Better Learning Through Game Design

Improving classroom skills for students is no longer confined to pencils, paper and flash cards. Educators today must embrace the latest technology to equip students with the skills to succeed. The World Wide Workshop’s Globaloria program is taking a proactive approach to break out of the traditional education mold and help educators and students meet challenges with an innovative curriculum. Then program helps students in grades 6 through 12 with STEM skills and computing knowledge through hands-on game design and programming.

Students learn to design and program games using Adobe Gaming technologies. Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe Creative Suite, including characters designed in Adobe Photoshop, game elements created in Adobe Illustrator, and effects created using Adobe Fireworks give students all the tools they need to be successful.

And, with so much game design background at an early age, students may be able to create award winning games like IGF Student Showcase Winner Ian Snyder, a student developer now at Kansas City Art Institute. See The Floor is Jelly trailer below and Ian’s full story here. Be sure to visit gaming.adobe.com to see what can be accomplished using Adobe Gaming technology.

A version of this post was also posted on the Adobe Education blog here

Adobe Gaming Spotlight: Smart Aliens

Looking for a fun new take on an old classic, maybe with a dash of outer space? You’re in luck! The team at Etamin Studio has created the playful and terrific looking Hangman game, Smart Aliens. This free iOS app comes complete with smooth game play, hilarious animations, and new twists on the Hangman you remember. Challenge your friends, and get in the game.

The Etamin team developed this experience using Adobe Gaming technologies and the Starling framework. They chose the technology not just because of its cross-platform capabilities or high performance level, but also because of the great community supporting it. A social game like Smart Aliens deserves a social audience. You can learn more about the extensions and details that went into the game’s creation here. If there’s demand for it, an Android and Facebook version will be on the way too.  For now, you can download it on iTunes.

Take a closer look at the game’s wordplay fun in the video below and visit gaming.adobe.com for more stunning examples of games powered by Adobe:

Developer Spotlight: Made in Me

When James Huggins and Mike Outlaw struggled to find high quality content to play with for their young children, they started a new multimedia publishing company, Made in Me. First up in their offerings, The Land of Me – an interactive learning adventure for PCs, Macs and iPads. Focused on being a media-rich digital learning experience, Land of Me retains the old school elegance of children’s books while also offering engaging storytelling.

The creative founders – in collaboration with a childhood development team and digital creative agency, Less Rain – leveraged Adobe Gaming Technologies and Creative Suite applications, such as Photoshop and After Effects, in the making of their app. To date, the Made in Me has been able to achieve strong sales that have doubled month to month and is able to track 10% conversion of trials to sales - and the team isn’t stopping there! Get a deeper read into the making of Land of Me, their successes and next steps in our Adobe Gaming Success Story, Made in Me: Enchanting Worlds.

For a first-hand look at the interactive learning adventure itself, check out the trailer below.

Zynga Leverages Adobe AIR to Take Ruby Blast Multi-Platform

Rubies – now available on your mobile device! You can now play Zynga’s Ruby Blast not just on Facebook and Zynga.com but also on mobile, marking another successful game for which Adobe Gaming technologies have been used to deliver explosive graphics, action-packed sound effects and gorgeous particle effects on any device. Ruby Blast was Zynga’s first game optimized for hardware acceleration, supported by Flash Player and Adobe AIR, and successfully extended across multiple platforms while preserving the beauty and speed of the original Ruby Blast web game for a seamless experience.

While creating Ruby Blast, Zynga developed performance optimizations that have been integrated back into the open-source Starling framework, benefitting all developers leveraging the same technologies for their own games. By using the Starling framework today, indie developers and studios benefit from the ongoing innovation brought by companies like Zynga and Adobe and the entire community which has grown up around Starling.

Visit www.itunes.com/appstore to find out more about Ruby Blast and start playing today! And check out gaming.adobe.com to learn more about Adobe Gaming technologies, and how we are helping game developers of all levels reach the widest audience on desktop and mobile.

