Monthly Archives: September 2011

Flixel and Tweensy Working Together

Are you using Flixel for Flash development? You should be.

Are you using Tweensy for easy programmatic Flash tweening? You should be.

Did you know that when Flixel loses focus and pauses, Tweensy doesn’t automatically pause? You should. It can cause some weird behavior.

I’ve figured out a simple fix that pauses Tweensy when Flixel doesn’t have focus. I just did it, so be aware that there may be some unexpected consequences of this that I don’t know about.

Put the following in your main class that extends FlxGame:

override protected function onFocus(FlashEvent:Event = null):void

override protected function onFocusLost(FlashEvent:Event = null):void

And that’s that. When Flixel pauses due to lost focus, Tweensy will as well, and when Flixel resumes, so will Tweensy. Just make sure you don’t get the “pause” and “resume” flipped; I did at first, and I couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong.

Over 150 Games Finished

I just noticed that I’ve got over 150 games on my list of “Games I’ve Finished.” The list isn’t exactly precise. Sometimes I add smaller games (e.g. “All Roads Lead From Home“) but usually I only add games I’ve paid for or games that are big enough to feel like an accomplishment (e.g. Iji). I’ve surely also forgotten a bunch of games from the list.

I also have “Games I’ve Played” (but not finished) and “Games I Probably Won’t Finish” on that page. Looking at them tells a lot about my game preferences. For example, I’m reluctant to stick with very hard or very long games, especially if they’re older console titles (Super Mario Bros.). And I generally don’t care for “real-time strategy” games. I don’t like having to plan and out-think an opponent while also managing low-level real-time play. I’m lousy enough at strategizing as it is; I don’t need added distractions.

This list also feels very short. It seems like there should be many, many more games on it. I’ve certainly left out a lot of games I’ve played emulated (Final Fantasy VI) and many games that I’ve only played demos of (Rocket Jockey, to pick one totally at random). There are a lot of games out there, and I’ve played a lot of them. But still nowhere near a majority.

A Pistol and a Flashlight Piece

B.A. Campbell has written a very detailed look at some of my games over at Innsmouth Free Press, a micro-publisher that deals in horror and dark fiction. The piece is critical and flattering.

If Babies Dream was, alchemically-speaking, a chunk of carbon, Looming is Weir’s lapis noster. Visually, it is perhaps the simplest of his achievements… Oddly enough, the monotony of the presentation, alongside the soundtrack of howling winds and weird, croaking wildlife, helps to evoke exactly the sense of loneliness and isolation that the name of this realm, “Looming,” suggests. And with no fancy textures to distract the eye, Looming’s colossal broken gears and Apatosaurus-sized rib bones can’t help but arouse a fundamental awe… and fear.

I recommend you check it out.

How Fallout 3 Should Have Been

A screenshot of a damaged house and surroundings from Fallout 3.My wife and I have been playing Fallout 3 in parallel recently. We’d each played for a while a year or so ago, but each stopped for one reason or another. I’ve finished the main story, including the DLC that extends the game a bit further. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a really well-designed game in many respects. Unfortunately, the story and world-building is pretty lacking. Let me tell you how I would have done Fallout 3.

Some backstory on the universe. The bombs fell in 2077, in a world themed around the paleofuture of the 1950s. The original Fallout starts in 2161, 84 years after the War. At this point, the US Southwest is in ruins with most people living in fortified farming, trading, or raiding communities. Fallout 2 takes place in 2241. Most settlements in the US Southwest have been rebuilt from a combination of scraps and new materials. There’s a shiny place called Vault City with trees and clean buildings, a democratic republic in California, and two different organizations with advanced technology.

What Bethesda Did

Fallout 3 takes place across the country in the ruins of Washington, DC in 2277. 200 years after the bombs fell, many DC buildings are still standing. People live in filthy, makeshift towns made entirely of ruins and rusty scrap with litter on the floors of their houses. There are no farms in the game. The only sources of food seem to be some cave fungus, a single experimental hydroponics lab, mutant animal meat, and whatever gets scavenged from the ruins. And yet the ruins are simply full of food. Mashed potatoes, snack cakes, and canned meat sit on shelves and are no more irradiated than the water people drink.

This is hard to believe.
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