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Flash vs DHTML for website games



5:10 pm on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)


I'm creating a website where people can play various games. Most of the games are rather static and slow paced, but some might include stuff like running away from monsters in a maze. Some of the games might be graphics-heavy, so ability to preload images, or delay loading would be great. I'm very experienced with CSS and JavaScript, and know very little about Flash. It seems to me that Flash might be a better choice for this kind of website, but I'm not sure.

There is also an issue of mouse vs keyboard controller. I'd like to be able to support both, but it is not crucial.

Is there anyone here with experience with both DHTML and Flash to help me pick the right tool for this job?



10:06 am on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well, I have a good bit of experience with flash (ActionScript 3) and javascript (but would not consider myself a true 'pro'), and I say you are definitely on the right thought process when you consider flash. Browser implementations of DOM are slow and cumbersome when attempting heavy/multiple animations, and that's not only true of IE but others as well, it's just that IE would be ranked worst in most cases. Lighter stuff, sure fine, javascript can handle some. There is also Java, which I have barely tinkered with. But I personally don't like the browser java plugins. So flash would be my choice. Mouse and keyboard support is not an issue, both can be used actually with a bit easier support than via javascript as js has some differences between browsers. Whereas flash operates in it's own runtime environment, so cross browser bs doesn't come in to play. So my vote is for flash! Buckle down, learn ActionScript 3 [help.adobe.com] and have fun!


2:11 pm on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I actually hope to hide all the browser differences by using jQuery, so that is not my main concern. I worry more about user experience and overall responsiveness of the game.

Now, if you go the Flash route, which should I pick: Flash or Flex? I see that there's also Adobe AIR, but it doesn't seems to be suitable for gaming. Or can I combine Flash and Flex together somehow. I googled a lot about this but couldn't find any tutorial that is up to date. Everything that is complete is written like 5 years ago.

Thanks again.


2:45 pm on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Now, if you go the Flash route, which should I pick: Flash or Flex?

Great question! I went round and round with this myself a while back.
I say go with straight Flash unless developing for local intranet apps, then Flex is an option. Again I will state I am no expert who uses it every day or anything, but the issue I have with Flex is that the final files it creates are huge in comparison to the files created by basic flash. A 10Kb swf file created via flash may well be 500Kb or more if created via Flex. (Don't quote me on exact size ratios, just an example but not far fetched). I did days worth of research on this and attempting to reduce final file sizes from Flex and was able to find some solutions which were unsatisfactory as while I was able to reduce the final sizes somewhat it was still nowheres near as small of files as created via flash. So that's one headache I'm not interested in re-visiting.
Adobe AIR I have not used I don't believe, but my understanding is it's offline only usage.

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