Flash Developer

  • Flash Developer

The mass population of Internet surfers is utterly addicted to Flash games hosted on social networking sites like Facebook, or through online gaming services like Pogo. The demand for skilled Flash developers is high, and this is a unique field that allows amateurs to compete viably for attention against big-budget studios.  


Duties

The Flash developer is part designer, artist, and programmer. He or she takes on considerable responsibility for the concept and creation of Flash-based games for online and mobile applications, while working within a cross functional team. Operating either as an independent developer, or within a larger game studio, the flash developer is tasked with conceiving of original ideas for Flash games then collaborating with the studio’s creative director and game producer to realize that idea through initial design documentation and prototyping. When a concept has been approved, the developer cooperates with specialists in the areas of art and programming to outline the necessary functionality of the game, introduce art concepts and characters, design the user interface, and engineer the appropriate artificial intelligence and game physics. The Flash developer is integral to the establishment of the method of player interaction with the game, the artistic style, and the type of game experience.

In production of the game, the Flash developer supervises 2-D artists in asset creation through lead artists and animators and communicates closely with all programming staff. This person will establish deadlines for milestones and review completed work on a regular basis. Generally, the Flash developer in a senior position will advise on tools and systems used in development, and advise department heads on the established work flow procedures and pipeline. If this person works within a very small department or studio, he or she may cooperate only a staff of two or three individuals and will share equal responsibility for art asset creation, programming, and animation. This person is held to a strict timetable and budget for the game’s production and answers to the creative director and producer upon delivery.

Skills & Education

A college degree in mobile development or game design is recommended for this career. As this is still an emerging field and the developer takes on a variety of responsibilities, courses in computer programming, graphic design, computer animation, advanced mathematics, and traditional art are encouraged. The Flash developer must have a solid understanding of Flash software, as well as applications like Photoshop and After Effects. Proficiency with JavaScript and ActionScript, among others, is also helpful. It is necessary to understand the workflow process of game development and pipeline structure, in addition to the capabilities and limitations of platforms like PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Knowledge of multiple web browsers and operating systems is required.

What to Expect

A Flash developer may be a freelancer working at home to create independent games or can be a member of an established game studio. Even video game developers that concentrate primarily on games for home consoles have subsidiaries that are dedicated to social gaming titles online and mobile game applications for smart phones, thus employing Flash developers. The experience required to attain employment in this career field will vary depending on the studio. Consumer software and free shareware is available to allow an amateur Flash developer to tinker at home and publish a game without the backing of a formal studio. It is typically through the display of skill and creativity of launching a personal game online that a studio takes notice and makes an offer of employment. Because that software is available to anyone who wants it, there is no excuse not to produce a portfolio for potential employers that highlights your ingenuity and talent.

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