Posts in Category "Runtime"

Flash Runtime 15 now available for download!

It’s time for our next quarterly, feature bearing, update of the Flash Runtime!  We’re at version 15 for both Flash Player and AIR and we’ve got some great new features and important bug fixes in store for you.  We recommend everyone checks out the official release notes but feel free to read past the break for the high level description of our new features.  We’ve also added some detailed guides to some of these new features in the blog posts further below.

Flash Runtime Version 15 Release Notes

Flash Player Download

AIR Runtime Download

AIR SDK Download

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Flash Runtime 14 is now available!

flash_player_11_icon_rgbair_3_icon_rgb

Today we’re releasing Flash Player 14 and the AIR 14 Runtime and SDK.  This a major quarterly releases that includes new functionality, bug fixes, and security updates.  We recommend taking a look at our release notes or visiting the Flash Player announcement or AIR announcement page for download links and additional details.

 

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Latest Updates on the Flash Runtime

There’s been talk recently on different forums regarding Adobe’s position on the Flash Runtime.  Hopefully some of the work we’re doing and items outlined below will help answer these questions.

First, let me introduce myself.  My name is Chris Campbell and I’m the product manager and customer advocate for the Flash Runtime product team.  I’ve been part of the Flash and AIR teams for the last 4 years and prior to that I worked for 14 years as a developer in our digital imaging group.  Some of you might know me from the forums, where I’ve spent a lot of time working with customers to bring issues to the engineering team.  I’m on Twitter @liquidate but you can also reach me via email at ccampbel@adobe.com.

What have we been up to lately?

Improved Packaging Engine – We’ve made massive improvements to our iOS packaging engine (Halfmoon AOT), with reduced packaging times up to 10x.  This work lays the foundation for future features like iOS workers.  This has been in our beta builds for a while (we try to make these publicly available on a regular basis) and was out in our public AIR 4.0 release.

ActionScript concurrency for Android – We knew this would be a hit with the feedback we received with ActionScript Workers on the desktop so getting this over to mobile was a priority for us.  We had an extended beta for this feature and it made its public appearance in AIR 3.9 with additional fixes based on feedback received in our 4.0 release.

Support for new versions of OSX, Windows, iOS and Android – We know that our developers and users want to use the latest OS’s and browsers.  We have made sure that the Runtime supports these targets and we’re committed to making sure that continues in the future.

Here are just a few of the new features that we’re working on this year –

ActionScript concurrency for iOS – Now that we’re finishing up with the Halfmoon packaging work, the next step is to add support for ActionScript Workers on iOS.  We know this is an important feature and we’re looking forward to starting an extended beta for this later this year.

Improvements to Stage3D – Stage3D was a massive game changer for Flash.  We want to add to this with significant efficiency improvements by supporting multiple render targets.  If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember a previous beta for AGAL2.  We’re picking this up again now that we’ve got support for all supported platforms and we should have something to share later this summer.

PPAPI debugging – A long time request has been the ability to debug Flash content on Google Chrome.  We’ve been working to bring our debugger to the PPAPI platform and we’re almost ready for a beta release.  This required a lot of work under the hood and while we’re there we’re also tackling a nagging Stage3D performance problem.  Progress has been going well and we’re optimistic that we’ll have a solution for our customers.

Game discovery – We know that there are a huge number of games available on the market and it’s hard to get the user’s attention.  We believe we can help.  One of our greatest strengths is the reach of our platform.  Flash Player is installed on over a billion computers!  The AIR shared runtime is installed on 50+ million Android devices!  We’re working to figure out how we can leverage these strengths to improve your app’s success.  Look for details on Adobe GameSpace, Playpanel, GamePreviews, and more in the very near future.

It’s certainly true that we have increased our investments on HTML technologies, but Adobe and the Flash product team are dedicated to pushing the Flash runtime platform forward.  We believe that AIR and Flash Player are excellent solutions for both the video and gaming markets.

While most of Adobe’s marketing and PR activities are focused on the Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud initiatives, we are working on the following items to help improve our messaging around the Flash Runtime.

