Shawn has worked as programmer and product designer for over 20 years, shipping several games on Steam and Playstation and dozens of apps on mobile. He has extensive programming experience with Dart, C#, ActionScript, SQL, PHP and Javascript and a deep proficiency with motion graphics and UX design. Shawn is currently the Technical Director for gskinner.


Flutter: WidgetView – A Simple Separation of Layout and Logic

One of the most interesting aspects of Flutter, is the way it mixes declarative markup-style code, with imperative business logic style code, all within the same Dart programming language and file. This creates a really nice coupling between interface and function. When compared to editing XAML for UWP apps, or XML for native Android, building interfaces in Flutter can be a very rapid workflow.

While this is really nice from a productivity standpoint, it also manifests as one of Flutters biggest issues…

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Flutter: Creating a Flippable Box with TweenAnimationBuilder

One of the great things about Flutter, is how you can use composition to combine multiple built-in Widgets, creating unique UI’s very quickly and easily.

Today, we’re going to create a FlippableBox, which is a double-sided card, that holds two pieces of content and automatically re-sizes to match its content, whenever it’s flipped over.

It will end up looking something like this:

Final State
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New dev update for Bardbarian!


Over at TreeFortress we’ve put together a massive dev update for our upcoming game Bardbarian. To read all about it, check out the TreeFortress blog!

If you’re not familiar, Bardbarian is an iOS/Android game, built with Adobe AIR and the Starling Framework, and is slated for a Spring/Summer release in 2013. TreeFortress is a seperate division of gskinner, focused solely on creating our own apps and games. Follow them directly if you’re interested!

SpriterAS: Playback Spriter animations with Starling

One of the toughest aspects of doing Game Development with GPU rendering, is managing the texture size of your various animations. Traditional SpriteSheets consume texture memory extremely quickly, and in the age of Retina Devices, they’re starting to prove inadequate.

To help work around this problem, our guys at TreeFortress have put together a library called SpriterAS. SpriterAS is a plugin which allows you to playback Spriter Animations (.SCML files) in AIR using Starling/Stage3D.

What is Spriter?
Spriter is a tool for creating so-called ‘modular’ animations which require a very small texture footprint. This enables long, complex animations running at a smooth 60fps.

For full details, examples and code snippets, check out the blog post over at!

Also, in case you’re wondering, we are planning on creating a Javascript version for use with EaselJS in the future 🙂

Introducing: TreeFortress Games!

Today we’re happy to announce a new initiative at gskinner: TreeFortress Games!

TreeFortress is a new arm of the company, focused on building mobile games (or apps) and bringing them to market. Initially, we will be using AIR + Starling as our core development stack, possibly branching out to Unity3D or HTML in the future.

TreeFortress will have its own blog which will include posts on our development workflow and upcoming games. Expect lots of code snippets, workflow tools, and tons of cool Artwork.

If you’re interested, you can follow us on your preferred social network:

Our first game is called Bardbarian, and is due out for Spring, 2013. For more info check it out here:

Hope to see you there!