Archive for January, 2013

2013: Full Speed Ahead for Adobe Gaming!

As we move into 2013, we’re excited to make investments that support the incredible, ongoing momentum in social and mobile gaming that Adobe has championed for more than a year. Flash technologies underpinned the success of many game developers from Fresh Planet to Zynga, both in the browser and on mobile, and you can see how Adobe Gaming technologies deliver the reach needed to improve game monetization in the graphic below.

numbers-inside-social-casual-gaming

In December, the Adobe Gaming team launched the first ever, packaged Adobe Game Developer Tools via the Creative Cloud. Within 2 weeks of their availability, we had over 20,000 downloads of the tools and more than 12,000 views of the Adobe Scout video! Today, we’re making it even easier for game developers by removing a key barrier to delivering games targeting Flash Player – from this point forward, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature for Flash Player, which means developers can use them royalty-free without a separate license from Adobe. Developers and publishers that have published content using the XC APIs do not need to make any changes to their content to reflect this change in status for the XC APIs, and we expect this adjustment to make it even easier for developers to use Flash and AIR as their cross-device game development workflow of choice. To find out more, check out the updated FAQ here.

In addition, we’re also announcing added funding for the Away Foundation, a non-profit Community Interest Company based in the UK, focusing on building and maintaining free and open source software resources for online and mobile games and applications. This funding will support the development and release of Away3D 4.1 and an exciting new open source project for Away Builder. Away Builder 1.0 is the first open source tool project for the foundation, and will provide a visual tool for designers that exposes and edits custom Away3D settings and object properties on 3D assets without the need for coding. And just last week, we updated the Gaming SDK, which includes the latest Away3D, Starling and Feathers frameworks as well as updates for the latest runtime releases. Working with Away has already produced several exciting advances for game developers using Adobe technologies and will continue to forward the delivery of rich games targeting mobile and the browser for years to come. Starforce Delta is a great example of a beautiful 3D RPG built with Away3D and now available on the web in open beta and coming soon as a mobile app. And if a touch of the 19th century is more your thing, check out Jane Austen Regency Dressup, as well as other games using the Away3D framework on the Away3D showcase.

IGFWe also wanted to highlight a handful of great games that really reflect the breadth of creativity using Adobe Gaming technologies and show off the skills and passion of the developers who made them. Four games using Adobe Gaming technologies were recently announced as Independent Game Festival (IGF) finalists! Incredipede, a beautifully illustrated browser-based game; Dys4ia, an autobiographical game about undergoing hormone replacement therapy as a trans woman; Intrusion 2, a sci-fi action platform game; and Super Hexagon, a fast-paced reflex game where you’ve gotta be great to survive 20 seconds.

And just in case you didn’t get your fill of zombies in 2012, check out GREE’s Zombie Jombie in the iOS App Store. GREE used PhoneGap Build – another Adobe Gaming technology – for this wildly addictive RPG card game that will surely have you selling for brains. It’s shaping up to be a wide open year ahead for Adobe Gaming, and we’re looking forward to conquering new worlds with you!

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.