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 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.

Gaming Spotlight: FreshPlanet’s SongPop

How fast can you name a song clip? That is the question that SongPop, a game by FreshPlanet, puts out there for music fans looking for a challenge. This wildly popular music trivia game makes the most of social gaming, offering over 5 million daily Facebook and mobile app users the chance to compete to see who can name that song faster.

SongPop delivers a unified experience across desktop browsers on Facebook and extends that experience to mobile apps for iOS and Android. In using Adobe Gaming technologies, FreshPlanet was able to leverage a single code base, instead of having to build native apps for each mobile platform, and was able to easily streamline the workflow between designers, developers and animators.

FreshPlanet CTO and VP of Products Olivier Michon noted that Adobe Gaming technologies, “enabled us to code at top speed in Adobe ActionScript [and] rapidly integrate design assets and animations,” making development so easy that it only took two developers and one designer less than three months to complete SongPop for iOS and Android, and only one more month to launch it on Facebook.

For more on FreshPlanet and SongPop, check out their full story in, “Adobe Gaming & Fresh Planet: SongPop.” You can also get your hands on open sourced Native AIR extensions from FreshPlanet on their GitHub profile: https://github.com/freshplanet.

Developer Spotlight: A Follow Up with Jordan Casey of Casey Games

We had the chance to reconnect with young developer Jordan Casey, who recently released a new gaming app – Greenboy Touch. In our Developer Spotlight back in July, Jordan mentioned that he was going to slow down, but that obviously wasn’t the case! Read up on our latest interview with Jordan to find out more about his inspiration and the making of his latest Android and iOS game submitted to our Flash Rocks gallery.

What was your inspiration behind your new app, Greenboy Touch?

Greenboy Touch was based off a Flash game I developed about 2 years ago. I’m always trying new genres and I love different game concepts. While most of my games are just one specific style of gameplay, Greenboy Touch is made up of tons of different concepts. It is sort of a puzzle game.

We’d love to share more about the making of the app with our readers. What Creative Suite products did you use and did you have any favorite features?

I used Photoshop and Illustrator for graphics – they’re great tools! To develop the game I used Adobe AIR for iOS and for Android. I programmed in ActionScript 3.0, Flash and AIR, which are amazing. With the click of a button, I could switch a Flash game to a desktop app for Mac or PC back to an Android app to an iOS App. The program is great because it’s really visual and really powerful. ActionScript is an amazing language, and though so powerful, quite easy to pick up.

What was your experience like using Flash to create for Android and iOS? Are there any tips you would share with other developers?

The process was great. Like I said, with the click of a button I could go from iOS to Android. It’s just great. It’s the same as making a Flash game – the exact same, and with just a click, you get a native app! Just like that! It’s magic!

You’re juggling school and development. We want to know – what’s your secret? How are you doing it all?

Well, it is tough juggling between school, development, and lots of speaking events. To make up for time I missed while I’m away speaking, I take a 2-hour study course after school to catch up or study for exams. That way, I have my homework done and I can develop for about an hour or so.

Check out Greenboy Touch in action below.

Announcing Flash Player 11 and AIR 3

Today, we’re excited to announce that Adobe Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be launching in early October. These milestone releases introduce the next generation of the technologies that deliver stunning content and apps to over a billion people — across screens including Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices — pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the web.

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 take these even further by introducing Stage 3D, a new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering that delivers 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10. It enables new classes of console-quality games and immersive apps, such as Tanki Online and Zombie Tycoon (see videos below). Stage 3D enables content that efficiently animate millions of objects on screen, smoothly rendered at 60 frames per second — the result is fluid, cinematic app and game experiences. Additionally, these releases deliver new features to support theater-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, high-quality HD video conferencing, and a powerful, flexible architecture for leveraging native device and platform capabilities. We’re turning the dial up.

