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Thank god for flash ads!

written by Dennis on November 17th, 2010 @ 10:57 AM

Everybody seems to share the opinion that flash in the browser makes the web slower, kills your battery, crashes the browser and makes everything insecure. That slow animated flash ads come from the devil himself! Javascript is the way to go and so much cooler and faster and a standard and stuff!

A world without flash…

Don’t get me wrong, I love javascript! But let’s just imagine for a second that there was no flash, only javascript. You think the evil advert-creators would will stick with animated gifs forever and be happy with that? – Well, I don’t.

There’d also be animated adverts – with javascript and videos and whatever one can think of, but you know what? By the time being most badly coded flash animation runs smoother than most badly coded javascript animation (You don’t think advert creators will optimize their code, do you?). You get a bit of performance from upcoming hardware accelerated css transitions, and maybe WebGL in the future, but that’s about it. And I don’t want to hit the day when there are openGL adverts running in my browsers! You think having thousand of different javascripts running on each page is fast and secure? I don’t think so.

Evilness is out there

There is evil stuff around the web: adverts, click counting, measuring stuff, badly developed slow scripts… – all this makes the web experience worse. But those things would also exist if there was no flash. And at the time being it’s easy to block most ads with a simple flash blocker, because most ads are made with flash (hey, it’s easy and it tweens!). Simply unblock the few real flash apps you need and there you go with a “fast” web. Would it be as easy if there was only javascipt? How to separate the good scripts from the bad? Just pick one of your favorite web portal pages and inspect all the scripts that are included from lots of different sources that mess with the dom and the global namespace at this very day. You’ll get a headache (and so does your browser).

We’ll get what we deserve

There’s only one thing I assume for sure: Whatever programming language will be “the winner” in the future, we’ll get our ads and scripts and they’ll make the web slower, kill your battery, crash the browser and make everything insecure.

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jQuery plugin: one_time_action

written by Dennis on September 22nd, 2010 @ 04:53 PM

jQuery plugin: Makes submits and links work only once - and can reactivate them after a given time if you want.

This is just the demo page. For more info follow the thinks below.

See the github project (with documentation) or download the source

Demo

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The future of flash: enrich old browsers with HTML5 abilities?

written by Dennis on June 21st, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

You might have noticed discussions about flash versus HTML5 and it’s a fact that some modern mobile phones have quite solid html + javascript implementations running but no flash player that’s worth speaking of (if any).

Due to the increasing usage of mobile devices the distriburtion of flash gets worse nowadays. That makes the use of javascript for application (and game) development more and more attractive.

Let’s see, what do we need to develop a basic game?

  • Graphics and animations
  • Capture user input (keyboard, mouse)
  • Sound output
  • Also good: Save game states to local storage

Javascript has long enough been capable of the first two points, but sound and local storage was a problem. To get sound output with javascript the common practice was to use a hidden flash application to play the sound and control it via javascript.

Now with HTML5 you can control sound natively in the browser and use flash as a fallback for older browsers that don’t support it (like IE6) – Soundmanager2 makes it this way for example.

Same thing could be done with local storage (or a socket): Use HTML5 if available, flash as fallback.

So with more and more javascript applications to come, will this be the future of flash? Enriching old browsers with HTML5 abilities? I’m eager to find out.

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When to use Arrows-and-boxes

written by Dennis on May 14th, 2010 @ 03:30 PM

What it is

Arrows-and-boxes is there to visulaize the simple Ideas.

Ever ran into a simple problem that’s easy to understand but needs several sentences to describe? In most cases a simple diagram can show the point with 2 or 3 boxes and arrows, and you get the idea at a glance.

() > ((Idea)) < ()

I hate that the only way to get diagrams to the web used to be by uploading images. What if I want to change something?

The old way:

  • Open diagram-tool
  • Open diagram file
  • Change diagram + save
  • Export image
  • Upload image to server
  • Link new image in blog/wiki

What if I’m at a different computer? Where’s the diagram tool and my file?

Noone goes through this for a tiny diagram with only 3 nodes!

A simple diagram can often help to get the point a thousand times better than just text. With Arrows-and-boxes you’re able to just create diagrams for your posts as you type… no external tools, no uploads, no pain.

What it is not

It’s not the all-in-one diagram tool! It has two differend node states (normal + highlighted) and two different arrow states (again normal + highlighted). That’s enough! If you need more, you need another tool or rework your idea. Maybe you can visualize what you need more simple?

Don’t do complicated diagrams!

You think arrows and boxes would be cool if it just had crossing prevention, or hundret different node styles, or smooth curved arrows, or…? – Then you’re doing the wrong kind of diagrams with it!

If you need a difficult diagram, use a different tool. With too much nodes and arrows, the “simple” markup for Arrows-and-boxes becomes pain to read and edit. As long as the markup is easy to read, it’s the right tool to use.

