Sunday, November 28, 2010

Word Strips Android App

So I've been wanting to get an Android App up and running for some time. It's pretty easy to build an app in Flash for the Android, but the tough part is making it playable.

Most of the games I have on FlashByNight don't translate well to the small, touch screen. In particular, I create larger games, usually 800 x 600, whereas I've noticed most other devs create smaller games for whatever reason. The small device screen and lack of controls is quite limiting. For example, I tried creating a version of The Inside Job (, but it works out that the orbs are too small too press with precision.

One game however, translates quite well, and that is Word Strips. You can drag and drop the strips with your finger and it's actually easier than playing on the desktop/laptop.

So, you can find Word Strips in the Android Marketplace by searching for 'Word Strips'.

A word of warning: your device needs to be Android 2.2. It will NOT work on 2.1 or earlier. (Unfortunately, this has led to some low ratings/negative comments, even though I specified it on the app page). You will also be prompted to download Adobe Air before you can play the game. (There is a chance that you already have Adobe Air on your system.)

So give it a try and help me out with some good comments if you like it. The high scores for the Android App are the same as the ones for the web version, by the way.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

GRE Master

I've finished updating an old quiz: GRE Master, and you can find it at:

The database has around 5000 words from the 'Barron's' vocab list, so you can use the quiz to prep for your GRE exam or just to learn some bombastic words.

It's also available on

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Game Release

There's a new game up on FlashByNight.
Wordo is a simple but fun word game where you have to use up all the tiles on the board to make words of 3 - 8 letters long. It sounds easy, but you'll need a good strategy.

Why not play it now and be the first to get your name on the High Score list. The URL is

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Technical Issues

Sorry everyone who's having difficulties with certain games. It's a database issue with my web hosting company. Worst of all, I can't get it fixed until Monday. Some of the games are working but with no high scores and some aren't working at all. Sorry!

In other news, though, I'm working on a word game that should be ready in a week or two.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Play Drench on your Android Browser

I figured that Drench, probably the simplest game on my site, can be played directly in the browser on Android phones (must be Android 2.2). It's a tiny bit slower but still fun. Who needs apps?

So I resized the game and put it here:

You'll need to tilt the phone to portrait and then double tap the flash part of the screen and it'll resize perfectly.

It looks like this:

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Game Release: Vi:Roos

It's been a long time since I've released a new game on, so anyway, here it is:

Vi:Roos is a semi-experimental game where you play a green virus and you need to take over a computer system before the other viruses beat you to it.

In gameplay terms, this means clicking on smaller clumps of squares to take them over. It's surprisingly trickier than it sounds and the enemy AI gets 'smarter' as you level up.

Have fun.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Closing a Flash Android App

I've just finished my first complete build of a Flash Game App for Android and I thought I'd share some code.

It's the little things that'll stump you, like figuring how to quit the app. So many apps make you use the HOME key and then the app continues running in the background. That's really frustrating. Use this line of code to kill your app:


And you'll need this import statement in your document class:

import flash.desktop.NativeApplication;

Another good thing to know is how to access the MENU, HOME and SEARCH keys. To do this, add a keyListener for a keyboard event:



function keyUpListener(e:KeyboardEvent):void {
if( e.keyCode == Keyboard.MENU ){ }
if( e.keyCode == Keyboard.HOME ){ }
if( e.keyCode == Keyboard.SEARCH ){ }

Don't forget to add this to your document class: import flash.ui.Keyboard;

Simples! A few lines to code to help you with your Flash App for Android.

Remember to support Android - Android loves Flash, unlike the iPhone.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


What I'm currently working on is getting some of my games packaged as Android apps. Mainly since I bought an Android phone (HTC Desire), I love it and I want to support Google's efforts in making it easy for anyone to make games and get them out to people who want to play them.

I'm pretty excited about it and I hope to post my progress here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What makes Red Dead Redemption a great game?

I'm about halfway through playing Red Dead Redemption on the 360, and I wanted to jot a few thoughts about what makes it a great game.

1 Immersion

Immersion is one of the most important aspects of game design. RDR stands out as the most immersive game that I have ever played. It nails the look and feel of the Old West. The language, the clothes, even the way people walk and react. It feels alive.

There is a massive map and very little repetition of things that you see. For example, to pick an older game, Far Cry, all the huts in each village looked alike. Every jungle path looked alike. In RDR, every trail, every hacienda looks unique.

2 Sandbox format

Rockstar games are famous for giving you a massive free-roam area to play around in. Plenty of players just ride around and get into trouble. I believe that the play area in Fallout 3 was probably a little bit bigger, but Fallout 3 didn't feel like free roam because you'd get attacked by something every 20 yards. RDR gives you the chance to take a stagecoach from place to place but you feel like riding instead because it's so much fun.

3 That five-year-old feeling

By which I mean that when I play an XBox game, I want something that makes me feel like a 5-year-old kid playing cowboys and indians again. Somehow, RDR manages to do that and still keep a decent level of realism.

4 A great script

Okay, the story is pretty straightforward, but the characters in the story are great fun. People sometimes argue whether a game should have a great story (or whether it's a work of art), but I'm a firm believer that a great story makes a great game.

