Flash Forward

Remember when the best things in life were free? We’re sure there was a song written about that too. However, as with most things in life, if you want to do something reasonably exciting or interesting in your spare time, you’re going to have to folk out for the privilege.

Yet one of Britain’s favourite past-times still has a flag bearer ready to wave the flag for those wanting things for free, and why not? Online Bingo is a huge money industry but the bastion of freebies freebingo.co.uk bucks the trend.

It Really Is Free

Freebingo is exactly that, free. 100% free, meaning there is no need to part with any cash at all. There is no catch, no hidden agenda or small print, people play for the fun of it, the socialisation, and the banter. Sure, there are prizes to be won but these very much take second place in the players eyes, they just add a bit more fun to proceedings.

The beauty of Freebingo is that its gaming engines are all powered by Flash, which as we all know is free too meaning that Britain’s favourite past-time and the much loved free software combine into a pretty neat package. Freebingo uses flash for its versatility, its user-friendly set up, the fact it is lightweight and easy to maintain and frankly, it looks good. Freebingo’s games have the feel of some of better looking flash games available for free today.

Looks Rather Flashy

As well as looking good the prizes that are on offer do ensure the players interest. Winners have recently walked away with 19” HD TV’s and cash lump sums all provided by the games sponsors.
This as mentioned before is all secondary in relation to the community aspect of the game but the addition of prize draws, tournaments and other competitions keep those wanting to maintain a high leader board score. Interestingly, Freebingo is based on Freebingo £££’s a fictional, made up currency if you like specifically designed for the game.

An accumulation of Freebingo £££’s can potentially earn the player entry into a big prize draw. This certainly keep players interested too as each and every Monday to Saturday there are two prize tournaments which take place at 9.00pm & 10.00pm. The prizes vary on size and on the theme of the night and special tournaments are regularly added too.

Freebingo offers players the opportunity to socialise, engage with one another and enjoy a classic game of 75 or 90 ball happy in the knowledge that the software running the show is fit for any gaming platform. Sometimes the best things in life really are for free.

They say 2014 is all about online gaming as more and more casinos go to war with greater sign up deals and bonuses. This means new players and lots of them, so what else comes with new players. Firstly online casino membership rates will soar, wagering requirements will fall and most importantly online slot jackpots will rise. Yes you read that right; more players will force prize pools through the roof. Over the past 12 months we’ve laid witness to some of the largest cash prizes ever paid and all because of the numbers, numbers which are only getting bigger.

Online slots alone account for around 67% of the casinos payout table with progressives taking another slice due to their huge jackpots. This tells us that internet fruit machines lie at the very heart of simulated gambling, and why not with some of the most explosive games still to come. Do the maths and it makes sense, popularity leads to more wagering and more wagers mean bigger jackpot totals. It also means that 2014 could prove life changing for even more lucky spinners. Why mess around with roulette tables and low variant black jack games when the returns remain low in comparison, this seems to be the reason why more players are heading for the reels.

To meet the demands of the new influx of slot machine players, websites like covertcasino.co.uk are making headway in targeting casinos for their total prize pool values. This means that not only will casinos be chosen for their reputation, software and selection of games, but for their jackpot capabilities too. New slots on the horizon mean greater playability and improvements to features, so it’s important that comparison sites jump on the band wagon to find them. If this year will tell us anything, it’s that lucky players will be winning more, a lot more.

Over at Viral Flash Games, I’ve decided to give away the entire VFG1 games pack for free. These are older non-AS3 games, but there is still value in reskinning them, learning from them, re-using some of the assets or even porting them over to AS3.

I’m using the Pay With A Tweet system which means you just have to send a Tweet, or post a message to Facebook about the games and you’ll automatically get access to download all the source codes, FLA files and a licence to rebrand them, plus you’ll also get a preview PDF for the all new Viral Flash Games II with details of all the games and links to demos!

Here’s the link, go grab the games!

Earlier this week I announced that VFGII, the eagerly awaited sequal to Viral Flash Games, was coming soon. We I’m pleased to announce that the new games pack will launch this coming Wednesday, 5th December!

