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Thread: [disc] Advice for a flash app (like a game)

  1. #1
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    [disc] Advice for a flash app (like a game)

    Hello all,

    I mostly lurk here and try to seduce young, promising game developers into using pnFlashGames.com as a distributor, but today I come with a different purpose.

    I am hoping you guys can give me a bit of advice about a flash tool I'm building. I know this is the games forum, but some of the attributes are very "game-like" and I have seen you guys talk about these things from time to time.

    First of all, the tool is a bead jewelry designer. Basically you will load the tool and be able to drag beads from your toolbox onto a necklace. I really wanted the blank necklace wire to be a bit stretchy, much like the really neat rope examples I've seen around here recently.

    The other game like attirbute is the beads themselves and how they interact. A user should be able to drag a bead and drop it anywhere on the necklace. The surrounding beads, if any, will react to this new object and slide over to make room, like some ball collision tutorials I've seen you guys make.

    So now the questions... Should I build the beads and bead toolbox like you would construct a tile based game? I am not sure that this will work because not all beads are the same size nor are they simple multiples of a set dimension. I think I will have to make the bead objects art based. But, will that make the interaction and collision on the necklace impossible?

    The idea here is that once a user makes a neat design they can save it and share it with others (or order it made just for them). What do you guys think? Should I take my questions to the application forum or is this sufficiently "gamey"?

    Thanks for reading and for any/all help.

    -Lee
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  2. #2
    self-portrait Kianis's Avatar
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    Since the beads can only be on the wire the collision is 1D. If I were to do it I'd use verlet integration *-) Then use a low number of recursions per frame (just one) and maybe just push the beads in a limited velocity each frame so you get a nice effect of the beads slowly making room for each other.

    I'd probably set up an abstract "line" on which the beads are placed and moves on (you can simulate gravity by adding an attracting force at the correct location of the line). Then once you place a bead on the wire it's location is translated to the line's location where collision etc is done and then retranslated to where to put the actual graphic. (Ie, something like translateToLine(x) which spits out {x: 123, y: 123})

    This may be total overkill, I might be rambling, but I'll give it a try once I get home. This idea really interested me.
    // Mazapán, my portfolio

  3. #3
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    Ah, thanks very much for posting that Kianis!

    It sounds like you are talking about a gravity like force that would make the beads generally want to float towards the middle of the line, and the line would generally sag a bit in the middle - or would the line need to be straight in order for the effect to work?. That is pretty much what I had imagined it looking like. I started working on a mockup of the whole thing (just graphical for now), I'll try to post it in a bit so you can see what my crazy head was thinking.

    So the beads would just be graphics, and the application would figure out how large each bead is and move the other beads on the line out of the way when you drop it? Would that work when the beads are all different sizes?

    I love total overkill, btw. If you do decide to put something together just for the shear thrill of it I'll have my wife make you a necklace and we'll ship it to you
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  4. #4
    self-portrait Kianis's Avatar
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    Haha, awsome!

    Yep, that is basically the idea, only I connected both ends of the wire. I abandoned the idea of the 1D collision with translation/ retranslation for a complete verlet integration approach - so much easier.

    Here's an example, I'll have the adding of the beads and collision done tomorrow.
    http://www.blackmaze.com/space/necklace.html
    It's not much to look at, but the whole system of extending the wire by the weight of more beads aswell as projecting beads to the right spot is done
    Last edited by Kianis; 12-15-2005 at 04:29 PM.
    // Mazapán, my portfolio

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    Wow, that is really great! Looks like you will be the first person outside the US to get an authentic "ME" design I can't thank you enough for your help. Im working on the HTML site now, hopefully will be done with it soon. I was going to finish the bead designer mockup, but it looks like you really got the idea there. It looks like I'll really owe you a few necklaces now My wife really loves the idea and told me to tell you thanks too.

