Tag Archives: flash

Bizarre Variable Naming Issue With iPhone Packager for Flash

I posted the other night about my difficulties with Adobe’s iPhone packager for Flash, the program that lets you convert a Flash app into an iPhone app. I’ve managed to track down at least one of the issues that’s been eluding me, but it’s a doozy.

If I name an embedded bitmap resource “sprBatteries,” the app hangs at startup on the iPhone.

I can name it “sprDryCells” or “sprBatteriesX,” and it works fine. I can replace the resource PNG with a PNG I know works elsewhere, but if I name it “sprBatteries,” the app hangs. The app runs fine on my desktop. I believe (although I haven’t done systematic testing to confirm) that it works on the iPhone if I compile it as a simple AS3 app using the Flex compiler instead of compiling it as an AIR app. The resource variable name doesn’t collide with any others in the project.

If you’re not a programmer, let me explain that this behavior is bizarre. Variable names are totally arbitrary. As long as you don’t use any prohibited characters, you can name a variable anything you want. A college friend of mine liked to call his loop iterators “taco.” Many languages/compilers won’t even bother remembering the variable names once the source code is turned into a program. Flash happens to record theirs in the compiled SWF for various reasons, but there’s no sensible reason why “sprBatteries” should be treated differently than “sprBatteriesX.”

I give up on AIR for iPhone unless someone can get me a solution. I’ll see if I can get this running in simple AS3 without any hardware APIs, but it’s unlikely that my final product will contain any accelerometer input (for example). This is frustrating, and I’ve spend a total of over 12 hours fighting with this thing. Adobe hasn’t represented this as a finished product, and rightfully so. In its current form (and assuming I haven’t overlooked something simple), the Packager for iPhone is not ready for use in serious AIR development.

Games From a Parallel Dimension

Screenshot from Scenic

I love games that come from another world. Odin Sphere is a game from a world where 3D never caught on, and people kept making 2D games with more and more advanced hardware. The Fool’s Errand is a game from a parallel universe populated entirely by clumsy geniuses, with brains the size of cities but the tragic inability to play action-oriented games. And Scenic is a game from a dimension where people really loved Mode 7 for some reason. Allow me to elaborate.

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Necropolis

A screenshot from Necropolis

I’ve decided to try my hand at Flash game development. It’s always been a dream of mine to make a living at creating games, and Flash games seem to be a viable way for individual, independent developers to earn a living.

My first game has just been released, thanks in part to a sponsorship from MiniJuegos.com. It’s a truly global market when a Spanish-language games site headquartered in Spain can fund an English-language game from one guy in North Carolina.

Necropolis is a game about Ms. Lilian Trevithick, lady adventurer and radical steam technician, who has come to the infamous Necropolis of Ao in search of adventure. She descends through 25 procedurally-generated levels of traps and treasure to achieve her goal.

Please give me any comments, compliments, or criticisms that come to mind playing the game! This is the first game I’ve released in years, so I’m both very nervous and very excited.

Play Necropolis now.