Experimenting with Flash, Unity, AutoHotKey, and VIM

Andrei Marks · November 17, 2011

I’ve been branching out from Python a little bit, and have started tinkering with a couple different languages and tools.

Flash

Primarily wanted to start doing Flash for distribution and monetization reasons. Python and Pygame aren’t very effective toward achieving those ends, given that Python requires you to either give the script away or create an installation for it, and there aren’t any widely used python gaming portals. I’ll still keep up with Python though, it’s a pretty fun language and there are still a ton of things I haven’t covered. There are also a lot of puzzles I want to try out in Python, like The Python Challenge or the Euler Project.

I’ve started going through my first flash book, called Learning ActionScript 3.0. Haven’t gotten through as much as I’d have liked to by now, mainly because I get distracted by other things to learn. The book chugs along pretty well, and learning a second language is much easier after learning a first. Kind of like regular languages, really. In college I studied Russian for two years, and Russian is a grammatically complex language, with not just a plethora of verb conjugations, but noun and adjective declensions as well. It was a lot of fun, and the study of it really illuminated the nature of grammar for me, which did me really well when I switched to Chinese. The same sort of thing is happening going from Python to Actionscript 3.0.

On my netbook I’m using FlashDevelop, but on my desktop I’ve got Flash Professional CS5. Indiana University was kind enough to provide free licences to their students, so I got the entire Design suite. I wouldn’t say that makes up for the law school tuition, though. I’m working on a serious game project with some people I met at the IGDA Philly meetings.

Unity

Well, everyone seems to be using it, and it looks like a powerful and fun tool, so I’m going to jump right in and run with it. I’ll probably just focus on doing 2D stuff with it at first, and I’m really enjoying the tutorials I’ve done with it so far.

I’ll also have to start tinkering with Blender, though that’s a whole other bag of trouble. I don’t know what I can even do 2D art-wise, so thinking about 3D art might be a stretch. Though who knows, perhaps they’re different enough that sculpting comes easier than flat representation.

AutoHotKey

I started with AHK again mainly as the result of one or two caffeine binges. There are basically three things I’m toying around with.

The first is an Eve Online mining bot. The second is a Minecraft Survival Bot that pixel scrapes (rather than reading the game info directly, which maybe I’ll try to do one day but that is currently out of my league) and plays the game on its own. The third is a bot for a flash Set game.

However, I’m thinking I’m going to switch over to AutoHotKey_L, which is a little more powerful version of AHK, as it supports OOP and arrays, but I haven’t really work with AHK in about a week. So I’ll have to get on it.

VIM

Another caffeine binge idea. Is it necessary that I try to learn VIM? No, but it’s fun, and I’m huge into the geekery stuff. I’m just trying to figure out a good way to integrate it into my daily programming practice. I’ve played around with it on its own, but haven’t set up scripts for the main languages I use. I still use Python’s IDLE, Flash Professional or FlashDevelop, WordPad++ for AHK, and with Unity, the Mono thing.

Meh, no rush.

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