8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2010 7:48 PM by Sean_Wilson

    Director suitable for downloadable casual games?

    gregdenness

      Hi, I work for a casual games developer and we are looking for a better engine for our games. I came across Director and it seems like it could be a great solution, I have heard that the Mystery case files games (ravenhearst, dire grove et al) use Director.

       

      There's a few questions though, mainly regarding the fullscreen/windowed mode switching. All downloadable casual games are required to display in both a fullscreen mode (with no title bar etc) and a windowed mode. For the fullscreen mode, the resolution of the screen is usually set to the game's resolution (usually 800x600).The player must then be able to toggle between the two (windowed and fullscreen).

       

      Ok, so is this possible in Director? From what I have read it is possible using Xtras- however I have not seen one which works both on the PC and the Mac. The Mac is one of our target platforms, so it has to work on the Mac equally as well.  Btw, because I am referring to downloadable casual games my questions here concern the stand-alone projector apps rather than browser based apps.

       

      I'm a bit confused as well as to how the Xtra would work - would it need to use the DirectX exclusive mode for example (in which case that's not going to work on Mac)...

       

      If anyone has any answers to this question, or can point me in the right direction I would be most greatful.

       

      That's about the only problem I can see so far - we were planning on making the games in Flash anyway and then loading them into a C++ engine which we created ourselves. We have this working pretty well, however we want something which will be more compatible and will work on Mac. The only other option I can see at the moment is switching to Unity and porting our SWF loading C++ code, however that would take a lot longer. If Director can do what we need then it's a ready-made solution.

       

      Thanks!

      Greg

        • 1. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
          jchunick

          You can check out the Mile High Table O Products here for Xtras: http://www.deansdirectortutorials.com/MileHighTable/

          • 2. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
            hwa-jun yu

            Hello greg,

            I'm also working on a casual game with Director now. We've created many educational games with director in the past without heavy problems. But now it comes to casual game, the fact that our market is the whole world, I found myself a little unconfident.

             

            FYI, previous MCF and Hidden Expedition series are made with director. They are both series from Big Fish Studio. Other games have been created with director too, like the original Diner Dash and Fitness Frenzy. There should be many more but I couldn't remember the names.

             

            For game development in Director, Buddy API xtra is COMPULSORY.

            You can buy it for 225$ or 115$ if you only need 7 functions.

            http://www.mods.com.au/budapi/default.htm

             

            Director 11.5 already comes with many good functions, but still it needs resolution changing Xtra to set the desktop resolution. Buddy API is far more useful than just setting resolution, it has over 200 useful functions. And yes, it supported both on Windows and Mac.

            • 3. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
              hwa-jun yu Level 1

              What sort of games are you making if I may ask?

              • 4. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
                gregdenness Level 1

                We are making a game similar to the Mystery case files games - a hidden object puzzle adventure.

                 

                I read a post-mortem of Dire Grove (the latest MCF game) in Casual connect magazine - they said that all the previous MCF games (ravenhearst etc) did use Director (and just director - no flash), but for Dire Grove they ran into performance issues when they stepped the resolution up to 1024x768 and so I think they stopped using director and started making the games completely in flash and then used third party tools to wrap the flash into executables.

                 

                I know they could have just embedded the flash into Director to make executables, but like I said they mentioned performance issues. However I dont know if Director 11.5 was available when they started making Dire Grove.

                 

                We have managed to solve most of the issues regarding the fullscreen/windowed modes, that's all running great, however I have noticed that the performance does take a big hit when you embed flash into Director- that's about the biggest hurdle we are facing at the moment.

                • 5. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
                  hwa-jun yu Level 1

                  We're also making a HO Puzzle Adventure game.

                  Are your backgrounds larger than your stage? We tried to achieve scrolling backgrounds but so far director doesn't seem to support such feature. This large background is by far the biggest hurdle to us. We are going for 1024x768, to make it scroll, the width is larger by a few hundred pixels.

                   

                  I planned on using flash for our comics and cinematic scenes, and also several in-game animations. I also planned on using Box2DFlash to create one physics minigame. I've tried embedding a physics game SWF into director, the resulting exe has an acceptable framerate when being played.

                   

                  FYI, MCF Return to Ravenhearst used flash for its background, the whole background plus effects like light, fog or water effects. AFAIK, other series use flash only for effects, with separate JPG files for the backgrounds.

                   

                  We considered using director for its multiplatform capability. Just like people in the forums say: Director without mac delivery is nothing useful anymore. I've tried running director app on Leopard. I wonder if it will work on Snow Leo too.

                  • 6. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
                    gregdenness Level 1

                    Our backgrounds are not larger than our stage - we are not going to have scrolling scenes. I think we might just stick to 800x600 for the whole game, this looked fine for RTR and it's going to offer better performance over a higher resolution.

                     

                    Why not just make the whole game in flash, including all the logic programming and then just embed it into director? Then you could do the scrolling in flash. If you do the whole game in flash then at least you could look at different solutions to embedding into an exe if Director wasnt working out (like Zinc etc).

                     

                    In your last paragraph - "Director without mac delivery is nothing useful anymore" - do you mean than Director projector apps dont work on the mac anymore? has anyone tested them on Snow leopard etc..? Mac portability was also one of the reasons we chose to use Director. Before this we were using an in-house c++/directx engine which had great performance, but also had compatability issues on many computers.

                    • 7. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
                      hwa-jun yu Level 1

                      I knew about Zinc. But now that I've almost completed the barebones for my project, I don't think I will want to rewrite anything in flash.

                      I think both flash and director have pretty much the same performance. Flash though is a few steps ahead with its updated AS to AS3, but when it comes to drawing large image, they both work pretty much the same.

                       

                      Oh, sorry, never mind the statement in my last paragraph. It was just an expression. I have tested a Director 11.5 projector on Leopard without problems. We don't know anyone around who owns a Snow Leo, so we don't know yet whether it could run correctly. Again, just an expression: Director's pretty much useless if it won't run on snow leo.

                      Previously we were using popcap framework. But then we switch back to director after considering the mac market.

                       

                      One thing though, is getting me confused.

                      Will any director projector work on any machines without shockwave player? There is a discussion (though I'd rather say Director evangelist cornered by angry developers) about future shockwave releases not having immediate plan to support 64 bit snow leo.

                      http://www.directorforum.com/showthread.php?t=5921

                      • 8. Re: Director suitable for downloadable casual games?
                        Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional
                        Will any director projector work on any machines without shockwave player? There is a discussion (though I'd rather say Director evangelist cornered by angry developers) about future shockwave releases not having immediate plan to support 64 bit snow leo.

                        http://www.directorforum.com/showthread.php?t=5921

                         

                        Of course it will. The discussion you link to is only about Shockwave and Safari on Snow Leopard