 

Building Blocks

Flash began with a few bits of colored plastic, inspired by experiences of playing with LEGOs as kids. Over 15 years, Flash has provided some of the most creative building blocks for designers and developers, pushing innovation and helping the web to evolve and iterate at a rapid pace defined by creativity. Flash made fluid animation an integral part of the web, defining our modern expectations for smooth, animated user interfaces. And since then, Flash has made features such as rich typography, beautiful interfaces leveraging dynamic vector and raster graphics, dynamic synchronized audio playback, advanced scripting, and seamless HD video mainstream — not just as experiments waiting to reach the world, but capabilities accessible to virtually every connected computer on the Internet. Many of the capabilities that Flash pioneered have over time moved into web standards and browsers, and will continue to do so as Adobe works closely with the web standards community and continues to develop products that support and advance HTML5. Piece by piece, Flash has enhanced and upgraded what’s possible for over a billion people on web, and Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 continue that tradition.

The Next-Generation Console Has Arrived

Today, approximately 70% of web games are powered by Flash, along with 9 of the top 10 games on Facebook, about 70% of the games on Google+, and the top social games from companies like Zynga and EA. Games at their best are fluid, immersive experiences, and the unmatched consistency of Flash Player allows game developers to focus on making great games rather than fight fragmented technology. Games just play. And play big: Flash Player brings an audience over 11 times larger than that of the best-selling current generation game console.

Flash Player 11 is the next-generation console for the web: now with Stage 3D (codenamed “Molehill”), it provides a consistent platform for gorgeous games and rich engaging content — hundreds of millions of users will be able to instantly upgrade to a whole new level of games on the web with a simple update, ready to experience amazing games using Stage 3D when they come to market later this year and early 2012. With stunning hardware accelerated graphics, mature dynamic audio, immersive full screen, native support for mouse/multi-touch/camera input, low-latency peer-to-peer multiplayer networking, full HD 1080p video playback, and high-quality voice chat, Flash Player provides the building blocks for incredible games.

Everyone wins. Content using the new Stage 3D APIs will automatically take advantage of modern GPU hardware, from integrated graphics chips to the most advanced high-end graphics cards, to provide incredibly fluid graphics — and Stage 3D also provides accelerated software rendering for content on older computers (yep, even mom’s old PC with Windows XP), where it runs up to 2-10x faster than software rendering in Flash Player 10. In other words, all computers with Flash Player 11 can benefit from the accelerated performance of Stage 3D. And game publishers can also package their Flash technology-based apps using AIR to deliver them across Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices. To learn about some of the benefits of the Flash Platform for game publishers, check out the new Adobe Gaming Solutions page at www.adobe.com/go/gaming.

Hear more about the Stage 3D accelerated graphics architecture from the Flash Runtime team:

Adoption of new Flash Player releases has been accelerating — nearly half of the web upgrades Flash Player within four weeks of a new release — so websites can expect that many of the over 1 billion people with Flash Player will be able to reap the benefits of Stage 3D soon, bringing modern GPU hardware acceleration to more people on the web than any other technology. The efficient Stage 3D architecture was designed from the ground up with resource-constrained mobile devices in mind — the full, optimized rendering model will be supported on smartphones and tablets as well, and we’re making this support available in a private prerelease.

Combined with high-level graphics frameworks built on Stage 3D, including a range of specialized, optimized third-party graphics frameworks and game engines, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 make incredible graphics performance everywhere accessible to a range of developers, whether they’re building rich 3D visualization apps or sophisticated, expressive games. Some of these great frameworks include Alternativa 3D, Away 3D, Flare 3D, Minko, and Yogurt 3D. Adobe will also soon make a 3D framework technology preview called Proscenium available on Adobe Labs. Proscenium will allow developers using Flash Builder to rapidly prototype experiences focused on simple content interaction and display, whether for simple games, visualization, or high-quality rendering of small object collections.

