Painlessly Distributing a Flash Game to Unlimited Sites
Distributing your flash game is something that is commonly overlooked by inexperienced developers. Following the agile / lean business philosophy, you will want to “release early and often”. This not only means that you will be releasing before your game is completely finished, but you will be releasing frequently.
Releasing your game might not seem like such a difficult thing if it's hosted only on your own website (or any one single website). You simply upload the new swf (or base swf) for you game onto the site and you’re done. But now let’s suppose you have the game hosted on your site and on Facebook. Now each time you make changes and want to release you will have to go to Facebook, upload the swf, and then go to your site and upload the swf. True, that’s not an absurd amount of work, but let’s take it a step further. Now, your game is pretty successful and it’s on your personal site, the game’s official site, Facebook, yahoo, and a few other no-name game portals. Now you find yourself spending a ton of time uploading swfs, and you’ll probably find there is extra work in managing everything, keeping track of which one’s you’ve done already, making sure you are using the latest swf, etc. You can see how the amount of work in distribution grows exponentially as you add more platforms. This can be very dispiriting as it is really in you and your game’s best interest to be in as many places as possible. So what’s the answer? How do we upload a game to a number of different sites, but have a single place to upload new versions of the game?
Well by phrasing the question like that I’ve already given you a hint to the answer (if the title of the post hasn’t given it away already, that is). The trick is to save your base swf into the cloud or server somewhere so that you have a Url pointing to it. Then you distribute a “loader swf” that will load whatever is at that Url (and thus always loads your newest swf). This can be done with pretty much any file hosting service (Free One, Amazon S3, etc). However, since we love the Playerio backend services so much, we’ll make use of GameFS for storing our swf file.
Not only does GameFS make uploading, managing versions, and generating a permanent url a breeze, but they have also automated the “loading swf” problem. When looking at your swf in the browser console, you’ll notice that under the permanent Url is a link to “download tiny loader”. You can download a different tiny loader for each file that you have saved in GameFS. This is nothing more than a swf that loads up the corresponding file. This way, you can upload the tiny loader to as many sites as you want, and when you change the corresponding base swf in GameFS all the games in all the portals will now show the newest version when users go to play it.
If Your Computer Doesn’t Recognize Tiny Loader as a Swf I am using a mac computer (running OS 10.0.5) to download tiny loader, and for some reason my computer doesn’t see it as a swf file. Luckily, all you have to do is add in the .swf extension manually and the file should play your swf from GameFS as usual. If asked whether you want to add the extension, you do so choose “Add”.
To convert Tiny Loader Download to a swf file Download tiny Loader file. Right click tiny loader file in finder, and choose “Get Info” in the “Name & Extension” field add in “.swf” at the end of the name.