Gaming Spotlight: FreshPlanet’s SongPop

How fast can you name a song clip? That is the question that SongPop, a game by FreshPlanet, puts out there for music fans looking for a challenge. This wildly popular music trivia game makes the most of social gaming, offering over 5 million daily Facebook and mobile app users the chance to compete to see who can name that song faster.

SongPop delivers a unified experience across desktop browsers on Facebook and extends that experience to mobile apps for iOS and Android. In using Adobe Gaming technologies, FreshPlanet was able to leverage a single code base, instead of having to build native apps for each mobile platform, and was able to easily streamline the workflow between designers, developers and animators.

FreshPlanet CTO and VP of Products Olivier Michon noted that Adobe Gaming technologies, “enabled us to code at top speed in Adobe ActionScript [and] rapidly integrate design assets and animations,” making development so easy that it only took two developers and one designer less than three months to complete SongPop for iOS and Android, and only one more month to launch it on Facebook.

For more on FreshPlanet and SongPop, check out their full story in, “Adobe Gaming & Fresh Planet: SongPop.” You can also get your hands on open sourced Native AIR extensions from FreshPlanet on their GitHub profile: https://github.com/freshplanet.

Developer Spotlight: A Follow Up with Jordan Casey of Casey Games

We had the chance to reconnect with young developer Jordan Casey, who recently released a new gaming app – Greenboy Touch. In our Developer Spotlight back in July, Jordan mentioned that he was going to slow down, but that obviously wasn’t the case! Read up on our latest interview with Jordan to find out more about his inspiration and the making of his latest Android and iOS game submitted to our Flash Rocks gallery.

What was your inspiration behind your new app, Greenboy Touch?

Greenboy Touch was based off a Flash game I developed about 2 years ago. I’m always trying new genres and I love different game concepts. While most of my games are just one specific style of gameplay, Greenboy Touch is made up of tons of different concepts. It is sort of a puzzle game.

We’d love to share more about the making of the app with our readers. What Creative Suite products did you use and did you have any favorite features?

I used Photoshop and Illustrator for graphics – they’re great tools! To develop the game I used Adobe AIR for iOS and for Android. I programmed in ActionScript 3.0, Flash and AIR, which are amazing. With the click of a button, I could switch a Flash game to a desktop app for Mac or PC back to an Android app to an iOS App. The program is great because it’s really visual and really powerful. ActionScript is an amazing language, and though so powerful, quite easy to pick up.

What was your experience like using Flash to create for Android and iOS? Are there any tips you would share with other developers?

The process was great. Like I said, with the click of a button I could go from iOS to Android. It’s just great. It’s the same as making a Flash game – the exact same, and with just a click, you get a native app! Just like that! It’s magic!

You’re juggling school and development. We want to know – what’s your secret? How are you doing it all?

Well, it is tough juggling between school, development, and lots of speaking events. To make up for time I missed while I’m away speaking, I take a 2-hour study course after school to catch up or study for exams. That way, I have my homework done and I can develop for about an hour or so.

Check out Greenboy Touch in action below.

Adobe Powers CityVille 2 with Flash, Flare3D and Hardware Acceleration

Zynga launched its third game using Flash Player 11 with Stage 3D hardware acceleration for enhanced graphics and gameplay. CityVille 2 allows players to toggle between different camera views, rotate buildings and see their city in ways they never imagined. Players can also flip a switch to make it nighttime, or daytime – a first for the company – giving players a whole new way to view everything from gyms to restaurants. The enhanced graphics put players in the driver’s seat for realistic and unexpected events that happen in any real city. Customizable districts and a new cast of characters add to the overall enhancements of the game.

CityVille 2 was built using the Flare3D engine optimized for Stage 3D, and is available today on Facebook. We’ve highlighted a ton of other exciting games powered by Adobe Gaming technologies in our showcase at gaming.adobe.com.

First Ever Official Adobe Game Jam

We recently held our first-ever, official Adobe Game Jam at the San Francisco office – and had quite the turn out with more than 40 attendees, including Zynga, Idle Games, Kabam and Buffalo Studios. The event far exceeded our expectations in every way and we kicked things off Friday night with a short demo session to level the knowledge playing field and allowed attendees – ranging from developers, designers and musicians – to select their teams. By Saturday, game development was well underway, and up for grabs were one-year Creative Cloud memberships.