RDR has a wicked sense of humor, too. For example, there's a guy who *loves* his horse in a way that is not quite appropriate, and there's a hard-drinking Mick by the name of Irish who swears incessantly. In fact, it's the first time I've heard the word c**t used in a game.

RDR pulls every Wild West cliche out of its ten gallon hat, but it's all in the name of good fun.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pac Man For The Win is Ready

Pac Man for the win is ready and hopefully bug-free. Hope you enjoy playing it!


Monday, June 14, 2010

PacMan ftw

Since PacMan is thirty years old this year, I thought I might just do a homage and give pacman the old flashbynight treatment. By which I mean I take the game and mess around with the mechanics and the gameplay until I reckon I’ve come up with something different.

I’m calling my game, Pac Man For The Win because I used to really suck at the stand-up arcade version and I wanted to make something more casual. My idea is to come up with totally different mazes for each level and also to have different numbers of ghosts and powerpills and so on.

The first step was to build the ‘engine’ – basically a class which would recognize when pacman encounters blocks, dots, powerpills and ghosts. I could reuse some of this code to control the ghosts. After that, I was free to concentrate on level design, which is where I am now. I’ve designed 12 out of twenty levels and you can play the first three here:

I’ll update the page and eventually the finished game will appear there, sometime around the latter part of June.

Another thing I did was to look closely at the AI of the ghosts in the original game. I always thought that they pressured pacman too much and made it a difficult game. However, the original designer claimed that he made the AI such that the ghosts would not chase pacman 100% of the time. I got this from a great article on ‘Ghost Psychology’ here:

My ghosts have three modes:

1 random => they move randomly about the maze
2 pursuit => they actively home in on pacman
3 scatter => they flee from pacman

For most of the game, the ghosts are in random mode. Every so often, one or more will go into pursuit mode for a short time. If the player completes all 20 levels, he can replay them with all ghosts constantly in pursuit mode. (Without this feature, I couldn’t have a high score feature, because everyone who finished the game would have a similar score).

When pacman eats a powerpill, all ghosts go into scatter mode, but only for a few seconds (or else they end up bunched against the walls).

So as you can see, I had a lot of fun creating PacMan For The Win and I hope everyone has a fun time playing it.

Don’t forget to try my other reworked retro games:


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Tute: Creating a Document Class

There's a new tute available: Creating a Document Class:

A document class in AS3 allows you to keep all your code in an external .as file instead of the main .fla movie.

This tutorial is suitable for beginners to AS3 - you'll need to know how to create a document class before you can go on to do anything else, really.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Quiz Template

A visitor to my site recently commented on my tutorial for building a multiple choice quiz in AS3 and asked for help with a simple fill-in-the-blanks quiz.

I put together a template and I thought I would share it here. (Right-click and select save-as.)

I will probably put this into a short tutorial available on flashbynight. Until then, just contact me if you need any help with it.

I also have a drag-and-drop tutorial here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Inside Job

Just finished another game, called the Inside Job and it's playable at
It's an orb-popping game that I'm sure will grow on you if you give it a chance.
I can't link it to my main page yet since I'm away from home, but the link will go up next week.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Angels of Bayonetta

I'm playing Bayonetta on the 360 at the moment.

What grabbed me from the beginning was how cool and well designed the angel enemies are. Unfortunately, in the game you can't get a good look at them because they come at you really fast. I didn't even realise they had faces and I thought the pointy bits were beaks! They're actually beards.

Anyway, here they are in all their glory (click on the picture for a full view):

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Game Prototype: Fall On Me

Here is the prototype of a game I'm working on: Fall On Me.

The premise is basically that it is a platform game where the platforms fall into place as you go along. They are generated randomly.

Keep in mind that it is far from finished. So far, the basic game mechanic is done, but the game basically needs more 'stuff'.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spelling Bee Game

I thought I might just post this link:

It's a spelling game someone made using my word scramble tutorial, which can be found here:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mass Effect 2: New Best Game

I've just finished Mass Effect 2 and my verdict is that is the best game ever for the 360.

Here is my personal Top 5:

1 Mass Effect 2
2 Mass Effect
3 Ninja Gaiden 2
4 Gears of War 2
5 Gears of War

Unlike Hollywood movies, in the gaming world, sequels are actually better!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Drifting Afternoon

I have to mention this game that I discovered today: Drifting Afternoon.

I've always been a fan of Ferry Halim's work; he does flash games like no one else. Anyway, I won't ramble on; here's the link below. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

AS3 class for finding four-letter words

When I created the game Merge (, I created an AS3 class that can be used to:

1 Check the validity of a four letter word
2 Choose a four letter word at random

This could come in useful for anyone interested in creating word games. It weighs in at 22k, but contains all the four-letter words in English.

The class is and to get a four-letter word, use the function return_random_word(); To check if a word exists, use check_validity("word"); and it will return TRUE or FALSE.

The class and a sample .fla can be downloaded here:

Hope it comes in useful.


I had the idea for a fun little word game. It only took a short time to make and it turned out pretty well, IMHO.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's Not Toronto

Phew! I've finally finished my current game: It's Not Toronto. (

I've always wanted to do a platform game and here it is. Hopefully, it's different from platform games you've seen before. It's got, er..., lots of blocks in it, and puzzle elements. Some parts of the game are randomized, so they'll look different each time you play.

There are twenty levels in all, but I'll make more levels if the game proves popular.