in the past days I was investigating which alternative could replace our “dying” Flash games to target HTML5 while keeping the knowhow gained in the past years, and I found a very good solution in OpenFl. I will soon have to take a decision and explain it to my superiors, and it will be pretty easy: it is AS3 friendly, we can continue using FlashDevelop, it can target other platforms and it is free.
What will not be so easy for me and my colleagues are the changes in the development pipeline: we can’t continue using the same resources type we are using now (please correct me if I am wrong):
- FLV for opaque and transparent clips
- SWC libraries containing WAV automatically compressed in MP3 format
- Flash animations (movieclips and sprites) containing tweens and code
- 3D models exported by Prefab3D for AS3
- AS3 libraries like GSAP
Well, it looks like I can’t use anything at all
I think that the best idea is to continue using AS3 for Flash games (avoiding conversion to Haxe at all) and to start Haxe projects from scratch for HTML5 games, slowly abandoning SWF (-sigh-) in favour of HTML5, because:
- converting AS3 code to Haxe would be a waste of time, as AS3 works ok and I think we won’t need to target both Flash and HTML5 with the same games
- converting current games would obligue us to convert all the resources
Now I need your help to understand how game creation will change:
- which codec can I use for opaque and transparent clips?
- I can use OGG for audio, ok, it will be just less comfortable than SWC library (I can’t use MP3s, right?)
- how can I create Flash-like vector-raster animations (code-interactive too) and import them in my project? There are tools like Animatron and Adobe Edge, but I don’t know how I can use the created animations, do they export SWC-like libraries? Do I have to access them from web? Resources like audio, images and clips can be stored as files in a folder, but this kind of animations? I have absolutely no idea as I am totally new to HTML5, don’t know the existing tools and how projects/resources are exported.
- in AS3 you could create a SWF and import one into the other like components, but in HTML5?
- how do I interact with online services using JSON? Ok, this is easy, I just need to study how.
- how can I use 3D resources? Has Away3D been ported completely? Are there other frameworks out there? I have tested the Away3D examples in this page, and Flash versions run about 10 times -faster- than HTML5 ones, this is scary.
- am I obligued to use spritesheets for raster animations? Well, this is easy, FlashProCS6+ and other tools can create spritesheets.
- how can I use libraries like GSAP (there is the JS version, it can be integrated, I just need to test it, I already asked how to access JS from Haxe and it should be pretty feasable)
- SWC can be used as a container for static images only, right? Maybe Wav files too, but it would be a bad idea.
I am nervous and excited at the same time, as I am going to take a big decision for all the staff here