Flash Games Showcased at Adobe MAX- Rovio’s Angry Birds & Epic Games

Angry Birds at Adobe MAX: Preview of New Flash-Based Version of Popular Game

Casual gamers and game aficionados alike have come to love playing Angry Birds by Rovio on their mobile devices. Coming off yesterday’s highly anticipated launch of Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, we’re excited to take gaming to a whole new level with its hardware accelerated 2D and 3D graphics rendering. Today at Adobe MAX, I was joined onstage by Rovio’s general manager of North America, Andrew Stalbow, who previewed a new version of Angry Birds preparing to take flight – built on Flash Player 11 using the Starling framework, an ActionScript 3 2D framework developed on top of GPU hardware accelerated 2D/3D APIs. While Rovio has worked with several technologies from native development on mobile devices to HTML, this new Flash Player version of Angry Birds will further broaden the game’s reach and help Rovio gain a wider audience for its content.

Like Adobe, Rovio is committed to providing an immersive and innovative user experience. During the keynote, Andrew said, “We loved developing with Flash and Adobe because of the consistent and rich user experience it provides. […] We have an amazing brand in Angry Birds and we want to deliver an incredible experience to our fans. With Flash Player 11, we are able to deliver new and unique experiences that consumers haven’t seen before.”

Andrew provided a sneak peek of this new Flash-based version of Angry Birds and we’re thrilled to be helping Rovio usher in a new era for its blockbuster game on the web. Check out the image below for a taste of what’s to come. Andrew commented that Rovio plans to bring the full Angry Birds game experience to the Flash Platform in the next few months. Check out the Angry Birds demo below.

Epic Games Takes the Stage at MAX with Unreal Engine 3 (UE3)

And the gaming momentum didn’t stop with Angry Birds! We also provided a glimpse into what the new Stage 3D API in Flash Player and AIR will bring to the web and what the future of 3D on the web will look like. I was also joined onstage by Epic Games CEO, Founder and Technical Director Tim Sweeney – who unveiled the company’s award-winning Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) technology running fully inside a Flash-based environment. Epic has always been known for raising the bar in the gaming industry, and now we’re working together to raise the bar on the web through Flash.

“Flash Player upgrades the web to a AAA game engine,” Tim commented during the keynote. The live technical demonstration of “Unreal Tournament 3,” Epic’s blockbuster first-person shooter for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PCs, was visually enhanced for an unprecedented real-time experience inside Flash Player 11. “With UE3 and Flash, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base,” Tim said in their press release. “This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games.” Watch Tim’s Flash-based 3D game demo:

Adobe continues pushing the boundaries of technology and digital experiences – and we can’t wait to see how our community will continue to change the face of the web!

[UPDATED: 10/5/11 at 7:30 p.m.]

Blast Off to the Final Frontier with Pro 3 Games and the Adobe Flash Platform

When you think of outer reaches of space, other galaxies and the future, you’re probably not envisioning a flat, 2D environment. Add high-octane spaceships pitted against each other to the mix, and you’d definitely want to see this spectacle seamlessly rendered in compelling 3D graphics and images. Game development company Pro 3 Games, science-fiction fans themselves, hear you and developed the 3D, multi-platform, space adventure game you’ve been looking for in Delta Strike, built with the Adobe Flash Platform.

Available across different browsers and social media platforms like Facebook, Delta Strike started as 2D drawings, but gamers want console-quality, high-performance 3D gameplay regardless of their platform. Pro 3 Games needed a solution to accelerate the game’s development, but not at the expense of delivering stable, sophisticated 3D experiences. As a result, Pro 3 Games tapped the ubiquity of Adobe Flash Player and Stage 3D, a new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs, to rapidly generate the 3D graphics in Delta Strike including spacecrafts, animations and backgrounds.

In fact, the development time was so quick that a demo version was released in just six days, and the full, 3D version of the game was delivered in a mere three months! Because Flash Player eliminated the need for gamers to download plug-ins, Pro 3 Games is able to reach the widest audience possible, easily monetize the game and continue delivering the high-performance 3D experiences that gamers crave.

To learn more about how Pro 3 Games and how they leveraged the Adobe Flash Platform to create this highly engaging 3D space adventure, visit here.

