6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 23, 2007 12:57 PM by Newsgroup_User

    leaving the flash world

    Aquilonian Level 1
      Hi, im a flash game developer who always wanted to step up to Director and his 3d powers.However, there are some points about the 'director' world that are not so clear, i hope some of you guys can put some ligth into it
      First, whenever i tried to learn director i found extremely difficult.I mean, his help doesnt have examples like the flash one does, and there are soo many more things to learn than in flash, so; i would like to know from you guys, how much learning time is needed to have something done in director?
      Second, i always heard about this 'Xtra' stuff and had never understand it completely, i mean, if i make some game in director using an xtra, the players have to download this xtra too to play it?
      Thrid, is possible to make a game in a projector for it to work as if it was a complete program, i mean, with installer, icons and serials to activate it?
      Fourth...does it worth it?I mean, if you spend a lot of time to make a game, is there a market for it?I mean, how do you make money with it?Do you have to license it, put adds on it or what?And after you made it, are you given a good reward?I mean, can you make a living on it?
      How much time is needed to finish a project?I mean, if you dont work in a team, and you use it to make a living on it, not as a hobby
      Why there are so many tutorials and foruns about lingo and nothing about javascript?Comming from actionScript, make things work in Director with javascript is a lot easyer, but everyone only teaches lingo... :(
      Should i give up javascript and learn lingo?
      Do you have problems with people stoling and decompiling your Director games?I suspect not, but i want to be sure, as this is very important to me

      That being said, i have to tell i am very optimistic about the future of Director.It is the leader of the 3d plugins market,Adobe would not be dumb to throw that away.It may not sell like flash, but maybe because its not that easy, its advanced stuff.Also, everyday ppl have more powerfull computers and better web connections, wich makes his filesizes not be such a problem.Maybe it doenst sell that much cos its a product too advanced for his time, but things evolve, isnt it? :)



        • 1. Re: leaving the flash world
          Level 7
          > First, whenever i tried to learn director i found extremely difficult.I mean,
          > his help doesnt have examples like the flash one does, and there are soo many
          > more things to learn than in flash, so; i would like to know from you guys, how
          > much learning time is needed to have something done in director?

          There is a lot of learning to be done, especially to create something
          "complicated". That being said, if you're comfortable with AS2/3 then
          you already have the programming fundamentals and it's a question of
          translating that into Director's metaphor.
          While the help may not be so helpful, there are plenty of sites with
          open-source code and tutorials. You could poke around:
          < http://www.director-online.com>
          < http://www.lingoworkshop.com>
          < http://www.mediamacros.com>
          < http://www.fbe.unsw.edu.au/learning/director/>
          < http://nonlinear.openspark.com>

          > Second, i always heard about this 'Xtra' stuff and had never understand it
          > completely, i mean, if i make some game in director using an xtra, the players
          > have to download this xtra too to play it?

          It depends. If you are publishing to a browser (Shockwave) then yes, the
          Shockwave plugin needs a copy all the xtras you use to deliver your
          content. Setting up a file to download required xtras isn't difficult
          though. However, not all xtras are Shockwave-safe.
          If you are delivering a projector then you can include everything
          required and there should be no external dependencies.

          > Thrid, is possible to make a game in a projector for it to work as if it was a
          > complete program, i mean, with installer, icons and serials to activate it?

          Absolutely, though you'll have to create you own serial number
          logic/delivery.

          > Fourth...does it worth it?I mean, if you spend a lot of time to make a game,
          > is there a market for it?I mean, how do you make money with it?Do you have to
          > license it, put adds on it or what?And after you made it, are you given a good
          > reward?I mean, can you make a living on it?

          I can't speak to this as I don't use Director to develop games. However,
          there are many who do. You might want to ask the same question on
          Dirgames-L (a list-serve dedicated to Director games development)

          > How much time is needed to finish a project?

          How long is a piece of string...?

          > Why there are so many tutorials and foruns about lingo and nothing about
          > javascript?Comming from actionScript, make things work in Director with
          > javascript is a lot easyer, but everyone only teaches lingo... :(
          > Should i give up javascript and learn lingo?

          Not at all. There isn't much JS focus as it is a new introduction and
          the installed base of Director users are perhaps more familiar with
          Lingo, but the help file /does/ provide examples of JS-syntax

          > Do you have problems with people stoling and decompiling your Director games?I
          > suspect not, but i want to be sure, as this is very important to me

          While a file can be decompiled to the point where assets are obtainable,
          none of the code can be "stolen" - it /can't/ be decompiled once published.
          • 2. leaving the flash world
            Aquilonian Level 1
            Ok Sean, thanks for take your time on answer that
            I had tried to join Dirgames_L 4 times, and for now i am still waiting for the confirmation email, that i didnt receive until now.So i still have some unsolved questions that i will post here

            >> How much time is needed to finish a project?

