Enter Donatello’s world and train like a turtle in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tactics 3D for desktop. The “heros in a half shell” are back in the latest take on a gaming legacy from Nickelodeon. They’ve been working on this highly addictive online 3D game for the last couple of months and we’re happy to see that it is already building a great fan base. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a prime example of a game built with Unity and using the upcoming Unity export for Flash Player to reach vast new audiences. More than 1.3 billion people can now control the radical dudes while waiting for the comeback of the TMNT cartoon on Nickelodeon September 29.
The web is generating a lot of buzz today, particularly with Adobe’s Create the Web event focusing on tools and technologies for the modern web! Speaking of the web, I’m excited to profile a couple of upcoming browser-based games from Japan and Germany. Thanks to the reach of Adobe’s Flash Player on over 1.3B connected desktops, these two games really show off where AAA and sophisticated, console quality titles are being brought to the social web with great success.
Square Enix Japan has just launched a teaser version of their upcoming social game “Legend World,” where users relive past gaming glories by battling boss monsters from older Square Enix titles. Thanks to the Flash Player and Stage3D, Square Enix Japan was able to take the actual 3D models and animations out of games they shipped to consoles, and put them directly into the browser. That means that you’re fighting the exact same boss that was in the original console game. While the game will only be in Japanese, you can check out the battle demo here, featuring Ring Wyrm from Final Fantasy XII on PlayStation2: http://member.square-enix.com/jp/gamezone/legendworld/battleflash/index.php
And for you MMORPG fans, Herokon Online is coming soon to a browser near you. Based on a German pen and paper RPG – Das Schwarze Auge – Herokon Online takes you into the world of Aventuria where players can role play numerous characters, with a wide variety of skills and attributes. The gorgeous graphics and over 6 million DSA players could be reason enough to entice you to sign up for the beta…even if you don’t speak German!
We recently caught up with the solo game developer Mat Dickie who created the wildly entertaining mobile game Wrestling Revolution for iOS and Android. The game was downloaded more than 50,000 times in its first month on Google Play alone and has 300+ 5-star reviews. Mat’s YouTube video has been viewed nearly 80,000 times since its debut and really gives a sense of what Mat has created with Adobe Gaming technology. See the full Q&A below and see his formal success story here.
What is your name?
MD: I release games under the name of Mat Dickie, which is often abbreviated to the signature “MDickie”.
Where is your company based?
MD: London, England and Chengdu, China.
How long have you been creating games?
MD: I have been creating PC games since the turn of 2000, but only recently side-stepped into mobile gaming in the past 6 months.
What are you known for?
MD: I am known for specializing in wrestling with the popular “Wrestling MPire” series on PC and the new “Wrestling Revolution” series on mobile devices. I am also known for accomplishing these things on my own rather than working in a team.
Why do you think people will be drawn to the game?
MD: Wrestling has not been very well represented on mobile as yet, so fans of that genre are starving for something to play. With Wrestling Revolution, those fans also have an innovative new way of playing to get to grips with – and with up to 10 characters on screen, it’s more fun than the one-on-one matches most fighting games are limited to.
How did you come up with your idea for the gameplay?
MD: I spent half of my time in China, where I noticed that tablet gaming had been widely embraced. It convinced me that the format had a future and it was something I wanted to be a part of. I specifically sensed that touch-screen technology had a lot to offer a physical genre like wrestling. I knew the mainstream companies would never try anything new, so I took a chance on it myself and created the first truly touch-screen wrestling game – where you tap, pinch, and swipe for intuitive control.
How did you build the game? MD: It was my first major project for mobile devices, so I had to put a lot of effort into learning how they work and adapting my way of doing things for a smaller screen. I had to go out and buy a whole range of devices so that I could see how well the game worked on each one and figure out solutions to any problems. I deliberately made the game 2D so that it could handle more wrestlers on screen. The fun comes first.
What platforms are you developing for and how do you choose which ones to target?
MD: I develop for Android and iOS primarily, but also release PC and Mac versions of my apps. I aim for the most popular devices that Flash can reach so that more people can play.
Why did you choose to use Flash?
MD: Not only could I simultaneously develop for both Android and iOS, but I could also stay true to my roots by releasing PC and Mac versions of my creations. And they were more reliable builds that I could be sure would function properly because all you need is Flash Player. To hit more platforms and have less issues was a win-win situation for me and my players. Flash is also capable of manipulating sprites on a grand scale, which allowed me to introduce an innovative new way of animating my characters.
How do you see the game growing over time?
MD: All I have released so far is the gameplay, which is in the process of evolving into a sophisticated RPG where you can live the life of a professional wrestler. I think we have to continue to embrace touch-screen technology and other new control methods. I like to joke that “real wrestlers don’t use buttons” so neither should my players!
Anything you want to add about working with Adobe Gaming technology?
MD: I made an important discovery in the early stages of my project, which is that Flash can be fed a high quality image and then be trusted to scale it down and use it as though it were a low quality image. And yet if you play the game on a larger screen, the original quality remains intact and is right there to be appreciated. This has been a blessing when releasing the same game on so many different sized devices. Flash automatically displays my sprites at their best – whether large or small. The resource management is astonishing.
