Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Best Practices? well... ok...

On my previous post I said I would avoid using "best practices" when developing my own stuff; trust me that this thing of people stealing code really annoys me but I've decided to change my tactic.

The thing is, you never know when you are going to work again on a project as for example, I want to update the Flash Date Calendar Widget I built long time ago, and even though the file "is not that bad" still is a bit messy and makes my work a bit harder; now imagine, if I completely avoid doing the things in "the right" way, any update in the future will be a nightmare!

To avoid feeling bad about the "code thieves", what I will do is to keep on writing tutorials and to show how easy is to use my secret weapon: TWEENER.
These days I'll put together a series of tutorials on how I use tweener to do certain tasks like updating score, shooting, updating life, etcetera.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Best Practices? no thanks...

Generally speaking, best practices are good. But what are best practices? from the Wikipedia:

...Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.

Right, so in theory we want to accomplish a task in the most efficient way and I absolutely agree with that not only applied on programming but in other things we do in life. Now, if we are talking about programming and more specifically, programming ActionScript for Games, then the thing changes a bit and mostly will depend on one factor: are you developing as part of a team?
if the answer is no, and you are definitely the only one working on certain game (or any application in general), then my advice is: "AVOID BEST PRACTICES".

and no, I'm not mad (well, not that much...) but I've opted for not using best practices because:

- The number of flash developers is growing (this is great!)
- The number of people learning actionscript is growing (is fantastic!)

ok, both are actually good things, but...

- the more people learning actionscript, the more people use the ever growing number of evil tools to decompile your applications.

And that's the thing, I've been working long hours on a specific script, using my knowledge, my brain, studying, experimenting, testing, debugging... and all that just for a bandit that will come and steal all the hard work to monetize with it?

the problem is, these days is very easy to monetize with your games, both using MochiAds and getting sponsors so there's a whole lot of thieves out there waiting for you to release a game just to steal some pieces of your code (if not all of it...)

Anyway, at the end of the day, they will manage to do it but I want to make their work not that easy, so from now on, I'll start using something like alphanumeric properties and methods so a code thieve will find only
var s48758wikk49 : String = "alajsktha"
that in fact it should be something like
var score : Number = 567;
and forget about best practices... :D
will be fun!

and of course, I'm seriously thinking about buying SWF Encript from Amayeta, I think any serious flash developer should have a copy of it.

ADVICE: Protect your code!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Overload Studios website update

First of all, I still haven't got internet at home. Why? well, whenever my girlfriend allows me to turn on the computer, I don't want to spend my time checking my email, forums, blogs, etcetera; I prefer to work! :)
These days I've been working on my games, updating old games and creating new ones and to promote them, I have updated my old website Overload Studios.
Last time I updated the site was back in 2003! almost 5 years ago, so definitely I had to do something about it and do it fast so that's what I did:

- Took a component from AFComponents.
- Followed a tutorial in Spanish from Infected-FX (Gracias wey!)
- Added some of my widgets
- Added google ads, analytics, etc.
and voila!

Games Pages:
- Games and other swf files embedded using swfobject
- Added some of my widgets
- Added google ads, analytics, etc.
and bingo!

my site has many more visits now; definitely a clean, clear and fresh design helps you to get more visits :)
Of course I would love to have something more complex, having a rating system, allowing users to leave comments (that I can use as feedback to improve my games...) etcetera but at least the first step is done ;)