Put Down the Joystick and Pick Up the Popcorn: Join Adobe for Indie Game: The Movie

As someone who is passionate about film and enjoys games, I’m delighted to announce that Adobe is working with the producers of Indie Game: The Movie, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, to bring screenings of this award winning film to a city near you! We’ve scheduled seven dates so far in the U.S and Canada and are adding more every week, including Seattle, WA on March 23, and Portland, OR on March 28.

Indie Game: The Movie is a feature-length documentary, and follows the compelling, personal stories of independent video game designers as they create and release their unique and very individual works to the world. Coming off their recent win for Best Editing in World Documentary Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Lisanne and James are thrilled to finally share this film with so many audiences, and are excited that Adobe is helping take the film to indie game developers and fans on such a large scale. Community support for this movie has been outstanding, and part of the funding was secured through Kickstarter, where the producers raised their initial funding goal in just 48 hours.

The first public screening will be held at the Rio in Santa Cruz, CA on Friday, March 2 at 7pm. For those of you attending GDC, the second and third screenings will be held at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, CA, on Tuesday, March 6th at 7pm and 9:30pm.

At each venue, members of the Adobe Gaming Solutions team will be on hand to give out prizes and talk one on one. Additionally, Indie Game: The Movie’s filmmakers will hold a panel to discuss the film and answer questions from attendees at each screening. Edmund McMillen, who was featured in the documentary will be a special guest at the Santa Cruz, CA screening, and will join the panel. Edmund is a Flash game developer and co-CEO of Team Meat that produced the successful Super Meat Boy game for Xbox 360, Windows PC, Mac OS X and Linux. Super Meat Boy has sold more than one million copies to date.

Like Edmund McMillen, game developers working with Adobe technology can reach 98 percent of Internet connected PCs and up to 500 million tablets and phones with their creations. Adobe will be demonstrating some great Flash based games at GDC March 5-9 in San Francisco, both for mobile and desktop. In the meantime, learn more about Adobe & Gaming at http://www.adobe.com/solutions/gaming.html, grab your tickets for a great show, and keep your eyes open for more news coming soon!

 

 

Rovio Chooses Flash Player 11 with Support for 3D Graphics

Today, Rovio launched Angry Birds for Facebook using Flash Player 11 with support for 3D graphics. The most social version of Angry Birds yet takes advantage of hardware accelerated graphics in Flash Player to bring a silky smooth gaming experience to a wider audience than ever before. More than 130 million people play Angry Birds every day – now with Flash Player, hundreds of millions of Facebook users can do the same. New, enhanced special effects like lighting, smoke and explosions running smoothly at 60 frames per second bring the game to a whole new level and allow players to have a more connected and engaging experience. As we showed you at Adobe MAX in the fall, Rovio’s general manager of North America, Andrew Stalbow provided a sneak peek of this new hardware accelerated version of Angry Birds built on Flash Player 11:

Angry Birds on Facebook game makes it even more exciting to play with friends, offering amazing new power-ups like Sling Scope, Birdquake, King Sling and Super Seed to extend players’ gratifying arsenals. And with new accelerated graphics, the feathery antics have never been more fun to more people. For more information about how to power-up your games using Flash and AIR, please visit the Adobe Gaming Solutions site.

 

2012: The Year of Gaming

Happy New Year! We’re excited to start 2012, and the holidays have brought a bushel of new games and apps, including the first version of those famously Angry Birds using Flash Player 11 and Stage3D. If you’re all revved up and looking to build something new in the coming year, see how you can publish a car visualizer to Flash in 90 seconds with Flare3D Studio Workflow.

As we announced last year, we are investing in our Flash technologies to support the kind of innovative 3D and 2D games that developers and publishers want to deliver both in browsers and through mobile apps. To give developers access to high-performance C/C++ code, we told you we’re creating an improved, paid, fully supported release of Alchemy for production development. This new addition will be available later this year and will allow developers to publish content leveraging Alchemy technology in Flash Player 11 or AIR 3 and beyond. Meanwhile, a few months ago we introduced full GPU-accelerated graphics rendering with Stage3D, which provides 1000x faster rendering performance over the previous versions of Flash Player and AIR on the desktop. Stage3D in Flash Player already enables fluid, hardware accelerated graphics for more people in more browsers than any other web technology. And we’re now seeing exciting previews of Stage3D hardware acceleration coming for mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets.

