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An unofficial premium feature FAQ

I thought it would be useful to address some of the questions and concerns that I have been hearing over the last couple of days surrounding premium features.

So you’re charging people to make Flash games now?
No not at all. It is only the combined use of the domain memory opcodes in conjunction with Stage3D GPU that is subjected to the license. Tools that produce console-quality 3D games like Unity use this technology combination, so in that case, you would need a license. Rovio on the other hand, wouldn’t have needed a license to deliver the awesome Stage3D version of Angry Birds to Facebook as they don’t use the domain memory opcodes.

Why would anyone want to pay 30% to Apple and then another 9% to Adobe?
Nobody would do that, myself included. That is why none of this applies to creating AIR applications for the desktop or for mobile app stores. Use the Alchemy opcodes in conjunction with Stage3D as much as you want in AIR, license-free.

Do I need to pay to get the license to use the premium features?
No you don’t pay anything to get the license and it will enable you deploy content using the opcodes and Stage3D GPU to the release Flash Player. If your game is using this combination and it generates revenue over $50,000 then the 9% revenue share would kick in.

Let’s say my game generates over $50,000, will Adobe take 9% of that first $50,000?
No the 9% only applies to what you make after that.

So basically I have to pay Adobe to make my game not slow?
Again that is totally false. It is only the combined use of the domain memory APIs with Stage3D GPU that falls under the license. My question to you would be, can you not make a super high-performance game using Stage3D? Angry Birds uses Starling and Stage3D and does not use opcodes at all. In fact the overwhelming majority of games will never need this.

If I’m building a game for a client that uses the opcodes and Stage3D GPU will I have to transfer my license to them upon completion?
In this case you the developer would not need a license because everything will work as expected in the debug player. It is only the compilation to the release player that will require the license.

What happens if I don’t get a license but still use this combination in my game?
In the debug player everything will work fine but there will be a watermark letting you know that you’re using it. In the release player everything will work except you will be running Stage3D in software mode rather than on the GPU.

Is there an easy way to tell if a game is using premium features?
My colleague Renaun Erickson has a great post on how to do that.

Isn’t this what the open-source and standards communities have been warning us about?
If the concern is that Flash is controlled by a single company, then yes that is true. In my opinion that is also the reason Flash has been so incredibly successful. With that being said, we are making huge contributions to web standards and browser technology. A lot of these things will help the future of HTML5 gaming as well. But putting aside ideology for a moment, if you want to build the best game possible and put it in front of the most people possible then Flash is the best technology by far and it is only going to get better!

What if I use a library in my Stage3D GPU game that uses the domain memory opcodes?
Then you would need a license. The fact that it is a separate library does not exempt you. But let’s take Box2D for example. There is both a pure AS3 and an Alchemy version. In many developer’s tests, including Rovio’s when they were building Angry Birds, they find the AS3 version to be equivalent or even faster than the Alchemy version in many cases. What’s my point? Don’t assume you will need to use the domain memory opcodes. It is primarily for the console-quality games that come out of Unity and in the building of things like the Unreal Tournament 3 demo from Epic.

You guys suck at PR!
The Flash Player on mobile and the open-sourcing of Flex were not handled well at all and we have made some significant changes to improve on those failures. I personally think this announcement was made very well, despite what you may think of the actual content. We had lots of detailed information available from the start and have been very straight-forward. But I’m on the inside looking out :).

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  1. Nape and Box2d make sure of domain memory opcodes and possibly other 3rd party libraries do as well as its the known way for fast memory so its quite possible for any developer using a 3d framework to also end up using domain memory opcodes.

  2. @JohnO yes absolutely, I mentioned the Box2D example in the post. You won’t be using this combination without knowing it though. The debug player will contain a watermark.

  3. Great post Lee, you guys should use this transparency to announce the Adobe news, the whole community is scared to death right now, just because they think they have to pay 9% for everything, no matter what they will use.

