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Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby RossD20Studios » May 17th, 2017, 12:37 am

Hi PlayerIO Developers,

My name's Ross and I'm new here :)

I'm developing a cross-platform strategy RPG game called Summoners Fate using Adobe AIR and I want to connect with other developers using Adobe AIR and PlayerIO so we can learn from and support each other developing our games. While I'm new to PlayerIO, I've been developing with Flash for 15+ years and was also a game developer influencer and ACP for Adobe. My previous game, Hero Mages, was also a cross-platform, real-time/async/multiplayer game built with Flash and used SmartFox Server Pro for the back-end server. I'm excited to see that the API and architecture for PlayerIO looks similar to SmartFox, though I'm sure there's some fun differences I'll discover along the way.

Please shout out and introduce yourself if you're a fellow Flash/AIR developer. I look forward to meeting you and being part of your community.
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby robscherer123 » May 17th, 2017, 1:34 pm

Fellow Flash/AIR developer here! I've been developing games with it for 8 years now. My main game is called Helmet Heroes. http://www.helmet-heroes.com I've got it on the browser, Steam, Android mobile devices, and IOS mobile devices. It is a realtime side scrolling hack-n-slash that uses PlayerIO.

I still believe Flash/AIR is a very formidable platform to develop on and I hope to see it continue to grow.
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby RossD20Studios » May 18th, 2017, 12:28 am

Pleasure to meet you, Rob! I checked out Helmet Heroes - wow, dude! Your game looks/plays amazing. So easy to just jump in and start beating up green dudes with sticks. And 27K FB likes? That's an awesome accomplishment in itself. Would you mind sharing a little more history about your game and development process? I'm curious to learn about your journey. When did you start making Helmet Heroes? What other platforms/frameworks are you using to run your game (ex: Starling/Citrus/etc.)? How did you build up that amazing audience? How big is your team? Quite impressive, man.
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby robscherer123 » May 18th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Hey thanks! I'm glad you think it's cool. I've put 4+ years of full time work into it now.

I am the only main developer on the game, so it's mostly a solo thing for me. Although there has definitely been help from other people in various areas. I'd hired commissioned art work for certain aspects of the game from a few artists to help lessen my work load. Some background and cut-scenes are by other artists, but a very large portion of the game's art was still done by me. As of a few months ago, I also hired a game moderator who I pay a few bucks or so a day to help keep the game and forum under control. I made Flash games since around 2009 to 2012 for sponsorships and ad money. That was a really risky business model and wasn't really the most consistent pay, so I decided to go out on a limb and go all out and try making an MMO where I could make money from selling in game items. After about 6 months I released the game. It was obviously MUCH MUCH less than what it is today, but it was a small playable MMO nonetheless. I ended up setting up a deal with Newgrounds to host the game on the frontpage, that REALLY helped give the game the kick start it needed, and Helmet Heroes is still on the frontpage of Newgrounds today.

Since then, I've got the game hosted on various other big name Flash sites such as Kongregate, Armor Games, etc. 4th quarter 2016 I'd also got the game on Steam, Android Mobile, and IOS. Each of the various big name sites and platforms over the years have definitely given the game spikes in users and revenue.

The only main APIs I use are PlayerIO and Starling. Maybe a few different ANEs for mobile, but nothing major there.


How about you? Are you Flash/AIR games doing well for you?
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby RossD20Studios » May 23rd, 2017, 3:22 am

Awesome story, Rob. We've got a lot in common, for sure, down to being the main developer and even doing some art ;)

I've been developing with Flash since 2001, first for websites, then interactive computer based training - so the jump into games was natural. Hero Mages was my first game, and it originally started as a physical board game in 2006. I developed it into a multiplayer browser game on the side while still working full time in eLearning. That launched in 2009. From there, expanded it to mobile in 2011/2012. The game was featured by Apple/Adobe/Sony/Amazon which did wonders for downloads. The game did decent on revenue, making back the investment I took to make it. There was a lot I could have done better (particularly with the business model and marketing) so when EA offered me an opportunity to work for them, I took them up on it. I was there for about four years as an engineer manager and producer. Having gained a lot of experience with mobile games, I felt ready to go indie full time. Summoners Fate[url]summonersfate.com[/url] is the spiritual successor to Hero Mages, aiming to satisfy a market niche of gamers who want a strategy/RPG/CCG experience and only have short increments of time to play sessions.