See for yourself what’s happening with the latest updates to Flash Player and AIR for gaming, and jump in on the fun by checking out the beta release of Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2!

 

Q&A with SparkChess’ Armand Niculescu

We recently caught up with Media Division’s lead developer and co-owner Armand Niculescu about SparkChess. Check out the Q&A below to learn about SparkChess, Armand’s process and why he relies on Adobe to deliver games across platforms and the globe. Enjoy!

Why did you use Flash/AIR to develop this app?

I’ve been using Flash since 1998 and over the years I’ve learned its strengths and weaknesses. Things that won me over were its availability across platforms, the rich toolset from Adobe and third parties and the ease in combining great graphics and animation with programming.

When I started working on it there was no HTML5, and even today I would not be able to deliver the same experience with Canvas & Javascript without worrying about compatibility or making compromises.

How easy was it to deliver your app across multiple platforms/channels?

SparkChess is built with Flash Professional  for interface elements, and I’m using FDT5 and Flash Builder to manage the code base – about 25,000 lines of code spread in 80 classes. The code is the same but I have slightly different graphics and layout for each platform. The biggest challenge was that the game had to be tested on each device, not as much for functionality but for the user experience, especially on tablet devices. A 7” tablet needs bigger buttons than a 10” one, the aspect ratios are different, you need to take the onscreen keyboard into consideration and so on.

The packaging and signing process is different for each platform, and can be confusing at first, but once I had it worked out, I created some batch files to automate packaging and signing for all platforms. Submitting to the various stores requires some preparation and organization, but it’s nothing daunting.

The multiplayer functionality is built with Union Platform, providing a consistent experience across platforms.

Are you monetizing this app currently? If not, do you have plans to do so in the future?

Yes. There are some significant maintenance costs associated with the game – CDN, multiplayer servers and so on.

SparkChess is available for free with ads and as a paid version with no ads and some very nice additional features.

How many people are currently using the app?

In total, across platforms, there are about 420,000 weekly users (single player and multiplayer). 8,000 chess games are played in multiplayer every day.

What drives you to create these apps/games?

I wrote my first game when I was 11 on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It’s what got me started with graphics and programming. Games are some of the most challenging types of applications: they have to look great, run smoothly and above all, entertain. They are an excellent way for any programmer to push the envelope and learn new skills.

As part programmer – part designer (though I absolutely despise the term ‘devigner’), I was always interested in creating visually appealing apps. With SparkChess, my goal is to have a chess game that’s actually fun to play by casual players and that also helps them improve their skills. I’m also told by parents that kids love it, that it is a game for all ages.

Do you have anything else up your sleeve?

Yes! I’m listening to user feedback and I’m constantly tweaking SparkChess to make it an even more enjoyable experience and to take advantage of the upcoming features in Flash Player and AIR.

Based on this experience, I’m in the planning stage of a new multiplayer strategy game.

What do you want developers to know about creating apps with AIR/Flash?

Since the beginning, the beauty of Flash was its ability to deliver a consistent experience (graphics, fonts, animation and later program logic) across browsers and platforms. With AIR and native extensions, I can now deliver a native-like experience on all major operating systems and platforms. In a way, Flash is Java done right. Recent advancements in Javascript, CSS, the Canvas element and other HTML-related technologies can make HTML5 an alternative in some cases, especially for features that need to look integrated in a website. On the other hand, the browser quirks and lack of solid development environments make development of complex apps much harder, resulting in higher costs. An objective assessment should be done on a a per-project basis.

What I love about Flash, compared to any other platform, framework or environment, is the ease in combining programming with animation, graphics, sound and video in a seamless way, and with the new 3D support, the possibilities keep expanding.

 

 

FarmVille Features Flash Animation in Holiday Film

FarmVille embraces the holiday spirit and helps children in the process! The loveable cast of characters from the addictive Facebook Flash game launched their first-ever Flash animated holiday film. T’is the season for giving! FarmVille has partnered with Save The Children to give players a fun way to contribute to a great cause. Watch “A Very FarmVille Christmas” or go to FarmVille.com for a super-cool way to contribute. By making select in-game purchases, you can make a real difference in a child’s life.

For more information on game development using Flash and AIR, please visit the Adobe Gaming Solutions site.

 

Developers: Game On!

