People are developing games in Flash since aeons. But in the last 10 month there was a small revolution taking place. First Adam Atomic released the Flixel framework for 2D games (I also made an interview). Only some months later Chevy Ray Johnston came up with the FlashPunk-framework. Both Flixel and FlashPunk are written in ActionScript3, both are aimed mostly at indie-games, but also allow commercial uses. The number of people who are using this frameworks are constantly growing.

Time to ask Chevy Ray Johnston some question about FlashPunk. What are the differences to Flixel? For what reason another framework?

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FlashPunk and a little code-example.

Very first question: Why FlashPunk?

I like to get in over my head on things completely, it’s how I roll. I was an object-oriented virgin just one year ago, and FlashPunk evolved out of my endless naïve determination to learn the ropes and do something ambitious with it. If you mean why the name “FlashPunk”, it’s because I’m sort of a punk myself; I don’t follow the rules (often to a fault), I tend to do things my own way and take all advice with more than a grain of salt. I also wanted a name that was amateur-friendly, not too pretentious, and sounded kind of cool.

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Interview - Date published: March 1, 2010 | 9 Comments

And suddenly there was Flixel, a free and open-source gameengine. Very well designed, fast to step into, made for ActionScript 3 and very versatile. The engine was released only some weeks ago, but the community is currently submitting first games. Time to talk to Adam Atomic: The guy who wrote this genious piece of software. Let’s jump right in!

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Flixel and a little code-example.

Why did you made Flixel? Where did the inspiration came from?

Flixel is probably my most selfish project ever! The whole idea behind it was just to make it easier for me to make and distribute the kinds of games that I like to make. After my third game I had most of the bits and pieces that I needed, and figured with maybe a long weekend I could clean it up enough that maybe other people could use it too.

Is there any deeper open-source related philosophy behind Flixel, or was is a more practical decision to do this thing?

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Interview - Date published: July 3, 2009 | 6 Comments

Andrew said “Hello” via E-Mail, just after spotting posting on the ToneMatrix-synth here on this blog. He is also in programming audio-visual systems. Andrew is into Processing and the works on his webpage Kosmotrope instantly caught my interest. He works on exploration of audio-visual systems, that connects generative audio-system with clean graphics and an overall balanced design. We managed to do a little interview. He currently lives in Kentucky, United States.

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Screenshots from Closest.

Andrew, what is your interest in audio-visual systems and how do you explore the systems you make? Are you following a systematic approach?

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Interview - Date published: April 13, 2009 | 2 Comments

Petko D. Petkov is one of the founding-members of the Gnucitizen-hacker-network. They work inbetween internet, computers and security and always have very interesting projects going on, for example the “House of Hackers” a social-network for hackers and security experts. The Gnucitizen define themself as “a leading information security think tank, delivering solutions to local, national and international clients“.

Thier latest project is Netsecurify, an automated, webbased, remote testing tool, that enables security-testings of applications. One of the primary goal of the projects is not only to have a pioneering sort-of feeling, but foremost to support low-profit or non-profit organisations to have a robust and stable security-testing tools for free. They think of organisations, that otherwise would not be able to affort security experts and testing. We had a short interview with Petko D. Petkov on Netsecurify, their motivation, software design and overall goals.

netsecurify logo gnucitizen

What does the tool Netsecurify exactly do?

Netsecurify is a remote, automated, vulnerability assessment tool. The tool follows the SaaS (Software as a Service) model, i.e. it is a service which runs from Amazon’s scalable computing infrastructure. In it’s core, the tool performs several assessments, all based on open source technologies, and also provides recommendations through a flexible recommendation engine. The tool also allows 3rd-party organizations to enhance the reports.

Netsecurify is very simple to use. All the user has to do is to login and schedule a test for a particular network range. Once we approach the specified scheduled data, we run the test. When the test is done, the user is notified via email or by other means which we are working on at the moment. The user then logs in and downloads a copy of the report. For security reasons, the report is destroyed 30 days after it has been completed.

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Interview - Date published: December 22, 2008 | 0 Comments

Justin Frankel is the programmer of the legendary Winamp. We were interested in the “early days” of the Winamp from the beginning in 1997 until just before the Winamp went bloated with the releases after Winamp 3 in the time after AOL bought Frankel’s Nullsoft.

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“Winamp, It really whips the llama’s ass!”

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We talked with Justin about the early days of the Winamp, the design, the time and the decisions he made. Yet he also talks about this recent audio-tool REAPER, also in terms of design and community. In other words: things of interest for the designing developer! If you are more interested in the Winamp AOL buyout and the time Justin left… scroll down. There are some related readings linked at the bottom of this interview.

