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!
Today we are excited to announce our plan to move to a rapid release cycle for Flash Player releases starting with Flash Player 11.5. This will allow us to deliver more frequent updates to our labs beta community.
Using the background update mechanism in Flash Player, beta releases will be installed seamlessly to our nearly 1.1 millionbeta users and we encourage you to subscribe if you have not already. Beta users will have access to new features earlier in the release cycle to use, test, and provide feedback. You may also subscribe to our Twitter channel @FlashPlayerBetahttps://twitter.com/FlashPlayerBeta to stay on top of the current release schedule updates.
Due to this change we will consolidate our private and public beta programs into a single public beta program so we can bring the world’s best runtime to our beta users’ fingertips.
Considering how important the private prerelease program is as a channel of communication and discussion with our key partners and customers, we will continue to keep our private beta forum active for discussion only; however, no Flash Player beta updates will be posted on this forum.
We believe moving to the rapid approach is going to allow us to test Flash Player under different configurations and help us get early feedback from our customers; which ultimately will improve the user experience and drastically improve the Flash Player and AIR robustness and increase product stability.
The runtimes team is excited to continue to work with you and we are looking forward to your feedback and seeing the amazing experiences that will be delivered through Flash Player and AIR.
Enter Donatello’s world and train like a turtle in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tactics 3D for desktop. The “heros in a half shell” are back in the latest take on a gaming legacy from Nickelodeon. They’ve been working on this highly addictive online 3D game for the last couple of months and we’re happy to see that it is already building a great fan base. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a prime example of a game built with Unity and using the upcoming Unity export for Flash Player to reach vast new audiences. More than 1.3 billion people can now control the radical dudes while waiting for the comeback of the TMNT cartoon on Nickelodeon September 29.
The web is generating a lot of buzz today, particularly with Adobe’s Create the Web event focusing on tools and technologies for the modern web! Speaking of the web, I’m excited to profile a couple of upcoming browser-based games from Japan and Germany. Thanks to the reach of Adobe’s Flash Player on over 1.3B connected desktops, these two games really show off where AAA and sophisticated, console quality titles are being brought to the social web with great success.
Square Enix Japan has just launched a teaser version of their upcoming social game “Legend World,” where users relive past gaming glories by battling boss monsters from older Square Enix titles. Thanks to the Flash Player and Stage3D, Square Enix Japan was able to take the actual 3D models and animations out of games they shipped to consoles, and put them directly into the browser. That means that you’re fighting the exact same boss that was in the original console game. While the game will only be in Japanese, you can check out the battle demo here, featuring Ring Wyrm from Final Fantasy XII on PlayStation2: http://member.square-enix.com/jp/gamezone/legendworld/battleflash/index.php
And for you MMORPG fans, Herokon Online is coming soon to a browser near you. Based on a German pen and paper RPG – Das Schwarze Auge – Herokon Online takes you into the world of Aventuria where players can role play numerous characters, with a wide variety of skills and attributes. The gorgeous graphics and over 6 million DSA players could be reason enough to entice you to sign up for the beta…even if you don’t speak German!
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.
We’ve recently seen a virtual avalanche of new mobile games coming down the pike that were developed using Flash and AIR, and more and more of them are using Stage 3D, taking advantage of hardware acceleration for screamingly fast game play.
There are two indie games I’ll highlight today, both of which were built with Flash technology: Super Hexagon and Wonderputt. Now available on the iOS AppStore, they’re both in the top 20 game apps. Super Hexagon is a super fast-paced race to survive game that will have your heart racing (can you last more than 20 seconds? If so, you’re doing incredibly well!). It was originally a free browser game that Terry Cavanaugh developed, and in its first 3 days on the AppStore, the mobile version sold more than 10,000 copies.
For a slightly different pace, Wonderputt is a beautifully illustrated mini-golf game by Reece Millidge. It looks gorgeous on an iPad 3 with Retina display, and was a finalist at the IGF Awards and the Develop Awards for Visual Art. Wonderputt was also originally a desktop game, and is one of Kotaku’s 6 Best Games on Web Browsers. There’s an in-depth look at the game development here.
Congratulations to both Terry and Reece, and we’ll be sharing many more new games with you both here and on gaming.adobe.com in the coming weeks! In the meantime, check out the crazy trailer below for Super Hexagon.
Several users have reported that their ELS (Encrypted Local Store) data created using AIR 3.3 or earlier is no longer available after updating to the AIR 3.4 runtime. This occurred due to updates in the ELS architecture to improve security and improve stability with the removal of a third party library. The result, however, is that the AIR 3.4 runtime can no longer access ELS data created with AIR 3.3 or earlier.
In the past we’ve given guidance on the usage of ELS in both blogs and our help documentation, suggesting that developers should not depend on ELS as permanent data storage because it “can be lost for a variety of reasons.” While our position on this hasn’t changed, we understand that some applications have come to depend on this data and we are actively working on a fix for the problem.
In the interim, Adobe is going to turn off automatic updates for the AIR 3.4 runtime so users will not be prompted to update to AIR 3.4 until we solve this issue.
Application publishers and developers, who are affected by this change in behavior of ELS, need to inform their users who have already installed AIR 3.4 to uninstall AIR 3.4 and install AIR3.3 using the instructions below:
Uninstall Adobe AIR 3.4 runtime from windows and install AIR 3.3:
In the Windows Start menu, select Settings > Control Panel.
Uninstall Adobe AIR 3.4 runtime from Mac and install AIR 3.3
Browse to Applications : Utilities
Double click on “Adobe AIR Uninstaller”
Install AIR 3.3 runtime http://download.macromedia.com/air/mac/download/3.3/AdobeAIR.dmg
Please note that AIR 3.4 SDK will continue to be available for any developer wishing to take advantage of the new features contained in this version. Developers should deploy these applications using our “captive runtime” capability to ensure the application functions as expected.
Going forward, we plan to re-implement our ELS changes in a future version of AIR to remove dependencies on 3rd party libraries and improve the stability and security of AIR applications. Applications that continue to use ELS as persistent storage could be impacted. We will give advanced notice and make releases available on labs. Please report any other issues you may experience together with reproducible steps here.
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.