Tag Archives: adobe

Another blow for Flash as Unity gaming engine kills support

Says Adobe ‘eroded developers’ trust’

Unity Technologies has announced that it has dropped support for Adobe Flash from its cross-platform Unity game development toolset, citing the declining popularity of the technology among developers and inconsistent support from Adobe.

“As of today, we will stop selling Flash deployment licenses,” Unity founder and CEO David Helgason wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “We will continue to support our existing Flash customers throughout the 4.x cycle.”

Unity first announced that it was collaborating with Adobe to build a Flash publishing add-on for its platform in March 2012.

Around the same time, Adobe announced a revenue-sharing model for Flash content, in which Flash developers who took advantage of “premium” hardware-accelerated gaming APIs would have to pay Adobe a 9 per cent royalty, but only after their apps had earned $50,000 in revenue.

At the time, Unity saw the proposed royalty model as a positive development, comparing it to how app store operators such as Apple and Google also take a cut of developers’ proceeds.

But game developers were less sanguine about the move, with many arguing that the 9 per cent fee would cut into their already-thin margins.

“Honestly, Adobe just killed the idea of making 3D flash games, especially for independent game developers that don’t make that much money that they can afford paying Adobe taxes,” game developer Nicolas Cannasse wrote in a March 2012 blog post.

Adobe eventually bowed to such complaints, and as of January 2013 there are no longer any APIs in the Flash Player that require royalty payments. But the way Unity sees it, the whole debacle did irreparable harm to the platform.

“By introducing, and then abandoning, a revenue sharing model, Adobe eroded developers’ (and our) trust in Flash as a dependable, continuously improving platform,” Helgason wrote.

Furthermore, Helgason said, Unity doesn’t believe Adobe is truly committed to the future development of Flash. The Photoshop maker has been transferring developers off Flash to work on other projects, he said, despite recent versions of the Flash Player being unstable.

That, and the platform just isn’t as popular as it once was.

“Developers are moving away from Flash, and while Flash publishing has gotten little traction, our own Unity Web Player has seen unprecedented growth in recent months,” Helgason wrote, referring to the company’s browser plugin for Windows and Mac OS X that enables accelerated 3D graphics for web-based games.

Doomsayers have been predicting the death of Flash since even before the late Steve Jobs famously banned it from Apple’s iOS platform. But for as prominent a toolmaker as Unity to abandon the technology will surely deal it a heavy blow, given that Adobe has said that games are one of the key areas of focus for its Flash efforts.

While Unity will no longer support Flash development, however, Helgason said the company will continue its efforts to allow developers to bring high-end content to the web, both via the Unity Web Player and through other means.

“Work is also underway behind the scenes on an exciting new Unity web publishing initiative that we can’t wait to tell you about,” Helgason said. “We’ll be providing more details of this soon.”

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

Adobe launches new cloud-based game development tools

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Adobe is announcing today a set of cloud-based tools for game developers.

The tools take advantage of the new cloud-computing trend, where web-connected data centers host subscription-based software. Hosted in the Adobe Creative Cloud service, the tools enable developers to access a centrally located suite of tools for making their titles. The aim is to streamline the game-development process from creation to final deployment.

Adobe says that developers who use its tools can access an audience of 1.3 billion worldwide on PCs and more than 500 million on smartphones and tablets, 20 times the reach of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console.

Among the new tools is Adobe Scout (pictured below), a tool for profiling that “uncovers granular internal information in ActionScript-based mobile and browser content to unlock significant performance optimization opportunities.” In other words, it helps games run faster. Adobe Scout will be available for free to members of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a subscription service. Other tools include the Adobe Gaming SDK, Adobe Flash C++ Compiler, and trial versions of Flash Professional CS6 and Flash Builder 4.7 Premium.

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A year ago, Adobe acknowledged that it would give up on a Web version of Flash for mobile devices. But Adobe allows developers to create native versions of their releases for those devices instead. More than 25,000 mobile versions of Adobe Air apps exist, and the majority are games.

In the past nine months, Adobe launched version 11 of its Flash Player, making the leap from 2D games to hardware-accelerated 3D games and its Stage 3D applications programming interface.

Diana Helander, group product marketing manager for Gaming Solutions at Adobe, said that 600 million people have chosen to opt in to a feature that updates Flash in the background. That means a game developer can issue an update for a title and get it to 600 million people within 48 hours.

“With these new tools, we’ve got a single work flow for game developers,” Helander said in an interview with GamesBeat. “The costs of developing games and acquiring new users are rising. We’re helping developers to deal with that.”

The Adobe Gaming SDK lets studios create and monetize both 2D and 3D ActionScript games on Web browsers and mobile devices.

The Adobe Flash C++ Compiler is a new tool that lets developers take a native game and recompile it for the Web. That is, it takes offerings coded for game engines on the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iOS and then converts them to run directly online across browsers using the Adobe Flash Player.

Meanwhile, Adobe Flash Professional CS6 is an authoring tool to create animations and games, and it includes support for delivering animated assets ready for use with the open-source framework Starling. Adobe Flash Builder 4.7 Premium adds support for the new ASC 2.0 compiler and the ability to test and debug apps directly on Apple iOS devices.

Those who pay for Creative Cloud memberships can use full versions of Flash Professional and Flash Builder, and they can use future versions of Scout following the introductory promotion.

