and is already more vibrant than other development communities I’ve been involved with. I made heavy use of Timothy Hely’s ludicrously detailed Flixel tutorial in creating both games, and had to poke around IRC for a bit to get some questions answered. The library itself is open source as well, so a little bit of hacking is all that ever stood between me and an (albeit) ugly solution to whatever problems I might encounter. A new version of Flixel is supposed to drop any day now, and I can’t wait!

One thing I would dearly love to see though: an official Flixel repository on Github or the like. There are enough people who’d love to contribute back to the library (myself included, I’d like to think) that this could turn into something huge rather quickly. Go Flixel! Go!

Ed. -- Ask, and ye shall receive: Flixel on GitHub.