  4. @Marcelo yeah I really wish people wouldn’t react so quickly. I have gotten into trouble doing that myself :). Read the details, think about it, and then give your opinion.

  5. Lee, thanks! All this myths could not born at all if initial Adobe post was so clear and short as yours though. Many people don’t like to read many text, they see many words with word “premium” in caption and start to panic)

  6. I’m really quite surprised by the community backlash from this news. If the revenue from these AAA games can JUSTIFY to Adobe (corporate) that Flash Player can make money – the runtimes team would hopefully see an increase in resources. The whole reason for dropping Linux AIR and mobile Flash Player was a lack of resources! I do not understand how Flash developers cannot see this model as GOOD for the platform. Who knows – maybe I’m just too embedded in the whole situation but I truly see this as beneficial to the platform and those developers who love Flash and want to see it THRIVE.

    One immediate good thing that’s come of of all this: Lee’s talking Flash again :)

  7. I think the question in

    “If I’m building a game for a client that uses the opcodes and Stage3D GPU —Will I have to transfer my license to them upon completion— ?”

    is still left unanswered for me :(

  8. Lee, walk me through how I explain this to a client? They would have to obtain their own license and I would publish using some sort of a license key? How would that workflow happen?

  9. Hi Lee. Can you explain the process of the licence if I created a game with Unity and uploaded it to Kongregate and my game used their Kreds for monetization? Does Kongregate have to have a Flash licence and pay Adobe directly or will it still use my licence and I only have to pay Adobe once I personally make over $50,000? This is the most confusing part of it all for me.

  10. OK Lee, but

    Let’s say I use Box2D that was ported using Alchemy, this stuff being like 2 years old, right? And for graphics I am using Stage3D. According to Renaun’s explanation – in the link you provided – I am subject to that licence because I am using Stage3D and the 3rd party library, i.e. Box2D is using ApplicationDomain.domainMemory (cuz this is how Alchemy works).
    But all this despite Box2D implementation has nothing to do with Stage3D.
    I’m just saying this because very non-AAA, non-Console-quality games can be done with this combination.

    NOW, looking at this from another perspective I can relate this to how Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo charge game developers for every Xbox360/PS3/Wii game sold, and I think it’s greater than 9%.
    Now if you look at this from the perspective that Flash Player is a gaming console, it only feels natural that financially successful games should support the “console’s” development.

    I know it looks a bit greedy from Adobe’s point of view, hopefully that money will be put to good use :), but if we, as flash game-developers, want to mentally evolve from web-designers to game-developers I think this is actually needed.
    On the long term this might actually help the invested developer company that spends time and money for good game-design and mechanics, quality graphics, high-performance code.

    Mihnea

  11. @lee

    I think Adobe’s plan to monetize based on games is a good idea because Adobe has sucked at monetizing the Flash Platform in any way, shape or form. The focus on gaming and video is a good thing.

    Having said that, Adobe is forcing me to license my files when I use Stage3d and domainMemory regardless if I plan on monetizing them or not. Currently, the entire process, workflow, legal ramifications, (am I promising my first born?), cost of the program fee,etc is unknown. Example: Is it one license per SWF or one license per dev or per company? What kind of audit process is there? Perhaps it will be completely painless, more along the lines of developing for AIR on Android. I hope so, but I don’t know. Maybe it will be more like iOS provisioning (I hope not!). The Adobe 9% for web-based SWFs making over $50K is the cost of doing business and I’m behind that 100%, but what are my other costs (my time, fees, whatever) to license each and every web-based SWF that happens to use stage3d and domain memory and is going to be played back in a browser, not necessarily on the Internet and that won’t be monetized?

    Sorry. I skipped over the last part of your article and missed the Box2d reference before I posted my original comment. There are a lot of libraries out there using Opcodes beyond just the well known physics ones like Box2d and Nape. Seems if we’re to develop any game or app that uses Stage3d, we need to audit any 3rd party codebase … and since some are built on Haxe, that becomes a pain.