  • Redesign, refresh and make regular content updates to our game development web site.  We’ll be retiring the gaming.adobe.com microsite and instead updates will be made to our Adobe Developer Connection page found here – http://www.adobe.com/devnet/games.html
  • Create a new Flash Runtime showcase website that allows for easy showcase project submissions by our development community.
  • Reach out to the community and promote their games and usage of Adobe tools through guest blog posts and case studies that we feature on adobe.com.   If you’re interested, please contact me via email.
  • Find additional and creative ways to allow our passionate development community to evangelize the use of Flash Runtime

Finally, in a recent Adobe post there was some confusion regarding PhoneGap and if this product was supplanting or replacing AIR.  This is not the case.  We believe both of these technologies have merit and we recommend developers pick a solution that best suits their project.  For gaming and video related applications, on either the desktop or mobile platforms, we believe the Flash Runtime continues to be a great choice.

Upcoming changes to Flash Player’s extended support release

Beginning May 13th, 2014, we will be upgrading Flash Player’s extended support release from version 11.7 to version 13.  This change impacts enterprise and IT customers that currently deploy Flash Player using the extended support releases available through our distribution channel.

Adobe makes available the extended support release to organizations that prefer Flash Player stability over new functionality.  We will create a branch of the Flash Player code that we keep up to date with all of the latest security updates, but none of the new features or bug fixes available in our normal release branch.  This allows organizations to certify and stay secure with Flash Player with minimal effort.

To ensure a smooth transition, we encourage IT organizations to thoroughly test our version 13 releases (currently available on labs.adobe.com) over the next couple of months before deploying.

Adobe Loves Indie

As a company, Adobe is all about changing the world through digital experiences. In gaming, we know that there’s nothing like a beautifully crafted game to create a digital experience that’s fun, immersive, and in many cases, a great shared moment.

Oftentimes, these games are the result of very individual efforts, manifestations of passionate dedication to a particular vision. Helping indie game developers realize their creative dreams is the Adobe gaming team’s mission. Indie game developers have used Flash and AIR to create gorgeous games like Machinarium, Land of Me and Winter on Whale Island, taking creativity to new heights, and changing the look and feel of casual and mobile gaming.

As we announced a few weeks back, Adobe is also helping producers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot, of Indie Game: The Movie, stay “Indie” by funding screenings throughout North America to bring the movie to fans without being locked into exclusive distributions agreements. The movie tour debuted to a sold out audience of about 600 people in Santa Cruz, CA on Friday and had two more amazing showings last night in San Francisco. The film follows the stories of independent video game designers as they create and release their innovative, personal works to the world. It’s a beautifully told story of individual game designers and developers, and the passion and creativity that goes into creating unique games. If you haven’t purchased tickets for a screening yet, tickets are going fast for all shows throughout North America.

In more indie developments, this past weekend several members of the Adobe gaming team attended the Indie Giving event to help independent game developers attend GDC through sponsorship. Adobe was also a premier sponsor of the Flash Gaming Summit, which saw a superstar pantheon of indie dev’s showing off their stuff in Flash and AIR.

As jam-packed as this week is, it also brings the exciting debut of a new Adobe site dedicated to game developers: http://gaming.adobe.com. The site launched yesterday and thousands of visitors have already made their way to it, with lots of great feedback and conversation about it on Twitter. Developers can get their hands on everything from code samples to tutorials, as well as see a rolling showcase of games showing off some of the best examples of what can be created with Flash technology. Check it out, and please send in your comments!

 

A Big Week of News for Adobe’s Gaming Efforts: Conferences, Demos and Screenings Galore

Hot off the heels of the AIR preview at Mobile World Congress, we’re excited about this week’s gaming activities. At the Flash Gaming Summit this weekend, Adobe gaming evangelist Lee Brimelow and Flash runtime product manager Thibault Imbert discussed the direction of gaming at Adobe and the features in AIR 3.2 with hundreds of attendees. Developers can now begin to deliver mobile games with Stage 3D support to more than 500 million smartphones and tablets including Apple iOS, Android, Barnes & Noble’s Color NOOK, Amazon Kindle Fire and BlackBerry platforms without having to rewrite an app from scratch.

