Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thirteen Spikes and the Flex decision

One of the nice things about this year's site format is the simple fact that most of the posting work for the weekly update is done on the first post of each month. This means that posting Thirteen Spikes Unlimited, which has just been posted, doesn't take too long. This is a good thing as this is one of the rare occasions when I was taken out for supper so I was late posting the site today. Because everything was ready to go, however, it only took minutes when I got home to post the update for this week.

While I know that you should never drink and blog, I am going to make an exception today as I do want to explain my Flex decision and think that since Thirteen Spikes Unlimited was created using only the freely available Flex3SDK and jEdit for editing. While the remainder of One of those Weeks will be created in Flash CS3 and the remainder of the Ultimate Retro Project will be finished using Java, future projects will be created using Flex. Flash will be used for asset creation but the projects themselves will be compilable using the freely available Flex3SDK. In a couple of years I will take another look at the browser landscape and possibly change my development direction, but right now I am going to be focusing on Flex development.

I have been playing around with a number of different languages and quite frankly am sick of having to shift my gears when switching between projects that are in different languages. Having all my work done in a single language makes my work easier. If a paying client wanted me to do some C++ or Java work for them then I would certainly do so but for Blazing Games and other programming I am doing in my spare time then the work will be done in Flex unless there is a very compelling reason to use a different language.

I really do not trust Microsoft, so even though Silverlight 2 has some really nice aspects to it unless I am being paid to use their platform I am not going to do so. Java still has a place in my heart but I feel that Sun just dropped the applet ball and FX is too little too late. Still, this is one case where I would like to be proven wrong. HTML 5 is no where near being a finalized standard so I might as well focus on Flex while I wait for it. Other browser based game development plug-ins simply do not have the installed base.

I have already pointed out numerous times that Flash CS3 is expensive, while Flex has a freely available SDK. Flex produces Flash output and I can still use Flash for the creation of assets and animation.

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