  12. “But let’s take Box2D for example. There is both a pure AS3 and an Alchemy version. In many developer’s tests, including Rovio’s when they were building Angry Birds, they find the AS3 version to be equivalent or even faster than the Alchemy version in many cases.”

    thats probably because of lazy port to Alchemy actually and even to old version of Alchemy and even more just a compilation of existing C++ source. Lets be serious if u do it right it would be much-much faster then pure as3 coded version… i have lots of proofs in my projects u know… ;)

  13. hi @lee, thank you for FAQ, it has been really useful, I have a few more questions regarding licensing:
    1. how to apply for a licence from adobe? Is there any form over the web?
    2. do I need to compile the licence into the .swf? Or how is the licence applied to a game?
    3. games released before august still require licence right? But remains free for ever.. what does “released before august” mean? My pc time while compiling is before august?
    4. how adobe plans to control my game revenues?
    thank you for your answers in advance
    Jozef

  14. On the surface the deal is not horrible. People who say most games don’t break 50k are missing the point however… though, if I don’t want to license the features then I don’t have to. Here are my concerns:
    1–the take-away here is that (my) clients are even less interested in using the Flash Platform than before. AIR/iOS has been an easy sell, now not so much. And, yes, I understand the current deal doesn’t apply to AIR… please tell that to all my clients… wait, they’ve moved on.

    2–I don’t “trust” Adobe won’t change the rules again.

    Having said all this, I just wonder how it could have been handled differently. I agree there was a lot of information immediately available. I really think a lot of Adobe’s messaging problems could be averted if they simply had a reasonably inspirational CEO. I nominate Lee!

  15. actually, the last point with the PR is even more valid than some might think. with the announcement of discontinuation of flash player on mobile, a huge part of my company is saying that flash is dead, even louder than you could here it before. of course, the note said it affects mobile only, but that doesn’t matter when the news sites we read can’t even get those cryptic announcements right and proclaim something else in their headlines because Adobe’s PR was so confusing
    and with the announcement this time, there’s no difference. of course, i also read several sources, at first i was sceptical, after reading Renaun’s blog entry I was slightly delighted, but after going through the comment section of his entry, and reading this blog entry http://indiegames.com/2012/03/canabalt_qwop_steambirds_survi.html (one of the interviewed is adamatomic, the guy behind flixel) it makes me wonder whether i should choose flash in the future. Why? because as long as dev’s use third party libraries (and you’ve got to admit, that’s very likely to happen), we can’t be sure if a graphics library uses Stage3d, or if any ilbrary uses ApplicationDomain.domainMemory in the dark (like Away3d apparently, see comment section in renaun’s entry). for a long term flash dev it seems to me like it said in the entry i linked: cut dependency on flash within three years, or else

  16. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN ?!?!?

    CREATING AN ADVERGAME FOR A CLIENT OBER THE WEB, TO LET ANYONE PLAY IT AS A PART OF AN POVERALL CAMPAIGN, would mean that such a license should have been bought from apple to do so !?!!?

    EVEN IF NO USER ACTUALLY PAYS ANYONE AS A PART OF AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM!?!??

    P L E A S E CLARIFY THIS!!!

    THAT WOULD KILL NOT ONLY FLASH BUT A WHOLE ONLINE MARKETING BUSINESS!!!

  17. Dude, you’ve seriously made it to the dark-corporate side if you think you guys have gotten the PR right this time.

    If it was so well explained, why have you posted *twice* to explain it again? And Thibault all over the internet posting clarifying comments?

    J

  18. @Lee
    Sorry if this has been asked before, but I have a question, what if I want to use domain memory and stage 3d by using an offline SWF file (by making a projector or something else)? I think this should be like an AIR app, but I guess the same web restriction applies, doesn’t it?