Announcing Flash Player 11 and AIR 3

Today, we’re excited to announce that Adobe Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be launching in early October. These milestone releases introduce the next generation of the technologies that deliver stunning content and apps to over a billion people — across screens including Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices — pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the web.

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 take these even further by introducing Stage 3D, a new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering that delivers 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10. It enables new classes of console-quality games and immersive apps, such as Tanki Online and Zombie Tycoon (see videos below). Stage 3D enables content that efficiently animate millions of objects on screen, smoothly rendered at 60 frames per second — the result is fluid, cinematic app and game experiences. Additionally, these releases deliver new features to support theater-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, high-quality HD video conferencing, and a powerful, flexible architecture for leveraging native device and platform capabilities. We’re turning the dial up.

 

Building Blocks

Flash began with a few bits of colored plastic, inspired by experiences of playing with LEGOs as kids. Over 15 years, Flash has provided some of the most creative building blocks for designers and developers, pushing innovation and helping the web to evolve and iterate at a rapid pace defined by creativity. Flash made fluid animation an integral part of the web, defining our modern expectations for smooth, animated user interfaces. And since then, Flash has made features such as rich typography, beautiful interfaces leveraging dynamic vector and raster graphics, dynamic synchronized audio playback, advanced scripting, and seamless HD video mainstream — not just as experiments waiting to reach the world, but capabilities accessible to virtually every connected computer on the Internet. Many of the capabilities that Flash pioneered have over time moved into web standards and browsers, and will continue to do so as Adobe works closely with the web standards community and continues to develop products that support and advance HTML5. Piece by piece, Flash has enhanced and upgraded what’s possible for over a billion people on web, and Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 continue that tradition.

The Next-Generation Console Has Arrived

Today, approximately 70% of web games are powered by Flash, along with 9 of the top 10 games on Facebook, about 70% of the games on Google+, and the top social games from companies like Zynga and EA. Games at their best are fluid, immersive experiences, and the unmatched consistency of Flash Player allows game developers to focus on making great games rather than fight fragmented technology. Games just play. And play big: Flash Player brings an audience over 11 times larger than that of the best-selling current generation game console.

Flash Player 11 is the next-generation console for the web: now with Stage 3D (codenamed “Molehill”), it provides a consistent platform for gorgeous games and rich engaging content — hundreds of millions of users will be able to instantly upgrade to a whole new level of games on the web with a simple update, ready to experience amazing games using Stage 3D when they come to market later this year and early 2012. With stunning hardware accelerated graphics, mature dynamic audio, immersive full screen, native support for mouse/multi-touch/camera input, low-latency peer-to-peer multiplayer networking, full HD 1080p video playback, and high-quality voice chat, Flash Player provides the building blocks for incredible games.

Everyone wins. Content using the new Stage 3D APIs will automatically take advantage of modern GPU hardware, from integrated graphics chips to the most advanced high-end graphics cards, to provide incredibly fluid graphics — and Stage 3D also provides accelerated software rendering for content on older computers (yep, even mom’s old PC with Windows XP), where it runs up to 2-10x faster than software rendering in Flash Player 10. In other words, all computers with Flash Player 11 can benefit from the accelerated performance of Stage 3D. And game publishers can also package their Flash technology-based apps using AIR to deliver them across Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices. To learn about some of the benefits of the Flash Platform for game publishers, check out the new Adobe Gaming Solutions page at www.adobe.com/go/gaming.

Hear more about the Stage 3D accelerated graphics architecture from the Flash Runtime team:

Adoption of new Flash Player releases has been accelerating — nearly half of the web upgrades Flash Player within four weeks of a new release — so websites can expect that many of the over 1 billion people with Flash Player will be able to reap the benefits of Stage 3D soon, bringing modern GPU hardware acceleration to more people on the web than any other technology. The efficient Stage 3D architecture was designed from the ground up with resource-constrained mobile devices in mind — the full, optimized rendering model will be supported on smartphones and tablets as well, and we’re making this support available in a private prerelease.

