At FITC Amsterdam, Lee and Tom spoke about the gaming part in their session. Lee kicked off with an introduction to Stage3D and Starling, a new joint effort between Adobe and Gamua. He also pointed out that the new flash version of Angry Birds is built with Starling.
Then come the Facebook statistics - turns out that 9 out of the 10 most played and most popular games on the social networking platform are created in Flash. Adobe saw a gap and is eager to fill it with new APIs and other great new features that developers can leverage.
The first new feature is called “Mouse Lock” - which is basically the infinite scrolling you have in the most popular first person shooters (for the geeks, myself included; the mouse is deadlocked in the center of the Flash Player).
And for the first time they will remove the context menu under the right click. As long as you list this in your code, for any right-click mouse event, this menu will no longer appear - a long awaited feature!
Another long awaited feature is full multi-threading support or workers as they are also called. Multi-threading basically means you can offload CPU intensive tasks to a different worker, so for instance your UI doesn’t lock up. This is ideal for heavy graphical computations or loading and unpacking assets in the background. I think this is very useful and a huge step forward.
The next recent feature is Native Extensions for AIR. Another long anticipated feature for many developers, myself included. What does this allow you to do? AIR has only a limited set of APIs and especially on devices you want to make use of the hardware the device has to offer. You can then write an ANE or Adobe/AIR Native Extension which exposes this functionality to you through an Actionscript API that you wrote yourself. Pretty nifty, right?
As their talk is coming to an end they still want to give us loads of demos and sneak peeks. First sneak peek is the Sprite Sheet Exporter in CS6. Just create and MovieClip or sprite animation and right click to export a complete sprite sheet of it. This can then be used with code to do the animation. The last things they quickly talk about are the Minko 3D engine and another tool by the same company, ShaderLab where you can drag and click your own shaders. Amazingly cool!
So good stuff to look forward to and play with!