Making Flash Games for PSP

Aug 21

I’ve been looking into getting some of my Flash games to run on the PSP.

Sony released an update in April that allows Flash content to be played through the PSP’s web browser. Unfortunately, there are some limitations that prevent this from being a great option for homebrew developers. Here are some of the fundamentals to getting started with Flash on the PSP:

  1. You must update to at least 2.7. This is the update with the Flash Player.
    There is a homebrew SWF player floating around for anyone who doesn’t want to update, but I haven’t tried it, and won’t be discussing it here.

  2. You must connect to the internet to enable Flash Player. I have no idea why. This was kind of a pain for me, since I don’t have a wireless network at home. I ended up walking up and down the street until I found an open network I could use. Once I was connected it took about 5 seconds to enable the player.

  3. You can place Flash content at the memory stick root. Access it by entering ‘file:/myswfname.swf’ in the web browser.

  4. At this time the PSP only supports Flash 6. I don’t think this is quite as bad as it sounds at first. In my initial tests with Sunken Treasure, I was able to get the game working fairly quickly in Flash 6, although certain parts will need to be coded in a different (most likely more convoluted) way to work properly.

  5. PSP screen size: 272 x 480.

  6. The controls available to Flash are the directional pad (arrow keys), the analog stick (mouse/cursor), and the X button (left mouse click). Not really enough to make the next Halo, but plenty to make a simple casual game.

  7. Flash on PSP is slow. Depending on the type of game, this could be a tiny factor or a huge deal.

Sunken Treasure on the PSP

I’m pretty excited about being able to have handheld versions of some of my games. Given the limitations of Flash on the PSP at this point, it would probably be easiest to convert Back the Garden to a PSP game, since it can run at a slower frame rate. However, I really like the idea of using the PSP’s wide screen as a tall narrow screen for Sunken Treasure. The user will hold the PSP sideways and use the arrow keys to navigate.