Thursday, February 14, 2008

Client side technology

Let's talk a bit about technology.
In this post I will talk only about the client part.
I have started my idea last year when I started a new job in Padova in Java web application. It was surely for me a return to a job I did several years ago (I worked with Microsoft tecnology in the meantime for non-web applications).
It was an opportunity to update my knowledge in the web development world.
I surprsly found something new: it was called Ajax. I don't want to talk in detail about Ajax because you can find a lot of tutorial on the web. I would only to note that the Asyncronous concept (the "A" from Ajax) is excatly what surprise me simply because it was what a normal web application lacked in order to become a game application!
Infact the "rough" of a web application (against the non-web applications) is that normally when you perform an action (a click on an image, or on a link) you see a page reload. That means a window flickering! That is excatly what makes a video game on web unplayable in terms of good feeling.
Moreover I learned about JavaScript framework such as Prototype and Scriptacolous and Mootools. These frameworks introduced a set of functions (a library) for specific grafic effects! The result is something unseen on a traditional web application. It is what now is called RIA: Rich Interent Application.
This was also possible thanks to the fact the main browsers (Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and Safari) became quite standard in interpreting JS and HTML.
So I started to learn these frameworks and the power of JavaScript and decided to try to develop a simply game using only JavaScript.
After almost a year I found this tecnology too difficult to use. I need to know a lot of CSS and DHTML other than JavaScript and the frameworks (I foucused on Mootools because seems really better than Scriptacolous).
Moreover debug JavaScript can become a nightmare!
In the meantime I discovery ActionScript 3.0 that is also known as Flash 9 and is included in the new Adobe Creative Suite. ActionScript 3.0 is a great evolution respect his preceding mainly because it is full Object Oriented. For a programmer who worked for more than 8 years using Object Oriented languages such as Java, C++ and C#, learning AS 3.0 is a joke!
AS 3.0 has also other advantages: the Flash player is a plugin that is mainly present in almost all the browser (and it is easy to install in any case). It easier to debug and to develop. And has a complete set of native objects really useful for videogames (but this is not a news of the 3.0 version).

So my target now is ActionScript 3.0. I worked for less than half time to have the same result I add in JavaScript.

Next time I will talk about the server side technology.

1 comment:

Victor Matei said...

Hi Emanuele

I saw your profile on and I took the liberty to do some research on your activity. I found your game development experience impressive.
I send you an invitation on to bid on my project , a Flash version of Atomic Bomberman, with multiplayer capabilities. A saw that you previously bid on a similar game, so I pressume you might be interested.

Thank you for your time,