Adobe Gaming Summit 2012

Adobe Gaming Summit 2012Last 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.

2. Performance

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.

3. Perception

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.

Project "Monocle"

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!

Introducing Project "Monocle" from Thibault Imbert on Vimeo.

Comments (34)

  1. Jerome wrote:

    et String.trim !

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm #
  2. Goop wrote:

    Can’t wait for Monocle. All these teases are killing me! Any ETA on when it will arrive?

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm #
  3. Henke37 wrote:

    Do want Monocle! It seems like it does everything profiling related and much better than all the other tools combined.

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm #
  4. HrMoller wrote:

    Some release information on Monocle would be pretty damn awesome! Don’t hype – just release it!

    And hype it afterwards…

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm #
  5. Thanks again for the great event! I am still amazed that I could be part of it. I’m looking forward to what you’ve got up your sleeve in the future! (Hint: it’s gonna be awesome :-) )

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm #
  6. Hadrien wrote:

    Monocle seems GREAT!
    Any ETA for a public release?

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm #
  7. luuk wrote:

    Monocle looks awesome, cant wait to get my hands on it!

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm #
  8. Gil wrote:

    I had the privilege to test out Monocle, and I must say that it is what you think it is!

    A MUST for every AS3 developer!

    Thanks again Adobe!

    Monday, August 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm #
  9. Thibault Imbert wrote:

    Hi guys,

    Happy you like it!

    If you want to be added to the Monocle Prerelease, send me an email to timbert [at] adobe dot com.


    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 1:29 am #
  10. Brett Walker wrote:

    No offense, but this a bit too little too late. I’ve been a developer using Director Shockwave and then Flash since 1996, and Flash CS6 is the most underwhelming release of Flash in its history. It’s almost criminal how little value it provides. It actually reminds me of the Director releases after Flash started blowing up. I’m not sure why it took a Gaming Summit for you to realize that the toolset and Actionscript needed an overhaul. Obviously your big competitor now, after Adobe has pivoted Flash to basically only compete as a games plugin, is Unity, and Unity’s IDE for creating and manipulating 3d content far outpaces where Flash is right now.

    So, back to why I said too little too late. It’s because your developers are leaving in droves. As I said, I’ve developed in Flash for 15 years. I’ve had to move on for the most part because I can no longer pin my career on your platform; it’s too risky when you haven’t provided us with any clear roadmap for Flash’s future. Plenty of other Flash devs I know have moved on to app development (ObjC/Java) and front-end JS development.

    I don’t say this to rub it in your face. I love Flash and Actionscript as a development platform. I don’t love how Adobe has treated developers and took their eye off the ball (I could elaborate but I’ll save you the tirade). What I would love is Adobe refocusing its efforts on new features which provide competitive advantages over HTML5. At the end of the day, this is the best course you can take to keep developers like me working on Flash projects. Yes, raise your game on 3D, but don’t just give up on Flash’s core competency.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 8:59 am #
  11. Ali wrote:

    Wow. I need this now.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 9:38 am #
  12. Thibault Imbert wrote:

    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    We did not need the Gaming Summit to realize it, really. We know there are lots of things to improve. What I wanted is to invite game developers and chat for 2 days on what their biggest issues are and share our roadmap/plans to validate things.

    We have posted a roadmap recently sharing our plans and really we are focusing on where we can make a difference over HTML5. 3D is not the only ares we are investing, there is a big demand on 2D and it just makes sense for us to provide a solid solution for that too. Hence why we funded Starling and it is being really successful.

    In the past months we have been delivering lots of improvements and soon tools like Monocle, and the next version of Flash Pro is day and night in terms of performance. As a long time Flash Pro user, I believe this tool has been neglected for many years but the team is back on track focusing on the core of Flash Pro, animation for game development, I feel it is pretty refreshing after all these years of irrelevant features stacking.


    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 9:56 am #
  13. mymyoux wrote:

    This demo is impressive!
    Monocle looks awesome and will be very helpful for our projects.
    Can’t wait !

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 10:20 am #
  14. Pleh wrote:

    OMG Monocle looks amazing, well done guys!

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 10:24 am #
  15. Morpher wrote:

    Hi Thibault!
    Monocle is awesome, I can’t wait to try it. But what about ATF encoder?

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm #
  16. HB wrote:

    Monocle was shown in the recent iOS webinars by Adobe, was it an older version?

    “it’s too risky when you haven’t provided us with any clear roadmap for Flash’s future”
    Adobe did provide several months ago a roadmap, and it’s been updated several times since then. It could provide more details, but I guess no company is interested in provide all details for future releases of their products.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm #
  17. O.M. wrote:

    This is all good, but what about memory monitoring?

    My dream is to see exactly what objects is stuck in no mans land and consuming memory.

    I am trying my best to create clean code, but when the projects gets big, it always somehow starts to fail GC’ing correctly.

    If I in an easy way could figure out what exactly is stuck, I could fix the problem in seconds, instead of using two days to identify some obscure error.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm #
  18. This is one of the best articles I’ve read on this website. The media needs to know about Adobe’s commitment to invest in Flash.

    And this tool is just wonderful!

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm #
  19. jpauclair wrote:

    As a speaker there, I’d like to thank you all guys at Adobe for making all this possible!

    I made a little post-mortem for the event.
    here it is!

