Bowmaster Winter Storm Update 0.2.23

Now you can buy your very own fireworks! Check it out in the “fire” section of the upgrade shop. Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Updates:

Added Firework arrow – places a bunch of firework rockets on the ground where it lands. Light them on fire and then watch the magic.

Fixed Golem misspelling in tips.

Fixed issues with some death animations (light/dark/fire) — units would always face right upon death.

Copy Motion as Actionscript 3.0 and fl.motion.Animator Bug?

I ran into an issue recently when transitioning from CS3 to CS5.5 when using XML stored motions. The issue involves XML animation code and the fl.motion.Animator class. This is the reason behind some of the recent animation issues found in Bowmaster Winter Storm after moving form CS3 to CS5.5. If you’re a Flash developer please read and tell me what you think.

In Bowmaster Winter Storm I use Flash’s “Copy Motion as Actionscript 3.0” which was a feature introduced in CS3. It copies the Motion Tween information (Classic Tween for CS5) as XML and then you use an instance of fl.motion.Animator class to apply that tween animation to any DisplayObject instance you want. This is a great way to dynamically apply special effects to MovieClips without having to manually copy animation effects on the timeline. This is the tech behind some of the special death effects you see when game characters die (for example, from being struck by lighting and turning to smoke, or getting hit by poison and have their flesh melt away leaving only the bone structure).

So the issue I’m having is that with CS5 and CS5.5 the animation behavior seems to have changed from CS3 even though the code has stayed the same. Below are examples of three different swf files all using the same code. The only difference is which version of the Flash IDE was used to publish each swf.

Get Adobe Flash player

Get Adobe Flash player

Get Adobe Flash player

As you can see. The first animation behaves as desired. The MovieClip retains it’s orientation (scaleX == -1 is preserved) when the animation tween is applied.

For the next two animations using CS5, the scaleX value is reset back to 1.

At first I thought it was an issue with the targetted flash player. So the second animation demonstrates targeting Flash Player 9 using CS5. Despite this, the clip still flips.

Here is the code that is used for all three versions:

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// main timeline code at frame 1
import fl.motion.Animator;
var FADE_OUT_xml:XML = <Motion duration="35" xmlns="fl.motion.*" xmlns:geom="flash.geom.*" xmlns:filters="flash.filters.*">
   
   <Keyframe index="0" tweenSnap="true">
      <tweens>
         <SimpleEase ease="0"/>
      </tweens>
   </Keyframe>

   <Keyframe index="34">
      <color>
         <Color alphaMultiplier="0"/>
      </color>
   </Keyframe>
</Motion>;

var clip:MovieClip;

clip = new LibClip(); // LibClip is defined in the Library with linkage id (class name) LibClip -- this is the clip seen on screen with black rectangles
clip.x = 200;
clip.y = 300;
clip.scaleX = -1;
addChild(clip);

var FADE_OUT_animator:Animator;

// called on frame 30
function playAnim():void
{
   FADE_OUT_animator = new Animator(FADE_OUT_xml, clip);
   FADE_OUT_animator.play();
}

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In summary, for better or worse there is no denying that using the same code but with different Flash IDEs we see different animation behavior. Perhaps the Flash CS3 implementation of Animator was bugged and Adobe fixed it in CS5 or it worked in CS3 and a bug was injected into CS5. Either way, I’ve found no discussion of a change in functionality to the Animator class in the Adobe AS3 reference documentation.

Can any fellow Flash developers out there point me to any more information about this subject? Is there a bug database that I could look at to possibly find more information?

My concern is that even though I’ve figured out a work around to “migrate” my code to get the functionality I desire using CS5, if I change my code and it was a new bug, then what happens when Adobe fixes the bug? Will the functionality change all over again?

If you’re a Flash developer and have had to deal with this issue, what is your take? Which is the correct animation behavior? CS3 or CS5. Obviously I learned to get used to the CS3 behavior but this is not to say that it’s the right way. But consider this: why would the scale property change if the animation xml does not explicitly state to tween the scale property? Shouldn’t all properties not mentioned in the xml retain their original value while only those explicitly mentioned get modified?

Bowmaster Winter Storm Update 0.2.22

Introducing online profile accounts! As you have already noticed, Bowmaster Winter Storm loads with a login screen. Logging in is optional and if you don’t want to create a LostVectors.com forum account then you don’t have to; just click “offline” to continue to save your profile data to your computer. However, there are many great benefits to using an online account! Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Update: If you have an email address with an unrecognized domain but you think it should be allowed then post a comment or contact us and we might add it to the list. The reason for only accepting certain email domains is to prevent spam bots from registering with illegitimate domains. This is not to say that your email domain is illegitimate so if yours is from a reputable company then let us know and we may add it.

Update: You now must activate your forum account by clicking the link sent to your email in order to log in. If you did not see an email from lostvectors.com then check your spam folder.

Note: You’ll need to register for a forum account (which is separate from this blog. i.e. your blog login won’t work).

You can log in to your account from any computer. You can log in and play at work or school, then come home and log in and continue where you left off. Go over to Grandma’s house and show her your progress. Refresh the browser and then she’ll be able to log in and show you her level 60 Destructor. This works great for multi-user computers such as school libraries or family computers. Another great benefit is that you don’t have to worry about losing profile data because your computer randomly decided to delete your data.

All you need is to register for a forum account by clicking on the register link and following the instructions. IMPORTANT: Follow the instructions or else you may get a mean message saying that you’re a “spam bot”; specifically, be sure to type “blue” in the interests field and leave everything else blank under “profile information.”

Note: If you’re under 13 years old you will need a parent to sign and return the registration form ONLY if you wish to participate in the forum. Otherwise, once you register successfully then you’re ready to start using your login information for Bowmaster Winter Storm.

