Game on: The new Adobe AIR 3.2 + Flash Player 11.2

Launching AIR 3.2, Flash Player 11.2, and
Premium Features for Gaming

Wonderputt

Wonderputt, Independent Games Festival 2012 Finalist / Flash Player

Exactly 60 years ago, the first graphical digital video game — tic-tac-toe — was played on one of the world’s earliest computers, the EDSAC. It was a breakthrough, but it wasn’t played: only a handful of people could play because there was only one box like EDSAC in the entire world.

Today, Flash Player powers popular social and casual games on the web that are each played by hundreds of millions of people and generate billions in revenue each year. It powers 9 in 10 of the top games on Facebook, many of the most popular web games in China and Japan, and inspired and acclaimed indie gamesFlash Player is the game console for the web — the only technology that ensures a beautiful game can run consistently — without friction or fragmentation — on over a billion boxes around the world.

Gaming has come a long way. And today we’re taking two leaps forward:

Lume, Independent Games Festival 2012 Finalist / AIR

First, we’re launching Adobe AIR 3.2 with Stage3D hardware accelerated rendering for iOS and Android platforms, which allows you craft cinematic, stunning games for 500 million mobile devices and over 1 billion computers with one codebase that lets you leverage native capabilities and blazing fast, native GPU performance.

Second, we’re launching Flash Player 11.2 with premium features for gaming. These allow AAA game developers to publish premiere console-quality, next-generation games with frictionless reach to the most people – an audience 11 times larger than that of the best-selling hardware game console. These capabilities also allow us to support a broad ecosystem of popular game middleware and development tools.

Plays well. Plays everywhere. AIR 3.2

Mobile games are fun — and they make up over half of the most popular apps in app stores for iOS, Android phones and tablets, Kindle Fire, and Nook tablet. But developing them hasn’t been. It’s meant fighting fragmented mobile platforms, settling for lowest-common denominator experiences, and choosing between missing out on the growth of mobile apps or missing out on the growth of web games because nothing does both well. That game is over.

Spaced Away for iPad / AIR 3.2 + Stage3D

Adobe AIR 3.2 is a milestone release that brings the most advanced Flash technology to iPhone/iPad (iOS) and Android phones and tablets. AIR 3.2 introduces Stage3D graphics technology for iOS and Android, enabling efficient, 1000x faster native GPU rendering performance in your pocket.

Use the same code and Stage3D APIs as you can use to build desktop browser games with Flash Player. Create tailored, optimized experiences with native support for mobile capabilities like multitouch, camera/mic, and accelerometers. Add support for anything from NFC to in-app payments to iOS Game Center with native extensions.

Build a Flash-based game that runs beautifully across iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac faster than you could build one Android application that might work on different versions of Android. Enjoy the best of all worlds with AIR 3.2, so you can spend your time and energy on crafting even better game worlds.

State-of-the-art is the state of the web: Flash Player 11.2

Angry Birds: One of the fastest growing games on Facebook is built with Stage3D

Angry Birds on Facebook, Rovio / Flash Player 11 + Stage3D

Six months ago, Flash Player 11 introduced Stage3D on the desktop. It now brings breathtaking, cinematic 2D and 3D graphics to more people than any other web technology whether they’re using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari.

Today, Flash Player 11 is installed on over 80% of connected computers, and Stage3D powers wildly popular games like Angry Birds for Facebook. It’s played by nearly 20 million active users after just six weeks, one of the fastest growing games on the web.

Flash Player 11.2, released today, adds key core features for gaming, including mouse lock, relative coordinates, and right and middle -click support. Combined with Stage3D, you can now build fully immersive games in the browser, whether a first-person shooter or a real-time strategy game using infinite map scrolling. It also extends hardware driver support back to 2008, enabling full hardware acceleration on more computers than ever.

To make life on the web easier and safer, Flash Player 11.2 adds automatic background updates for Windows, so that hundreds of millions of people can benefit from having most advanced capabilities and security updates in new versions of Flash Player, hassle free. And we’ll continue to provide update notifications for major new releases to highlight advanced new capabilities. Finally, this release includes a new multithreaded video decoding architecture, enabling even more seamless, smooth playback of full HD video.

Level Up: Premium Features for Gaming

In addition to new core features in Flash Player 11.2, we announced a new tier of Flash Player premium features for gaming. These premium features will allow console developers to deliver unprecedented, AAA console quality games to over a billion computers – enabling a whole new class of social gaming experiences — and allow us to support a third party ecosystem of gaming middleware, bringing together best-in-class specialized game development tools with the unmatched reach and richness of Flash Player.

