Posts in Category "Gaming"

Adobe Shows Herokon and More at GDC

HerokonWe told you back in September that Silver Style Studios was working on their brand new MMORPG game called Herokon – based on the German pen and paper RPG Das Schwarze Auge. Well, they recently launched the English version of the game and we’re showing it off at out booth at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. So, stop by to see the game up close or go to this link to sign up and start playing online: https://phex.herokon-online.com/en/play/

Also, check out the full success story here to see how Silver Style developed this amazing game using Adobe Gaming Tools.

Girl Gamers are on the Rise! All Female Team of Developers from Arizona State University Follow their Dreams and Create Maia

Under guidance from Graphic Information Technology (GIT) professor Arnaud Ehgner, a team of female students from Arizona State University (ASU) has been working tirelessly on a school project to develop a one-level game on par with those created by industry professionals.

Maia, a 2D side-scroll action game for portable devices, is a magical jungle adventure that leads the player through a series of mysterious temples and ruins where the priestess—Maia—tries to head off an attack and keep peace in the village of Kuma.

The game is developed using 3D models for a 2D game. While the scenery is 2D, the characters are created first in 3D, and then transplanted into a 2D world. The team chose to develop the game using Adobe solutions including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Flash Professional because of the compatibility across platforms. Illustrator is used for the game’s concept art; Photoshop to finalize artwork with shading, touch-ups, and closing up texture seams; and Flash Professional for creating an engaging game with consistency across platforms.

“Adobe Photoshop also helps us play with the different perspectives by easily letting us translate and rotate the 3D models onto a 2D plane,” said team leader Rachel Ramsey.

The game targets female players with a strong leading female character. “I am so excited to be a part of Maia, as it has been one of my childhood dreams to create a video game with a strong female protagonist,” notes team member Jennifer Davidson.

Maia, now being expanded to three levels, will officially launch at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014 for the Independent Gaming Competition and be available as a free demo for a limited time on iOS and Android tablet and mobile devices.

ASU

Comprised of six women, team ‘Femme Fatale’ as shown in photo left to right: Liza Gutierrez, Jennifer Davidson, Samantha Hannis, Marcella Martinez, Skylar Mowery (Rachel Ramsey not pictured.) Photo by GIT major, Tessa Menken

Find out more information: Maia on FacebookMaia on TwitterMaia on Tumblr

Game On: The Present and Future of Game Development

The Adobe Gaming crew has been out and about a lot lately, participating in large, multisite events that inspire youth and young adults to explore game development for fun and even as a potential profession.

First, we participated in the Global Game Jam, Jan. 25–27. More than 11,000 developers from 319 sites in 63 countries spent 48 adrenaline-fueled hours working on more than 3,100 projects based on this year’s theme, sound of a heartbeat. It was an exciting intellectual and creative marathon for programming, iterative design, narrative exploration, and artistic expression.

On Feb. 6, Adobe visited schools around the United States to promote digital literacy as part of Digital Learning Day. Nearly 25, 000 teachers and millions of students participated in all 50 states. The national campaign spotlights successful instructional technology practices in K–12 public schools.

In the Global Game Jam (GGJ), participants gathered late Friday afternoon, watched a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then received the contest’s secret “sound of a heartbeat” theme. All sites worldwide were then challenged to make games based on that theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon. Although the event is heavily focused on programming, there are many other areas where people who don’t code contributed to game development.

Many of our Adobe colleagues attended the event at locations worldwide. For instance, Adobe evangelist Andy Hall, in Sydney, Australia, went to cheer on jammers programming with Adobe Flash. “Organizers loved it and were happy to let us speak, hang around and interview people, or do whatever we wanted really,” Hall says. “With that said, at the Sydney Jam, my presence as an evangelist was not really necessary. Everyone there knew their technology backwards and forwards.”

Sushi

For the GGJ, Adobe sponsored an award for the best game made with Adobe Flash, which went to Monster Sushi Train. It features a monster sushi chef who cuts hearts into shapes requested by other monsters at a sushi bar. Its programmers are Chris Suffern, Wayne Petzler, and David Kofoed Wind. Check it out at http://www.playgamespro.com/game/1844/Sushi-Monster-Train.html.