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm #
  20. Monocle looks like it’ll be a really nice addition to the Flash/AIR tools. Even though I don’t see us using the Stage3D feature, the one similar to gDEBugger or the equivalents for DirectX, it looks really stunning.

    Also I’m very interested on where the ActionScript language is heading next, it would be cool to see some core improvements, like the improved variable scope :)

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm #
  21. Szymon Brych wrote:

    Monocle… Really impressive : )

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm #
  22. Keith wrote:

    Is the pre-release only for people building games? I develop enterprise software, have applied for the Air pre-realease and have been completely ignored, even after chasing a few times (didn’t even get a rejection note). Is Adobe still supporting Air for non-game development? I know they want to push HTML/JS down our throats, but no thank you!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 11:31 am #
  23. Keith wrote:

    I agree that AS is a nice language. Along the lines of working with former leaders of the Java VM development team, it would be a huge leap forward, too good to be true, if there were some compatibility among the two VMs. My dream is to be able to, some day, program in Scala with the graphical power of Flash/Air.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 11:49 am #
  24. focus wrote:

    Thibault, let me thank you for all you did for the Flash Platform, it evolved a lot as you came to Adobe and its evolving even more nowadays. It’s really nice to hear you got Sun/Oracle people for new VM development.
    And all other news are exiting even more.
    Monocle… When I saw Unity profiler first time I though “That’s what we need to have in Flash”. But when I saw Monocle presentation by by Deepa on Adobe Max’11 I believed you guys make tool Unity developers should wish to have!)

    You told before it will be paid tool. Any chance to know approximate price?

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm #
  25. ben w wrote:

    Couple of quick questions

    1. Will it work on release builds or only debug (looks like both but want to clarify)

    2. Will you be introducing better mechanics for getting accurate timings within flash, i.e. a more accurate than getTimer(), microseconds not milliseconds – good for physics and smoother playback of time controlled animations (not to mention efficiency testing)


    Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm #
  26. Szymon Brych wrote:

    I would like to participate in that dream: expressiveness/robustness of Scala, performance of JVM and ease of use and look of… well Flash : )

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm #
  27. Jason wrote:

    I’m in very strong agreement with what Brett Walker said. I’m in a very similar predicament, and despite my interest in becoming a game developer overnight, it’s rather ridiculous to presume that that’s going to happen. Just like I’ve spent 10 years honing my Flash skills for the web, game devs have spent that same amount of time getting very good at what they’re doing.

    I blogged about my qualms ( a few weeks ago, and invited Adobe evangelists (including Thibault) to comment. The silence was rather deafening.

    The new features are great, and I’ve just requested to be added to the Monocle beta program. But with every article I read, and every tech choice I’m involved with in my current line of work, Flash appears to be dead. I don’t know how to turn this perception around, and I’ve been fairly active of late endeavoring to put the facts straight (on Adobe’s behalf). My fear is that if the perception isn’t improved there won’t be any Flash devs around to utilise these new tools and optimisations that you’re now spending time on.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm #
  28. Kirit Tanna wrote:

    Good work on Monocle!
    Since you mention, Adobe is investing in tooling, I have a suggestion -
    Wouldn’t it be great if Adobe developed plugins for 3D software like 3DStudio MAX, Maya, Blender etc. to export 3D models in various formats that will work with Stage3D. Right now, every 3D engine has its own plugins etc. and they all have certain limitations. So if there was a common exporter which all these 3D Engines adopted only for model import it would really improve the workflow and help 3D artists to produce high-quality 3D scenes & models. This will really help smooth the workflow when developing with Stage3D.

    Best wishes!

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm #
  29. diavlo wrote:

    Hellow I have a question :

    What you think is Adobe Air is still good to Android or iOS apps ? or you prefer a phonegap ?

    Last time we hear abour air as a game platform for mobile but what ab out buisnes apps ?

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm #
  30. bloop wrote:

    Looks awesome we really cant wait!

    Friday, August 10, 2012 at 4:33 am #
  31. Joe wrote:

    I’m not sure anymore… I have been learning lua to replace flash game development on Mobiles.

    Also, interns of UI components, none of the out of the box uses Stage3D. A complex list item renderer is slow. Foxhole, a 3rd party lib, only works in Actionscript. It’s is hard to skin, I miss Catalyst (reoptimize the code manually – still it did a lot of the weight lifting for me).

    The AIR performance on iOS is slower than other cross platform frameworks, such as Titanium. Much work soukd be emphasized on this – even while working in Flex Mobile, and not pure Actionscript.

    Not sure as a developer what’s needed, but I need to satisfy clients. I will stay on the look out for how I can use my favorite language and it’s Flex/AIR framework in the future. Performance… Performance… Performance.

    Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #
  32. HB wrote:

    There is another Starling UI component set available, but cannot remember its name right now… and there is other in the works. MadComponents is also coming to Starling AFAIK.

    Also, according to the Flash roadmap, AIR 3.4 is bringing some iOS performance improvements.

    I tried Titanium for a couple of projects, and didn’t like it at all, plus I read tons and tons of complains and problems from developers back then. It was 8-9 months ago, has there been any interesting improvement since then?

    Monday, August 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm #
  33. This looks great, I can see myself using this all the time. Hope its released soon..

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm #
  34. anthony wrote:

    Release it already!

    Friday, October 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

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