When Life Gives You Lemons

Posted on September 24th, 2013

Old Sketches

Posted on June 25th, 2013

Why I Quit Flash Game Development for Mobile (Corona SDK)

Posted on June 19th, 2011

I know it was just a few days ago I wrote that I was so excited about the introduction of Flashbuilder 4.5 and how I was redeveloping my once Android only game (written in Java) to AS3 so that I can publish across multiple platforms.  Just days ago, I was going ALL IN to develop some sweetness in AS3.

24 hours into the project when I had already put in the time ahead of the fun stuff to build my product store, stat system, multi-player with Smartfox Server connections (basically all the tedious stuff that you HAVE to program but is not as fun), I hit a roadblock.

Correct me if I am wrong, but Adobe Flash performance on any mobile device is horrible.   It’s like if you try to do anything remotely cool then FPS bogs down to unusable rates.  Very depressing.  Being the local Flash guy in my town for years, anyone who knows me can attest to my love of Actionscript.  I have been the goto guy for most local web agencies.  I have appeared as a guest in college classes.   While I would never claim to be awesome, I do know enough to do some good things.  I could not be doing things so horribly wrong.

With that love and excitement in mind, I stayed on course.  I was already making strong headway converting my Java game written for Android SDK to AS3 just by the nature of the two languages being so close.  Things were moving quick enough.  So I would not give up.

As with all roadblocks, I began Googling like crazy for answers.  What I found was basically that I would have to spend an incredible amount of time performance tuning.   I would have to be completely conscious of my display list.  I would have to watch everything I did, even garbage collecting… it was going to be a super cumbersome task.   Now I deal with this crap all the time with my normal job and it’s all good.  I could spend the time needed to do this, but the job demanded to make a game for fun in my spare time with this process immediately sucked the fun right out of it.

Then, while reading a StackOverflow post about AS3 performance for mobile, someone suggested Corona SDK.  I clicked on the link and my life changed.

Ansca provides their system for free to learn and test it out.  Only commit when you are ready to publish.

It took me less than an hour to figure out that Corona SDK was what I needed.   80% of the stuff I would need to write custom classes for in AS3 was already included in Corona and after spending an evening playing with the free version, I fell in love.

The following links explain it pretty clearly.

http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/comparison/flash/features/

http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/comparison/flash/side-by-side/

Some could say the feature comparison is off now that CS5.5 was released, but I was using Flashbuilder 4.5 and it is not that far off.

The list is actually humorous after fighting through the AS3 stuff for a few days and the difference in ease of use is ridiculous.  A few quick searches will show you how rapidly people are building games with Corona SDK.

Having never touched Corona SDK or Lua before, I was able to convert 90% of my game in under a week . This is including switching to an all new multi-player system and many many other improvements I have made along the way (Not to mention the hours I have wasted chatting in the Corona IRC channel).

Speaking of the IRC channel, it is also worth mentioning the community behind Corona.  It is simply one of the most awesome and sharing I have met.  Even the Ansca CEO, Carlos is an active member in the community.  There is nothing like being able to go straight to the source with questions about the system.   So the support system there alone is reason to give Corona SDK a shot.

There is really not much else to say without turning this into a love letter.  I see myself as a long term community member and supporter of Ansca Mobile for a long time going forward.  I easily spent the $349.00 for the full year licensing to publish on iOS and Android.  I am hoping to be a contributor to the community and have my games featured when released.

If you are an Actionscript programmer, then I highly suggest you look at Corona SDK.  I have no doubt you will find all the above points true and find yourself head over heals for the amazing cross platform publishing solution.

If you have anything to add or if you somehow disagree, feel free to comment below.

To find out more about Corona SDK you can visit their site here.

First Game From Think New Mobile Almost Complete

Posted on June 5th, 2011

I have been working for quite a while in secrecy on a game project for the Android platform. Long story short, devoting all of my time to the Android development platform and developing specifically for those devices has recently left me feeling like I wasted a lot of time. I kept hearing rumors of the low return on investment for apps in the Android Market, but I kept plugging away anyway out of sheer love for Android and Google services.

I recently read some statistics about sales numbers on Android compared to that of IOS and was shocked. Only a small handful of games on Android have even come close to generating close to $100,000… in the entire life of the platform. This while two new releases in the past month on IOS have made upwards of $500,000. That’s just two apps released within the last month, compared to the entire life of the Android ecosystem.