  19. Many of you have asked detailed questions about stuff that I’m not sure about. I’ll be in the Adobe office tomorrow and will get your questions answered ASAP.

  20. I think we’ll all feel better if Adobe issues the free license in multicolor intaglio form suitable for framing. I envision a diploma or stock-certificate look with Gothic type proclaiming me a Premium Flash Developer.

  21. What if I publish my game both on the web and as mobile app, and make money by selling players some in-game stuff? How I and Adobe be able to determine how much money generates my web version?

    Next thing, what if after getting 49k I recompile my game with few new features and new levels and rename it from “Name” to “Name II”, is it another game or the same?

  22. On the licence.
    So say im developing/testing a game with stage3d and opcodes.
    How am I going to know how well it runs in release mode without the ability to test in a release player. I would have to get a licence just to know. Otherwise it would fall back to software when published to release.

    Are the licences per game or is there a developer option?

  23. Sorry, but why the ducks is Adobe charging for anything else on top of the IDE itself? I don’t get it. They have enough money in the bank.

    Flash is where it is today, and it only gets more bad reputation with this. Just make this thing damn free, there won’t be a ton of people using it either way.

    Call me bias, but does this feature require some continuous server power or some type of consumption from Adobe? If not, than why the hell charge for it?

    We expect our software to get better with every version. This is why we purchase it. When will Adobe change it’s CEO?

  24. Thanks for the clarification Lee and I agree that Adobe needs to find ways to monitze…
    but I gotta tell ya… Adobe really needs to get their PR act in line. The fact that “YOU”, are answering questions in this format confirms the issue.

    With all that has happened recently combined with this jumpy crowd, Adobe should have the kid gloves on when they make announcements. They should know that every time they talk that they are speaking to a paranoid group of people that jumps every time they think they hear an egg shell crack. Until people see that Adobe is moving in a good direction, they are gonna have a hard time trusting.

    This community is great at generating its own negative feedback and panicking out of sheer lack of understanding…. Adobe could do a little better in this department..

  25. “I personally think this announcement was made very well, despite what you may think of the actual content.”

    I think it could have been handled better, with many tech blogs getting the details wrong.

    Michelle Yaiser, from Adobe was answering people’s question and tweeted:
    “You only have to pay if the game: 1. makes over $50K AND 2. uses BOTH domain memory and Stage3D, AND 3. is browser based.”

    Breaking down the requirements like that in the initial blog posts that made this announcement I think would have done wonders. Whoever is responsible for these announcements needs to look over what has been written, try to take a step back look to see what details people could get wrong and make it clearer. Although that graph in the official FAQ helped, I don’t think those reporting on the issue looked at the FAQ, but started writing based off the first blog post.

    Those who qualify for this 9% is so incredibly few, but because of the way the news came out, many developers will have to work hard to convince their companies or clients otherwise.

  26. It’s so clear you have to talk to Adobe lawyers to understand it…

    A really good blog post about that announcement: http://blog.joa-ebert.com/2012/03/28/collateral-damage/

    Excerpt: But for the hell of it, a[b] = c is not a premium feature. Nor are hardware accelerated graphics. That is what I would expect from any decent runtime.

    Another point is the write once, distribute everywhere selling point. With opcodes now available, I’m sure most library will make extensive use of it sooner than later. Now if anyone is using Stage3D to develop mobile games (and that’s a must on those platform), and use library with opcodes (that will be hard to avoid soon), he can’t release it for the web unless he license it with Adobe, or he had to re-write the biggest and most complex part of the code. That’s killing the idea of write once.

    I’m also curious to see the reaction of some corporation when they learn they’ll have to open their book to Adobe if their development team or production outsource company tell them that with Flash it’s the new rule. But I think I know their reaction up-front: use another technology.

    If Flash wasn’t what make myself a living, seeing Adobe shot themselves in the foot again and again would be a good laugh.

    P.S. Your comment about Box2D being as fast in AS3 as it is in C++ is stupid at best.

