A whole bunch of news tidbits

 Posted by (Visited 5842 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , , ,
Jan 052010

Boy, have I neglected the blog. Here’s some stuff I said to myself, “I should blog that” that flew by.

A few neat little games

 Posted by (Visited 6206 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Dec 082009

Just a quick post to note some games that have caught my eye lately. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen mention of some of these already.

Flash comes to the iPhone

 Posted by (Visited 6876 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Oct 052009

Well, this is a nice end-run around Apple. In a nutshell: develop in Flash CS5, cross-compile to iPhone as a standalone app. Public beta later this year.

How is this different from Adobe Flash Player 10 coming to iPhone? Will iPhone users be able to view web content built with Flash technology in the iPhone browser?

The new support for iPhone applications in the Flash Platform tooling will not allow iPhone users to browse web content built with Flash technology on iPhone, but it may allow developers to repackage existing web content as applications for iPhone if they choose to do so.

Flash Player uses a just-in-time compiler and virtual machine within a browser plug-in to play back content on websites. Those technologies are not allowed on the iPhone at this time, so a Flash Player for iPhone is not being made available today.

Flash Professional CS5 will enable developers to build applications for iPhone that are installed as native applications. Users will be able to access the apps after downloading them from Apple’s App Store and installing them on iPhone or iPod touch.

Adobe Labs – Adobe Flash Professional CS5: Applications for iPhone.

This s a huge game-changer. Expect the App Store to get overwhelmed with Flash apps within days of this becoming available as every good Flash app is ported over. It’s another solid step on Adobe’s part towards making Flash a common rendering and development platform across multiple devices, too — Flash 10.1 is already scheduled to land on basically every other smartphone, and honestly, users don’t care whether it’s runtime interpreted or not.

Vivaty implements X3D in Flash

 Posted by (Visited 8711 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Sep 222009

First, the link to the blog post:

Vivaty in Flash (Sneak Preview) « Vivaty Blog.

It isn’t a full version of Vivaty — you can chat with one other user, and the space does not look customizable right now. There’s effectively an “upsell” to the plugin-based client.

The Flash version of Vivaty is a great way to get introduced to the experience, explore parts of the world, and meet new people. Currently, you can hangout with one person at a time, but you’ll soon be able to build up your friends list, and mingle inbetween both the full Vivaty experience and all of the big parties and events and the more intimate scenes that are in the lightweight version of Vivaty.

from the FAQ

The rendering looks pretty darn good for Flash 10. I wasn’t able to find a way to go look for a specific other person — looks like it does random matchmaking right now. And my avatar (and theirs) went invisible after a while. It is nonetheless an impressive technical achievement. According to Tony Parisi in the comment thread, this is literally a port of their X3D client:

From the outset, we made a conscious decision to use X3D as our delivery format for the 3D. As you can imagine, that made the task of developing our Lite application much easier, essentially a port. And of course since so much of our service is driven by the back end, it was really just a client port plus a slight simplification of the content.

That comes from a discussion in the comments to the blog post, where people are attacking the project on the grounds that X3D is all about open standards, and implementing it in Flash is a betrayal of core principles. These people need to get a grip. An open standard that is used by effectively no one (statistically speaking) is no standard at all regardless of what bodies back it. The sad fact is that technical superiority, openness, and official acronyms have zero to do with whether something really becomes a standard, which is all about getting lots of people to use it.

The way Vivaty are approaching this uses Flash as a gateway to the full experience. If this lines up with the way it has gone for others who have tried this, the Flash version will get dramatically more usage than the plugin version.

(Thanks to len for the heads-up!)

Great article on indie biz

 Posted by (Visited 7748 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , , ,
Aug 042009

Jeff Ward has a great article on Gamasutra about the viability of the indie scene these days, which ties right back into the recent blog post on new bosses and old bosses. He analyzes iPhone, XBLA, and PC markets, as well as the alternative funding model of getting investors in advance for a title.

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