For 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!
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!
Game Developers Conference Online 2012 is upon us! This Austin event brings together the best and brightest professionals in online, social and cloud gaming – and we’re excited to be a part of it. Our team will be there and speaking at two sessions you won’t want to miss!
From Stage3D development on the desktop with Flash Player, to cross-platform mobile development with Adobe AIR, Adobe is shaping Flash to be the console of the web. Join our own Sr. Product Manager Thibault Imbert to get an inside look at technologies, such as Stage3D (for GPU acceleration) and Project Monocle, and hear about their role in some of the latest gaming titles (e.g., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) created. Register for this session here.
Building AAA 3D games for the web require many features, including GPU hardware acceleration, shader languages, audio, input, content loading, content caching, and full screen support. Gaming Evangelist Renaun Erickson will cover feature comparison of WebGL/HTML5, Flash, Unity and Google Native Client technologies, and highlight how developers are using them to push previously unheard of boundaries during his session. Be sure to attend – register here.
Interested in more about Adobe and Gaming? Get the full scope on Adobe Gaming. And, if you’re working on a Flash game or have an idea you think is really special, enter the Epic Flash game contest!
We recently caught up with the solo game developer Mat Dickie who created the wildly entertaining mobile game Wrestling Revolution for iOS and Android. The game was downloaded more than 50,000 times in its first month on Google Play alone and has 300+ 5-star reviews. Mat’s YouTube video has been viewed nearly 80,000 times since its debut and really gives a sense of what Mat has created with Adobe Gaming technology. See the full Q&A below and see his formal success story here.
What is your name?
MD: I release games under the name of Mat Dickie, which is often abbreviated to the signature “MDickie”.
Where is your company based?
MD: London, England and Chengdu, China.
How long have you been creating games?
MD: I have been creating PC games since the turn of 2000, but only recently side-stepped into mobile gaming in the past 6 months.
What are you known for?
MD: I am known for specializing in wrestling with the popular “Wrestling MPire” series on PC and the new “Wrestling Revolution” series on mobile devices. I am also known for accomplishing these things on my own rather than working in a team.
Why do you think people will be drawn to the game?
MD: Wrestling has not been very well represented on mobile as yet, so fans of that genre are starving for something to play. With Wrestling Revolution, those fans also have an innovative new way of playing to get to grips with – and with up to 10 characters on screen, it’s more fun than the one-on-one matches most fighting games are limited to.
How did you come up with your idea for the gameplay?
MD: I spent half of my time in China, where I noticed that tablet gaming had been widely embraced. It convinced me that the format had a future and it was something I wanted to be a part of. I specifically sensed that touch-screen technology had a lot to offer a physical genre like wrestling. I knew the mainstream companies would never try anything new, so I took a chance on it myself and created the first truly touch-screen wrestling game – where you tap, pinch, and swipe for intuitive control.
How did you build the game? MD: It was my first major project for mobile devices, so I had to put a lot of effort into learning how they work and adapting my way of doing things for a smaller screen. I had to go out and buy a whole range of devices so that I could see how well the game worked on each one and figure out solutions to any problems. I deliberately made the game 2D so that it could handle more wrestlers on screen. The fun comes first.
What platforms are you developing for and how do you choose which ones to target?
MD: I develop for Android and iOS primarily, but also release PC and Mac versions of my apps. I aim for the most popular devices that Flash can reach so that more people can play.
Why did you choose to use Flash?
MD: Not only could I simultaneously develop for both Android and iOS, but I could also stay true to my roots by releasing PC and Mac versions of my creations. And they were more reliable builds that I could be sure would function properly because all you need is Flash Player. To hit more platforms and have less issues was a win-win situation for me and my players. Flash is also capable of manipulating sprites on a grand scale, which allowed me to introduce an innovative new way of animating my characters.
How do you see the game growing over time?
MD: All I have released so far is the gameplay, which is in the process of evolving into a sophisticated RPG where you can live the life of a professional wrestler. I think we have to continue to embrace touch-screen technology and other new control methods. I like to joke that “real wrestlers don’t use buttons” so neither should my players!
Anything you want to add about working with Adobe Gaming technology?
MD: I made an important discovery in the early stages of my project, which is that Flash can be fed a high quality image and then be trusted to scale it down and use it as though it were a low quality image. And yet if you play the game on a larger screen, the original quality remains intact and is right there to be appreciated. This has been a blessing when releasing the same game on so many different sized devices. Flash automatically displays my sprites at their best – whether large or small. The resource management is astonishing.
Anything new in the pipeline for your company?
MD: 2012 has been a very exciting year for me already, so I am optimistic about the future. I will see Wrestling Revolution through to being the sophisticated game that I intended it to be, and then from 2013 onwards the game engine will be right there to drive other innovative concepts forward. I have more ideas than I could ever make in one lifetime!
