Archive for December, 2008

The Flash 10 p2p

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

A few days ago I stumbled across a post by Hank Williams. It appears there is a little “secret” feature in the flash player that allows clients to directly connect to one another. When I read this I was as excited as I was when I read about the XML Socket Connection in Flash 5, until I realized it would not do what I thought it would. The ability to make lightweight multiplayer games without server reliance is something I have been wanting to do for a while. It looks like there is a catch though.

From everything I have read it appears that you will need to have flash media server running in order to manage the connections. In some ways this makes sense as if someone drops then other clients need to be notified of the drop and any updates that need to happen. To me this seems like the type of thing that could be handled with a server script but perhaps I am being naive. The reliance on flash media server takes development out of reach of the guys who don’t have $4500 and a dedicated server to set up. I am hoping this is not Adobe trying to force sales of FMS.

I am also curious about ports. Flash media server will forward you over to the standard http port if you do not have access to the default. I am hoping that the p2p communication does the same. If not, this looses a lot of momentum, as getting an IT dept to forward a port is probably a lot harder than installing a custom piece of software on a machine, greatly limiting the value of this feature. We shall see how things pan out, but in the mean while it looks like I’ll have to install a trial version of FMS on some old pentium to see how well this setup works.

pixelbender and file creation

Friday, December 5th, 2008

I started working with pixelbender and was getting a little irritated with having to write a custom class each time I was experimenting with something on the pixel bender exchange. This gave me a good opportunity to try out the new file I/O capabilities in player 10. I built out a little class that could generate .as files from .pbj files and save them. It’s not perfect. I would like to dig a little deeper and explore parameters a little better, but for what I needed, it saved me a lot of time creating a filter library to mess with. You can grab the source file here

Files are a lot easier to work with in player 10 than I though they would be. Writing to a text file is as simple as fileReference.save(someString, someName) loading is also a lot less painful than I thought it might be. Mike Chambers has written a good getting started guide here.

You’ll need flash 10 to view this:

It’s software now…

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Finally got Flex setup to publish out as player 10 and started looking through the documentation. Some really key things are now available. File I/O and pixelbender give the option to make some really serious apps that rival their desktop counterparts. I’m really looking forward to building out some stuff for free sound collective that manipulates sound at runtime. It seems like Adobe knows how to keep it rolling. Give it out slowly so the masses have a bit of time to digest, but dish out just enough so that developers stay interested.