For the K-12-focused Digital Learning Day, Adobe Gaming used the opportunity to connect with students—many of whom had limited previous computer experience—tackle the task of building a game with Adobe Flash Professional. Besides introducing them to Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe helped kids from different backgrounds collaborate in ways that made the best use of each student’s unique skills and interests, whether those interests included zombies or American history.

Achieving digital literacy through game design is also one of the goals of Globaloria, an Adobe education partner. Globaloria is a turnkey academic curriculum that uses a social learning network and game design to promote computing knowledge and global citizenship. As part of Digital Literacy Day, the Adobe Foundation has committed to match all donations made to Globaloria up to $50,000. You can be a part of it by donating at http://www.globaloria.org/adobe. Besides funding Globaloria’s initiatives, your donations help fund the World Wide Workshop, Globaloria’s parent organization. The World Wide Workshop supports publicly shared, long-term projects that are complex, computational, immersive, and innovative, so children build long-term skills for learning and critical thinking.

PlayHaven Offers AIR Native Extensions

playhavenWe had the pleasure recently of connecting with PlayHaven to learn more about their powerful marketing platform, how they are helping mobile game developers monetize their products, and the benefits of offering AIR Native Extensions. Recently profiled in Forbes Magazine on the free-to-play model and helping monetize more than 4,000 titles, PlayHaven offers additional insight in the Q&A below.

What is your name and role at PlayHaven?
My name is Lauren Lamonica Rosenthal and I’m a product manager at PlayHaven. I’m always working to make better products and refine the experience for our game developer partners.

What is PlayHaven?
PlayHaven is a lifetime value maximization platform that mobile game developers use to better acquire understand, and intelligently engage and monetize players.

We currently provide an iOS and an Android open source SDK for game developers to integrate into their applications. With these integrated game developers can send targeted content to their players from our web dashboard in real time—including cross promotions, rewards and virtual good promotions. We also offer a powerful ad network with 4,000 mobile games and 100 million unique monthly users.

Where is PlayHaven located?
PlayHaven is based in San Francisco, CA with an office in Portland, OR.

Why did you start PlayHaven? What were you solving in the market by launching PlayHaven?
PlayHaven launched its platform to help mobile game developers solve the challenges they face acquiring, engaging, retaining and monetizing players. The team saw an opportunity to help developers build better relationships with their players in an easy and flexible platform.

Our goal with the PlayHaven platform is to give mobile game developers a single service that allows them consume and understand relevant information about their users and take meaningful actions that will maximize the value of their players.

Why did PlayHaven create the AIR Native Extension (ANE)?
We know that there’s a vast community of high quality game developers who don’t write their games in native code, and we want to make our platform as widely available as possible. With the the PlayHaven AIR Native Extension, game developers get access to the same set of acquisition, engagement and monetization tools that we offer to Adobe developers coding natively.

What are the benefits of ANE for you? For your mobile developers?
The PlayHaven ANE will help us reach 12,000 of the most creative and innovative live app and game developers using Adobe’s platform. We’re thrilled to join the Adobe community.

The AIR Native Extensions makes it simple for mobile game developers using Adobe AIR to quickly integrate PlayHaven into iOS and Android apps using Flash’s ActionScript and start benefiting from the entire PlayHaven platform.

How do you use the ANE?  Any links to tutorial information to get developers started?
Adobe AIR mobile game developers for iOS and Android can use the PlayHaven native extension to run ads and deliver targeted in-game marketing communications to players including cross promotion of other games, rewards, virtual good promotions, announcements, and opt-in data collection. Sign up on playhaven.com to download the native extension, and then add it to your project library to get started.

Developers can find tutorial detail on GitHub.

Why are Adobe solutions like AIR and Flash important to game developers?
Creative people love to create. They want to build rich, interactive experiences for their players and be focused on creating a cutting-edge game. Adobe has always made user-friendly software that serves the creative professional with familiar interfaces and deep possibilities. As the mobile gaming industry becomes increasingly fragmented with more operating systems and devices offered up as gaming platforms, developers will turn to solutions like AIR because they trust Adobe to guide them through a new medium with good tutorials and minimal red tape.

