Early Flash projects

My first programming language was ActionScript 2, which is the language used in Macromedia Flash. However before I even started learning how to use AS2, I used the Flash GUI to work on my early flash projects, which I can call anything that uses mostly flash with only the bare minimum of code (if any).

I’m pretty sure that I have a good record of the things that I worked on, so this is pretty much a comprehensive list. Most of what you’ll see here is from 2005.

Smiley and sword

This is the earliest animation I could find from March 2005. This is when I learned that layers were a thing so the first thing that came to my mind was a sword cutting through a smiley face.

Nowadays, emojis are ubiquitous, but back in the day we had emoticons 🙂 and software-specific libraries. Anyone remember Smiley Central? Well they’re simple to draw so I made one fight with a sword in an infinite loop.

This is basically me just discovering Flash for the first time and learning about what it can do. The sword is curved because Flash allowed curving vectors, which I couldn’t really do in other programs like Paint. The fill on it has a gradient which is also a feature that I used for the first time. This was so primitive that you can even see little dots on it because I couldn’t figure out how to remove/edit existing gradient nodes.

Overall it’s just a cute little animation with no rhyme or reason other than to experiment with what the software had to offer.


This one from May 2005 is a little bit more advanced than Smiley and sword despite having an even less descriptive title than all the other early flash projects. It was originally going to just be a scene template that could then be used to make other videos, but I decided to just make this one.

The scene is meant to be just the initial shot with the sun, cloud and grass upon a blue background, but I wanted to do more so I had to add in more scenes, which can be seen later on in the video.

This is the first project to take inspiration from another source, primarily Demented Cartoon Movie and Napoleon Dynamite. There’s no relation plotwise, it’s aesthetic only.

This is the first project that used different scenes, added sound effects and actually had some semblance of a plot. It’s also the first instance of actual code being written in something that I made – used to program the buttons in the top right.

There are a few flubs that I do want to point out for fun:

  • In the first scene after the banana turns the stick figure yellow, one of the chunks gets stuck at the top of the screen (screenshot #3)
  • The “next scene” button disappears after the gunshot in the 2nd scene (screenshot #6 & #7)
  • When the two characters reach the bottom of the chasm, there’s supposed to be a spikey floor, but it’s hidden behind the sky blue rectangle. You can see a little corner in screenshot #9.


This one is possibly the simplest one yet, and the last installment in the “Smiley trilogy” released a few days after Scene. The previous two projects had very flat-looking characters, so my intention with this one was to create a very simple loop, but make it as high-quality as possible using what I learned in the previous projects. The idea was to use Flash to make a 3D animation, something that it isn’t really meant to do.

Now in retrospect it is very primitive, but there are a few techniques used here that weren’t really present in previous projects:

  • Interpolation acceleration: the ball loses speed as it reaches the peak
  • Smiley has a gradient and shadow to make it more 3D
  • The ball compresses slightly when it hits the ground
  • The eyes change size as they reach the ‘closest’ part of the face

One thing that I did forget was to give the ball a shadow, or to give the background some kind of texture. Still, a fun little animation that I got done in an afternoon or two.

Fire emblem sprites

This early Flash project from the end of May 2005 is a collection of sprite animations from Fire Emblem 7 Blazing Blade (aka just “Fire Emblem” in the west) performing their critical hit animations on a bullseye. I really liked the animations from the game but they were very rare and unpredictable so I decided to make my own. I downloaded a bunch of spritesheets from a variety of websites and stitched them into animated sprites in Flash.

There is a little bit of programming involved to switch scenes around and display the different sprites, but most of the work was in trimming the sprites and aligning them correctly. That sounds easier than it is since Flash allows for fractions of a pixel so it is possible for a sprite to be off by a fraction of a pixel from its previous frame.

Flash isn’t very good at handling sprites so I converted them all using the “bitmap to vector” functionality, so they all have this weird molten-bitmap look to them. If anything it does make them look a bit more original 😕.

My favourite has to be the Assasin animation. So much so that I used it as a forum avatar for a very long time. There’s also a Lyn one that I made but never really used.

Bush shoot out

Pretty much just a reskin from June 2005, but it is still technically the first game I have worked on. At the time it was very popular to have these edgy “punch celebrities” kinds of flash games. I found this source file for a target shooter and reskinned it to have Bush on it. Honestly I don’t know why, I think I just thought up of someone that is recognisable yet has a lot of haters.

It doesn’t keep score or anything, it just is what it is.


This one from June 2005 is the first of my early Flash projects that I actually had some programming work involved in it. The Scene project had a bit of code to control the video reproduction, but this one had a little bit of code involved. I made it by following an online guide and I remember having a lot of trouble trying to figure out how loops work.

The objective of the game is to dodge the moving circles as for as long as possible. Good thing about Dodgem is that it has a score and life system so there’s at least there’s some kind of objective to it.

The game itself does have some flaws like the very basic graphics, a very short death invincibility timer and an exploit that allows you to wait off-screen safe from any danger.


I always have these projects in the back of my mind as something that I’ve done that I still have a record of. Even earlier (2003-4 ish) I did develop some games using Games Factory, but those are long gone since they were made on school computers.

I suppose it’s important to keep on testing different things to always learn something new with each project. The project I worked on after this one is easily the most ambitious yet – but that’ll be for another time.


Subscribe to the mailing list

Follow N64 Squid

  • RSS Feed
  • YouTube

Random featured posts