I was fortunate enough to attend Adobe Max this year so I thought I would inform the populace about what happened there and what I learned.
LA is a great place to visit… Actually, that’s a lie – LA sucks. The only reason why I got out of LA with any brain cells intact was because someone else did all the driving (You will be missed Arron) I’ve made the harrowing drives of inner city Atlanta, but that does not compare with pure white-knuckle masochism of driving in LA. It seems a prerequisite that everyone start their daily commute with cutting people off, forcibly merging into full lanes of traffic, and leaning on hornes. Also LA is too damn expensive. Our hotel (that charged 175 a night) only had valet parking that cost an extra 15 bucks a day plus tip.
Flash builds straight to mobile platforms. I’ve done it. It works. The big news is Native Extensions which allow flash to do things like throw up native OS dialog boxes and play with special hardware. Also you can now embed the AIR player inside your mobile executable (apk) for android devices. This keeps the user from having to download the separate AIR app to use your flash built app. Very nice – very needed.
I saw several games in the pipe utilizing Stage3d and I was impressed. The games were mostly of the indie/downloadable quality, but in browser which is impressive. But, “Booker!” you say. “Unity3d has been making these games for years now!” This is true, but with one huge caveat – the Unity3d Player. The Unity player never caught on because it is ONLY used for Unity games. Quick – name 5 games you’ve played that were built in Unity! What, you can’t? OK then, name 5 websites you’ve visited that use Unity3d. Can’t do that either? Shocking. It’s no wonder that Unity is building a swf exporter, frankly they have to. If not for all of the sudden inexplicable attention that Unity3d has gotten from the gambling industry it would surely have died by now.
Unreal to swf
We have all seen and played the demos but there is something magical about Tim Sweeney awkwardly stammering through some que-cards and demoing Unreal 3 in Flash. No-one, myself included, was expecting this. But why not? If you own a game engine and would like to have “playable in browser” as a bullet point for your engine all you have to do now is build a swf exporter. Since the Unreal reveal Crytech has announced that they are also working on a swf exporter. Times, they are a changing.
Odds and Ends
Lots of small coolish things at Max. Flash Pro cs6 will build sprite sheets and will have a new suite of JSFL extensions. They are building a working callstack for Flash Builder. They built a thing called Telemetry that builds a graphic chart representing processor and load spikes in your swfs. They are working on thread support for Flash. I will supposedly get a free copy of the entire adobe suite for a year. They had an open bar for over 5500 people with no line, but the burger truck had a 15 minute wait. (nerds apparently don’t drink) Weezer did a killer set. Rainn Wilson doesn’t understand command prompts. And also this happened:
Despite LA, Max was fucking awesome and I will go every year I can convince someone to buy me a ticket.