As long as you're not doing hardcore 3D, Flash is a perfectly fine bitmap blitter, and even Flash 10 has a 95% penetration rate in the developed world.
The one thing is that you may have to consider CDN delivery with a Flash client, because if you're delivering a 3-5MB SWF to say 100,000 people, and each player plays say 5-10 times per month... you do the math. Browser cache will help, but every time you update versions they will have to re-download.
Plus you also have to consider how to minimise the amount of data your sending with each call (or conversely the amount of calls made) because although it may seem small you have to consider the effect on individual clients and the server as it scales up.
The joys of client/server networking
How about providing MMORPG and Facebook game templates?
NO MORE SARCASM, JUST STRAIGHT CAPS FACTS.
this is sparta!!!!
I think it depends on the game design really, not every mmo can really use micro-transactions without some horrible kludge as it can cause game balancing issues, while at the same time not every one works well with a subscription system either
Yes I agree given an infinite amount of players for your game then, say, 2% of tire kickers may become regular users and 2% of them may become addicts and evangelise your game better than any banner ad or marketing ploy.
However, my point was more that with a genre that's suited to a downloadable client such as java, such as a 3d RPG (for want of a better example) then you're more likely to lose most of the tire kickers along the way due to the increased difficulty in getting to play and so are left with actual paying customers, who are by definition already well on their way to becoming addicts and evangelists.
It was a throwaway comment though, don't read too much into it
Anyone have any comments or experience with http://playerio.com/ which is a flash multi-player API (has MMO capabilities in it's features apparently).
I wouldn't touch anything where your game is tied to someone else's hosting services. This puts you 100% at their mercy.
Agreed. Write your own Client-Server-DB API. It really doesn't take a long time to learn (especially if you find it fun!) and you need to have control of it.
The fun part, is that you literally dont need to host anything:
Use google to launch the game and direct to download (via appengine)
Amazon handles the database and php servers. (via EC2)
Amazon handles the delivering of the flash file (via S3)
You backup to Amazon (via the EBS)
It can scale out about a billionty times better than you can do by hosting your own little app, plus you can develop it on your own wamp setup and then deploy once you have the thing tested a bit.
Of course there's stuff like analytics and billing. Currently looking at billing options (of course facebook is doing a payment system soon, so most of the other ones are likely going to be redundant, but man its going to be good for microtransactions I think).
I agree about having as much control as pos, but couldn't you start with a solution like playerio.com and then work your way up to a custom / self-hosted solution without too much hassle?
If you do that you'll essentially have to make your game twice (or at least a large chunk of it), why waste your time? Use something like SmartFox or ElectroServer and host it yourself, you'll save money and won't be tied down.
i was playing social city ( http://apps.facebook.com/socialcity/ ) the other day and thinking something like that would be good as a side game for starpeace. Get some attention for the real game and make money from the mini game. So off i went to look at the potential of developing something like that in flash. First i got flashdevelop installed and PBE.
First thing i realised is that i seem to be spoiled by using delphi and dreamweaver 2004. It seems to be all code and no visual developing, especially like delphi with it's forms.
Ok, no worries, just have to do things the hard way and specify locations and stuff, lets get on with some of the tutorials and see what AS3 is like. Now remember why a few years ago when i first looked at flash why i ran miles away. It's a horrible language, not as bad as assembly, but i'm used to the nice flowing pascal of delphi or php.
At this point i was welcomming the pinging of social city every 5 or so minutes to tell me there's something to do but i though the biggest thing will be the iso map, so lets see if there is anything out there to put one in without much hassle which led me to as3isolib which is apparently used by quite a few flash apps. Downloaded and looked at some of the docs, spent ages just looking at it trying to work out how to get the iso map up (thats just looking, not coding) and of course getting distracted every 5 mins.
Which leaves me to today where i have been messing about and looking at the flashdevelop tab on the taskbar every so often and dreading of actually trying to learn to code something in AS3 and wondering if i could just hand off all the assets to starpeace and getting somone else to code it for a percentage.
Do companies like microsoft and adobe intentionally make there coding languages nasty so other companies need more developers and thus buy more copies of there software?
I really dont mind as3 to be honest. Its as useful as I need a language to be.
You might want to try the trial version of flex builder (now called flash builder 4). It has all the visual development stuff youre probably more used to. Still have to do some stuff to make it all work of course, but likely a bit nicer than flashdevelop (not sure on that btw, never used flashdevelop).
It certainly makes visual interface development a lot easier. Not brilliant, but certainly nicer. Plus you can build AIR apps with it.
You can do AIR apps with FlashDevelop as well. I'd recommend it over Adobe's terrible Flash IDE anyday, and that's without even considering the fact that FD is absolutely free.
On topic: ActionScript for Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds is a pretty good book for anyone looking to do this sort of thing in AS3. It includes a section on tile-based isometric views, with source code.
FlashDevelop is fine if you don't want a design tool.
Have to admit I haven't tried FlashBuilder yet although it's on my list of purchases so will have to compare and contrast.
Over all i'm liking it, though thats with only a few hours of playing with it. I might even save up and buy a copy after the 60 days are up.
You could pretend to be a "unemployed developer" there is a version of flash builder "standard" that is free for unemployed developers, whatever that is.