            >How long is a piece of string...?

            What i mean, is, one of the first things i've heard of Director was that it takes centurys to finish something, (that was from a flash developer, so i am not sure how much of this time is due to the program itself or due to his own limitations)
            So, i want to know how true is that from a point of view of a Director developer

            As for those Xtras, well, that didnt make me very happy.The final user having to download something more can be a reason for the shockwave player not be so popular as it could be.
            Also about the Xtras, i've heard a lot about this so called 'havok' Xtra,if i make a game with it, the players have to download the Xtra to play it too?Does it worth it?I mean, even with this step more,use it is still a good choice, cos the users already have it installed or dont care if they have to install?
            And another thing,does it make some difference to use a older version of 3D Max with it?I dont want to spend much time learning the newest thing that the newest version can do, if i can have my stuff done with a simpler older version.Does it make sense?
            Thanks
            • 3. Re: leaving the flash world
              Level 7

              > >> How much time is needed to finish a project?
              >
              > >How long is a piece of string...?
              >

              I think the point he was trying to convey is that there are many
              different types of Director projects and many types of Director
              developers. I had a project yesterday that from start to finish (I mean
              from reading the original specs from the client through sending them the
              final working version ready to be burned onto CD and distributed), it
              took me 2 hours. I am currently working on another project that I have
              been working on for almost a year and there is still a good ways to go.
              A simple project can really be done very quickly. A complex project
              takes as long as it takes to do, go through approval, redo, etc. I find
              that most of the time spent on these complex projects is more due to the
              clients changing their minds about specs or waiting for the client to
              deliver assets that they are supposed to supply, not working on the
              Director portion of the project.

              I am admittedly biased toward Director, but I have used Flash a little,
              and I find the workflow in Director much easier. Once you learn the ins
              and outs of Director, things get to be very easy. It is not as hard as
              you are making it out to be, but there is an expected learning curve.

              > As for those Xtras, well, that didnt make me very happy.The final user having
              > to download something more can be a reason for the shockwave player not be so
              > popular as it could be.
              > Also about the Xtras, i've heard a lot about this so called 'havok' Xtra,if i
              > make a game with it, the players have to download the Xtra to play it too?

              An xtra is (as its name implies) something additional to Director.
              Something the player does not come with. Many of them are written by
              3rd party programmers as a way to make your life easier. Most of them
              will need to be downloaded by the client who is using your program.
              There are loads of games that do not require xtras. The developer just
              needs to come up with ways of manually doing those things themselves
              instead of relying on an xtra to do it for them. If you use the Havok
              xtra, then it needs to be included with a CD-based projector, or
              downloaded for a Shockwave on the web program. The process is not
              difficult. When you go to the site, a dialog box comes up saying that
              you need this additional xtra and would you like to install it? You
              answer Yes and it installs. No big deal for most clients. If that is a
              big deal for your client in specific, then find out before you embark on
              using it, and find another way to simulate physics in a 3d world. No one
              is making you use Havok, but it makes physics simulation a lot easier.

              > And another thing,does it make some difference to use a older version of 3D
              > Max with it?I dont want to spend much time learning the newest thing that the
              > nesest version can do, if i can have my stuff done with a simpler older
              > version.Does it make sense?

              You can use any version of 3d studio MAX that has a Shockwave exporter.
              I believe MAX 4 or higher came with it and it is (at least it was a
              few years ago) available on Autodesk's website for versions that it did
              not come preinstalled on. Just go to File, Export and see if W3D is in
              the dropdown list of file types to save as. If it is there, then you
              are golden. If not, see if you can find the plugin on their website. I
              highly recommend that you read the documentation to see the limitations
              of the shockwave converter before you quote things to your client about
              what you can supply to them. There are a few limitations that you need
              to be aware of, like the lack of procedural textures, lighting issues,
              polygon count limitations, etc. I don't believe there are any real
              significant differences between the newest and the oldest versions of
              the shockwave exporter (I have not looked into it closely, but the one I
              use with MAX 8 is almost identical to those I have used with previous
              versions). Shockwave 3d itself has not changed significantly in many
              years (or ever).
              • 4. Re: leaving the flash world
                Aquilonian Level 1
                Ok, but what i am worried is not one or two clients specs, but if this would not bother the average guy who play games on the web

                Were i can find more about what this Havok does, anyway?

                Also, how does Director handles when you want to make classes for others to use it?I dont know even if this is possible, i mean
                Thanks
                • 5. Re: leaving the flash world
                  Aquilonian Level 1
                  >Absolutely, though you'll have to create you own serial number
                  >logic/delivery.
                  Can Director open a window like that ones 'click here if you acept the license' or like the ones 'choose were to install your game'
                  ?
                  • 6. Re: leaving the flash world
                    Level 7
                    Yes, there are xtras that can build dialogs