It’s a little depressing considering my love for Android. While I love the OS, Google is really failing developers here. Two main reasons stick out.

First thing I’ll say is that the stock Android Market really sucks. There is just no real cohesive way to find quality apps on your device. Granted, the web market is much better, but they need to deliver a similar experience on the devices.

Speaking of quality… part of the reason why apps are hard to find, is that you simply have to weed through too much crap to find good apps. Anyone with a few bucks and time to throw something together can put an app out there. I know because I am guilty of it.

The same thing that I used to balk at from Apple is part of their strength. Their approval process makes their app store a much better experience. Google really needs this sort of approach regardless of what people whine about open this and that.

That said, I can’t fully explain why people basically refuse to buy apps on Android, but IOS customers will gladly spend in multiples every month for apps. It’s almost like the feeling and atmosphere of a Linux desktop has carried over to linux on the phone. People don’t really pay for linux anything. Open source usually means there is some developer out there sitting in his mother’s basement making some sort of half baked solution to the windows proprietary equivalent. That’s not to say all open source software is crap or half baked, but its the simple truth in the grand scheme of things.

All these factors cannot be ignored. While developing for IOS to me is kind of like sleeping with the enemy, from a business perspective, it is a necessary evil.

I could say I want to make games just for the joy of it and I will stay with Android specific just out of loyalty, but lets be realistic. I have a wife and kids. Sure I make games for the pure joy, but the complexities of life force me to examine the monetary opportunity of it.

All of these enlightening insights into my endeavors could not have come at a better time though.

Introducing Flashbuilder 4.5

I have always loved Actionscript.  I have been working with it since the early days of Actionscipt 1 (almost laughable)  So I was overjoyed with release of their new tool.  While I do hate dumping all the work I created for Android, Java and AS3 are so similar, I was able to salvage a lot.  Plus, considering my history with AS3, in one week I have been able to throw together most of what I built previously anyway.  Not only that, it is more polished and just flat out more bad ass.  To top it off, I can develop on one codebase that I love and release it on every major platform I can think of.  It is a win win.

So stay tuned.  Beta testing will begin soon to those who wish to partake in the battling action!

Oddly Bizarre II

Posted on September 11th, 2010

Here is the sequel. Crazy perceptions!!

Oddly Bizarre (Directors Cut)

Posted on September 11th, 2010

This includes deleted scenes.

Oddly Bizarre

Posted on September 11th, 2010

Recently we had some drama with an employee.   It was way out there so I made a cartoon documenting the true events. Names have been withheld to protect the stupid.

Making Money from Flash Games

Posted on April 29th, 2010

I didn’t know this, but it seems that making cheesy flash games is a big business. With my career based in Flash, I’ve always toyed around with making simple flash games just for fun. I never imagined it could be for profit. I met a guy recently through IM on a flashkit.com board and he’s been giving me all kinds of tips to get started. I’ve also done some of my own research and I’ve tried to organize some links to share so others seeking the same things has me might have an easier time finding it.

Say you’ve finished your Flash game, you like it a lot and you want others to play it. Consider monetizing your work besides giving others joy of playing? Here are some good places on web where you can begin making money off of your creation.

Kongregate is maybe best place for you. If your game is chosen you can win some weekly cash or monthly top $1500 prize. Also, Kongregate shares ad revenues with developers.

Mochiads “is a no-hassle way for Flash game developers make money from every play. Their flexible system is easy to setup and gives you control over where and when advertisements show.” You place ad inside your game and every time someone plays it you earn. No cost and no obligations. Payments are via PayPal after your earnings reach $100.

CrazyMonkeyGames will sponsor your Flash game, just ask for it on contact page.

Gamegecko is another website where you can ask for sponsorship request for your games.

NewGrounds is THE biggest flash portal on Internet with 500k visitors a day. Here you can find opportunity to be noticed by many and where is traffic, there is cash also.

Hope this quick list will help you in your money making online quest with your Flash games development skills. If you know any other good website do leave a comment. Thanks.

Welcome to AdamCoburn.org

Posted on February 26th, 2008

Welcome to AdamCoburn.org.  This is my new site to share and discuss Actionscript and all things related to the technology.  I hope you find many interesting things here or contribute to some of the thoughts that I share.  Enjoy.

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