Adobe Flash Player 11 with GPU Accelerated Graphics — Stage 3D API

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Tanki 2.0 Online using Flash 11 Stage 3D APIAt Adobe Max'11 confrence by October, 4 long-awaited Flash Plater 11 was released to public, featuring hardware accelerated 2D and 3D Graphics via new Stage 3D API ( codenamed "Molehill" ). Accordingly to developers from Adobe, with this API application and game developers can render hundreds of thousands polygons in HD resolutions at 60 Hz. This makes possible running modern games and other "heavy" applications right inside the web browser with Flash Player 11.

Performance boost is promised at around 1000x times faster than it was with Flash Player 10, at very old PC's — from 2 to 10 times faster. Adobe makes accent at Flash 11 as the cross-platform technology for game development, stressing its availability at over of 98% of PC, connected to internet, and many millions of mobile devices on iOS, Android and Blackberry platforms that can be reached via Flash 11 and AIR 3 technology. Thus Flash-based apps can be accessed directly through Web or as standalone AIR packages on Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Adroid, Blackberry and even some TV's. Adobe claims Flash 11 as the next-gen gaming and other entertainment content solution with possible audience over 1 billion of users.

Among the Flash Player 11 itself, which now also available for 64-bits systems, developers can use a bunch of frameworks and libraries to make it easier to use all of new Flash 11 powerful features:
  • Flare3D — commercial solution for 3D content development for Flash 11, includes engine and tools.
  • Alternativa3D — powerful 3D engine for working with graphics and physics on Flash platform. This engine was used for development of highly popular and one of the most technologically advanced Flash game Tanki 2.0 Online.
  • Away3D — yet another 3D engine for Flash.
  • ND2D — 2D game engine that uses Stage 3D for hardware-accelerated graphics.
  • Proscenium — prepared for release open-source technology from Adobe for creating of games and other content using Stage 3D features.
  • Starling — free and flexible open-source framework for 2D graphics and animation creation with support for Stage 3D.
First Flash 11 games that uses Stage 3D API expected to be released lately this year and by beginning of 2012. Well, looks like speculations about approaching Flash death as gaming platform were overestimated  — Adobe understands all the importance of this market for Flash and involves serious resources to strengthen its positions as technology for game development. With Flash Player 11 release this positions will surely become even stronger.

By the way, at the same time Epic announced Flash support in its Unreal Engine 3 game engine, and even showed technical demonstration of Unreal Tournament 3 running in browser. Crytek has not stood aside and also stated that CryEngine 3 involved in experiments for Flash 11 support. In the light that another very popular and promising game engine out there — Unity 3D —  previously made steps towards Flash integration, it's obvious that this companies believes in Flash 11 success. Looks like Adobe and Flash will still be the very big player ( if not the leading one ) in game development for Web for at least few years onwards.

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About the Author: Sergey “Treidge” Danchenko

AvatarSergey "Treidge" Danchenko is a founder and the author of 3DG.Me blog, 3D Artist and game developer, Drupal web-developer and one-man-band with experience in some other areas. Personal credo — "If you want a thing done well, do it yourself". In times of great inspiration writes poetry and plays volleyball. Primary professional tools — Autodesk Maya & Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop. Wild about turkeys and parrots, loves music and videogames.  Thanks for reading and come again!

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