Anything new in the pipeline for your company?
MD: 2012 has been a very exciting year for me already, so I am optimistic about the future. I will see Wrestling Revolution through to being the sophisticated game that I intended it to be, and then from 2013 onwards the game engine will be right there to drive other innovative concepts forward. I have more ideas than I could ever make in one lifetime!
Anything else that you want to add?
MD: I’d like to thank all the fellow developers who shared their stories and advice on the Adobe forums and all over the Internet. Whenever I get stuck, I simply run a search and somebody somewhere will have the answer! I’d also like to encourage people to follow the progress of Wrestling Revolution as it happens on my Facebook page.
We’ve recently seen a virtual avalanche of new mobile games coming down the pike that were developed using Flash and AIR, and more and more of them are using Stage 3D, taking advantage of hardware acceleration for screamingly fast game play.
There are two indie games I’ll highlight today, both of which were built with Flash technology: Super Hexagon and Wonderputt. Now available on the iOS AppStore, they’re both in the top 20 game apps. Super Hexagon is a super fast-paced race to survive game that will have your heart racing (can you last more than 20 seconds? If so, you’re doing incredibly well!). It was originally a free browser game that Terry Cavanaugh developed, and in its first 3 days on the AppStore, the mobile version sold more than 10,000 copies.
For a slightly different pace, Wonderputt is a beautifully illustrated mini-golf game by Reece Millidge. It looks gorgeous on an iPad 3 with Retina display, and was a finalist at the IGF Awards and the Develop Awards for Visual Art. Wonderputt was also originally a desktop game, and is one of Kotaku’s 6 Best Games on Web Browsers. There’s an in-depth look at the game development here.
Congratulations to both Terry and Reece, and we’ll be sharing many more new games with you both here and on gaming.adobe.com in the coming weeks! In the meantime, check out the crazy trailer below for Super Hexagon.
Hey farmer, how are your crops? Since FarmVille first debuted in 2009, it has grown to one of the most popular and well known social games on Facebook reaching more than 3 million daily active users.
Thanks to the success of FarmVille and other games, Zynga has quickly become a leader in the social gaming space and a constant source for hit social games on mobile and Web including Words with Friends, CityVille, CastleVille, Ruby Blast and Zynga Poker, among others.
Today marks a new milestone with the launch of FarmVille 2. In FarmVille 2, Zynga created a next-generation social game that delivers a brand new farming experience through stunning visuals, beautiful animations and new ways to visit and interact with friends.
We’re excited that FarmVille 2 is Zynga’s first game developed for Adobe Flash Player 11 using Stage 3D technology, and is a significant example of an improved 3D game development workflow. The immersive experiences and optimized performance enabled by Stage 3D allows Zynga to extend the game to more players who are able to forge a deeper emotional connection to the farms they create, and have an even better game experience overall.
Our work with Zynga also incorporated some new technology that’s got developers buzzing. Adobe’s Project Monocle played a major role for performance optimization during the development of FarmVille 2. With Project Monocle, subtle bottlenecks in the development process were quickly identified and fixed thanks to the level of details and granularity exposed by the cutting edge tool. Soon, we’ll be making Project Monocle available to all, and we’re already hearing great reports from beta testers on the benefits of using this technology for their games.
With yesterday’s announcement that Amazon Appstore has launched in Europe, game developers using a Flash technology workflow will be able to deliver even more apps to more customers worldwide. We’ve previously highlighted how developers can use Adobe AIR to deliver apps to the Kindle Fire, and as of today, those developers can deliver localized versions of their apps to the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The expansion of the Amazon Appstore presents a great opportunity for developers to monetize their apps, and a number of games profiled on the Adobe Gaming site have seen some success there, including Machinarium and Spaced Away. Amazon’s growing audience now includes over 180 Million active customer accounts with 97 Million monthly unique visitors. AIR developers can use the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program to target millions of customers on Amazon and Kindle Fire, and apps are marketed to customers on Amazon marketplaces, Kindle Fire, Android phones and tablets, and through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
If you’d like to find out more about how to deliver your apps to the Amazon Appstore, both in North America and Europe, check out the Amazon developer resources.
There’s a lot of excitement about the work the Adobe Gaming team is doing with Unity, giving game developers more choice in using their favorite tools to target the Flash Player via Premium Features. At Unite, we showed off previews of Unity games that will be published to Flash Player, including Madfinger’s Shadowgun in Facebook and Nickleodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which you can see in this video. With the announcement of the Unity 4 preview, we expect to see even more Unity games running in Flash and hope to showcase more of these for you later this year.
Today, we released the latest version of the Flash and AIR runtimes with Flash Player 11.4 and AIR 3.4. These new builds feature a few great features that gaming fans will be excited about; most importantly, we’re increasing the devices that can take advantage of hardware acceleration so game developers can give more gaming fans smoother and more exciting game play.
Along with adding constrained Stage 3D, we’ve also provided added support for iOS application development, and introduced concurrency, which helps improve game responsiveness. Gaming evangelist Lee Brimelow will be walking users through the new features and upcoming tooling updates in a demo on August 23.
