How do I make games for Kongregate?
While there are lots of tools and languages that allow you to make games, the ones uploaded to Kongregate are either Flash or Unity3d games. This guide is about Flash, which offers comparable 3D performance and quality to Unity.
To upload a Flash game to Kongregate, you need to be able to compile .swf files.
What is a .swf file?
SWF is a file format for multimedia, vector graphics and ActionScript.
Files using the SWF extension are media files that require the Adobe Flash plug-in to render. SWF files are used for a variety of applications — from video embedding to entire websites — and can create dynamic, visually rich media to create an interactive environment. According to Adobe, approximately 99 percent of Internet users have Flash installed and enabled on their browser, making it one of the most widely adopted Internet technologies.1
Where can I get these SWF files?
You make them. You do not get them from other sites, as that is stealing. See the Uploading section in the FAQ for more info.
What software do I need?
You need a text editor and a compiler in order to make a SWF file; there are different IDEs which allow you to do this.
Most flash developers use one of the following:
- FlashDevelop ( Official Site | Download)
- FlashDevelop is free to download an use.
- FlashDevelop is focused on the coding aspect. Its text editor includes many features that make the developer’s life easier by showing you hints, bracket-pairs and even allowing you to customize the font color of the different parts of your script.
- When using FlashDevelop, you’ll have to import your graphics and other media via code (it takes a single line to do so).
- It’s also worth mentioning that FlashDevelop compiles faster, but it’s Windows-only (can be run in Linux or OSX via a virtual machine).
- Adobe Flash Professional CS ( 30-day Trial | Students Edition | Purchase Flash CS 6.0 )
- The current version of Adobe Flash (CS 6.0) costs around $700 USD.
- The Student Edition can save up to 80% of the price, but with limitations included on the purchase page
- Adobe Flash, being animation software, includes a graphic editor, allowing you to draw and edit your pics and add them to your project with a couple of clicks.
- It also allows you to easily create, edit and export animations without requiring external software.
Both options are good and will give you the necessary tools to make Flash games. The choice is yours.
Related Files: .fla, .as3proj and .as
- This is the file format of the Flash projects created with the Adobe Flash software. These files will open your project, which includes graphics, sounds, animation instructions, frames (if you’re using them), etc. FLA files are opened and edited with Adobe Flash.
- These are files that store the script code of your ActionScript classes, which are used to keep your code organized, among other things.These files can be opened and edited with any text editor (Notepad++, etc), including the FlashDevelop and Adobe Flash ones.
Remember that these files are used to edit your game, but you can’t upload them to Kongregate. To submit a game, you must compile your project and upload the resulting SWF file.
What code do I need to learn to make a Flash game?
You need to learn a coding language called ActionScript. The latest, currently supported and most powerful version is ActionScript 3.0 or AS3. Another option is Haxe, an open source language that can target multiple platforms and devices, including Flash..
An alternative to learning to code would be to use software similar to Stencyl. This thread is intended to cover the programming aspects of making a game. You should visit the Stencyl Forum or Stencyl Website to learn more.
Tutorials And Reference: Where do I learn ActionScript 3?
Michael James Williams’ Avoider tutorial is a good place to start. It covers all the basic elements of ActionScript 3 and explains the code, so you know what you’re doing instead of simply copy-pasting someone else’s game.
The FlashDevelop tutorial will help you if you are using FlashDevelop, as it’s focused to it. Note that it’s not finished (and may never be), but it covers the basic aspects of FlashDevelop (installing and configuring the IDE, using the embed metatag).
The AS3 Language and Components Reference should be immediately bookmarked, as you’ll be checking it every 5 minutes while you start learning.
More programming related tutorials can be found in the Flash Game Tutorials Thread >>
Debugging: My code isn’t working ):
Once you start making games, there will be times when you find yourself struggling to make some code to work properly. If you have any questions, feel free to make a new thread on the forums and other developers will gladly help you. Just make sure to give a proper formatting to your posts if they include code.
You can also visit the Game Development Room where you’ll be able to chat with other developers and try to find a solution to any problems you may have.
Is there a “Flash Game Maker” to easily create Flash games?
If you think programming is challenging, visit the Stencyl forums and read the stickies. Stencyl allows you to make Flash games without having to write code. Note that Stencyl games can have bad performance and not using code will greatly reduce what you can do with your game.
Additional Tools & Frameworks (free/open source):
Flixel: A free collection of AS3 files to help you organize, improve and optimize your games.
FlashPunk: An AS3 library focused on 2D bitmap graphics: animation, collision detection, motion tweens, etc.
Citrus Engine: Another library. Includes a sound manager, particles system and premade objects, among others.
Pixelizer: Pixelizer is a component based framework for writing games in AS3. It is easily extendable and reusable, plus it uses blitting to render the graphics.
GiTD Template: An AS3 template for the GiTD contest.