Mobile games delivered using AIR 3.2 can take advantage of 1000x faster rendering performance over AIR 2, allowing game developers to animate millions of objects with smooth 60 fps rendering. Developers can use a single workflow to optimize their apps, and take advantage of using native extensions for device-specific capabilities like vibration control, gyroscope, and dual screens as well as integration with in-app payments and Apple Game Center. AIR is enabling more and more developers to easily deliver content to mobile marketplaces; over the course of the last year, the number of AIR apps on mobile marketplaces, including the AppStore and Android Market, has grown more than 7 times!

The Adobe Gaming team will also be at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this week, where we will be showing all kinds of new browser-based desktop games and mobile gaming apps with key partners including Rovio, Zynga, GameFly, EPIC, SpilGames, and many more. Demos of high-performance, cross platform games like Soundquest, Delta Strike, and Sherwood Dungeon are just a few of the new Flash technology-based games on show in Adobe’s booth. And the showcase of mobile games built using AIR includes Waste Invaders, Spaced Away, and Winter on Whale Island, as well as Machinarium, the hit iPad game. Also, our friends at NVIDIA and AMD will also show demos for games built with Flash as well. So come by and see us in the North Hall, booth 2328.

With the full release of Flash Player 11.2 later this month, Adobe is addressing the needs of game developers by ensuring that Flash technology provides the level of quality that enables it to become the true game console of the web. With Stage3D, Flash Player already brings console-quality hardware accelerated graphics to more of the web than any platform and Flash Player 11.2 includes features like mouse lock and expanded GPU support. Our recently announced roadmap demonstrates the investment we continue to make in delivering new capabilities for our customers with upcoming features directly targeting game developers. As we’ve previously communicated, Adobe will also productize “Alchemy,” an Adobe research project that allows users to securely execute high-performance C and C++ code with the reach of the Flash runtimes. The commercial release of Alchemy will offer significantly better performance and productivity over the Labs prototype, including full debugging support and up to 75% reduction in code size.

And one more thing, we’re pleased to announce the debut of a new site dedicated to game developers: http://gaming.adobe.com. It has a beautiful showcase of games that use Flash and AIR, as well as resources for developers like tutorials and more information on why and how to use Flash technology for gaming. Go check it out, and tell us what you think. Game on!

Mobile Gaming Gets a Performance Boost: Adobe AIR 3.2 with 2D and 3D Hardware Acceleration Announced

Over the last year, we’ve seen a 7x increase in the availability of Adobe AIR apps in mobile marketplaces, including the Apple AppStore, with no signs of slowing down. With AIR, game developers and publishers can deliver their apps across 6 platforms on more than 500 million smartphones and tablets with stunning graphics and intricate gameplay. Creating amazingly detailed games like Machinarium, which claimed the spot as the #1 iPad app in 12 countries last year, is becoming easier than ever.

Just as Machinarium first debuted as a desktop game, publishers and developers today are looking to easily take their games and deliver them to app stores on a host of mobile devices across the globe. With the availability of AIR 3.2, we’re excited to help users push the envelope of mobile game development with new hardware accelerated 2D and 3D graphics rendering (Stage 3D) to enable significant performance gains in mobile gaming apps. Hardware accelerated 2D and 3D graphics will help ring in a new class of social and casual games running at 60 frames per second on mobile devices and tablets. Developers can download a release candidate of AIR 3.2 today and start packaging up apps for delivery to mobile marketplaces immediately, with general availability of AIR 3.2 and Flash Player 11.2 in March.

Hardware accelerated 2D and 3D support, released in Flash Player 11 last year, spurred a new class of features for existing games, including Rovio’s Angry Birds for Facebook, now available with special power up features and enhanced graphics. The global gaming community has shown great adoption of this new technology, boasting a host of titles from Renren, Gamegoo and Disney, and we anticipate that many existing PC games will be ported to mobile using AIR 3.2 in the coming months. Falanxia’s Spaced Away as well as Pamakids Tech’s Winter on Whale Island will be some of the first. Also, we recently learned that the top 9 Flash based games in China generate more than $70 million per month! Now that shows rapid adoption.

All of these innovative developments (with more to come soon!) demonstrate our focus on creating value for our gaming customers. By delivering new features to advance gameplay, increase fun and provide added support for productized features within the runtimes, gaming at Adobe will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. The future has never looked brighter.

