About Flixel

Flixel is an open source game-making library that is completely free for personal or commercial use. Written entirely in ActionScript 3 by Adam “Atomic” Saltsman, and designed to be used with free development tools, Flixel is easy to learn, extend and customize. Flixel has been used in hundreds of games, including IGF nominees, Adult Swim games, and avant-garde experiments. Many Flixel users make their first game ever in Flixel.


Flixel includes some basic features common to many game engines or other game libraries.

  • Display thousands of moving objects
  • Basic collisions between objects
  • Group objects together for simplicity
  • Easily generate and emit particles
  • Create game levels using tilemaps
  • Text display, save games, scrolling
  • Mouse & keyboard input
  • Math & color utilities

Flixel also includes some new "advanced" features, which we'll explore in more detail on the features page.

  • Record and play back replays
  • Powerful interactive debugger
  • Camera system for split screen
  • Pathfinding and following
  • Easy object recycling


Adam started working on Flixel in March of 2008, and released the first public version in June 2009. Probably the most commonly asked question about Flixel is "where did it come from?" so we've included a short explanation here.

“I tried a few different times to make a little game engine type thing that would allow me to make retro games. That just seemed like a fun thing to be able to do for fun on a weekend. I tried it in C++/Python/OpenGL right when I left school, maybe 7 years ago? Anyways, it was a failure. Once ActionScript 3 came out, I was able to do some of the pixel-level stuff that I was really interested in. However, by the time I got my hands on AS3, I was more interested in just making little games, and seeing what patterns evolved. I kept making more complex games by reusing the code from the last project, and eventually those parts that I was seeing in every project got moved to their own folder. I think a lot of coders out there have a folder like this on their hard drive somewhere.”


Flixel simply could not be what it is today without help, support and inspiration from a lot of fantastic people. Starting with v2.50, we have relied more on the kindness of strangers than ever before, starting with our awesome all-volunteer web team:

Special Thanks

Rebekah Saltsman puts up with a lot of crap, and without her patience there would not be any Flixel. Paul Veer painted the images on the index and 404 pages, as well as the background tile for this site. Ivan Safrin (F*ck Typing, Bitworld) taught Adam to write Flash games years ago, a pretty big moment in retrospect. A lot of Flixel forum members have caught bugs or contributed great snippets of code, too many people to list here. You’re all awesome. Finally, a big thank you to the indie games community at large, who have been so supportive and helpful and inspiring over the years.

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Alpha 03 is here! Click right there! CLICK IT NOW.Changes from Alpha 2 include individual sounds for each bullet type, sounds when an enemy is hit, sounds when the flash b-you know what, sounds. There's a lot of sounds now. There's also a jobs tab on the map screen, which shows all current Jobs the player has. At present, they involve murdering things to or from places.Oh, also there's map coordinates. So you can tell which planets you have to go to murder things.

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Also Cooldown.The largest change is, quite possibly, the collision detection change. You may be able to spot it in that above image, but the ship core (those four white pixels in the center,) is partially obscured. The core must now be COMPLETELY COVERED in order for a hit to count. Have fun just barely scraping by!The second largest change is bullets and how they're rendered. Your bullets are bigger, and everybody's bullets are more chunky when rotated. Partial transparency is for suckers.

Screens 'n' things from FST Alpha 3!Screens 'n' things from FST Alpha 3!Screens 'n' things from FST Alpha 3!

What's the best bet for the next build?

  • Combat adjustments! I have to change up how enemy movement is handled, because variety is a good thing. This may also include changing how enemies are generated. All of this is old code, and is therefore a MASSIVE PROJECT.
  • MORE GUNS! I might end up re-writing bullet logic too, because homing bullets and weird motion patterns are awesome.

I make no promises, other than it will be (more) awesome.

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Super Matt Jordan 1 comment

It's been a while so I made a video instead of writing a long article.

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does this work on windows 8

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I don't know if there's a better way to communicate this, but Flixel does not have a commercial license! Flixel uses the MIT License - you can see it in license.txt if you download the source.

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