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It has been a while since I have posted and things have definitely changed. I have been working in Flash since Flash 5.0. I remember when a Flash dev could command an amazing salary, and media companies were popping up all over the place to capitalize on the multimedia goodness of Flash. Unfortunately, those were the days of dial-up, and the Flash player was evolving. Let’s just say expectations far exceeded what was possible.

We are now at Flash player 11. Adobe named this player the “console for the web”. I remember a post back in 2009 by Ben Garney of Torque and PushButton Engine fame begging Adobe to do just that. Now here we are with hardware acceleration, and Stage 3d, and few get what has just happened.  What was impossible back in the day (circa 2000) when people were writing business proposals over lunch on napkins for multimedia based .coms  and getting huge investments for vapor, may actually now be possible.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to do, and a long way to go before it all becomes as practical as working in the current IDE, but at this stage (no pun intended) it really looks promising. It’s really early in the game. It feels like the time just before the Flash boom back in the late 90′s. The thing that Flash has going for it now is penetration and trust. People will update the flash player thanks to video. The tools that support Stage3D will eventually come. Adobe has delivered the goods, and if they aren’t too late,  and they can get mobile nailed down, we could actually have another boom. Only this time it won’t be all hype. I for one am excited, and glad to be able to once again say, ‘It’s good to be a Flash developer’. Now where’s my napkin?



The more things change…

Written by freeman. No comments Posted in: Flash, Unity3D

This is my first post of the year. Been busy as all get out working on projects in Flash and Unity3D. With all that is going on with Flash, I just had to post. After years of developers begging, the beta for Flash 3D is out and looks pretty darn good. Granted there won’t be Adobe tools available to make it easy to develop 3d content, there are engines out there (Away3d, Flare3D, Alternativa, etc) that will fill this need. To top it off, Unity announced that they are working on a Flash exporter. Out-freaking-standing!

This is very exciting because while Unity has a superior web player, its web penetration is pretty low at the moment. Flash has a high penetration rate according to its stats. Don’t know how powerful the next Flash player will be in comparison to the Unity web player, or how extensive the Unity Flash exporter will be, but regardless the possibilities are incredible. One could easily develop an app or game in Unity, and at the very least make a feature reduced demo version of the app in Flash. That could be huge for advertising.

It is a really good time to be into Flash and Unity. Checking out with the beta Flash player, I was pretty impressed. I love Unity, but I have a lot of years invested in Flash development. I would like to be able to capitalize on both. Looks like this will now be possible very soon. With all this change I am hoping that more people will be using Flash, and that Apple has to reconsider allowing it on its devices. Only time will tell.


Flash 3D Coming Soon

Written by technogenesis. No comments Posted in: Flash, Unity3D

With the announcement of new Flash capabilities today at MAX, the big one being real GPU accelerated 3D, I am kind of excited. Folks have been waiting for some of these features to come down the pipe for quite some time. I remember Ben Garney’s post a little while back requesting that Adobe, Make Flash the Console for the Web. He basically broke down why this needed to happen. Just over a year later, looks like steps are being taken to make this a reality. I think this is a logical move, or a very good opportunity for Adobe is going to be lost.

I have been using Unity3D for just over a year. I really like it a lot. I am getting used to Unity still, but it is coming along. At my job, we still have Flash projects on the board, but it was looking like we’d be moving more to Unity as time went on. Obviously, Unity player penetration is still an issue, but we could accept that because our projects do not depend on player penetration. Always in the back of my mind, I wished there was some way that the Flash player could pull off what Unity was doing. I wished that I could leverage my AS3 skills and pull that kind of 3D off in Flash. Looks like that wish just might come true.

I love Unity’s IDE. If I could build Scaleform like interfaces and mini games in Unity, I probably would not look back to Flash for 3D at all. GUI development in Unity is not one of Unity’s strong points. The prospect of being able to do both 2D and 3D all in Flash is pretty compelling. IF Adobe can pull this off, I really think they might be able to maintain the title of web player of choice for gaming. Even if the engines that are built on top of the new 3d API aren’t as powerful as Unity or Torque, I think Flash player penetration is going to be the factor that could make it the environment of choice for web games.

I remember the Adobe promises of 3D made in the past, and the disappointed devs left in the wake.  I think they have to make good on this promise this time or they will lose many more devs to other platforms. Very interesting days ahead.


AMFPHP and Windows 7

Written by freeman. No comments Posted in: Flash
I am working on a small project that basically searches a database and displays the information in Flex. Was playing around with JSON, but the returned dataset can get too large. Decided to pick up AMFPHP again, as I have had great success with it in the past. Thankfully, the project is still alive and well.
I am running Windows 7 at work and Windows XP at home. First thing I noticed when I installed AMFPHP, in WAMP on the Windows 7 box, was that I could not access the gateway. I checked around on the web and ran accross this post on Amy’s Flex Diary. Windows 7 apparently encrypts the contents of a zip file. You can hit the [Unblock] button in the file properties, but it still hoses the text files in the hierarchy once unziped. I ended up having to use 7-zip to get a clean extraction.
The next weird thing I ran into was attempting to test on the host server (HostGator). I put the files up and kept getting odd ‘internal errors’. Turns out there is a .htaccess file in the root was the culprit. Either rename or remove it. Once done, I was able to access the service browser with no problems.



Unity Play

Written by technogenesis. No comments Posted in: Unity3D

Have been playing around with Unity3d for almost a year now and using it quite a bit on the job for learning modules. I am still leaning towards Flash when it comes to 2D and GUI intensive things, but Unity is the shiz for 3D.

Here is a silly little particle system test that I was playing around with in my spare time. Got the idea from Keith Peter’s, Making Things Move book and wanted to see how it translated to Unity. Used quite a few emitters, so it is CPU intensive. Run Particle FX


New Day

Written by technogenesis. No comments Posted in: musings

Decided to do some Fall cleaning. Upgraded the blog and let the old post die.