So You Wanna Make a Game? A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Flash Game Developer


Written By MrSun at 8:00 am - Monday, February 16th, 2009
Categories: All Tutorials, AS2, AS3, Flash, Game Development, Links

So you want to be a flash game developer, eh? It’s something that’s easy to get into, but hard to get good at. I’m going to guide you through the process that a total newbie must get into in order to get into the business.

Step 1: Get Flash

The first obvious step in becoming a flash game developer is to actually get the program. There are two ways to get flash, expensively or cheaply.

If you want to get it expensively, you can just go to Adobe’s Site and buy it for a couple hundred dollars.

If you want it for only a fraction of the price, you’ll have to meet a few requirements. You either have to be a student, a teacher, a parent of a student, part of a non-profit organization, or anybody that has to do with education. If you are any of these things, you can get an academic discount! Just go to any of the following discount online academic stores:

You can either get Flash for a few bucks ($248.95 compared to $699.99 from Adobe), or even a suite of programs for even less than Flash costs on Adobe itself ($398.95 – $598.95). It’s a pretty sweet deal, ain’t it?

Step 2: Get used to the Program (Optional)

This step is optional, but still very highly recommended. I suggest looking at some online tutorials or even buying some video lessons. A combination of both is what got me to be comfortable with Flash. I’ll just give you a brief description of some panels you’ll need to learn in order to be efficient with Flash.

The Toolbar

Toolbar This is the toolbar. This is your utility belt. You’re going to need this in your journeys as a game developer very much. I also suggest learning some of the hot keys.

The Properties Panel

Properties Panel This is the properties panel. Depending on what version of flash you have, it’ll either be horizontal on the bottom or vertical on the sidebar. This is a pretty important panel, as it gives you all of the information you need about a selected object.

Other Panels that You’ll Need to Be Familiar With

The Actions Panel – This is where you will type in all of your code. If you’re going to be a game developer, you’ll want to make this as large as possible

The Compiler Errors Panel – This is useful if you mess up with your code. It’ll pop up whenever a problem occurs with your code and the game won’t work.

The Output Panel – This panel is similar to the compiler errors. This is where Flash will output warnings. Your trace statements will also appear here.

A Good Layout of Panels for a Game Developer

A Screenshot of a Good Layout for Flash

Online Tutorials to Get Used to Flash

Step 3: Learn Some ActionScript

Finally! It’s time for you to learn some code. But, which version of ActionScript should you learn first? In my opinion, ActionScript 2.0 is probably the best to gain knowledge of first, as it isn’t as strict as ActionScript 3.0. Then, later, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can learn AS3. But, it’s all up to you. There are many tutorials online (including on my site). Here are some of the ones I suggest:

Step 4: Make some Practice Games (Optional)

Hopefully, the above tutorials have helped you learn to code. If you’re still shaky, then I suggest creating some simple games as “practice”. Tutorials are a must for this step. I suggest finding some that will walk you through the entire process. Don’t expect to make any money with these games, or maybe even to release them to the public. These games are just for practice. Games that are great to make as practice are: brick breakers, simple platformers, Pacman, vertical shooters, mouse mazes, and other classic games. Here are some great tutorials:

AS2

AS3

Step 5: Develop Some Killer Flash Games!

Now, assuming that you’ve done all of the previous steps, you can unleash your inner game developer. The possibilities are now virtually endless for you. You can create any game you want. You can make some simple innovative new concept, or maybe even create an epic MMORPG. Develop your own world.

14 Comments

FreelanceFlashGames:

Nice post, should be helpful to begginers. It’s good to see you back and posting again.


Fred Tomas:

AS3 is way better than AS2. If you are going to be a flash game developer, use AS3! Its faster, and works way way way way better.
Plus the extra strictness help you find little bugs that could cause your program to die in as2.


Tom@FrozenHaddock:

Nice list! I hope it’ll encourage more people to take up Flash development :)

@Fred: Of course AS3 is better for programming in than AS2… but for someone with no previous knowledge of coding, AS2 is a handy language. It’s syntax isn’t as strict as others, and it can help newcomers understand the principles behind programming, before they move off into mastering the syntax and usage of other, more complicated languages. So I think suggesting AS2 as a starting point is a good idea, even if the developer never actually releases a game using it. :)


Link Dump Sunday [part 1] - Alt + Tab:

[...] Cell Warfare – A game developed by our friend, xdragonx10. Earned itself a card on Kongregate! 2) So You Wanna Make a Game? – Kenny Sun shares his guide to greatness. 3) GemCraft Chapter Zero: Gem Of Eternity Trailer – [...]


Quiz Maker:

Well, nice thread! Actually, you could make Flash game with some quiz maker,you don’t need any programming skills. You could view this quiz game:
http://www.sameshow.com/samples/xmas-quiz/christmas.html#110


Jake:

This is a very good tip go to kongregate and post your flash games there then you can actually make money off it from the ad revenue it’s awesome!


Mokey:

Damn, I really want to make flash games but there’s always a problem. I just can’t get the codings!!!! I try to memorize codes but I just can’t! Theres just too many. Any way that I could learn game creation?? Please help…


zaw htoo:

Thanks!


how can you make games off that?:

how do you make money off thids


Richard:

wow man thanks for those good tips. It would probaly help me make a regular oh flash game. (i hope)


Terapi:

I play ROBLOX and my account name is lgm432 in this free to play building virtual world I found


Flash Game Development Tutorials & FLA Files:

[...] A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Flash Game Developer [...]


Total gamer:

Wow, it’s pretty rare to see someone put things into perspective the way you just did. I wish that other bloggers and people that post content to the web would take a page from your book! Do you have any other sites that I could visit or could you possibly make a recommendation as to where I might be able to find some more information? Either way, thanks for an excellent resource and I look forward to being a repeat reader!


goozlo:

This is great!!


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