I plan on converting some standalone Flash games I've made in
the past into AIR apps. What I'm wondering, as I'm new to this, is
if I'm loading external .swf files into the main .swf that's
running, are they compiled into the AIR app so it's one executable?
In other words, I have main.swf that loads first.swf, second.swf
and third.swf. What is the AIR output, a main.app file?
AIR creates a launcher executable when it installs an AIR
app, but that's an implementation detail that's not very useful to
you, as the developer.
What happens when your application is launched is that AIR
creates a window, constructs the main Sprite (or MovieClip) object
and adds it to the stage of the window. Your application gets
control in the constructor of that main Sprite.
Asset files are installed in the directory structure in which
you packaged them. So if you developed your app such that foo.swf
was loaded from subdirectory "bar", things work the same when
installed (unless you change the directory structure using ADT
arguments like -C, or forget to include the assets in the package
at all, of course).