Flash Lite Diary: 1.0 Let There Be Lite And There Was Lite | Part 1

J2ME is fast coming to a close for personally after developing around 10 games over the last year and while there is money in it still, I am looking to newer platforms now given my late entry as a developer into J2ME in 2005 – and basically I don’t want to make the same mistake!

Both Flash Lite (FL) and XNA are on the development cards for me now but this day by day diary is intended to relate to FL only from here on inwards and how the transition will be made to incorporate FL into my day to day life as developer.

1.1 Step into the Lite:

OK I have had a cigar, mulled it all over several times and looked at a load of FL games and demos to get a feel for the level of quality currently on offer and have decided to jump into the pool of lite.

I want to make money from this down the line as an ongoing business so it’s not just for fun. As I have written games for most of my life this has to be an exercise in quick learning and fast production of titles if I am to make anything useful happen. This time next year the market (like j2me) will already be flooded with FL content so it’s now or never!

1.2 The first day:

OK some of what I might say from here onwards you may not like to hear, but it is the ramblings of a developer starting from 100% nothing with FL from day 1 and how I went about it.

First I do my homework and spend about 4hrs looking at other peoples FL stuff and related blogs on the net. I’m like a giant sponge sucking in all the info I can get into my brain and at one point have about 15 windows of ‘cack’ open on my dual screen setup – that is a lot of information! Eventually I get most of it into my head and feel like the Neo in the Matrix when he states ‘I know Jujitsu!’

After looking at various FL games and titles I quickly come to the conclusion that this is not a lot like j2me, in fact all the content I have seen so far is homebrew generated FL – some of it not bad and some of it graphically really bad.

The first thing I need to get is the FL SDK so I sign up with Adobe and get the required files and bit and bobs. I also open up a few torrents on the net to get what I want but it comes down the wire as German SDK so that’s no good to me.

Eventually I get the entire SDK (Trial) for FL 1.1 and 2.0 and am left looking at a hefty price to pay for the Flash 8 Pro IDE when the 30 days expire – oh well I march on regardless.

I takes me about an hour to set up the FL IDE and SDK because I installed the stupid German version first which was a pain to actually get off my machine to put the trial version of the SDK on instead – jeez. After fiddling for about 10 minutes further I load in a FL .fla and see what the deal is – Christ! what a difference it looks like FL is going to be like Shoot’Em’Contstruction kit or Amos all over again and as a veteran coder of the harder variety this all looks too easy to be true.

After getting over my shock of just how a J2me title is actually written and produced compared to j2me or just about any other game I have ever written, I am left with the thought that I can probably knock out a good game every couple of weeks or less – cool!.

Then I face the nightmare again I had with Midp1 vs Midp2… not unlike this we have FL 1.1 and FL 2.0 versions?… I quickly check the list of supported devices and my own FL test devices here (Nokia N70 & N80) whilst going back through those 15 screens of info, and soon realise that we are stuck with FL 1.1 for development if I am to make any money out of it later.

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