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Introduction to FlashDevelop [Tutorial] — Michael James Williams

Introduction to FlashDevelop

by Michael James Williams on January 8, 2011 · 2 comments

in Tutorial

FlashDevelop Tutorial

Who cares if you can shave a few milliseconds off the time it takes you to write a line of code? How hard is it to add an import statement yourself? What’s wrong with writing an event handler function on your own?

This is missing the point. See, all of these tasks are tedious; they’re gruntwork, not programming. Automating and streamlining them frees you up to just code, without having to think about writing code. The FlashDevelop user interface helps out in the same way: it feels a lot easier and faster to use than Flash Professional’s.

From a tutorial I wrote for Activetuts+: Beginner’s Guide to FlashDevelop.

I’ve been meaning to write this tutorial for a long time.

When people decide to get into Flash development, they’re often put off by Flash CS-whatever’s price tag. But you don’t have to buy Flash Professional to make Flash applications and games — you don’t have to spend any money at all. Many of the indie Flash game developers that I know use a workflow that’s totally free.

But even if you do own Flash Professional — even if you’ve been using it for months — I wouldn’t recommend using it for coding. FlashDevelop is a far better tool. Like I said in the quote above, it takes the tedious tasks out of programming, leaving you to focus on the actual code.


The trouble is, it’s a little daunting. It’s a lot simpler to set up than when I started using it, but it’s still tricky to figure out how to get started. And you could use it for months before discovering the power of the SWC, which lets you use Flash Professional for design and animation without getting it anywhere near your project files.

So I wrote this tutorial to cover everything you would want to know if you’d never used it before:

  • What FlashDevelop does that makes it so awesome
  • How to install it
  • How to use it without needing Flash Professional
  • How to use it alongside Flash Professional

Take a look and let me know what you think. Be sure to check out the comments; readers have already posted excellent tips.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kegogrog March 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I absolutely support using FD.

I made a game completely in FD to learn to use it and that is the result:
All graphics are coded. Except the music, effects and font there are no embedded sources.

It’s a great tool and I am a bit sorry about not discovering it before I bought Flash. Now that CS3 is old I was thinking about buying CS5. But with FD I will postpone that.

dmc March 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I mad all my flash games with FlashDevelop, if you’re a real coder it’s all you need!

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Writing code? Write <pre> at the start and </pre> at the end to keep it looking neat.

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