Some Tips and Tricks with Tweenlite

Well partaking of some forays into AS3 I came across this sweet utility: TweenLite. I highly recommend checking it out.

Here are some cool tricks that I wish I had known earlier.

1. Tweening scrollRect

        const scroller:DisplayObject; // This is the object that we want to display a portion of via scrollRect
	const scrollRect:Rectangle; // This is the scroll rect we tween the properties of
        private function centerScroll(player:Player) {
            TweenLite.to(scrollRect, 1.2, {x:player.x, y:player.y, onUpdate:updateScroll});
        }
	private function updateScroll():void {
		scroller.scrollRect = scrollRect;
	}

It is seriously that easy. The trick is knowing to use the onUpdate parameter to get around being unable to tween scrollRect directly.

2. Random Assemblage

Say you have a logo built out of dozens of tiny stars. You want this logo to assemble from a random starting configuration, but who has the time to micro-manage a bunch of little instances? Well, now, no one needs to. Behold:

for(var i:int = 0; i < numChildren; i++) {
	star = getChildAt(i);

	TweenLite.from(star, duration, {x:String(Math.random()*800 - 400), y:String(Math.random()*800 - 400)});
}

Just place this little snippet in the actions of your MovieClip. The secret here is using the iteration over all the child elements so we don’t have to name them. Also, we can use random numbers so we don’t have to bother laying them out, they just end up in the correct layout from wherever they happen to start.

I’m sure there are many more ways to utilize TweenLite to simply accomplish many amazing things, and I’d like to hear about them!

It’s Astrotastic

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was able to begin play-testing my latest project. The game is a quick little space adventure where the players explore their damaged spacecraft and collect items before escaping. The rooms are on cards, similar to Zombies; there are a few fixed rooms to begin with, with the rest being dealt out as the players explore. Players pick up bonus items to score points as well as power-ups to make exploration easier. Once the first player exits the craft the others have a limited time to escape as well.

The play-tests showed that the game is quick and fun, but that the card and room distribution could be optimized. Also, allowing trading might be a good way to make the game more interactive without adding too much complexity.

The next step is going from the pencil-on-notecards prototype to getting actual art and shippable materials. With luck it may be available before Christmas.