Back on 1997 Justin started his first company “Nullsoft” with the first software called “Winamp“. Winamp went so famous, that AOL bought Nullsoft in 2001 for about 80 Million Dollar. Still Winamp is one of the most popular music applications on Windows PCs. Especially the releases smaller than Version 3 (V2.6 – V2.91) are still often used and I also power it on regularly. This piece of software is one of the most loved and distributed independent music applications in the world, not only in history, but still at present.

Nullsoft also made lots of other software that is also widely in use, or had revolutionary impact, software like the SHOUTcast streaming server, the Nullsoft installer, the first decentralized peer-to-peer network Gnutella, or the high-secure closed peer-to-peer network WASTE.

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Winamp. V0.2a. The first release. Memory usage: 1.3 MB.

Hi Justin, let’s start at the beginning. Why did you started doing the Winamp?

I started making Winamp, and actually pretty much all software I’ve ever created, because it was software that I wanted to be able to use. Often there is something you want to do on a computer, and no way to do it or at least no way to do it that you will enjoy.. That’s the joy in programming, you can make things to use. Winamp grew out of wanting a good, enjoyable way to listen to mp3s on a computer. It wasn’t the first mp3 player, but the mp3 players around before it were hard for me to want to use.

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Interview - Date published: May 10, 2008 | 11 Comments

Paris Treantafeles travels much. He has to meet many shows, where he works as a visualist. Many mails from him arrived me from airports or after satisfying shows he played. Paris Treantafeles is better known as Paris Graphics or Voltage Controlled. His unique specialty is making visuals with self-programmed handheld gaming consoles like the Gameboy Advanced or the Game Park. It is no coincidence that especially the 8-bit scene is requesting him. He seems to be a staff member at the Blipfestival and is supporting the 8-bit scene events with his works. At least his decision to go on gaming hardware originally came from the 8-bit music scene, where he saw that musicians working with those tools in a natural way to produce and perform their music.


Live performance from Hally with visuals from Paris Graphics.

“Why is there no matching point in doing the visuals the same way like the musicians do?”, was one of his main motivations to go on hardware. After years of researching and exploring the possibilities of Pure Data with the graphic extension GEM, as well as trying math-based graphics, he went on to use Gameboy Advanced and Game Park consoles. Originally he has a background as a scientists and most of his inspiration still comes from physics and math. But also pushing boundaries of contemporary hardware, rooted in the deepest sense of the demoscene spirit, is one of his driving forces.

What is the basic design concept of your tools? Are they tools or experiments?

They are tools in the making – so let’s say experimental tools. Or thinking about it in another way, I guess I’m writing visual games – things that can be played.

The story of your visuals is connected to the project Voltage Controlled, but you also work as Paris Graphics. Sometimes this causes confusion. What is what? How is the story going?

Voltage Controlled started when a friend, Robert Martinez, and I began creating audio with voltage controlled electronics. We gathered anything we could get our hands on and produced music using just voltages to make melodies – no keyboards.
From there we got into creating visuals with an oscilloscope and as a feedback loop had voltages creating images which were being manipulated with the oscilloscope, and then voltages coming out of the scope fed back into audio devices. From there we began using function generators with television sets to create patterns, colors, and so on. Somewhere along the way I started doing live sets on my own in New York City, while Robert lives in California. People liked the name Voltage Controlled so I started using it for my purposes as well.

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Interview - Date published: March 18, 2008 | 5 Comments

Independent games superstar Jonathan Söderström, better known as Cactus, is famous for his outstanding quick, experimental and interesting games. I’ll bet, that you all already met some of his games. If not, read this interview. Else start here. It will get interesting – we have some very interesting questions and answers at hand.

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What was your initial mind when you started the game Clean Asia?

I had played a game called “Nvaders” by a guy with the nickname “TehSilentOne“. It was basically a Space Invaders meets Warning Forever game. The small Space Invaders sprites had been blown up and each pixel had turned into a separate piece of the enemy. Some pieces where cannons others were just static. When you destroyed a piece, it left of a little energy power-up that you could absorb and then launch back as a charged shot. I really liked the idea as it allowed you to destroy the enemy rather fast as your power grew the more destruction you dealt. However, the game felt slightly rushed and a bit incomplete, so I decided to steal a bit from it and make my own thing centered around a similar mechanic.

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Interview - Date published: January 31, 2008 | 1 Comment

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