9 all-new games will be included, all coded in Actionscript 3, all with full source code! We’ve put together a PDF preview giving details of all the games which you can download HERE.

Watch this space for news of when we launch on Wednesday, or head over to ViralFlashGames.com and sign up to the email newsletter!

Over at Viral Flash Games we’re gearing up to launch an all new pack of 9 original AS3 games with full source code!  Following on from the hugely successful original VFG pack, the new games cover a wide spectrum or genres from racing, to shooting, puzzles, slots and more!  The pack even includes full source code to an iOS game, live on the app store, and built in Flash!

More details to follow when the games launch next week, but if you’re looking for AS3 games with full source code to learn from, or to reskin/rebrand then check out this blog post at viralflashgames.com

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Another sizzling summer of success has seen the mercury in the sporting barometer soar to the dizzy heights of last season. England are beginning to get a stranglehold on the Ashes series. The Aussies might be down but they’re never out and stinging criticism back home looks set to stir the tourists in to rambunctious Antipodean retaliation. Chris Froome overcame the loss of Sir Bradley Wiggins by storming to victory in the Tour de France. This apparently left a bemused Gallic cycling audience scratching their heads. Typical – like London buses you wait over a century for a British winner then two seem to come along at once. Talking of long waits, Andy Murray finally got the Wimbledon monkey of British backs by crushing all opposition and looking like the natural champion he is. The piles of strawberry and cream washed down with rivers of champagne made for a rip-roaring summer.

With so much summer action the average sporting fan would be forgiven for taking his eye of the ball. Oh wait! Hold the back page! The football season is about to explode in to life for another season of delight and torment. The Football League Championship gets under way this weekend with the Premier League due to kick off a fortnight later. Competition in the Championship is sure to be as fierce as ever. This season it features slumbering giants like former European Cup Winners Nottingham Forest, past Football League Champions Leeds United and previous Premiership winners Blackburn Rovers. All are vying to blaze a return to their glorious days of yore. And if football’s about to kick off that means rugby union isn’t far behind!

With so much mouth-watering action lined up, there’s even more incentive to enjoy an online flutter and keep up with the latest scores and results at the same time. By logging on to the William Hill Sportsbook homepage, you can watch entertaining podcasts about the cricket, the football and the horse racing. Make the most of the bonuses and promotions like the two for one Ticket Offer Great St Wilfrid horse race meeting at Ripon Racecourse. Of course you can also bet online at UK’s Home of Betting William Hill. The Sportsbook has the best horse racing odds guaranteed and continuous coverage of all the races on William Hill Radio. As well as showing all the UK and Irish horse racing William Hill TV broadcasts football from undoubtedly what is the best league currently in Europe– the Bundesliga!

Well I need to apologise, it’s been a looooooong time since my last post here!

I know a bunch of you have been wondering if and when the Flash Games Classroom course is coming out, and thanks to everyone who has been filling in the survey so here’s a quick update.

The short answer is yes, there is a course in the pipeline, but it’s probably NOT going to be the “complete guide to developing Flash games” that we originally intended.  From the feedback we’ve been getting there are several specific key areas that lots of people want info on, so that’s where we’ll be focussing and so the course will be a number of key “modules” covering those topics.

Some of the tutorials have already been written, and we’re looking at a probably launch in November, so watch this space and make sure you are on the newsletter mailing list to be kept up to date.  I promise you won’t have to wait too long for details this time!

So what’s with the huge delay?

Well, sometimes life just gets in the way!  I’ve been super busy working on a ton of games for clients.  I was trying to reduce my workload to concentrate more on the course, but when clients like Hasbro and Lucasarts are asking for games it’s hard to turn them down!

I’m 80% through a BIG game for Hasbro at the moment which is due to launch next month,  and from then on I’ll be a lot more focussed on this!

At the same time, I’ve been working on some iPhone game development.  In fact, that has been going so well that I’m planning a series of Flash for iPhone development tutorials to post here, and an iPhone module in the classroom

(and for those of you saying “you can’t run Flash on iPhone” or “iPhone games compiled for iOS are poor performance” I have news for you – you CAN develop high speed, efficient game code for the iPhone using Actionscript, and I’ll be showing you some examples here real soon!)