Remember this game is still beta and this login profile system is brand new tech so if you have any issues with it then be sure to leave a comment in the blog or send us an email.

Other updates:

Fixed bug with the fireworks. They now launch archers and grunts that are nearby as originally intended. However, since firework season is over there’s less of a chance of seeing fireworks and night time (but there is still a 25% chance they will show up… if you want you can just quit and reload a night time map until you see fireworks if you really want 😉

Next update: Perhaps a firework upgrade for the Destructor class… maybe :) Stay tuned!

Do you use the online log in for Bowmaster Winter Storm or do you use "offline" mode?

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Bowmaster Winter Storm Update 0.2.20

The Thunder Cloud grows in strength! Lightning bolts from thunder clouds now do splash damage when they hit the ground. This and more with the latest Bowmaster Winter Storm Update. Play Now

Updates:

Enhanced thunder cloud spell power and visuals.

Balance: Replaced ‘diffuse’ effect of mage shield with ‘impact’. Now impact weapons like bombs or summon spells will not be diffused by impacting a mage shield.

Added new high level orc grunt skin.

Added helmets to orc grunt (random chance).

Bug Fix: Lighting death effect no longer causes units to always look right.

Bug Fix: Fixed misspelling of ‘lightning’ in skill description.

Next Update: Some really cool stuff, I promise.

How to Backup Bowmaster Saved Games

Update: Bowmaster Winter Storm now features online saving. The process below is not necessary if you register for a LostVectors forum account and use the online log-in method. However, if you only use the “offline” mode then your saves are stored to your computer instead of online and the following instructions apply to you.

Some of my games use Flash Shared Objects to store game save data to your local computer (for example, any of my Bowmaster games). They work like cookies, but are stored in a different location on your computer.

Unfortunately (for your game saves) it looks like Flash Shared Objects can now be deleted when you clear your browser cache (delete temporary internet files), depending on the browser you use. And sometimes for some people the save data seems to disappear randomly. This may be due to the computer’s settings.

In any event, I’m going to show you how to backup your game files so that if you ever lose your profile data you can re-load it from the files you backed up.

Step 1. Find the game data files
These files are somewhere in “application data” which is a hidden system folder. It’s a place where applications can store temporary data. The location varies depending on your OS.

Windows XP:
%APPDATA%\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\

For xp users, copy that path directly into an explorer window address and hit Enter “%APPDATA%\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\” without the quotes. It should take you directly to the shared object directory. Inside there will be a single folder with random letters.

For xp users, this is what the actual full path might look like:
C:\Documents and Settings\”your user name here”\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects

For Windows 7/Vista I think it is “Application Data\LocalRoaming”.

Once you’re in the #SharedObjects\”random_letters” folder go to the “www.lostvectors.com\winterstormbeta\bmws_beta.swf” folder.

E.g.
C:\Documents and Settings\”user name”\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\UXHRVSEB\www.lostvectors.com\winterstormbeta\bmws_beta.swf

There you’ll find the game save data files:
bmws_beta_1.sol
bmws_sound_settings.sol
bmws_visitor_news_data_v1.sol

Step 2. Copy the files or entire folder

Copy these files to somewhere else on your computer. If your computer ever loses game data it’s probably because these files were deleted somehow.

You might even just save the entire folder starting from www.lostvectors.com\winterstormbeta\bmws_beta.swf

This way if the entire folder is removed you can just copy and paste it back in there.

Alternatively you can just go to your windows user folder and do a windows search for “bmws_beta.swf” (which is a folder). It may take a while to search but eventually it should find the bmws_beta.swf folder as long as your computer is able to save shared objects in the first place.

For more information about Flash Shared Objects go here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Shared_Object

WARNING: Chrome Users and Bowmaster Winter Storm

I just discovered that Chrome deletes your saved game files if you clear browser data and select “Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data”

So if you need to clear your browser cache then make sure to back up your game file. Here’s how:

Windows 7:
C:\Users\”your user name”\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\”some random looking number”\www.lostvectors.com\winterstormbeta\bmws_beta.swf

Google “Flash Shared Objects” for more info on where it’s located for other operating systems.

Backup all files located there. But the most important is this one:
bmws_beta_1.sol

It’s a good idea to back this up before clearing your browser cache if the game doesn’t load correctly.

If you have ever lost your profile in the past. Please let me know in the comments and please answer the following poll question:

Bowmaster Winter Storm should save your progress even after you close the browser. Have you ever lost your profile data after returning to the game?

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Bowmaster Winter Storm Update 0.2.19

Thunder roars as bolts of righteous lightning rain down upon your foes! Unlock the latest upgrade – The Thunder Cloud Arrow. Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Updates

New Upgrade: Thunder Cloud Arrow.

Added game file checker that ensures that you have the latest game files before letting you play. Browsers sometimes cache older versions of the game files which may cause the game not to work properly. Now the this game will tell you if you need to clear your browser cache if it detects invalid game files. If you notice a red window popup with an error message then this means an invalid file was detected. The window will provide a link with information on how to clear your browser cache.
NOTE: If you see this error warning then let me know as I would like to know if the system is working. Let me know if clearing your browser cache solved the problem after receiving the error message.

Bowmaster Winter Storm Update 0.2.18

It’s summer time in the land of Bowmaster Winter Storm! Don’t let the warm weather fool you. The storm is coming. Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Updates:

New background artwork from Mario Barraza.

New climbable trees added.

Hero is immune to freezing.

Graphical optimizations to improve game performance.

Next Update: New Upgrade: Thunder Storm Arrow – Summons a cloud above your enemy that shoots bolts of lightning down upon them. Stay tuned!