Anything else that you want to add?
MD: I’d like to thank all the fellow developers who shared their stories and advice on the Adobe forums and all over the Internet. Whenever I get stuck, I simply run a search and somebody somewhere will have the answer! I’d also like to encourage people to follow the progress of Wrestling Revolution as it happens on my Facebook page.
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.
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.
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.
Our team at Cannes Lions last month had the opportunity to meet and chat with someone from our developer community – 12-year old Jordan Casey. If you’ve had the chance to play Alien Ball vs Humans or its sequel, Alien Ball vs Humans 2: Holiday, you’ve experienced a Casey-developed app. If not, you can get to know this young Irish prodigy, who has made headlines as one of Europe’s youngest iOS developer below. Between teaching himself game design, his schooling, and working on upcoming content for his own game studio – Casey Games – Jordan found some time to participate in a Q&A on his youthful rise in the world of game development.
Adobe: When did you first start developing and what inspired you to get started?
Jordan Casey: I first started developing when I was nine, I was playing a Flash multiplayer game called Club Penguin and saw that other kids were building websites and blogs about it, and I saw that this could be fun, so I learned 3 languages: HTML, ActionScript 2.0 and CSS and went ahead and made my site.
How do your ideas come to you? While riding your bike, playing with your dog, from your friends…?
Both of my grannies have a wall in their back garden so I get a football (soccer ball) and start kicking it at the wall, and I just start thinking and I could do this for an hour and when I’m finished I have a couple of game concepts or what to look up online that night when I get home.
Who are your “creative heroes” or role models?
My creative heroes would have to be Apple founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and independent game developer Markus Persson (or Notch) the creator of Minecraft who showed me that you don’t need a big team to make a successful game.
How did you come up with the idea for ‘Alien Ball vs Humans?’ Was it based on game mechanics, the concept, or just the fun factor?
For Alien Ball, I was just in my granny’s house again just kicking the ball. I had just gotten my iMac and was thinking of ideas for my first app. I didn’t want my first app to be a massive thing and take years to make, but I didn’t want it to not be fun either, so I was thinking of a retro game remake and made a Pac Man, Space Invaders and Mario clone. I looked at them all, and I published the Space Invaders one and made a couple of changes and also made Alien Ball, who was the main character of my previous Flash games, the main character of my app. When you think about it, it is kind of the opposite of Space Invaders, because in space invaders you are the human destroying the aliens but in Alien Ball vs Humans, you are the alien killing the humans.
What was the transition from HTML to game coding like? Any tips for other young developers?
When I started developing web games, I already knew Actionscript 2.0, so making Flash games wasn’t that hard. But when I was starting to develop gaming apps it meant learning Actionscript 3.0, which wasn’t that hard but it did take a bit of time.
What’s next for Casey Games?
I am currently working on a Flash game, which I plan to publish to AIR for Mac and PC. Then, I will make some changes and publish to iOS. In September, I am speaking at a summit in Germany and after that I am starting a new school. So, I plan on taking a break and just study for a while but I will be developing, just not as often as the summer, maybe 20 minutes a day.
You can check out Alien Ball vs Humans in action below, and get in touch with Casey Games on Twitter @Casey Games.
If you didn’t have a chance to catch Indie Game: The Movie on the big screen during the official movie tour, here is your chance to bring Edmond, Tommy, Phil and Jonathan into your living room or a screen near you. In a first, the movie is delivered through Steam using Adobe AIR.
Congratulations to co-directors Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky on this magnificent film that serves as the voice of the passionate indie game developer. We hope to see you at the Oscars! 🙂
Indie Game: The Movie is one of the first feature films to be delivered through Steam. It’s been being distributed through an app built using AIR. Details about the Steam package are here.
Additionally, it’s also available DRM-free on IndieGameTheMovie.com, and currently in the following languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic & Traditional Chinese (with more languages being added soon).
Indie Game: The Movie looks at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their creative visions with the world. Following the making of the games SUPER MEAT BOY, FEZ and BRAID, this Sundance award-winning film captures the tension and drama by focusing on these developers’ vulnerability and obsessive quest to express themselves through a 21st-century art form.
Adobe is thrilled to be a part of this significant release, sponsoring the North American tour of the movie, as well as working with the team to distribute the movie as an AIR app. We hope that the ongoing success and critical acclaim of the movie (including winning an award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and a 100% ‘Fresh’ rating by Rotten Tomatoes as the ‘Number one best reviewed film of 2012’) encourages indie game developers to continue pursuing their passions, and we’re working hard to make sure Adobe technologies continue to help improve their ability to develop, deliver, and distribute their games! Let us know if you have a game that you’ve developed using Adobe technology, and see more examples of indie games here.
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.