Check out some of the great new features that are available with Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2.

Flash Player 11.2

AIR 3.2

Read why our partners are excited about 2D and 3D hardware acceleration with AIR 3.2:

“Earlier this month, Rovio launched the first ever version of Angry Birds for Facebook to huge fanfare using Adobe 2D accelerated graphics,” said Andrew Stalbow, GM of Rovio North America. “Building a game that runs smoothly at 60 frames per second with five times more particles in our explosions and special effects is critical for delivering the most brilliant gaming experiences to our customers. We’re excited to see how Stage 3D accelerated graphics with Adobe AIR 3.2 will take these features to mobile devices and hopefully we can take advantage of this capability down the road.”

“We are thrilled to be the first mobile gaming company to take advantage of the AIR 3.2 release candidate to deliver AIR versions of our social games to our users,” said Masaki Fujimoto, CTO, GREE, Inc. “Flash Player and AIR help us push the limit of what can be created across the web and delivered as standalone apps on mobile devices. As we expand into global markets, Adobe technology is helping us take advantage of our market leadership in Japan to build success around the world.”

“As Flash based game developers, we are excited to use AIR 3.2 to make our visually appealing games stand out even more with the tools we already know,” said Jakub Svoboda, Game Producer, Falanxia. “Adobe helps us to bring our award winning games, like Spaced Away, to more iOS gamers than ever before. Good job Adobe!”

Flare3D Studio is leveraging the enhanced features in AIR 3.2 to create a very powerful Stage 3D IDE,” said Adrian Simonovich, CEO, Flare3D. “Adobe AIR has been, and will continue to be, a very important and powerful tool to bring hardware accelerated 3D support for mobile devices and allow Flare3D’s developers to create amazing 3D accelerated experiences and reach a much larger audience.”

“Since investing in AIR, we no longer have to worry about weighing different platforms and developer tools to reach our audience,” said Yifei Xu, CEO, Pamakids Tech. “AIR is the tool we rely on to avoid the clutter and just laser focus on what really matters – delivering the best games and apps to kids and parents.”

“We have chosen to develop with Flash because it is widely used, does not require installations, and games can be played instantly by simply clicking on a link,” said Filip Kuna, CEO, CUKETA. “Thanks to Adobe AIR, we were able to port our game, Age of Defenders, to different devices including Android tablets and iPad2 which allows us to appeal to a wider range of customers at a minimal cost.”

“NVIDIA’s been working closely with Adobe to bring increasing amounts of GPU acceleration to several generations of Flash Player and AIR,” said Neil Trevett, Vice President, Mobile Content at NVIDIA. “Now, Stage 3D in Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 can fully exploit the power of GPU acceleration to enable rich, real-time 3D games and content that is portable across multiple desktop and mobile platforms. NVIDIA is committed to ensuring that Stage 3D continues to be highly optimized for multi-core Tegra-based mobile devices.”

 

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.

 

 

Amazon’s Kindle Fire Lights up App Creativity

This is an exciting day for Adobe AIR developers who create amazing Flash based apps capable of reaching over 350 million smartphones and tablets by the end of this year, including the iPad. Today, Amazon began shipping the Kindle Fire, a new tablet boasting a 7” full color multi-touch display with 8GB of internal storage and free cloud storage for all Amazon content.

The Kindle Fire is already equipped to run AIR apps available on the Amazon Appstore for Android, right out of the box. Using Flash Builder or Flash Professional and the AIR SDK, developers can create and deliver Flash based apps via AIR, which run outside of the browser and deliver rich interaction and stunning performance. The Fire shipped with AIR 2.7, but developers can deliver AIR 3 apps by leveraging captive runtime. Apps created for the Android Market can also be published to the Amazon Appstore and there are currently many cool AIR apps available on the Appstore already, including:

Pyramix (interactive word game)

Pocket Penguins (live streaming video of penguins at the California Academy of Sciences)

TouchUp Pro (photo editing for your phone)

Politifact (the #1 news app)

We’re excited to see how the Kindle Fire will encourage new and creative uses for tablets, and the many ways new Flash based apps will help deliver those experiences through the Amazon Appstore.

 

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