What’s next for PlayHaven?
Product innovation is our top priority and we’ll continue to invest in tools that help our developer community maximize the lifetime value of their players. But, without saying too much, adding tools to our engagement suite and providing data-driven insights for developers are ways we’re continuing to create a more valuable experience for our partners.

Adobe Gaming Powers International Racing Squirrels

This week we wanted to highlight independent studio Playniac in our ongoing series of Adobe Gaming customer snapshots.

IRSAdobe Game Developer Tools allowed the company to create and deploy International Racing Squirrels across multiple platforms and devices from one code base. Players manage a team of unruly squirrels racing on tracks around the world and with 25 levels of fun and an iOS version of the game, it is sure to keep you busy for a while. Squirrels has received several awards including, finalist status in IndieCade 2012, finalist in 2012 Develop Indie Showcase, 4.5/5 stars by Indie Game Reviewer and was featured in Kongregate’s Hot New Games in 2012

Learn how they produced their wild, colorful new title in our most recent post case study here. If you’re looking to build your own great games with Adobe Gaming technologies, check out our Gaming site for more information.

2013: Full Speed Ahead for Adobe Gaming!

As we move into 2013, we’re excited to make investments that support the incredible, ongoing momentum in social and mobile gaming that Adobe has championed for more than a year. Flash technologies underpinned the success of many game developers from Fresh Planet to Zynga, both in the browser and on mobile, and you can see how Adobe Gaming technologies deliver the reach needed to improve game monetization in the graphic below.

numbers-inside-social-casual-gaming

In December, the Adobe Gaming team launched the first ever, packaged Adobe Game Developer Tools via the Creative Cloud. Within 2 weeks of their availability, we had over 20,000 downloads of the tools and more than 12,000 views of the Adobe Scout video! Today, we’re making it even easier for game developers by removing a key barrier to delivering games targeting Flash Player – from this point forward, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature for Flash Player, which means developers can use them royalty-free without a separate license from Adobe. Developers and publishers that have published content using the XC APIs do not need to make any changes to their content to reflect this change in status for the XC APIs, and we expect this adjustment to make it even easier for developers to use Flash and AIR as their cross-device game development workflow of choice. To find out more, check out the updated FAQ here.

In addition, we’re also announcing added funding for the Away Foundation, a non-profit Community Interest Company based in the UK, focusing on building and maintaining free and open source software resources for online and mobile games and applications. This funding will support the development and release of Away3D 4.1 and an exciting new open source project for Away Builder. Away Builder 1.0 is the first open source tool project for the foundation, and will provide a visual tool for designers that exposes and edits custom Away3D settings and object properties on 3D assets without the need for coding. And just last week, we updated the Gaming SDK, which includes the latest Away3D, Starling and Feathers frameworks as well as updates for the latest runtime releases. Working with Away has already produced several exciting advances for game developers using Adobe technologies and will continue to forward the delivery of rich games targeting mobile and the browser for years to come. Starforce Delta is a great example of a beautiful 3D RPG built with Away3D and now available on the web in open beta and coming soon as a mobile app. And if a touch of the 19th century is more your thing, check out Jane Austen Regency Dressup, as well as other games using the Away3D framework on the Away3D showcase.

IGFWe also wanted to highlight a handful of great games that really reflect the breadth of creativity using Adobe Gaming technologies and show off the skills and passion of the developers who made them. Four games using Adobe Gaming technologies were recently announced as Independent Game Festival (IGF) finalists! Incredipede, a beautifully illustrated browser-based game; Dys4ia, an autobiographical game about undergoing hormone replacement therapy as a trans woman; Intrusion 2, a sci-fi action platform game; and Super Hexagon, a fast-paced reflex game where you’ve gotta be great to survive 20 seconds.

And just in case you didn’t get your fill of zombies in 2012, check out GREE’s Zombie Jombie in the iOS App Store. GREE used PhoneGap Build – another Adobe Gaming technology – for this wildly addictive RPG card game that will surely have you selling for brains. It’s shaping up to be a wide open year ahead for Adobe Gaming, and we’re looking forward to conquering new worlds with you!