This premium features tier will allow you to publish premiere console quality titles by taking advantage of two features in combination:

  • Stage3D hardware acceleration (Stage3D.request3DContext)
  • Domain memory (ApplicationDomain.domainMemory)

Domain memory helps advanced compilers such as the upcoming new Adobe compiler code-named “Alchemy” enable high-performance, sandboxed execution of cross-compiled C/C++ code in Flash Player. If you’re an ActionScript developer, take advantage of hundreds of millions of lines of existing optimized C/C++ code libraries in your games. If you’re a C/C++ game developer, easily bring your entire native game or game engine to the Flash Platform so that a billion people can play what you’ve made directly in their favorite browser. Starting today, you can apply to join the new Alchemy prerelease program.

Flash Player Premium Features for Gaming

Using premium features – Stage3D hardware acceleration in combination with domain memory – allows AAA console-quality game engines to run across browsers with high performance in Flash Player and use specialized game tools to build games for Flash Player. For example, Unity customers will be able to license premium features to publish web-based 3D games with the reach and power of Flash Player and Stage3D.

With today’s release of Flash Player 11.2, we are making premium features available free of charge for content published prior to August 1. Starting August 1, these features will be available for published content with a license, and there will be no charge for the first $50K in application revenues. The use of premium features within Adobe AIR, including for mobile applications for iOS and Android, will be royalty free.

APEXvj for iOS and Android / AIR 3.2 + Stage3D

We’ve designed this pricing to encourage the creative experimentation that sparks great ideas and great games. This also allows us to invest in and support innovation in Flash technologies that benefit an ecosystem of game middleware and development tools, beyond Adobe’s own first party tools. You can learn more about premium features by visiting adobe.com/go/fpl.

We expect many amazing games won’t need premium features. Games and applications using either Stage3D hardware acceleration or domain memory individually do NOT require a premium features license. For example, you can independently leverage Stage3D hardware acceleration in Flash Player to bring your breathtaking, high-performance game to the most people on the web – at no charge. The rich core platform capabilities of Flash Player will continue to power remarkable games, and we’ll continue to innovate rapidly on our core platform.

You can install Flash Player 11.2 today to see the amazing content the community is creating and start your own development. You can also immediately publish apps to app stores using Adobe AIR 3.2, joining other gorgeous Stage3D –based iOS and Android apps that have already launched. We’re excited to see what you create. And we’re thrilled to help games continue to push the boundaries of imaginative, breathtaking play.

Visit gaming.adobe.com to see more of what’s possible when you can bring delightful, remarkable experiences to the most people on the planet.

Let’s play.

Tom Nguyen
Sr. Product Manager, Gaming / @tomng

Learn more about the launch of Flash Player Premium Features for Gaming and Adobe’s collaboration with Unity Technologies.

13 Responses to Game on: The new Adobe AIR 3.2 + Flash Player 11.2

  1. Pingback: Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 RELEASED | In Flagrante Delicto!

  2. How’s Linux support in AIR 3.2?

    • cesmes says:

      Linux hasn’t been supported since AIR 2.6

    • Tom Chiverton says:

      There isn’t any. Adobe are dropping Linux support as fast as they can. Note on Linux you will already have to use Chrome (and only Chrome) to use the Player !

  3. Keith says:

    What about upgrading FlashBuilder, to be able to use these features, and the resolutions in the new iPad?

  4. focus says:

    Hey, that’s awesome news! Very glad Alchemy2 separated from Stage3D will be not premium!

  5. Dale Fraser says:

    What about full keyboard support in full screen mode and joystick support.

    Its not a games platform until you add that.

  6. Ael. says:

    So the entire point of this is to slap a tax on stuff made in other engines/frameworks that get ported into Flash? To give a chance to engines/frameworks made purely in Flash.

    Should’ve mentioned this right at the start. A post like this gives all kinds of negative thoughts until you get to the very end.

    • Tom Nguyen says:

      Right; the premium features let non-native Flash frameworks and tools target Flash Player.

      If you’re building a native Flash (e.g., pure ActionScript) -based game, you don’t need premium features. You get the goodness of capabilities like Stage3D hardware acceleration and reach to over a billion people, etc. for free.

  7. Pingback: And Then Premium Features Arrived… | ASVGuy::SWFBlog

  8. I think the Flash / Air team is doing a great job on provide the best gaming technology for web and mobile. Cudos!

    To deliver the same quality for premium video solutions, Adobe Air for mobile bugs like broken H264 playback in Air 3.2 and not updating the pictured frame on ICS devices while seeking when the video is paused must be fixed. The ICS bug has been there since AIR 3.1 got ICS support late December 2011.