Ezra, a commenter on the 3d in browsers post pointed this out — looks like 3d is coming on quick in Silverlight too.
Been awhile since I posted about how progress is going on this front. Everyone is very excited about HTML5, of course, but particularly with the latest H.264 news, Flash is still going to be pretty widely used. WebGL is going to be in Firefox 4, (basically, the OpenGL ES 2.0 API will be available).
Add one more competitor to the race to create the standard for web-delivered 3d. This time, it’s Google, with a new API called O3D.
It’s not compatible with Mozilla’s Khronos effort, but Google says they intend it to converge over the course of a few years. And yes, it is fully cross-platform. There’s a shader language (again, non-standard, doesn’t match HLSL or Cg), and of course it supports loading SketchUp as well as from Max and Maya. It also can run inside an OpenSocial gadget, or run offline in Gears.
It’s a developer release only, found here. But it’s very worth keeping an eye on. Google has to get it adopted, of course, and that will take using powerful distribution leverage, the way that Flash uses YouTube and Microsoft uses NetFlix and Windows Update to push Silverlight.
Here’s a video.
I have been commenting to people that for me this GDC is slightly dull partly for an odd reason: I no longer seem like a crazy prophet in the wilderness preaching about all the changes coming. The changes kinda just came. And now I wander around the halls and all the buzz is about digital distribution models, UGC, playing in a browser, microtransactions, web models, that traditional publishers are dinosaurs in trouble, iPhone indie games… you get the idea. The controversial talks of 2006 are today’s hallway gossip, and I need fresh new controversial material.
So, the war is on in earnest now.
Adobe® Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) and Intel Corporation today announced plans to collaborate on the development to port and optimize Adobe® Flash® technology for the Intel® Media Processor CE 3100. This effort is expected to provide consumers with richer and more seamless Web-based and video viewing experiences through advanced Intel-based cable set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, digital TVs and retail connected AV devices….
They go on to mention plans to ship this chip within 2009, as well as an initiative around Air. We’ll see what comes of this… Intel has to get that chip adopted, after all.
In the meantime, I also noticed over the holidays that Microsoft is beta testing a new download center that requires Silverlight — that’s a way to push plugin adoption right there…! Of course, they also push it via pop-up on Microsoft’s front page… the war continues.
Lest people think that Flash is the only game in town, there’s also a new release around Microsoft’s Silverlight, using Mono.
There is definitely a quiet little war on.
This is certainly turning into a booming segment. The latest is Microsoft’s Popfly for Silverlight, which has been out for a while but didn’t have any game stuff. But now there’s Popfly Game Creator.
Today we’re adding something special to Popfly: an early version of our Popfly Game Creator. That’s right: Popfly is about more than mashups and web pages. It’s about making it fun to build things and share them with your friends. And one of the things we’ve heard loud and clear is that games are the kinds of things that people would like to try to build.
What kinds of games can you create? Just about any kind of two-dimensional game, a category that includes things like the original Super Mario™, Frogger™, Asteroids™, and a host of other old arcade games. To make it easy, Popfly is still focused on getting as much done as possible without having to write any code. The game creator has over 15 pre-built game templates for you to try, hundreds of images, animations, backgrounds, and sounds for you to use in the games you create, and, of course, a way for you to write code if you reach the limits of what the user interface can do for you. Since this is Popfly, you can still save, share, and embed your creations everywhere from your blog to your Facebook page to your Windows Vista Sidebar.
Remember how I said that 3d in Flash was catching up? I got a lot of flak for it in some quarters.
Check out this demo. OK, it’s not 3d, it’s actually parallax. Still. It’s apparently from this new platform called Alternativa, which looks quite promising and which does have quite a lot of 3d. Check out this interior or this exterior.
The way things are looking right now, 3d on the web is in a position where there’s multiple solutions coming down the pike, though none are fully baked yet. There’s Flash itself, which is the dominant platform. There’s Shockwave as well. Microsoft sees a strategic imperative and is doing Silverlight. And the open-sourceniks are not going to let something so critical be all proprietary, so there’s the <canvas> tag with OpenGL.
This is basically console wars for the Web. The Alternativas/Away3ds/Papervisions of the world are middleware developers for the Flash “console.” Heck, the latest Away3d demo even somewhat reminds me of the first time I saw Magic Carpet on the PC.
Is it “here” yet? No. But you can see it from here.