Flash for Computer Games

By Ewan Cussons

Task 1

History of the Adobe Flash Application

What we know now as Adobe Flash use to be known as SmartSketch. SmartSketch was developed by Jonathan Gay and was published by a company called FutureWave. SmartSketch was a drawing application for pen computers using the operating system PenPoint OS. However when PenPoint failed in the market, SmartSketch then merged with Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. This lead to SmartSketch being reworked to become a vector animation tool, it then was branded as FutureSpash Animator.

When 1996 came around Macromedia purchased FutureSplash and then released the software, but instead named it Macromedia 1.0. Flash, it was a graphics and animation editor. Before Macromedia obtained FutureSplash it was an animation tool with the purpose of being pen based, however due to the small viewership, it was suited for download via the internet. As soon as Macromedia took over Flash was distributed as a free plugin, this was put in place to gain a market share at a quick rate. Between 1996 and 1999 Flash was immensely increased in it's capabilities, for example they added Actions, this was the predecessor to ActionScript.

The company Macromedia was bought out by Adobe Systems in 2005, this meant Adobe now had the entire product line Macromedia once had, this included Flash. In 2007 Adobe Flash CS3 Professional was released, this was the first installment that came from Adobe and was overall the ninth version of Flash.

With this version it introduced the ActionScript programming language. This feature then allowed and supported business applications to be developed with Flash. By the time 2013 came around Flash had seen major improvements for example Stage3D, this allowed for accelerated 3D rendering for Flash applications and also games on platforms such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Adobe also added support for users to render on iOS and Android platforms, Flash even upgraded to support 64-bit computers.

The uses of the Adobe Flash Application

There are many uses of Adobe Flash, like the software been able to be used within the games industry. Some of the popular games developed using Adobe Flash include Angry Birds, Bejewled 2 and Plants vs. Zombies. Flash can also be used to build interfaces and HUDs for 3D video games using the Scaleform GFX; a technology that renders Adobe Flash content within non-Flash developed video games. Scaleform is supported by more than 10 major video game engines including the Unreal Engine and CryEngine. It has been used to provide 3D interfaces for more than 150 major video game titles since its initial launch in 2003.

Like I mentioned before above in the early 2000s, Flash was widely installed on desktop computers, this was all down to Macromedia who turned Flash into a free internet plugin. It was commonly used to display interactive web pages, online games, and lastly to playback video and audio content, much like YouTube. In 2005, YouTube was founded and it used Flash Player as a means to display video content on the web for users to watch.

Between 2000 and 2010, numerous businesses were able to use Flash-based websites to launch new products and create interactive company portals. Well known businesses that fell into this category included the likes of Nike, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Nokia, HBO, Cartoon Network and Disney. After Adobe introduced hardware-accelerated 3D rendering for Flash also known as Stage3D Flash websites saw a growth of 3D content for product demonstrations.

Integrated Development Environment for Adobe Flash

There is a variety of programming languages, but which one is truly the best? Well different programming languages are superior in different things such as writing programs for games or writing the code for a website. Adobe Flash is used in a variety of way as I have mentioned before, such as for the games industry or for websites. However is this as good as or better than other languages. Other than the C++ language Flash could be considered to be not as professional than C ++. It's just been around longer as a general purpose programming language. C ++ on the other than is currently being used within the games industry and is what most universities teach to programming students.

However, your choice of language should be based on what it can do for you. If Flash lets you make a game quicker you may want to go with it. Quickly getting a project from beginning to end is amazingly important. Otherwise, if you don't get a project completely straight away you can end up without much to show because you were tackling all sorts of coding issues that were unrelated to the game you were trying to make.

C++ is a bit more open and standardized, though, this means that if you decide not to use DirectX, you'll end up having an easier time using it. With Flash been owned by Adobe they exert a lot of control over who gets what. Adobe is doing a better job of porting it to non-Windows platforms, so that may sway your decision.