Well, i just learned that flash is no longer supported on Jelly Bean, androids newest version. I was gonna get a nexus 7 because i am taking a class where we make android apps, and was wanting one anyway because of flash support instead of apples no flash policy. darn. anyone else bummed about this?
Very interesting. I looked into it, and it's actually Adobe who decided they won't be supporting it on Android it seems?
I definitely think that it's a great time for us to be learning mobile development with something other than Flash at this point because it does seem to be in the process of fading out.
I have to say, now that I'm using C++ it really is nice to have the kind of power to do anything or change anything under the hood that we need. I know with Ballads we were really pushing the limits of what Flash could handle, and I was starting to run into some of the strangest quirks in the way Flash processes things behind the scenes, so I'm glad to be branching out right now.
Believe it or not, I am away to go back to full time education, studying Software Development! (I am going to do a long winded post here soon...)
If Flex/Flash is on the way out what do you feel is the future Steve? HTML5? What does that mean for you guys then in terms of web games?
What does your C++ knowledge give you now that you didn't have before?
Tell me it all!! :)
Very cool DBM! Good luck with school.
HTML5 seems very promising. Unity is cool. There are other cross-platform tools like Moai (http://getmoai.com/) using Lua scripting and Marmalade (http://madewithmarmalade.com/) using C++. Anything that is cross-platform and performs well on lower processing speeds is where you want to be.
Flash was cool when processing power wasn't really an issue (though even with Ballads we ran into some issues with lots of alphas), but I think the mobile scene brought us back to worrying about processors, plus battery life. So we need more performance optimization than Flash currently offers with its timeline and vector based approach, but still have the quality expectations that the Flash gaming scene has created.
Flash is also awesome for rapid-development but typically at the expense of performance.
Basically, all of the good options going forward use bitmap rendering again instead of vector drawings so they can perform better on all kinds of devices. I think it's interesting that Castle Crashers was made in Flash using vectors, but when running on the XBox while loading a level it converts all the vector data into bitmap data.
That's just my take on it at this particular time. I'm no expert on the subject, just learning as I go.
It does seem that HTML5 is growing all the time. Unity has really impressed me. Some of the games I have played are absolutely huge and fell as though they should be pay to play at times. Regarding the bitmap rendering, will that affect how you guys (Jay in particular) tackle the art of future games or will it remain the same way that Jay does it now?
Right now it hasn't affected how I actually create the art and animations. I still use Flash in the same way. If anything it has freed me up to colour the scenes any way I want now that flash performance isn't an issue. The big change for me is having to export everything as bitmaps and create sprite sheets for all my animations. Which is an added step but not that big of a deal.
So (remembering that I am a noob), what platform will your art be exported to and then the game developed on? I am assuming that when you upload a game to sites when it goes viral, it is .fla file? What will it be now and will that affect anything? i.e. sites that only accept .fla or anything like that?
yup, adobe's decision... just remembered a old post where i asked about flash dying out... lol guess I was right. They stopped supporting all mobile platforms and are sticking to pc/mac/linux. I also remember rumors in Jan about them deciding to go pull flash out completely in 2013. we will see i guess.
Well I think if we're doing web games we'll still use flash as we always have. The real change will be if we make bigger games like Ballads, then we'll probably use Marmalade to create it.
To succeed in the commercial space these days your game really has to be multi platform and mobile ready, which Marmalade allows for. I still love using Flash, unfortunately it runs like crap on mobile devices.
The one concern I have with going from vector back to raster is the issue of dealing with multiple resolutions.
Example, a 720p television is far better than an old-school 480i, right? All other things considered equal, the answer is easy: Yup.
But, try playing something like the Wii (or pretty much any other 'standard def' media source) on 720p television, and they'll look like crap (or possibly simply "bad", if the tv is particularly good at intelligent scaling).
The same thing happens when playing old videogames on emulators, and trying anything other than their original native resolution, or some multiple thereof.
The way Android wants you to solve this is to simply include multiple copies of all of your graphics resources. That's needlessly large. And, it still doesn't really perfectly match different resolutions.
Of course, the other fun side of the coin is the difference between actual resolution (pixel density), and what we typically call resolution (dimensions). It seems like it should have solutions that overlap with the previously mentioned one, but in practice it may not. (Google's developer site has some interesting perspective on this, but think about things like font sizes, and it's quick to see the issue)
Bah. I did it again. Never was "concise". The point is, with both the trend towards mobile markets, and the increasing variety of high-powered mobile devices, vector graphics were good because they could be adapted to anything. Raster images simply aren't as flexible.
In theory, developers are starting to be encouraged to use things like HTML5, SVG, etc., for the actual content of games, and then a small bit of native-friendly framework to run it on top of. In practice, I've yet to see that actually catch on.
I do like the idea of still using 2D vectors for resolution independent graphics. All the stuff I'm interested in tends to be cartoonish anyway, and of course for Jay as well, so it should be doable in some way.
However, even cartoon graphics look even better with an illustrated painterly look, with painted shading/lighting, which might be harder to capture with vectors. I feel like 2D gameplay with 3D graphics still doesn't quite capture the feel that I really love with games like Braid, Spelunky, Machinarium, and I imagine 2D vector rendered graphics having the same limitation.
Just seems like nothing beats a lovingly hand-crafted pre-rendered spritesheet. FYI, I'm not a fan of 8-bit graphics either, I'm talking about HD cartoony characters.
However, as a developer it is a pain to have to maintain a number of different assets for different resolutions.
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