Adobe Developer Spotlight: John Cooney

John CooneyIn an ongoing effort to highlight developers who push the boundaries of game creation, we recently caught up with John Cooney, whose work at Armor Games (and now Kongregate) has generated some pretty remarkable things. He’s responsible for more than 90 gaming titles working on all the game design, programming, artwork and sound engineering. John will also be speaking at the upcoming Flash Gaming Summit in San Francisco if you’d like to meet him in person. In the meantime, we wanted to share our conversation about his inspiration, where he thinks the gaming industry is going, and more. Enjoy!

How did you get started as a developer?

Back in high school, I was really interested in animation and wanted to become an animator. The high school computers all had Flash installed and I was hooked from the first animation I produced. I started to freelance game development and formed my own company to help pay for college and living. When approached by Daniel McNeely (founder of Armor Games) to join his company, I jumped on board. All this happened over about five years, and by that time Flash was HUGE for games.

Do you have any advice for burgeoning developers?

Share your successes and failures. The best way we learn is to bounce ideas, send out works in progress, and collaborate when we need help. Your audience, fellow developers, and you will gain a lot from it!

What inspires you and your work?

I find most inspiration just in daily life. A game about traffic lights comes from the long commute home. A game about dinosaurs on treadmills came from a moving walkway at the airport. Ideas are everywhere. They just need testing and coaxing to get moving in the right direction.

You’ve worked on a lot of titles so far. What’s the project that you’re most proud of, and why?

I have a lot of projects I’m proud of, but the project I am probably the happiest about is Coinbox Hero. The game is about a floating box that you shoot, punch, and kick to rattle out coins. Coins pay for even more expensive items and weapons to further abuse the box for. The game is made entirely in Flash.

I began by trying to understand the technology requirements of this game.  There would be a lot of coins, as many as I could render would be the ultimate goal. Using bitmapData and copyPixels, I managed to draw about 5,000 coins at a time without taxing the computer too much (this was at a time when Stage3D wasn’t available, so everything was on the CPU). This was REALLY impressive for the time. And since it’s Flash, I could use vector objects as well, so I rendered all my menus, characters, and backgrounds in vector.

The game was a short project, it only took about a week to produce – Flash makes rapid prototyping and fast game design easy. When launched, it gathered about a million plays in the first few weeks. Overall, it was a game that embodied the kind of work I do – over-the-top, joyous, simple games.

What products or applications do you use?

I use Flash Professional CS6 right now. I’ve always done all my programming through the IDE ever since I started in Flash 5. Most of the artwork is also produced in Flash. I’ve always loved the Flash IDE because it’s so fast and easy to use. Having a cohesive programming/artwork environment is all I need to make great content.

Where’s the industry going?

I think “social gaming” is going to find its way more and more into traditional gaming, hopefully in ways that will enhance these games to be better experiences for everyone. A lot of hardcore gamers sneer at the idea of seeing social in their games, but when social is done to make the game a better experience everyone wins. Mobile games will continue to be big. Indie titles like Minecraft are making it huge, and Flash games are still as exciting and innovative as ever.

For more about John and his work, check out his website. If you know (or are!) a developer who’d be interested in participating in our spotlight, please be sure to let us know in the comments section below, @AdobeFlash or on Facebook. Also, if you’ve developed an Adobe Gaming project, share it with us in our Flash Rocks gallery.

Amazon Adds Free Adobe AIR Native Extensions for Game Developers

a_com_W_logo_RGBFor game developers who want to reach more customers, the Amazon Appstore for Android is a great marketplace to deliver games for Kindle Fire and Android devices. Today, Amazon announced the launch of free Adobe AIR Native Extensions (ANEs) for In-App Purchasing and GameCircle integration for the Amazon Kindle Fire, making it even faster and easier for Adobe Gaming developers to add these features into their mobile apps. With Amazon’s announcement yesterday that it’s extending IAP to cover games for Mac, PC, and Web platforms, ActionScript developers now have even more options to reach customers.

Each week, millions of customers play GameCircle-enabled games, comparing scores and competing against friends. We’ve seen a lot of popular Flash and AIR games in the Amazon Appstore, driving increased revenue for Adobe gaming developers. SongPop from Fresh Planet, Bingo Blitz from Buffalo Studios, Machinarium from Amanita and Stick Tennis from Stick Sports are just a few examples of great games in the Appstore built with Adobe Gaming Technology. The addition of AIR Native Extensions makes it simple for developers using Adobe AIR to quickly integrate GameCircle and IAP support into their creations.