Combined with high-level graphics frameworks built on Stage 3D, including a range of specialized, optimized third-party graphics frameworks and game engines, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 make incredible graphics performance everywhere accessible to a range of developers, whether they’re building rich 3D visualization apps or sophisticated, expressive games. Some of these great frameworks include Alternativa 3D, Away 3D, Flare 3D, Minko, and Yogurt 3D. Adobe will also soon make a 3D framework technology preview called Proscenium available on Adobe Labs. Proscenium will allow developers using Flash Builder to rapidly prototype experiences focused on simple content interaction and display, whether for simple games, visualization, or high-quality rendering of small object collections.

And we’re especially delighted to announce Starling, a flexible, lightweight framework for 2D graphics and animation that combines the simplicity of Flash with the incredible power of modern hardware accelerated graphics provided by Stage 3D. The Starling Framework is a free and open source ActionScript library designed to be instantly familiar to developers and designers using the traditional Flash display list. Starling and Stage 3D in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 enable easy intuitive GPU-accelerated graphics programming for everyone. Beautiful is now simple.

Particle effects with Starling and Stage 3D in Flash Player 11:

Rolling Forward

We’ve seen lots of momentum with Flash Player and AIR, especially in these areas:

Gaming: Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow game publishers to instantly deliver engaging games to anyone with a PC, tablet, smartphone, or connected TV. And with Stage 3D, game publishers and developers can take their games to a new level, creating new opportunities for game developers and publishers to deliver and monetize their content. Two of the many upcoming games leveraging Stage 3D include Tanki Online and Ultimate Race Championship.

To experience a tablet game with Flash today, check out Machinarium, an award-winning puzzle and adventure game for the iPad 2 that within one day became the #1 game on iTunes in the U.S. and 12 other countries, #1 app overall, and “iPad Game of the Week” — and it’s coming soon for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook (play a demo right in your browser with Flash Player). Visit the Flash Game Technology Center to learn more about building games with Flash. And check out this short video on Machinarium and upcoming Stage 3D -enabled content

Rich media and premium video: Leading content providers, including Amazon, ESPN, HBO, Hulu, and YouTube, deliver premium HD live video and video on demand (VoD) using Flash technology to reach multiple screens, while benefiting from adaptive streaming, content protection, smooth hardware-accelerated HD video playback, and expanded audiences with Adobe Pass for TV Everywhere. Even the animals are in on it: the California Academy of Sciences uses Flash to share a waddle of cuteness with the Pocket Penguins app for Android and iPhone.

Data-driven apps: Flash enables highly interactive, collaborative applications across devices and distribution channels. Using Flash and AIR, the St. Petersburg Times delivered the PolitiFact app on the Apple App Store, Android Market, and BlackBerry App World — a #1 paid news app on iTunes.

 

Snapping Key Pieces in Place

Some of the other benefits coming with Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 include:

A fully modern architecture. Flash Player 11 delivers full native 64-bit support for 64-bit browsers on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows, while also leveraging advanced processor optimizations to deliver additional performance.

Uncompromised experiences everywhere. Native extensions in AIR 3 allow developers to take advantage of existing native code libraries and deep native hardware and OS capabilities, such as sensors (gyroscopes, magnetometers, light sensors, etc.), multiple screens, native in-app payments, haptic/vibration control, device status, and Near Field Communications (NFC).

Simple, instant app install. Developers can package their apps with AIR 3 as a captive runtime for one-click, seamless installs on Android, Windows, and Mac OS (in addition to iOS) without any additional runtime download.

And there are dozens more new capabilities in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 that web and app developers will be able to take advantage of to create beautiful new experiences. Check out our press release and Labs release notes to see the complete list of what’s new, and we’ll be highlighting more of these features in the future (and even more at Adobe MAX). We look forward to delivering the release versions in early October, and if you want to get your hands on them now, you can download the release candidate versions from Adobe Labs today. With Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, we’re providing some amazing new building blocks. We’re thrilled to see what you create with them.

Frima Studio and the Adobe Flash Platform Bring Zombies to Life

Canadian-based game development firm Frima Studio boasts a client list that includes Electronic Arts, Warner Brother and Nickelodeon and a reputation for high-quality 3D games such as Zombie Tycoon, one of the original six games available in the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Mini. Looking to expand beyond the console, Frima Studio uses the Adobe Flash Platform to bring those same, engaging 3D experiences to the widest number of devices.