To foster creativity, there were only two rules to follow: 1) ensure the game executed our theme, San Francisco, and 2) build the game using Stage 3D. The theme alone offered participants many visual landmarks and local cultural details to incorporate into their games (e.g., one of the winning games was based on a gay, roller skating Sean Connery escaping from Alcatraz).

The crowd judged the games in three categories – Best Art, Best Tech and Best Game. The winners of each category were:

Given the success – and fun of our first Adobe Game Jam – we’re looking forward more events, including the next one in Chicago on November 30. Stay tuned to our Adobe Game Jams events page for the latest updates: http://gaming.adobe.com/events/gamejams. Check out the recap video below:

GDC Online: Game On for Adobe Gaming

With the leaves changing color and cooler temperatures on the horizon, I always feel like fall is a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and take stock. Looking back at GDC Online 2011, I am incredibly excited about how Adobe Gaming has progressed over the past year!

At this year’s GDC Online, the Adobe Gaming team is thrilled to show off some of the amazing accomplishments from game developers using Adobe technology, including runaway indie game successes like Song Pop, Wonderputt, and Botanicula, along with Stage 3D hardware accelerated browser and social games from bigger studios like Square Enix’s Legend World, SilverStyle Studio’s Herokon, Zynga’s FarmVille 2 and Ruby Blast. Even if you’re not able to join us at the show, check out the new Adobe Gaming channel on YouTube – it’s jam-packed with demos, how-tos, and product previews that help you get started with 2D and 3D game development.

But that’s not all we’re showing off at GDC Online 2012, far from it! We’ll be previewing software codenamed Project Monocle, and demonstrating how this advanced profiling tool for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR can help developers gain much more insight into their code and increase their productivity. Believe me, you’ll never go back once you’ve seen Monocle :).

Two of our Adobe game superstars – Thibault Imbert and Renaun Erickson – will be demonstrating not only how developers can target the reach of the Flash Player, which is on 1.3 billion connected desktops, but also how super-charged 3D games like Madfinger’s Shadowgun and Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have begun to take advantage of that huge reach even though their games were developed using Unity. More details on their sessions on, “Adobe Gaming at GDC Online 2012.”

And if you’re inspired to develop your own game, don’t forget that you could win cash thanks to the Epic Flash Games contest happening now.

There’s a lot to show in Austin, and we’ll be posting some of the highlights later this week. In the meantime, check out the Adobe Gaming showcase, and tell us if you’ve got a great game you’ve developed using Adobe Game technologies!

Adobe Gaming at GDC Online 2012

Game Developers Conference Online 2012 is upon us! This Austin event brings together the best and brightest professionals in online, social and cloud gaming – and we’re excited to be a part of it. Our team will be there and speaking at two sessions you won’t want to miss!

Changing the GameTuesday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m. CDT

From Stage3D development on the desktop with Flash Player, to cross-platform mobile development with Adobe AIR, Adobe is shaping Flash to be the console of the web. Join our own Sr. Product Manager Thibault Imbert to get an inside look at technologies, such as Stage3D (for GPU acceleration) and Project Monocle, and hear about their role in some of the latest gaming titles (e.g., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) created. Register for this session here.

Introducing Project “Monocle” from Thibault Imbert on Vimeo. *Sneak Peek * Get a look into Project Monocle before the session:

Are AAA 3D Games for the Web Possible?Wednesday, October 10 at 3:00 p.m. CDT

Building AAA 3D games for the web require many features, including GPU hardware acceleration, shader languages, audio, input, content loading, content caching, and full screen support. Gaming Evangelist Renaun Erickson will cover feature comparison of WebGL/HTML5, Flash, Unity and Google Native Client technologies, and highlight how developers are using them to push previously unheard of boundaries during his session. Be sure to attend – register here.

Interested in more about Adobe and Gaming? Get the full scope on Adobe Gaming. And, if you’re working on a Flash game or have an idea you think is really special, enter the Epic Flash game contest!