Frustrations with depth sorting


I used to dabble with AS2 a while back, and never really liked it much. I mainly program in Django and Python, with some PHP on the side - Flash was never one of my strengths. However, due to a new project I am delving into AS3 which is a MUCH needed improvement over AS2.

But there also comes a learning curve (which is not too large because OOP languages are very similar). I am currently trying to get depth sorting to work in AS3.

The project I am doing is basically a complete clone of and I am 90% finished. I have the sprites (alligators not penguins in this instance) moving, chatting, etc. via url requests to Django for the server. The only thing I am having problems with is where the sprites move towards the chat text mainly (look at penguinchat if your not sure what I mean). I would like the sprites to appear underneath the chat text, so the users can still read the text if somebody moves there.

I have the chat text, a room changer, a user manager, and input text movie clips all on the .fla stage, and have .AS files with code in them for all of the objects. I can easily take the movieclips off the stage and spawn them with actionscript if needed, but I would rather not (easier to design the interface this way IMO).

The sprites are added as children of the user manager MC, which is a sibling to the chat text MC. Everything would be solved if I could simply assign a number to the user manager MC (depth) that would be lower than the chat text MC. Or even having to assign a number lower to each sprite.

I have tried “addChildAt” when creating the sprites and specifying an index of “0” but this does not work. Is it because the chat text is on the stage and not spawned via actionscript?

Any help would be appreciated. I can provide demos if needed, but I do not think this is necessary.