The Game is Ported!

In News by Daniel Sun15 Comments

Note: Sorry for not updating this blog sooner: I’ve been slowly writing this post and took me longer than expected haha!

As you may or may not know, Armed with Wings Rearmed is a remastered edition of the original AwW1 game I made in 2008. The original was written in ActionScript 2.0. In an effort to reduce development time, I thought it would be best to continue to develop Rearmed in AS2.

The game is now ported to AS3! What a marvelous milestone to reach! After conquering nearly every ActionScript 2.0 limitation, one limitation proved to be an unsolvable brick wall… native Gamepad Support. Now that the game has been ported to AS3, Gamepads are supported ans I’ve found user engagement to be much higher!  I’ll admit that porting the entire game JUST to support controllers seemed to be more work than it was worth – but I can confidently say that it has been worth it. People are having much for fun playing Rearmed AND the new codebase is FAR better, resulting in a better game and enabling me to work faster.

The Challenges have been numerous. I took advantage of many AS2 kinks, many of which are not supported in the much more proper programming language of AS3.

AS2 allows for not just adding code inside an object, but adding code on top as well. For example: I have an enemy character with code and behavior embedded in the object. I could have 3 of the same enemies on stage and they all share the same code. What if I wanted one of them to have more health than the others? I could add code on just a single instance, increasing the health of just that single enemy. Coding on an object is quick and handy for many different reasons and so I took advantage of that feature. When porting the game to AS3, that had to change. I compensated with component definitions with default values.

I tried to keep the core engine structure very similar to the AS2 project to reduce confusion. The idea is to keep development simple and straight forward with few procedures for generating new content. Pushing in content is just as easy thanks to my new engine structure. This structure is more unified and better handles events and updates.  The hurdle was trying to find a suitable solution to they way my level updates work. Each level is placed on the timeline: level 1 is on frame 1, level 2 is on frame 2, level 3 is on frame 3 ect… Each frame also has a levelUpdate() function. Each of these functions contained code specific for the corresponding level. In as3, flash didn’t like how I had multiple levelUpdate() functions, it only wanted one. My solution was to have just one levelUpdate() function that would loop through an array of objects. Whenever a new level is loaded, that array is cleared and populated with new objects.

The Gamepad itself introduced some interesting challenges. Not super had to solve… but interesting indeed and caused me to rethink my input bindings. Example: Pausing the game on a keyboard would be hitting ESC key. On a controller, it would be the Start button. The pause screen has a few different options. Highlighting the settings button then pressing Start on the controller should open the settings panel. But, hitting the keyboard equivalent is ESC, which should take the user back to the game. That is only one example of when the keyboard and gamepad inputs sometimes have different behavior.

Results And Improvements now make this project FAR more manageable. Every asset, sprite and file has been carefully renamed with a smart naming convention. As I passed each game element from the old project to the new, I had the opportunity to examine each one. Much of the code was reused too, but even more was written from scratch. As I had done all the work previously, redoing it was super quick. The code is FAR more neat, optimized and manageable.

All this means little to the user. But as a developer, it’s always better to be working in a clean environment. I’ll be able to serve the user more effectively and deliver more content, quickly without friction from a messy decompiled project.

The State of Rearmed is now far ahead from where I left it in AS2. All the levels are ported AND improved! There are also more levels than in the old project. The game supports Gamepad which increases user retention and simply makes it more fun to play.  Now i’m working on a brand new feature: Equipment system!


  1. Dude just keep up the good work!! Oh by the way have you ever played a flash game called red baron? (it was the game I found on new grounds that led me to armed with wings 3)

  2. Equipment system on Rearmed? I say HELL YES!

    It seems to be more complex than the previous equipment systems seen in the other AwW games, which effectively worked as upgrades more than anything; honestly, I never saw a reason to go back to Leo’s starting skillsets after gaining the new ones in AwW 3. AwW 2 was a bit different, since the Blades of Eden all had different specials, but I guess the game was too short to effectively experiment which one fit my playstyle better, and I ended up just using the one I most recently gained.

    Rearmed seems to offer equipment which changes “Defence” (which I guess reduces damaged taken), “Attack” (I suppose it’ll increase damage dealt) and what I guess to be “Speed” (of attack or movement?), which is really interesting, because it could make the choice of what equipment you’ll use much more important. It’s not a matter of”Which deals the most damage?” anymore, but a tactical decision: Do I want to deal a lot of damage? Or do I want to be able to take a lot of punishment? Maybe I want a mix of the two, or maybe I’ll go for equipment which lets me lock foes into a combo so fast they can’t escape from it…

    1. Author

      Good to hear your enthusiasm for the Equipment system! It’s working REALLY well I dare say. Each weapon has a different set attributes of defense, power and speed. Speed does increase the players movement. I have not yet made it effect attacking speed, but will likely do so.

  3. Nice work man, I know them feels. I think you’ll find everything will be much easier with as3, including all the Steamworks integration when you get to Steam (achievements, trading cards, cloud saves, etc.).

    1. Author

      Thanks Nick! It certainly will be much easier going forward from here. I wont need to deal with bridgeconnection again! I’ve actually got a few questions for you if you don’t mind, I might send you an email. 🙂

  4. Congratulations Daniel. I’m getting more and more pumped at this release, as it will give me a taste of what your future projects will be like. It’s great to know that you have jumped over most of the hurdles when porting to AS3, and turned out even better than before. Can’t wait for its release, which is when exactly?

    1. Author

      I share your enthusiasm for the release! I don’t have a set date yet – but am working on the release.

      1. I’d say it’s a great idea, adding new depth and player connection to the game! My only complaint is that equipment is misspelled, but I’m sure you’ll be able to fix that. :p
        Very nice on the porting to an upgraded scripting environment also. I look forward to seeing how it comes out!

        1. Author

          hahah yeah I spell bad. Fixed now however. Weapons have different attributes like power, speed and defense. There will also be gear that gives players special abilities – eg. passive heal, projectile attack, ability to roll ect…

  5. Yay!weapons! But what about armour or cloaks?I always enjoyed looking at those flowing capes.also,will there be the ability to dual wield and two handed weapons?

    1. Author

      There will be Weapons and perks that enhance player ability, super fun stuff! There won’t be clothing items or daul weapons 🙁 I do plan on doing updates, so anything could happen!

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