Zombie Tycoon is a single-player game in which zombie squads take over the world. The game is full of puzzle-filled cities, 360 degree animations, and skybox effects, which have delighted PSP Mini gamers for years. But to bring that same 3D experience to web gamers, Frima tapped Adobe Flash Player and Stage 3D APIs, a new method of 2D and 3D rendering in Flash Player.

The Frima team recognized a number of other advantages in the Flash Platform for its gamers.  Since Flash Player is everywhere—98 percent of the world’s Internet-connected computers—concerns about downloading a separate player to play these games are dispelled.

Using the Flex framework to build the tools to create the 3D apps, Adobe Flash Professional and Adobe Flash Builder to build the game UI menus and Adobe Photoshop CS5 to texturize images, developers reap the rewards too. Flash Player’s reach across screens worldwide offers developers greater monetization opportunities, particularly for Facebook games and free-to-play games. The new set of Stage 3D APIs, allows Frima developers, most of whom are ActionScript developers more versed in 2D game building, to easily create rich effects, texture and atmosphere in its games without sacrificing performance.

Frima is also very excited about its future 3D games for multiple device platforms using the Flash Platform. Learn more about how they engage a new gaming audience with immersive 3D experiences enabled by the Flash Platform here.

Flash Platform, "Molehill" and Gaming Updates

This is a big week for game developers. Thousands of game developers converged on San Francisco for the gaming industry’s largest conference – Game Developers Conference (GDC). The Flash community kicked it off early with the Flash Gaming Summit (FGS), a day-long conference focused exclusive on Flash based games on Sunday. The energy from the community at both these events has been exciting.

I wanted to share some more thoughts on how important the Flash Platform is to gaming and what Adobe is doing to push the envelope.

Innovation

At FGS (Flash Gaming Summit) this year, Adobe made the Molehill 3D GPU accelerated APIs available to developers through the Adobe AIR and Flash Player Incubator program.  First demonstrated at Adobe MAX last October, “Molehill” is the code name for a new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that will make it possible to deliver sophisticated 3D experiences across almost every computer and device connected to the Internet. Today, Adobe Flash Player 10.2, renders thousands of non z-buffered triangles at approximately 30 Hz. With the new 3D APIs, developers can expect hundreds of thousands of z-buffered triangles to be rendered at HD resolution in full screen at around 60 Hz. Here is Thibault Imbert, product manager for Adobe Flash Player, previewing Molehill at MAX:

Frima Studio has also built a version of the 3D game “Zombie Tycoon” (originally built for Sony PSP) that shows the 3D capabilities delivered by Molehill. To experience this game, please make sure that you have the latest Flash Player incubator build installed.

Reach

The Flash Platform is the de-facto standard for online games today and the only platform that can deliver the rich interactivity, rapid innovation and consistency across browsers and devices. While the dominance of Flash for gaming on desktops is well known, game developers have also been using Flash Platform technologies to target smartphones, tablets and other devices. The m.flash.com site, for example, showcases great games that run inside the browser on devices supporting Flash Player and – with over 130M smartphones expected to have the runtime installed this year – game developers have a great platform to bring all of their casual games to a large number of users.

With AIR, a superset of Flash Player, developers can bring their games as standalone apps to iOS, Android and soon BlackBerry Tablet OS. AppBrain for example lists the most popular mobile gaming apps on Android in several categories including Arcade, Puzzle, and Cards. With more than 84M devices able to run AIR apps today, developers can already reach users across devices while leveraging existing work and tools they know.

Community and Ecosystem

The Flash Platform would not be successful without the ecosystem of partners and a passionate community. In this video interview from “Down Under,” indie game developer Terry Paton talks about why he uses Flash.  As a long-time game developer who has created 100+ games, Terry produces the games and content he likes with Flash and publishes them to the Android Market and Adobe InMarket and other sites.  Terry says that without Flash, he’d struggle to develop games, share them with others and make money from his development efforts.

We are thrilled with the overwhelming response from the community to the announcement of Molehill. As always, we will continue to add innovation to the Flash Platform and provide our developers with the widest possible reach across screens.

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