And we’re especially delighted to announce Starling, a flexible, lightweight framework for 2D graphics and animation that combines the simplicity of Flash with the incredible power of modern hardware accelerated graphics provided by Stage 3D. The Starling Framework is a free and open source ActionScript library designed to be instantly familiar to developers and designers using the traditional Flash display list. Starling and Stage 3D in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 enable easy intuitive GPU-accelerated graphics programming for everyone. Beautiful is now simple.

Particle effects with Starling and Stage 3D in Flash Player 11:

Rolling Forward

We’ve seen lots of momentum with Flash Player and AIR, especially in these areas:

Gaming: Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow game publishers to instantly deliver engaging games to anyone with a PC, tablet, smartphone, or connected TV. And with Stage 3D, game publishers and developers can take their games to a new level, creating new opportunities for game developers and publishers to deliver and monetize their content. Two of the many upcoming games leveraging Stage 3D include Tanki Online and Ultimate Race Championship.

To experience a tablet game with Flash today, check out Machinarium, an award-winning puzzle and adventure game for the iPad 2 that within one day became the #1 game on iTunes in the U.S. and 12 other countries, #1 app overall, and “iPad Game of the Week” — and it’s coming soon for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook (play a demo right in your browser with Flash Player). Visit the Flash Game Technology Center to learn more about building games with Flash. And check out this short video on Machinarium and upcoming Stage 3D -enabled content

Rich media and premium video: Leading content providers, including Amazon, ESPN, HBO, Hulu, and YouTube, deliver premium HD live video and video on demand (VoD) using Flash technology to reach multiple screens, while benefiting from adaptive streaming, content protection, smooth hardware-accelerated HD video playback, and expanded audiences with Adobe Pass for TV Everywhere. Even the animals are in on it: the California Academy of Sciences uses Flash to share a waddle of cuteness with the Pocket Penguins app for Android and iPhone.

Data-driven apps: Flash enables highly interactive, collaborative applications across devices and distribution channels. Using Flash and AIR, the St. Petersburg Times delivered the PolitiFact app on the Apple App Store, Android Market, and BlackBerry App World — a #1 paid news app on iTunes.

 

Snapping Key Pieces in Place

Some of the other benefits coming with Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 include:

A fully modern architecture. Flash Player 11 delivers full native 64-bit support for 64-bit browsers on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows, while also leveraging advanced processor optimizations to deliver additional performance.

Uncompromised experiences everywhere. Native extensions in AIR 3 allow developers to take advantage of existing native code libraries and deep native hardware and OS capabilities, such as sensors (gyroscopes, magnetometers, light sensors, etc.), multiple screens, native in-app payments, haptic/vibration control, device status, and Near Field Communications (NFC).

Simple, instant app install. Developers can package their apps with AIR 3 as a captive runtime for one-click, seamless installs on Android, Windows, and Mac OS (in addition to iOS) without any additional runtime download.

And there are dozens more new capabilities in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 that web and app developers will be able to take advantage of to create beautiful new experiences. Check out our press release and Labs release notes to see the complete list of what’s new, and we’ll be highlighting more of these features in the future (and even more at Adobe MAX). We look forward to delivering the release versions in early October, and if you want to get your hands on them now, you can download the release candidate versions from Adobe Labs today. With Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, we’re providing some amazing new building blocks. We’re thrilled to see what you create with them.

Getting Started with Flash and Arduino

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Video-on-Demand over P2P in Flash Player 10.1 with Object Replication

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Debating HTML 5 and Flash? Get educated first!

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Tour de Flex 2.0 – AIR and Flex Component and API Explorer Launched!

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Fun with AIR on Android – Geolocation

There are a lot of things that make building apps for mobile devices extremely fun and addictive.  I’ve especially had fun with the onboard GPS in my Google Nexus One using ActionScript (flash.sensors.Geolocation class).  It’s actually very simple.  Here’s a trivial example: if(Geolocation.isSupported) { geo = new Geolocation(); geo.addEventListener(GeolocationEvent.UPDATE,geoUpdate); geo.setRequestedUpdateInterval(10000); // update my location every [...]