Finally, there is a complete new Viral Flash Games package in the works, so if you’re interested in getting your hands on a whole load of new games, all written in OOP AS3 and all with complete source code keep at eye on that site for an announcement in a few weeks (plus a fire sale of the last few AS2 packs at a crazy end of line price!)

So there we go, that’s the score and hope that all the col stuff coming helps to make up for the massive sabatical!

Yes, you really can develop fast and playable iPhone games in Flash, watch this space for examples and tutorials very soon!

Yes, you really can develop fast and playable iPhone games in Flash, watch this space for examples and tutorials very soon!

With the release of CS5 imminent (the official release date is 10th April – just a few days away) online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble are slashing the price of CS4 titles. If you’re looking for some solid introductions to Flash and Actionscript there are some real bargains to be had.

Books like Flash CS4: The Missing Manual, Adobe Flash CS4 Classroom In A Book and Learning Flash CS4 Professional are being knocked out at way under half price in some places, so grab a bargain while you can! In fact, if you’re in the UK you can get an even better deal in the current Amazon “50% off selected computing and internet books” sale where several Flash titles are reduced even further.

Of course, the bargains won’t stop at just books. I suspect that after April 10th there will be plenty of opportunities to grab bargain bin versions of Flash CS4, so if you’re still using an old and weary installation of MX2004 and looking to get up to date without splashing out on the latest upgrade to CS5 when it’s released, keep your eyes open for the next few weeks as I’m sure you’ll be able to grab a real bargain!

After going though all the survey results so far, and chatting to a number of people I’ve decided to start posting articles and tutorials here on the Flash Games Classroom website.  I’ve had a great respsonse to the survey about what YOU want me to include in the Flash Games Classroom course, and one idea that keeps popping up again and again is to have some free content that people can get started with right away.

Well, with that in mind I’ve decided to write a series of game tutorials and host them on the blog here, so anyone just starting out will have a great resource for learning the basics, and can then graduate onto the paid course when they’re ready.  I love the idea that my content will be accessible to more people, so I’ve started work on the tutorials and the first one will be on here in a couple of days.

I’m expecting this to be a win-win situation.  Visitors to this site will get free content, and I’m hoping that I’ll get some great feedback which will help me to fine tune the course content before it’s launched early next year.  So join in, leave comments, ask questions… I want to know what you want to learn, what tutorials you’d like to see, and what frustrations you have with learning Flash, Actionscript or any aspect of game development from the absolute basics to marketing your finished games and everything in between!

I’m really looking forward to getting some tutorials on here and getting some feedback, and I hope you’ll have lots of fun and learn loads from reading them!

Many thanks to everyone who filled out the survey so far and offered feedback.  It’s given me a much better idea of exactly what to include in the course and how to structure it.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the course, when it will be available, what level it will be for and what the content will include so I wanted to write a short post here to answer some of those questions…

The course will be availble soon.  I can’t be much more specific at this point but I’m aiming to launch early in 2010.  I’ll post here with a definite launch date nearer the time, and I’ll be emailing a promotional code out 48 hours before the official launch to anyone on my prelaunch email list where they can get a substantial discount.  If you’ve not done so already add your name and email to the list to take advantage!

The course will consist of 12 modules.  Each module will include a written lesson, multiple video lessons, and one or more case studies.  Each module will focus on a different core concept (such as colision detection/reaction, or artificial intelligence for example) and the lessons and case studies will teach the concept and techniques using real world examples.  The case studies will be complete games, including the source files, which can be used as learning tools and also modified and published as working game.

The course will be Actionscript 3.0 based in order to be up to date.  You will need Flash CS3 or Flash CS4 to follow the lessons and edit the source files.  A 30 day trial version of Flash CS4 is available from the Adobe website.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be posting a proper breakdown of the modules, and preview videos in the near future.  If you have any more questions please do email, and if you’ve not yet completed the survey please do – I want to structure the course to best serve YOUR needs so let me know what you want to learn!

All the best

Billy

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