Why this is good

Don’t think too complicated!

Every idea can be separated into simple pieces. Arrows-and-boxes can’t visualize complex structures with thousands of nodes and relations – so it makes you think simple. You’ll be surprised how much you can express with just a few boxes. And that’s good!

(Simple) > is ((good))

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Arrows-and-boxes

written by Dennis on February 19th, 2010 @ 12:35 PM

Easy to use javascript plugin to draw nice boxes and arrows to your website from simple markup like (Dennis) >likes (Food)

Example screenshot of dynamically created drawing with javascript:

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How to install Ruby 1.8.7 on windows

written by Dennis on February 5th, 2010 @ 11:45 AM

It happens that Ruby 1.8.7 is recommended for the current Rails version but there is no one-click installer available for windows the time being. Not a problem, just follow the few steps below…

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Poor small duck...

written by Dennis on January 13th, 2010 @ 10:26 PM

I put this image up to my deviantart account the other day and it really turned out pretty much the way I wanted it to… so I’m adding it here, too.

“Just a frog” Just a frog by Dennis Treder

I got the inspiration for this while playing with my son building a lego-duck for him, only using two bricks(like in the picture above). That felt very abstract to me and I wondered how to build a frog the most abstract way, and my solution was: use a single piece of green lego.

That made me wonder, whether the abstract characters from a low-res pixel world are able to recognize each other…

Hope you like it :)

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My tribute to April O' Neil

written by Dennis on December 27th, 2009 @ 09:43 PM

April O' Neil digital drawing

You rock, April!

I’ve never really liked the stile of the traditional cartoon April, but I love the touch the cg movie TMNT gave her. She became a fighter herself and I love the overall design. Is it really only me that liked the latest TMNT movie? It pretty much sucked here in germany and when I went to cinema to see it the woman at the checkout called through a mirophone “room 5, turtles please” cause we were the only ones going to see it and they had to run it just for us ;)

What do you think of the movie? I can’t be the only one who thought it was great! Aren’t there other people raving about it? Is no one else telling their friends to make watching it a priority? It definitely should be! Films like this don’t come along every month.

Oh yes – the picture: I always wanted to try my take on April, hope you like it! Comments and feedback would be really appreciated. If you like it, please share!

(click at the images to enlarge:)

You can also find the image at my deviantart account.

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Merry christmas, ye scurvy pirates!

written by Dennis on December 23rd, 2009 @ 11:18 AM

Pirate Golf Adventures wished you a happy Christmas!

I wish you all the best for Christmas!

I’m somewhat busy at the moment doing ‘personal stuff’, but after the Christmas holidays I’ll continue working at my next flash game. It’s pretty hard to find the time for it, cause it’s usually not more than 1 hour per day after work, and on weekends usually 0 hours/day.

My next game will be some sort of fun addicting endless-game where the gameplay keeps getting faster and harder the longer you play till you finally screw up. That is because it took forever to build the few levels in Pirate Golf Adventure and I often hear people complaining that it’s too short. So I will go for the “not-so-unique-levels-but-much-more-of-them” way. Hope you like it more this time ;)

So have a great time!

ps: If you don’t know why the giant bird seems so surprised: ‘just wonders where caribo got the presents from while sitting on his back ;)

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You're better than me...

written by Dennis on December 17th, 2009 @ 09:13 PM

Pirate Golf at youtube

There are some people who complain that the last achievement at Pirate Golf Adventure is too hard to get. And you know what? They’re right, it’s damn hard. Even I have trouble getting it, although I played the game like a million times times. I only did the 25 strokes twice!

But there’s a reason I did it that hard: I knew, that there will be lots of people much better at my very own game than I am. And that turned out to be true. See some video proof of it in the post!

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Finally new content at my homepage

written by Dennis on December 16th, 2009 @ 08:01 PM

External Link: Website of Dennis Treder, development, illustration, flash games

Now that my old homepage hasn’t seen any update since a year or so I finally decided that it’s time for some static content that won’t need any updates at all.

What came out is now my own private web business cart. Pure static content, displaying some links to other sites I’m subscribed to. So one less that needs updates…

What do you think? Check it out at dennistreder.de

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Great flash animation books

written by Dennis on November 17th, 2009 @ 11:27 PM

The following books really helped me to get insights in animating with flash and industry-proven methods to get your animation work done. I’d like to post more book tips and links in the future to show you what I really think is worth buying. I own each of the books I’ll recommend here myself, so it’s not a dumb amazon-link rubbish but books that I think are truly great.

External Link: How to cheat flash

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS4

I was sceptical about this one at first, but it turned out to give me some of the most valuable tips on constructing vector graphics within flash and getting the best out of gradients and texture-fills. It’s really industry proven as most examples come from real commissions and shows you how to achieve good results in little time.

