Last week, we organized an internal "Adobe Gaming Summit" to help product teams working in Gaming, Flash runtimes and tools teams better understand how game developers are using our products today. The speakers included developers from companies such as Frima, Gamua, Kixeye, Photonstorm, Rumble, Rovio, Ubisoft, Yamago and Zynga. The summit was an amazing opportunity for Adobe to get customer feedback on what needs to be improved to better support game projects, and for our customers to understand and give feedback on our strategy and roadmap for the next months and year. We have lots of things coming and we will be sharing more in the next coming months, I already have a little surprise for you at the end of this article.
So I wanted to share a few thoughts on the biggest takeaways:
1. The workflow
It is clear that we need to provide you with better tools. It starts with Flash Pro which we are re-architecting for best performance. Early testers have confirmed dramatic improvements in terms of stability and pure performance when it comes to using the tool for various tasks. We are also resetting things with future versions of Flash Builder to focus on developer productivity features and how to make Flash Builder a great IDE for game development.
We need to provide better runtime performance so that performance never becomes a barrier to your creativity, and instead continues a tradition of Flash enabling your expressiveness. Stage3D has changed many things when it comes to AIR on mobile, we see many companies and indie developers moving to AIR with Stage3D. We rewrote the ActionScript 3 compiler to leverage multithreading with an optimized backend to produce better bytecode and that is for ActionScript 3. We know that we need to provide even faster ActionScript performance and are actively working on the next version of ActionScript. This version will be highly focused on performance and high productivity. Yes, we believe ActionScript is a great language, and we want to make it one of the best language for game development. To work on this, we have hired lots of new experts in this field, our VM team for instance is now led by key former leaders of the Java Hotspot VM at Sun/Oracle.
Since last November, we have heard you say that you have had to convince others that Flash is not dead. We are well aware of this and this gaming summit is one of the ways we want to demonstrate that we are not moving away from Flash, we are actually investing in it. AIR is now our focus for delivering apps to mobile platforms and you guys have seen in the past months the incremental improvements we have brought (11.2/AIR 3.2 - 11.3/AIR 3.3) with Stage3D on mobile or things like fullscreen text input, mouse lock and other gaming oriented features. But we are not stopping there with the introduction of Flash Player 11.4 and AIR 3.4 with ActionScript Workers for concurrency and the new Stage3D constrained mode to run hardware accelerated on always more configurations. We will also organize more public gaming events to showcase what we are working on and have you guys showcase your projects using Flash Player and AIR.
Finally, I want to finish this article by giving you a little sneak of one of the best tools I have had the chance to work on, project "Monocle". This is the first time we are publicly showing the tool in its current state. As an ActionScript developer, I can say it is going to revolutionize the way you guys work with Flash, it really changed how I do and the few companies testing the tool in production have told us they cannot work without it anymore. Project "Monocle" is also one example of the investments we are making in the platform to allow you guys to develop better content and faster. Enjoy!