Adobe argues that using Flash makes developers more productive when it comes to cross-platform experiences. Helander said that Flash has powered popular games on Facebook including SongPop, FarmVille 2, and Diamond Dash. Some of the top Flash implementors include Zynga, Wooga, Kixeye, Ubisoft, Northway, and Damp Gnat. Rivals (and occasional partners) include Unity Technologies, Epic Games, Microsoft’s Silverlight, and a variety of other game-development platforms.

Helander said some cool new users of Starling and Stage 3D include Incredipede and Smart Aliens. She said that Zynga used Adobe Flash and Air for its mobile version of Ruby Blast, and Rovio used Flash for the Facebook version of Angry Birds. Square Enix also released Crystal Conquest using Flash. Helander said Adobe is doing a series of game jams in different cities to support game developers.

 

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

Adobe brings high-end gaming to Flash, but at a nine per cent cost

Two important changes took place in the world of internet apps recently. The first, was the wide-scale support of accelerated HTML5 Canvas and WebGL elements, the second, Adobe’s announcement that it would no longer be supporting Mobile and Linux platforms.

With these important changes taken into account, there’s less reason than ever before for developers to begin investing in Adobe’s Flash Player.

To clarify this writer’s point, the greatest advantage of Flash for mobiles, was that it worked on browsers that didn’t support other plugins, enabling a media-rich experience, even on a portable device; an advantage which will now dissipate as mobile operating systems move forwards, losing support for Flash Player and spurring on development of the HTML5 standard.

Likewise, the latest editions of Flash focus on 3D acceleration, however, several game engines exist, along with their own web plugins and mobile executables, that, with thanks to Linux and through apps, mobile support, will inevitably reach more platforms and a wider consumer base. One advantage of Flash is that many browsers come pre-bundled with the plugin, however, installing a third party plugin these days is hardly a task worth mentioning and with WebGL and HTML5 Canvas capabilities pushing forwards, the world of plugin-free web engines isn’t too far away.

This leaves us with the primary advantage behind Flash and 3D acceleration, which is that, up until now, the plugin has remained free, at least with thanks to third-party development tools. However, Adobe has announced plans to begin charging users that utilise both domain memory and hardware acceleration. Should a firm or individual begin to bring in a net revenue of £31,000 or greater, Adobe will begin to charge a nine per cent royalty.

We wonder, as well, how this royalty charge may affect users of game engines that offer web support through Flash, where, both domain memory and hardware acceleration will likely be in use; would a user have to pay royalties to both the engine provider and Adobe? Likewise, bearing in mind that revenue does not represent profit, with the high costs of advertising and hosting, the nine per cent toll could have quite the impact on some firms.

This writer honestly doesn’t quite understand just what Adobe is thinking. If any of our readers care to set him straight, they are more than welcome.

A good example of an affordable, multi-platform engine as a flash alternative (also supports Flash!):

https://www.stonetrip.com/

Some examples of the progress of HTML5 Canvas:

https://spielzeugz.de/html5/liquid-particles.html

https://jackrugile.com/lab/fireworks-v1/

https://js-fireworks.appspot.com/

Indie Game: The Movie tour begins next month

Public screenings to take place in 15 different US cities such as Chicago and San Francisco

The directors of the critically acclaimed Indie Game: The Movie are to screen the film across 15 different cities in the US, its has been revealed.

The film, which follows indie developers as they create their games, is to be self-published by the directors, and presented by Adobe.

The documentary had previously been offered to various traditional distribution deals, but filmmakers Lisanna Pajot and James Swirsky opted to go it alone after concerns about when the film would release.

The first public screenings of the film is set to take place at the Rio in Santa Cruz, California on March 2nd, whilst second and third viewings will be held at the Embarcadero in San Francisco on March 6th.

Further venues include Seattle, Asheville, Portland and Chicago, whilst further tour stops and dates are to be announced in the near future.

“We’re really excited to finally share this film with so many audiences, in person, throughout the country,” said Swirsky.

“This project has truly been a labor of love for us and we are thrilled that Adobe is helping us take it to indie game developers and fans on such a large scale.”

As well as the nationwide tour, Indie Game: The Movie will be shown at GDC on March 5th to the first 500 pass holders at the door, with a special panel of all the developers in the film and the movie’s creators.

Unreal Engine 3 now supports Flash Player 11

The newly released Flash Player 11 from Adobe is supposed to be a huge leap forward in terms of running full 3D games. This week Epic Games announced that its popular Unreal Engine 3 game development tools have been adapted to run on Flash Player 11 which should allow a number of UE3-based games to be adapted to run inside web sites and other online applications. You can check out a demo of Unreal Engine 3 running on Flash Player 11 in the video below.

Adobe has previously announced that the new Flash Player 11 will have up to 1,000 times the performance of the previous version to run 2D and 3D games. Tim Sweeney, the head programmer for Epic Games, said in a press release, “With UE3 and Flash, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base. This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games.”

In an interview with Gamasutra, Epic Games’ president Mike Capps said that Epic has been working with Adobe for a while to get Unreal Engine 3 to run in a Flash-based application. Capps said, “We’ve been working with Adobe a long time on the tech. It’s a pretty hard thing to take 1 million-plus lines of code and get it to work in Flash.” However he added that you shouldn’t expect the truly high end graphical titles like Epic’s Gears of War running in a browser, saying, “I think it’s going to be a little while before you see DirectX 10 running in browsers and Flash.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQiUP2Hd60Y&w=460&h=264]

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