Compelling online games? Check! Pushing the limits of interactive creativity across multiple browsers? Check! For online game developers, Flash is the console of the web for delivering gaming experiences that draw committed gamers.  Adobe’s investment in Flash for both desktop, in-browser gaming as well as apps for mobile and TV (via AIR) is a growing opportunity. We are currently defining new features and an updated gaming roadmap, which we’ll be sharing with you through blog posts, announcements and demos down the road.

In the meantime, if you’re an online game developer, you can continue to use Flash to reach the broadest audience across desktop browsers. To augment developer solutions for gaming, we recently released Stage 3D APIs for Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 for desktop and TV, and the stage is set for an upcoming release of Stage 3D for mobile apps. Given the range of incredible mobile games already under development in prerelease, I’m excited about the opportunity this provides game developers to reach new audiences and deliver unique and immersive 2D and 3D gaming apps.

Speaking of apps, we’re doubling down on AIR, which gives developers the ability to take Flash based content and create apps for multiple mobile marketplaces, including Apple’s App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore, and BlackBerry AppWorld. Developers can also deliver AIR apps that run on the recently released Amazon Kindle Fire as well as the Barnes & Noble Color NOOK.

Here are some great examples of a few recent hits powered by Flash and AIR.

Machinarium

Delta Strike

Ben Franklin vs the Dead Coats

La Carrera del Siglo, made with Flare 3D and Stage 3D

As we recently communicated, this updated strategy will narrow our focus and allow Adobe to prioritize development of Flash for advanced gaming online and via mobile apps with AIR. For more information on game development using Flash and AIR, please visit the Adobe Gaming Solutions site.

 

Flash to Focus on PC Browsing and Mobile Apps; Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5

[Also posted on Adobe's Conversations Blog]

Adobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do. It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML.  Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices.

However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.  This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.  We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.  We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.

These changes will allow us to increase investment in HTML5 and innovate with Flash where it can have most impact for the industry, including advanced gaming and premium video.  Flash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection.  Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs through their browsers and to package native apps with AIR that run on hundreds of millions of mobile devices through all the popular app stores, including the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World.

We are already working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of exciting features which we expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences.  We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders.  And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.

We are super excited about the next generations of HTML5 and Flash.  Together they offer developers and content publishers great options for delivering compelling web and application experiences across PCs and devices.  There is already amazing work being done that is pushing the newest boundaries, and we can’t wait to see what is still yet to come!

Danny Winokur is the Vice President and General Manager of Interactive Development at Adobe

 

[UPDATED: 11/15/11 at 6:40 p.m. PT]

Read these related posts from Adobe’s Ben Forta, Thibault Imbert, Lee Brimelow, Pritham Shetty, Mike Chambers, Andrew Shorten and Deepa Subramaniam:

Some Thoughts on Flash and Devices
By Ben Forta
http://forta.com/blog/index.cfm/2011/11/9/Some-Thoughts-On-Flash-And-Devices

Adobe AIR and Flash Player Team Blog- Focusing
By Thibault Imbert
https://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/11/focusing.html

Flash to Focus on Apps for Mobile
By Lee Brimelow
http://www.leebrimelow.com/?p=3151

Adobe Flash for Premium Video
By Pritham Shetty
http://blogs.adobe.com/ktowes/2011/11/adobe-flash-for-premium-video.html

Flash Professional and the Future
By Mike Chambers
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/10/flash-professional-and-the-future

Clarifications on Flash Player for Mobile Browsers, the Flash Platform, and the Future of Flash
By Mike Chambers
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/11/clarifications-on-flash-player-for-mobile-browsers-the-flash-platform-and-the-future-of-flash/

Your Questions about Flex (UPDATED: 11/15/11)
By Andrew Shorten & Deepa Subramaniam
http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html

 

 

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.]

News from Adobe MAX

- Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 available later today

- Flash-based apps live on Samsung SmartTVs; LG and TiVo latest partners to support AIR on TVs, digital home devices

- Adobe enters into an agreement to acquire Nitobi, creator of PhoneGap

Adobe MAX is in full swing in LA and CTO Kevin Lynch kicked off today’s opening keynote. You can tune into the keynotes on both days live and on-demand through MAX Online. Here’s a rundown of the Flash, AIR, and HTML5 news:

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be available for download tonight at 9:00 p.m. PT for desktops and supported mobile platforms, including Android and the Amazon Marketplace. A production release with support for 3D for mobile platforms is expected to ship in an upcoming release. As we recently announced, dozens of new features allow developers to deliver a new class of gaming and premium video experiences, as well as sophisticated, data-driven apps with back-end systems integration across devices and platforms including Android, Apple iOS (via AIR), BlackBerry Tablet OS, Mac OS, Windows and connected TVs and others. For more specifics on new features like 3D support visit the AIR and Flash Player Team Blog. For more details about amazing 3D apps already available today, visit Adobe’s Gaming Solutions site or check out our demo video (link below)