...more info

External Link: Foundation Flash Cartoon Animation

Foundation Flash Cartoon Animation

... shows you a more traditional approach on animation and how you can handle it within the Flash IDE. Great tips ons structuring your movieclips with all the characters different angles, states, expressions, ... that helps a lot to not lose track of your library.

...more info

If you know any good flash book that’s worth taking a look at please tell me, I’m eager to check it out!

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A little help with event listeners...

written by Dennis on October 17th, 2009 @ 12:31 AM

Let me show you a simple AS3 structure that helps me to keep track of my event listeners and prevents me from messing up my code. Nothing groundbreaking but it always made my code a little clearer and puts everything regarding the listeners in one place.

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Moonship - I'm going to finish this one somewhen!

written by Dennis on October 16th, 2009 @ 09:59 PM

moonship

Moonship is a picture I started drawing nearly a year ago – while trying to figure out the direction pirategolf should take. I never really finished it but now that found it again on my harddrive I think it works quite well and I’m going to finish it somewhen in the future…

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ALWAYS do a border clip around you swiffs!

written by Dennis on October 10th, 2009 @ 03:06 PM

Let’s first make clear what I’m talking about:

  • swiff is what the web says ”.swf” files are called – and ”.swf” files are compiled flash files.
  • A border clip is a Movieclip (or display object of any kind) at the top most layer of your flash stage that leaves the normal visible area of you game visible, but adds a large border around it that hides everything outside.
  • always means always!

So the problem is that if you embed your swiff into a website and the embedding container has a larger size than your game resolution, everything outside is also visible, like you can see here (click it!):

(that’s from xhry.cz)

It’s not that I haven’t been aware of this before… I already knew it. But let’s say I simply forgot about it, or maybe I thought “the flashgame portals will for sure use the correct dimension for embedding…”. Now the game is out there on more than 1000 different servers and there are more than just a few that use a larger dimention (e.g. even AddictingGames does, and that’s really painful). Don’t take this too easy, it really kills the ratings!

So please learn from my stupidity and make a border around your flash content. Period.

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Pirate golf just out for a week...

written by Dennis on August 27th, 2009 @ 10:47 PM

My new (and first) game pirategolf is now out in the wild for about a week. About statistics addiction, evil feedback and unfulfilled plans…

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"Pirate Golf Adventure" launching tomorrow :)

written by Dennis on August 19th, 2009 @ 11:26 PM

OK, maybe I’m a little over excited, but this is the very first flashgame I did, so I guess I’m allowed to…

I just saw (the test version of) the game integrated in my sponsors (King.com) site, and I’m really looking forward to the launch tomorrow!

And when the game has finally been published I plan to do some blog entries about making the game, showing concept sketches and giving some insights in how the courses were created, if there’s anybody interested in it ;)

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Congratulations gnomgames!

written by Dennis on August 19th, 2009 @ 10:19 PM

The cool young german gaming site Gnomgames just published put their 1000s article!

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Pirate flash game now final beta!

written by Dennis on July 17th, 2009 @ 03:11 PM

pirate golf game beta now final

Pirate Golf Adventure – the flash game I’ve been working on for so long is now final beta! The “private” beta phase really made the game soooo much better! Thank you all for your great feedback! Check out the final beta!

<- click at the image to play the game

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Flash font embedding tutorial - this is how it really works

written by Dennis on March 22nd, 2009 @ 11:23 PM

Flash font embedding

There are a lot of tutorials online to tell us how font embedding works. Sadly most of them are incomplete and leave you alone with missing characters, bolds and italics and the question how to use font embedding for all your Textfields without always embed all the characters again.

This tutorial shows you how you get your fonts embedded properly.

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Amazing level endings - learn from Sonic, Mario and Co.

written by Dennis on February 24th, 2009 @ 09:08 PM

Amazing level endings

Do you remember that there was something special about the way the old Sonic and Mario games ended their levels and bossfights? Something that made you feel good, feel satisfied – and that seems almost forgotten today…

Let’s find out what it is, why it works and what we can learn from it!

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Little Pirate

written by Dennis on November 22nd, 2008 @ 02:49 PM

Little Pirate

This concept was drawn on a Nintendo DS using the fantastic homeprew “colors”. This entry features an animation showing how the little guy was drawn plus a wallpaper I generated afterwards on the pc.

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Under construction

written by Dennis on October 19th, 2008 @ 12:56 PM

Hello everybody,

this website is currently under construction. I’ll adjust the site-template and do some minor modifications on the framework, then I’ll be ready to start blogging…

The blogs will be about games, game reviews, game development, flash development and some graphical issues.

So please stay tuned till everything starts.

Cheers, Dennis

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