As we announced in December, the Adobe Game Developer Tools – available via the Adobe Creative Cloud – give game developers and publishers access to a powerful set of resources in one central location. Designed to streamline the game development process from creation to deployment, the Game Developer Tools help game publishers and developers reach the broadest possible audience worldwide – over 1.3 billion connected Windows and Mac PCs and over 500 million smartphones and tablets – 20 times the reach of the bestselling Xbox 360 gaming console. The new ANEs from Amazon complement this offering, and continuing to expand the audience reach for new games.

The Adobe Game Developer Tools include Adobe Scout, an advanced profiling tool that helps developers unlock significant performance optimization, and the Adobe AIR SDK, which enables developers to package ActionScript code into native apps for Kindle Fire along with other devices. Developers can find out more and sign up for a free membership at http://gaming.adobe.com.

Developers can access the free Adobe ANEs and read the blog from Amazon here.

We’re looking forward to seeing new games take advantage of these exciting new ANEs, and how game developers blaze new trails on Amazon!

Adobe Gaming & Buffalo Studios: BINGO Blitz

BingoIn creating BINGO Blitz, the developers at Buffalo Studios have cut out the crowded, smoky rooms and uncomfortable chairs and delivered a digital bingo experience that everyone can enjoy.  Using Adobe Gaming technology such as Flash Pro and Adobe AIR, the team has ported the original Facebook incarnation of the game to Android and iOS platforms.  With a player base of over 16 million game installs, Barry Sohl, senior vice president, knew the team could still push their game to a wider audience: “Players today demand high-performance, cross-platform experiences on every device. Adobe Game Developer Tools deliver on that promise.”

Adobe technology has allowed Buffalo Studios to extend their intuitive gaming experience from desktop to mobile platforms.  The game’s smooth visuals were created using the Adobe Creative Suite and the framework, user interface, and overall experience were built entirely in Adobe Flash Professional.  Keeping the entire development pipeline under one umbrella has allowed a single development team to release weekly content updates, seasonal Bingo rooms, and bring new features to market more quickly.

BINGO Blitz offers hundreds of simultaneous players a chance to participate in a modern, mobile version of Bingo that has already been downloaded over 1 million times.  The experience developing and porting the feature-rich game to multiple platforms has made a believer out of Buffalo Studios for their next projects. “We are basing all our current and future titles on Adobe Game Developer Tools.” After the success of BINGO Blitz, we can’t wait to see what Buffalo Studios comes out with next! You can learn more about their streamlined development process here.

Happy Holidays from Adobe Gaming

It’s been a whirlwind year, and for our holiday post for 2012, we wanted to highlight a few cleverly designed kids games that were made using Adobe Gaming technology. These gems will definitely keep the little ones glued to their devices to give you time to shovel the driveway, catch up with in-laws, wrap presents or get the turkey ready during this busy holiday season :). Enjoy and we’ll see you next year!

Spell Cubes – This is a gorgeous app created by a Dad for his two-year-old son to bring spelling to life. It is available for the iPad here and is powered by Adobe AIR, Starling and Feathers.

Magical Music Box – From the makers of “Winter On Whale Island,” the team at Pamakids just launched their new kids game, “Magical Music Box” on the iOS App Store. This beautifully designed songbook integrates fun interactions that are powered by Stage3D, Adobe Native Extensions (ANEs) and their own 2D GPU framework.

Frog Fractions – This free-to-play math game inserts some fun into math with its nostalgic 90’s look and playability. By all accounts, this game is not just for kids and will actually drop anyone into a world of weird after level 1.

Land of Me – Three new apps were recently released from Land of Me. Songs and Rhymes, Making Things and Story Time let kids and their parents play around and develop skills like creating songs, developing storylines and building new worlds.

Christmas Crusaders – In this holiday retro game from Nickelodeon, the Elves have rebelled against Santa and are trying to ruin the Christmas by destroying all the children’s presents.

And for more of a big kid challenge, we want to congratulate Botanicula on being chosen as one of the top 10 games by the LA Times!

For more great games, check out http://gaming.adobe.com/showcase/