Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Career Shift : from Flash websites to AIR apps

I have been developing websites since 2004, I immediately jumped into Flash when I knew about it. This plug-in let me do really amazing things when you compared it with the HTML3-4 limits...

I worked for years as Flash developer along with very few PHP jobs. But Flash was becoming stronger. It was a solid OOP language and very tested plug-in without hardly any flaws.... until Steve Jobbs told otherwise and everyone believed him, they didn't realize it was all a war between Apple and Adobe, and everybody lost. Only the apple man won his own personal fight.

With all of this in mind I tried to make a game in Flash 10. I wanted to add many graphics and effects but I couldn't get anything very complex working due the lack of GPU acceleration. So I left the game in a playable state, but it was too simple. I had to discard the idea of making complex flash games.

Meanwhile Adobe didn't know how to handle the fight with Apple. Nevertheless Adobe released the best update ever made for flash: molehill - Stage3D. It was the beginning of triple A games in Flash. But it was all obscured with the war.

I realized about this and knew I was finally able to make complex games in flash... but flash sites were starting to die, all iProducts didn't accept flash so the world had to adapt to this (instead of the other way).

I didn't see the GPU acceleration happening in mobile phones until very late 2012. By then market almost already shifted back to old HTML. I was sure that didn't like this backwards step. In fact it was a waste of time for me, I lost all interest in the web: coding with JavaScript (no OOP) is a total nightmare when you add browsers variety to the equation.
So I had no choice other than leaving the web scene and move into apps/games.

I wanted to make games, I didn't mind what language so I researched into some of them: coronaSDK, Unity3D, phoneGap. But a friend told me about CitrusEngine framework for flash Stage3D. So I started working heavily for a month or two to get a demo that looked and and was responsive in Flash at very high frame rates... I was impressed as that was exactly what I had in mind a year back...
Only then,  I decided to make a real game. I got in touch with two friends that were able to work with me: Diego Gangl (amazing artist) and Mete Burch (modern musician). I ended up leading a team making the awesome game I always wanted and playable in most Android phones:

I made it in adobe AIR to be able to get to android devices. It was a really good decision. In the other hand it was also difficult to make the app perform well in these low powered devices. I was used to powerful PCs but I had to work hard to optimize everything and learn some very interesting techniques to make it run smooth everywhere.

So now, in 2013, the history carries on as Indie Developer.
I hope I can manage it well and live from making good quality games!

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