Thursday, December 7, 2006

Flash Games --- Are They Really Good?

Computer games have became very popular in today’s technology world. Especially children and adults are playing these games in a tremendous way. According to a recent survey conducted by an independent research firm in United States of America, it is been observed that more than sixty percent of adults are spending almost 10 hours a week in playing games. And according to the same research, the time consumption is going to increase by another 60% every year in the coming four years. Even the emerging markets like INDIA and China are also catching quite fast in this arena. So, the gaming market is really booming.
Flash, a product from Macromedia can be used in a very terrific way to program games. Flash games are also very popular all around the world. Flash games are mainly popular in the casual games arena. Flash can be used in a very extensive fashion to design graphic rich and interactive Flash games. However, to make games, which are very serious, flash was not a good option. But, the time has changed quite a lot.
Flash 7, the new version, also called MX 2004 at retail, is a modern interactive platform. Macromedia is betting on its power to design massive flash games. It has a very powerful design and animation authoring tool, an object oriented type safe dynamic scripting engine, bitmap rendering with anti aliasing and sub pixel precision, and advanced video and audio playback features. These features are proving really exceptional and helpful for developers to design graphic rich flash games.
One of the main advantages of the flash games is that the Flash is everywhere. For the web version of a game, 96% of the audience won’t need to download anything except the game. More importantly, many people won’t be able to install arbitrary ActiveX controls, or use a Java plug-in, whereas Flash is preinstalled with Windows on corporate machines.
Flash games are normally very easy to learn also when compared to their counter parts. Especially, for children, these flash games look quite interesting ads they need less or even no time to learn. They can play any flash game instantly.
However, the major problem with Flash games is their performance. Action Script can be very slow. Byte code execution is ok, probably on par with other scripting languages, but there is a significant problem with entry points. Setting up the execution context to call into the virtual machine and tearing it down again after a function exits is extremely expensive. Less expensive, but still significant, is a script-to-script function call. Hence, if you can fine-tune the performance, then Flash is definitely a great option to develop games.

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