    -Lee
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    I started working on putting together the actual HTML for the site last night. I thought you might be interested in how this app will fit in the site. So far just dummy text and there is some work to do yet, but here it is so far: http://beadedbyme.com Again, thanks for any/all your help
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  7. #7
    Official Shoe Shiner thehumanchimp's Avatar
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    i had a little go at it:
    http://img227.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bead22vh.swf

    theres a few bugs, soimetimes it crashes, sometimes the "beads" fall off, but meh, it seems to work generally ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehumanchimp
    i had a little go at it:
    http://img227.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bead22vh.swf

    theres a few bugs, soimetimes it crashes, sometimes the "beads" fall off, but meh, it seems to work generally ok.
    that was fast

  9. #9
    self-portrait Kianis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leason
    I started working on putting together the actual HTML for the site last night. I thought you might be interested in how this app will fit in the site. So far just dummy text and there is some work to do yet, but here it is so far: http://beadedbyme.com Again, thanks for any/all your help
    Nice site!
    Here's the latetst swf, link. Although I'm afraid the negative effects of the 'overkill'-part of the idea is starting to show. When the weights add up some beads are pushed out, but that can be fixed. What is harder to fix though is the fact that projecting the beads on the wire takes up quite a lot CPU power. My computer starts choking when there's 10+ beads :S

    Anyone who's up for the challenge may modify my code. You can find it at the same URL as above.

    Edit: Cool one, humanchimp! : D
    Last edited by Kianis; 12-17-2005 at 11:21 AM.
    // Mazapán, my portfolio

  10. #10
    Official Shoe Shiner thehumanchimp's Avatar
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    lol, that is so cool, mine looks so rubbish compared. Great Work Kianis, i didn't get much of a slow down. Nicely done.
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  11. #11
    Official Shoe Shiner thehumanchimp's Avatar
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    hmm, well v2. is up, just a couple of bug fixes, and a lot more stable (and 4 and a half times smaller than Kianis's ) but graphically nowhere near as good

    http://img455.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bead1df.swf

    there is a bug if you load about 12 or so beads, of the 2 rightmost constanlty swapping.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehumanchimp
    hmm, well v2. is up, just a couple of bug fixes, and a lot more stable (and 4 and a half times smaller than Kianis's ) but graphically nowhere near as good

    http://img455.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bead1df.swf

    there is a bug if you load about 12 or so beads, of the 2 rightmost constanlty swapping.
    Looks great! I love the idea and you know what... you can make a simple game with this dude It would be a cool to pick up right numbers for example to make a given number (for childrens from 4 .. 5 years old Go for it man!

  13. #13
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    Hmm, It seems like these are two very different approaches to the problem. I like them both to be honest. It seems easier to place beads in the Chimp's version, but it seems like the gravity effect is more realistic in Kianis' example. I wonder though if scaling back how much weight each bead has would help some. Both examples feel like the beads are unrealistically heavy and have too much of an effect on the necklace. That may be creating some of these bugs with beads falling off and running over each other in your version Kianis.

    Chimp, how difficult would it be to tween your dropping effect? Also, could the ends of your line generally move towards each other as more beads are placed and the line sags more and more to make the necklace "loop"?

    I love how this is turning into a creative competition. It is always really interesting to me when we solve real problems like this. Would you guys like me to make it more interesting and introduce a real prize (I could give awards for top three or something)? I don't want to cramp your style, but if you think it would help then I'll make it happen Either way, thanks to both of you for doing all you've done. I really appreciate the interest and your time.

    -Lee
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  14. #14
    Official Shoe Shiner thehumanchimp's Avatar
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    well mine just adds the same "weight" whatever bead you drop on it, whether big or small, this could be easily changed. I don't quite understand what you mean when you say tweening the dropping. what benefits would there be with a motion tween? at the moment it just drops with a constant speed, it wouldn't be too hard to get acceleration in if thats what you mean.

    With regards to looping, that shouldn't be too dificult, ill give it a go.
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  15. #15
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    Sorry Chimp, I did not mean "tween". I guess I was just wondering how difficult it would be to make the beads and line more natural in their movement, but no benefits as far as usability is concerned. Not having that natural movement is also probably helping your filesize and resource consumption, so ignore my petty question

    You guys thought any more about a making this into more of a real competition? I talked to my wife and we are prepared to offer 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes (all free jewelry that I'll be glad to ship to the winners). Would make a really nice Christmas gift, even if it is a bit late. Just let me know. Otherwise it will just stay a fun exercise I suppose. I'm still very thankful for your help and all.

    -Lee
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  16. #16
    Official Shoe Shiner thehumanchimp's Avatar
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    oh, ok - i see.

    a competition would be good i think, i would be up for it if anyone else is, though i may not be able to work on it in a few days as i've got alot of work, but yeh, sounds good
    Message on a gravestone: I finished before you in the human race.

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