We’ve been laying some groundwork this year for increasing the speed at which updates to the Flash Player are adopted. Flash Player 11.2 introduced background updating, and over 400 million people opted in to use it. That means that with any new release of the runtime, 400 million users can be updated to the latest version of Flash Player in about 48 hours. To put this in perspective, 400 million is about six times the number of Xbox360’s sold since 2005. Game developers can now quickly embrace new features knowing there’s a huge audience waiting for them.
We’re also working closely with partners to help extend the reach of the Flash Player. This week, the gaming team is at the Unity Unite conference in Amsterdam, where we will be talking about Premium Features for Flash Player and showing off some great new games that were developed using a Unity workflow – Madfinger’s Shadowgun and Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These are just two in the upcoming lineup of new games targeting the Flash Player, and the gaming team is really looking forward to talking with developers at Unite and learning more about their plans and creations. To hear more, check back in later this week, and take a look at the current showcase of games at http://gaming.adobe.com/.
It’s a busy week for events, and you can also find members of the Adobe gaming team speaking at CEDEC in Japan, where GREE will be talking about developing MONPLA SMASH, the newly-released free-to-play RPG action battle game – its first mobile social game built on Adobe AIR and now available on the iOS AppStore.
And finally, you’ve got to be in it to win it! PlayerScale’s Player.io, in cooperation with Epic Game Ads, has announced their first Epic Flash Game Contest with some sizable payouts (total cash prizes worth $150,000US). This contest is for multi-player games targeting Flash Player, and you can see the rules and start building your Flash games today - http://office.playerio.com/competitions/ega2012/#register.
Want to engage in epic battles on a planet riddled with monsters? We thought so!
GREE launched its first mobile social game using Flash technology for the iPhone today. MONPLA SMASH is the company’s free-to-play RPG action battle game that delivers stunning graphics through an Adobe AIR app and we are excited to have worked with them to bring this game to market.
As one of the leading gaming companies, we are thrilled to see GREE take advantage of the cross-platform delivery options provided by Adobe to release this innovative mobile social game worldwide, as a native iOS app, using its existing workflow. MONPLA SMASH is a great example of how AIR addresses the growing demand for high-impact social games with amazing graphics across leading mobile devices.
Our team at Cannes Lions last month had the opportunity to meet and chat with someone from our developer community – 12-year old Jordan Casey. If you’ve had the chance to play Alien Ball vs Humans or its sequel, Alien Ball vs Humans 2: Holiday, you’ve experienced a Casey-developed app. If not, you can get to know this young Irish prodigy, who has made headlines as one of Europe’s youngest iOS developer below. Between teaching himself game design, his schooling, and working on upcoming content for his own game studio – Casey Games – Jordan found some time to participate in a Q&A on his youthful rise in the world of game development.
Adobe: When did you first start developing and what inspired you to get started?
Jordan Casey: I first started developing when I was nine, I was playing a Flash multiplayer game called Club Penguin and saw that other kids were building websites and blogs about it, and I saw that this could be fun, so I learned 3 languages: HTML, ActionScript 2.0 and CSS and went ahead and made my site.
How do your ideas come to you? While riding your bike, playing with your dog, from your friends…?
Both of my grannies have a wall in their back garden so I get a football (soccer ball) and start kicking it at the wall, and I just start thinking and I could do this for an hour and when I’m finished I have a couple of game concepts or what to look up online that night when I get home.
Who are your “creative heroes” or role models?
My creative heroes would have to be Apple founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and independent game developer Markus Persson (or Notch) the creator of Minecraft who showed me that you don’t need a big team to make a successful game.
How did you come up with the idea for ‘Alien Ball vs Humans?’ Was it based on game mechanics, the concept, or just the fun factor?
For Alien Ball, I was just in my granny’s house again just kicking the ball. I had just gotten my iMac and was thinking of ideas for my first app. I didn’t want my first app to be a massive thing and take years to make, but I didn’t want it to not be fun either, so I was thinking of a retro game remake and made a Pac Man, Space Invaders and Mario clone. I looked at them all, and I published the Space Invaders one and made a couple of changes and also made Alien Ball, who was the main character of my previous Flash games, the main character of my app. When you think about it, it is kind of the opposite of Space Invaders, because in space invaders you are the human destroying the aliens but in Alien Ball vs Humans, you are the alien killing the humans.
What was the transition from HTML to game coding like? Any tips for other young developers?
When I started developing web games, I already knew Actionscript 2.0, so making Flash games wasn’t that hard. But when I was starting to develop gaming apps it meant learning Actionscript 3.0, which wasn’t that hard but it did take a bit of time.
What’s next for Casey Games?
I am currently working on a Flash game, which I plan to publish to AIR for Mac and PC. Then, I will make some changes and publish to iOS. In September, I am speaking at a summit in Germany and after that I am starting a new school. So, I plan on taking a break and just study for a while but I will be developing, just not as often as the summer, maybe 20 minutes a day.
You can check out Alien Ball vs Humans in action below, and get in touch with Casey Games on Twitter @Casey Games.