Indie Games Continue to Wow Players

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.

 

Adobe Helps Zynga Move to a New Farm

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.

Check out FarmVille 2 today on Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/farmville-two/.

Happy harvesting, and for more information about games built with Adobe Gaming technologies, Stage 3D for Flash Player and Adobe AIR, visit gaming.adobe.com.

Amazon Appstore Crosses the Atlantic

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.

Impressive Unity Games Running in Flash

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting to more than 1200 Unity developers at the 2012 Unite conference in Amsterdam. It was an honor to present on the same stage as the legendary Peter Molyneux!

*Quick jump to my section here*

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.

Are you building a game for Flash Player using Unity? If so, tell us about it on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/flashplatform

Flash Player and AIR Pave Way For New Games

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.

We can’t wait to see what you build!

 

Monsters Battle in GREE’s First Mobile Social AIR App

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.

To check out more examples of mobile games using Flash and AIR, visit the Adobe Gaming showcase.

Zynga Uses Flash Player 11, Stage 3D for Ruby Blast

Today, Zynga announced Ruby Blast, a new match-three Facebook game which uses Flash Player 11 and Stage 3D particle effects to deliver stunning graphics and smoother gameplay. Ruby Blast is a simple yet addicting game which will attract players of all capabilities and devotion levels – those who just want to kill a few minutes or who want to play with their friends all day long.

Just as Words With Friends brought Scrabble-like action to the social media mainstream, Ruby Blast tips its hat to games like Bejeweled and Diamond Dash, adding in a few twists to enhance gameplay and engage friends. Power-ups like Nova Flare, StarFall and Shuffle Magic make gameplay more immersive and allow players to shoot for high scores while getting help from friends or competing against them. Just like Rovio’s Angry Birds for Facebook, Ruby Blast uses power ups that are enabled by the powerful new features of Flash Player 11. Take a spin of Ruby Blast to try ‘em out!

For now, Ruby Blast is desktop only and scheduled to be released on Facebook and Zynga.com later this week. To find out more about building games like Ruby Blast with Flash and AIR, and for a whole host of great developer examples, check out our showcase at http://gaming.adobe.com/showcase. And if you’re interested in developing a game, check out our new webinars for developers who want to build mobile apps.

China Tour Shows Enthusiasm for Adobe Gaming

Web games are hugely popular in China, and the vast majority of these games are Flash technology-based. According to Analysys International, the 2012 web game market will reach $1.2 billion USD with a growth of 50.13% compared to $830 million USD in 2011. With such a big market opportunity, China’s game development community is also asking itself a number of questions: how to improve gaming R & D, marketing and operations? What is the latest technology and how can it be used to attract new players and improve retention? What are the new trends for browser-based games?

Starting in mid-April, Adobe’s China evangelist team hosted the Flash Gaming Tour in Beijing (April 14), Shanghai (April 22) and Guangzhou (May 10). Almost 1000 developers, designers, operators, students, and teachers attended, representing over 400 gaming companies and 14 partners, including HP, Sohu, Baidu, China Joy, Epic Games, Gamegoo, Shanghai Terminus, Joyegame in Guangzhou, and Chongqing JinTian. Showcasing the latest developments in Stage 3D MMO game development in China, as well as peeks at future developments, the event also introduced Flash Player Premium Features to a gaming audience in China.

Among those new Stage 3D games, “The King of Fighter,” developed by SNGO networking entertainment design, is quite stunning. This game is based on A3D, a Stage 3D game engine independently developed by SNGO. The live demonstration at the SNGO booth, highlighting the 3D effects within the game (including light effects, normal maps, and motion blur, and air twist) became a hot topic among the developers at the event. The game scenes are beautifully rendered in real time with exquisite details and smooth performance, including an Indian Buddhist temple, the ancient city of Suzhou, and European cathedrals, along with Xbox-style fight action, like strokes, kill, and slash. The game is expected to be available as a public beta sometime in June.

The positive feedback during the tour was fantastic, and I was excited to hear many developers state that they believe Adobe Stage 3D technology will bring a needed revolution to web-based games. I’m looking forward to 2012 as the year of 3D Flash web games in China, and to seeing more games like “The King of Fighter” taking advantage of this technology to deliver great gameplay.

*Gary Zhu is an Adobe Gaming Evangelist based in China.

Idle Worship Brings Art and Engineering to Social Gaming

After a recent sabbatical, I returned to find that Idle Worship, the social “god” game which was recently profiled here in a Q&A with Jeffery Hyman, CEO of Idle Games, has changed expectations for social gameplay, enjoying success and attracting more than 400,000 players with a whimsical combination of blessings and curses. In an interesting twist, Idle Worship’s success has also prompted some discussion about people’s fundamental inclination to do good or not :).

We’re highlighting Idle Games in an Adobe customer success story that describes in depth how Idle Worship was built from the ground up with Adobe Gaming technologies. Creative Suite Master Collection provided the tools for the game creators to create the characters, while Flash allowed the team to infuse the impressive artwork with engaging animations. The game challenges players to rule their island however they see fit, while deep integration with social media allows players to gather fans, followers and friends as they play.

Idle Worship’s growing global audience is a testament to its playability and impressive engagement – on average, daily usage is an hour. Check out how Idle Games built its success and visit http://gaming.adobe.com/ for more tips, tricks and a fabulous showcase of great games. Enjoy!

Virtual Modern Warfare Evolves with CUKETA’s Age of Defenders

Indie game developer CUKETA is changing the online video gaming landscape with its latest release, Age of Defenders, a 2012 Mochis Award Finalist. The game is now a multiplatform, multiplayer tower defense game where the goal is to defend a player’s fortified towers while simultaneously going on the offensive to attack the enemy – something that is not typically seen in standard multiplayer games.

Age of Defenders was created from scratch in about a year and delivered to desktop and mobile devices via Adobe AIR. The accelerated graphics optimization and easy deployment to Android tablets and the Apple iPad allowed CUKETA to deliver a unique quality gaming experience to a wide audience. Age of Defenders grabbed the attention of more than 5,000 players in the first month, who averaged one hour of gameplay each, and has only increased in popularity over time.

Check out the full success story here and visit http://gaming.adobe.com/ for more information about creating and playing groundbreaking Flash games.