Flash Gaming: A Growing Frontier


With the booming popularity of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook also comes the rise of flash gaming. Flash games are games played in your browser window designed with the animation program Adobe Macromedia Flash. As these games continue to grow, expect more game design colleges to offer programs in Flash design. Many Flash games are free to play and very addictive, explaining why more and more people are willing to spend so much of their free time playing them.

game designBecause Flash is a bare-bone animation program, your design is limited only by your animation. Hobbyists will often make clones or parodies of already popular titles. Unique games, however, can range from three-dimensional puzzle games, fighting games, racing games and anything else. If you’re simply looking to create a fun game for you and your friends then you can find several tutorials online for the basics of sprite design, music and audio recording and programming. But if you’re looking to produce a high-quality game, you may want to peruse an education at a game design college.

Here are some examples of some current degree programs for those interested in game design:

DeVry – DeVry offers a Game and Simulation Programming bachelor’s degree. Future programmers, software engineers, and project coordinators will find DeVry’s degree programs helpful. They offer courses in 2 and 3-dimensional graphics programming, Multiplayer online gaming (MOG), as well as general coursework.

Westwood College – Westwood has designed a Game Software Development degree to focus on software engineering fundamentals and game software development. They also have a Game and Art Design program that focuses on Color Theory, 3-D Modeling, and Cinematography. Westwood College’s flexible degree programs (including online degree programs) allow for almost anybody to enroll and participate at their leisure.

ITT Technical Institute – ITT offers a bachelor degree in Digital Entertainment and Game Design. Students study gaming technology, game design processes, level design, as well as general education coursework.

There are many reasons to take the plunge into professional flash game design. Because Flash games are the most popular platform for casual gamers and non-gamers alike, you’ll be on the forefront of the medium. Many companies treat Flash games as more than simple entertainment, often hiring designers to create video games as advertisements for their brand or product. What’s more, a game that becomes incredibly popular online may be picked up for release on a home game system or as a full-fledged PC game. Such was the case with Line Rider, a game originally released in 2006 which saw release on mobile devices like the Apple iPhone only two years later.

As the Internet continues to play a large role in our lives and new technology allows us to bring the online world with us everywhere we go, Flash games will always play a key role in gaming. And, being both accessible to players and designers alike, there’s no reason why someone couldn’t get involved if they so choose.

Forrest Whaling is an Account Manager at Location3 Media, a full service Digital Marketing Agency in Denver, CO.

Photo Credit: Forrest Whaling


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