SWF and AMF3 specifications update

SWF FormatWe are really happy to announce that we just updated the SWF (SWF19) and AMF3 specs with the latest information. I promised this to you guys a long time ago, this will give you the latest details if you are working with both formats. Some things were either missing inaccurate in both specs, so we fixed that. The AMF3 specification had some types missing like Vector and Dictionary that we introduced in Flash Player 10.

The SWF specification had some undocumented things like a new tag for Telemetry (Adobe Scout) and some other miscellaneous attributes that we now fully document.

You can find both specs at the following url:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/swf.html

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/

SongPop Secures #1 Spot in 2012

We just wanted to take a quick moment and congratulate SongPop for their amazing debut this year! They were recently named by Facebook as the #1 game in 2012 among some very stiff competition. Since launching the game in 2012, FreshPlanet has amassed more than 60 million users and secured the honor of the #5 game downloaded in the Apple App Store this year.

We’re happy that FreshPlanet choose Adobe Gaming technologies, including Adobe AIR, to deliver this wildly popular game. For more on SongPop, check out our previous blog post, which links to their full Adobe Success Story.

We’ll be showcasing lots of other great games in future posts as well as some holiday-themed ones to get you in the spirit. Stay tuned!

iPad mini Support is Now Available!

We are excited to announce the availability of an update to AIR 3.5 and Flash Player 11.5. Developers can now create games and apps targeting iPad mini with AIR 3.5. We have also included security and bug fixes to Flash Player.

We look forward to get your feedback and comments.

Adobe Game Jam Winds Through Chicago

The Adobe Gaming team and a host of talented, creative, and colorful developers gathered in the Windy City for the second Adobe Game Jam. Once again we had a great group of enthusiastic designers and developers who built some amazing games using Flash technology!

Five Chi-town teams assembled and worked through the night to show off the high quality games, and in just 24 hours we had a winner! Disaster at CP1 is a firefighting adventure that captured the crowd’s attention with its smooth controls and terrific aesthetics, and the fully playable demo is available online here.

The Starling Framework and Citrus Engine were front and center, serving as a key component in the majority of the Game Jam projects. Thanks again to all attendees for coming out to the Adobe Game Jam and for making our community one of the most innovative and enthusiastic. We really enjoyed seeing the Citrus Engine embraced by the development community and are looking forward to everyone’s next projects!

Check out the video below to get a first-hand look at the Game Jam. Also, a special thanks to The Nerdery for playing host!

P.S. If you had the chance to attend, don’t hesitate to leave us a note in the comments section below or drop us a line on Twitter via @AdobeFlash.

Video Recap: Adobe Game Developer Tools Launch Event

More than 200 developers packed Town Hall in the Adobe San Francisco office on Monday night for our Game Developer Tools launch event. Fun and excitement poured from every part of the room with remote-controlled Angry Birds, vintage arcade games and new iPad AIR apps. It was a great time with great partners – Zynga, Rumble, KIXEYE, Kabam, GREE, EA and Milkman Games – and really amazing responses from the game developer community. All of the announcement information can be found in the blog post from Adobe Gaming director Emmy Huang, but we also wanted to share the recap video below for those who couldn’t make it in person.

Thanks for showing your continued support for Adobe Gaming technologies and check out the new Adobe Game Developer Tools in the Creative Cloud.

Adobe Delivers New Game Developer Tools in Creative Cloud

We are thrilled to announce the release of our first Game Developer Tools in the Adobe Creative Cloud, giving developers and publishers access to a powerful set of resources in one central location. Adobe’s Game Developer Tools are designed to streamline the game development process from creation to deployment, and 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 gaming community is already buzzing about Adobe Scout, an advanced next-generation profiling tool that uncovers granular internal information in ActionScript-based mobile and browser content to unlock significant performance optimization opportunities. We’ve received rave reviews from developers who have been using pre-release versions of Scout to gain powerful insights and who are already enhancing their development processes with our Game Developer Tools.

As a special promotion, we’re including this first release of Scout in a free membership to Creative Cloud, along with the rest of our Game Developer Tools, including the Adobe Gaming SDK, Adobe Flash C++ Compiler, and trial versions of Flash Professional CS6 and Flash Builder 4.7 Premium:

–          The Adobe Gaming SDK provides the essential building blocks developers need to create and monetize amazing ActionScript games across browsers and mobile devices, including open source 2D and 3D frameworks (Starling, Feathers, and Away3D), and is a simple starting point for both new and experienced game developers.

–          The Adobe Flash C++ Compiler is a new tool chain that allows game developers to take native games and game engines for PCs, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iOS and compile them to run directly on the web across browsers on over 1.3 billion connected PCs using Adobe Flash Player.

–          Adobe Flash Professional CS6 is an authoring tool to create engaging animation and games, including support for delivering animated assets ready for use with Starling and many other popular frameworks, and Adobe Flash Builder 4.7 Premium is an advanced ActionScript development environment that can be used to develop high-performance mobile and browser-based games. Flash Builder 4.7 Premium also improves productivity and time to market with support for the new ASC 2.0 compiler and the ability to test and debug apps directly on Apple iOS devices through USB or on the iOS simulator.

Creative Cloud paid membership includes full versions of Flash Professional and Flash Builder and will also include future versions of Scout following the introductory promotion. Of course, paid members also get access to all of the Creative Suite 6 apps, including other popular tools for game design, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

The Adobe Flash Player has been at the forefront of online gaming for years and is used to power the 10 most popular games on Facebook including SongPop, FarmVille2, and Diamond Dash. Adobe’s latest Gaming technologies are the leading choice for social game studios like Zynga, Wooga and KIXEYE and are used by AAA game developers like Ubisoft as well as indie developers like Northway and Damp Gnat to help minimize the cost of targeting multiple platforms and mobile devices – including games for iPhones and iPads. Today’s release of Game Developer Tools makes it much easier for developers to maximize productivity, game quality and reach across PCs and mobile devices.

We’ll be celebrating this launch at our San Francisco office this evening with many local developers and publishers. Please feel free to stop by, or keep an eye out for a recap video in the next few days on Adobe’s Gaming YouTube channel. And, to find out more about the new Game Developer Tools and the Adobe Creative Cloud, visit gaming.adobe.com/getstarted.