Among other things, the game features a very innovative production pipeline. I'm combining open source techs like DMT, Dragon Bones and Starling with template based character art to create high production value assets at a fraction of cost/time it might typically take a larger studio. Some of the benefits include tiny file size (ex: 50 unique characters < 2MB), 1 draw call rendering and scalable for 4" to 70"+ devices. Let me know if you're interested in learning more. With the way your game's graphics work, it might be something you could take advantage of or possibly be useful in a future project.

Any plans for future games?
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby robscherer123 » May 23rd, 2017, 2:55 pm

Ah, that is pretty cool. Pretty neat that your game got featured and that you've even worked with EA. I checked out the games, pretty cool. I definitely like the art work of the Summoners Fate game, you can tell it's an overall improvement. So are these "free to play" games I'm assuming? Where users play for free and buy extra things with real life money in game?

Ah yes, I've started using Spine for a new game I'm working on, which is essentially the equivalent to DragonBones. It's really cool and definitely speeds animation way up and makes it a lot more organized. I just checked out DMT now that you mentioned it, I don't believe I've ever heard of it but it sounds very useful and I could definitely benefit from it. I'd actually made something very similar for Helmet Heroes which takes my Flash vector art and converts it into sprite sheets.

After having worked on Helmet Heroes for over 4 years now, just a few months ago I decided it was time to work on a new game on the side. So I've been working on a scrolling beat em up that I plan on selling on Steam for maybe $9-$15. I've sold a game in that fasion, so I'll see how it works out come the end of this year when it's done. Here is a sample screenshot of it so far though: http://oi68.tinypic.com/lhzs7.jpg
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby RossD20Studios » March 14th, 2018, 2:08 am

Hey Rob!

Sorry for the belated reply, I think must have missed the forum notification. Just wanted to reach out again and mention that I've started the multiplayer programming for Summoners Fate. So far, it's going good, though there's certainly some things I have questions about (posted here on the forums). How are things going with your development?

~Ross
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby robscherer123 » March 15th, 2018, 2:21 pm

No problem. I'm still trying to finish up my beat em up game to sell on Steam and a few other Android TV Platforms. Hoping to finish up in a month or so. Once I do that, I'm starting on a new MMO in AIR, I'm really itching to get started on it.

How are things with your development? AIR working out for you? Personally, I would LOVE to see AIR get console support, although I'm not sure that will happen.
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby RossD20Studios » March 15th, 2018, 7:48 pm

Development is moving along. AIR is definitely still working out for me. Here's an update on my multiplayer development that I just started with PlayerIO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3CaQB0H80Q

I, too, would love to see console support for AIR. I feel fortunate that Adobe still continues to support the existing platforms. I think it would be cool to see Adobe compete with Unity as a game dev platform - they have resources and a great tech to do it with.

I've got some questions about PlayerIO and I'm a bit concerned I've yet to receive any sort of response here on the forums. Here's the list I've been building: viewtopic.php?f=37&p=51901#p51901. If you know any answers, I would greatly appreciate your insights.

Also, I sent you a PM/direct email - take a look. If you'd be interested in talking more direct, here's an invite to my Discord server: https://discord.gg/6rZkzAx
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby robscherer123 » March 16th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Sure, I left a reply on the other forum as far as what I know.

Yea, AIR on consoles would be great. Your game looks pretty good so far! Did you do the artwork as well?
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Re: Shout-Out Fellow AIR Developers

Postby RossD20Studios » March 16th, 2018, 6:44 pm

Thanks, I really appreciate you responding to my questions. Also, thanks about the game! For the art, I've been working with a company called Oray Studios.
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