Demo video of Flash-based apps with 3D graphics and others running on a Samsung Smart TV and other devices:

We are also thrilled to announce that Flash-based entertainment apps are available on Samsung Smart TVs today and that LG and TiVo have become the latest partners to bring Flash based apps to connected TVs and digital home devices. With more than 100 unique digital home devices already certified to support Flash and AIR, we expect rapid growth for Flash based apps across connected TVs. New gaming apps like Frima Studio’s Zombie Tycoon, VH1’s ‘I Love the 80’s’ Trivia or Raider from PlayJam, as well as premium video experiences from SnagFilms, Flingo, EPIX and others are just a few of the apps powered by AIR. Also, check out what some of our partners have announced around Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 including a demo of new 3D apps shown at MAX:

Watch this video to see some examples of how Flash is driving 3D experiences on the web:

We’d also like to congratulate the winners of the “Adobe Flash/AIR” competition in the fourth annual BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. Apps were judged based on quality and use of development best practices, level of visual appeal, user experience, and creativity and innovation. Read the announcement and check out these winning apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook from BlackBerry App World.

HTML5

We are also excited to announce an agreement to acquire privately held Nitobi Software, the creator of PhoneGap and PhoneGap Build. PhoneGap is a popular open source platform for easily building fast, cross-platform mobile applications with HTML5 and JavaScript. With PhoneGap, Adobe will offer developers the choice of two powerful solutions for cross-platform development of native mobile apps, using HTML5 and JavaScript with PhoneGap or using Flash with AIR. The acquisition is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of October 2011.

Adobe also released a third public preview of Adobe Edge, the new HTML5 web motion and interaction design tool that is bringing beautiful animation to websites and mobile apps using HTML, JavaScript and CSS capabilities. The new release contains innovative interactivity features and other additions based on feedback from the development community, and helps content creators easily deliver a new level of visual richness to HTML5-only websites and mobile apps.

Follow MAX from Wherever You Are

This is only part of the day one news at Adobe MAX, but things are off to an exciting start! For all the news, visit the Adobe Conversations Blog. You can follow MAX online through the keynote video streams, Facebook, Twitter (#AdobeMAX) and YouTube. There’s even a live radio and podcast stream from the show floor, courtesy of Nerd Radio and CodeBass Radio so tune in. We’ll have more news from MAX this week so check back to the Flash Platform Blog for updates!

[UPDATED: 10/5/11 at 7:15 p.m. PT]

Flash Rocks on Facebook – www.Flash-Rocks.com

If you’ve visited our Flash Platform Facebook Page recently, you may have noticed a new addition (in the left navigation) – Adobe Flash Rocks Facebook Tab. This new tab is the destination to showcase and submit amazing multiplatform mobile apps created with Adobe Flash Platform technologies – and give credit to the awesome developers who created them. We’ve aggregated the awesome apps we’ve been sharing on our ‘Flash Rocks Fridays’ so check them out and submit more! You don’t need a Facebook account to use the Tab — simply visit www.flash-rocks.com.

Submitting applications is easy. Simply fill out the form on the tab (i.e., provide your project URL, a brief description, contact details and an image), and it will be submitted to our team. Once approved, your applications might get featured in the ‘Gallery,’ where Fans can vote for their favorite projects using Facebook’s ‘Like’ functionality. The five most ‘Liked’ applications will be given special recognition at the top of the Tab in a section entitled, ‘The Five Most Rockin’, so there’s definitely an opportunity for your app to be highlighted!

What’s more, we’re going to be featuring a few of the submitted apps at MAX this year at the MAX Entertainment Lounge in the Community Pavilion. Swing by, check it out, and submit an app. You could score a 15% discount coupon redeemable at the Adobe.com store if you have a mobile app that is (or will be) available on at least two platforms – Android, iOS and/or BlackBerry Tablet OS!

Also, if you’re attending MAX in LA next week, be sure to stop by our Flash Jeopardy game show on Tuesday, October 4 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the MAX Entertainment Lounge inside the Community Pavilion. We’ll be pitting members in our development community against one another to see who reigns as our Flash expert!