Bermuda Triangle 'Pyramid Menu' test version 0.0.7

This is the third alpha test version of the menu system for the Bermuda Triangle Flash site. It's a bit faster (again) than it's predecessor, though you have to see the timing to believe that.

Removed the mask over the radar-screen (the 'grid'). Didn't gain much in frame-rate.

This version mostly adds new features, gradually starting to look and behave like the intended final version. Clcik on the rotating menu and press the '?' key on the keyboard to get some on-line help with this thing.

Keywords: menu, precalculated, sorting, 3D rotation

Download FLA: Pyramid.Menu-0.0.7.rar

Caveat Emptor

There's little hope to get the pyramid menu running magnitudes faster than this using the technology I use. I've tested a couple of other techniques (mostly prerendering the whole scene and just jumping to the appropriate frame) but they give no hope: only marginally faster (factor 1.5) but coming with some HUGE SWF files (2+MB for the menu alone; OK, 1-degree rotation resolution...). I have also tested pre-calculating/constructing the menu at run-time (precalc the scene for various rotations after loading the SWF and only show the menu once the precalculation phase is done): this took an awful long time and again didn't deliver significant larger framerates. Bummer, I'm stuck!

The only thing left to do is optimize this mother is FLASM once all functionality is in here. Not very maintainable but shoudl reduce AS code time and bump up the frame rate a little.

NOTE: I previous versions created an internal array which could fit up to 7 layers of sub-pyramids. Reducing this array of Objects to 4 levels only gained a little 'Grax' speed, i.e. Flash seems to spend less time drawing the stuff now there are less Objects in memory. Hmmm...

NOTE 2: I created some extra TTF fonts that are fatter than Verdana, so I can create text with 'outlines' as used for the floating texts attached to the 'radar dots' in the menu.


Thanks to Rasheed Abdal-Aziz and Jon Bradley for their suggestions.