  27. @Juan They’ve sort of had to go around clearing up misunderstandings, because a few bloggers chose to leave out some key details from the original press release. I think most of the confusion came in from people who read those blogs INSTEAD of the press releases.

  28. @Andrei
    “Sorry, but why the ducks is Adobe charging for anything else on top of the IDE itself? I don’t get it. They have enough money in the bank.”

    The amount of money Adobe has is irrelevant. Flash has to stand on its own in order to justify the development effort. Shareholders would have no patience for holding onto a division that isn’t earning its keep.

    I have to believe that Adobe can not be making as much money off of Flash IDE’s as they did in the past. HTML5 is replacing Flash for many use cases, such as animation and advertisements. Enterprise development is shifting from Flex to other tools as well. On top of this, the number of competing tools has greatly expanded. Adobe spending the money both to update the player in a world where competition with JS and HTML is fierce AND to match pace with other tool providers just doesn’t make sense. They need to find other revenue models for Flash. Things have changed. Adobe has to change as well.

    I’m just thankful that they are even looking for new ways to keep Flash viable. Their plan makes sense. They’re specializing so that they can be competitive, and they’re looking for a funding model that works with a smaller customer base.

  29. Adobe has left us some good options here. First, if using these two features in conjunction with each other will earn us more than 9% more than we would without, then by my quick mental math, the deal is worth it. But let’s say I don’t want to do that, but I DO want to offer my customers the option of having this fancy “premium” version of my app. Easy. I pull them in with my web version which doesn’t use those things, and then I get them to download (or better yet, purchase) my desktop version that has the premium performance and features intact. Adobe isn’t forcing us to get a license for that. If we play our cards right, we just might be able to turn this into an advantage.

    I don’t buy that we need Alchemy to make Stage3D fast in a browser. We’ve already seen plenty of content made that uses straight up Stage3D and normal AS3. Furthermore, we know that AS3 is getting faster in the future – the road map has been provided.

    What exactly are we complaining about here? Flash IS faster today than it was a year ago, with or without the Alchemy features.

  30. Hi Lee, is not like I’ll be using domain memory any time soon, but have to ask anyway:

    How will Adobe know if a game is generating revenue over $50,000?

    The Flash Player will call home with a unique user/game ID each time a game is loaded in a browser?

    What if the same user plays the same game in more than one browser/computer/tablet?

    Maybe it all will work differently, but would be good to get some explanations ;)

  31. @Francis you said “P.S. Your comment about Box2D being as fast in AS3 as it is in C++ is stupid at best.”

    Did you read the post? I was comparing the Alchemy version of Box2D to the pure AS3 version. I was not talking about the C++ version. Alchemy converts C++ to ActionScript bytecode. You should read and make sure you understand something before calling someone stupid.

  32. For those who have asked questions about how licensing will work or will be enforced, we will have more details on that soon as we get closer to August.

  33. Yes Box2D Alchemy could be so much faster than it is…. yet in all of 2 years no one has taken the initiative to improve it? Why not?

    Lee’s comment’s not stupid, based on the CURRENT Box2DAlchemy, it’s not hugely faster than the PureAS3 version, maybe 20-30%.

    The fact it _could be_ is neither hear nor there.

  34. @ Alex – Bang on, what are we complaining about here? You didn’t even mention that we’re going to have concurrency by years end!

    Put the whole Phsyics system on another thread….! How cool is that??

    Flashers need to take a step back, and appreciate the pure fucking awesomeness that is the new Flash Player improvements.

  35. Whatever happened to reading an article to the end, digesting the information, forming an opinion and at the last step in this process, voicing your opinion in a thoughtful way? When I read the official Adobe statement yesterday everything was clear to me. But thanks to Lee for clarifying it anyway. You know, sometimes reading helps. I know it’s hard when it has more than 140 letters, but hey. Thinking helps as well and I heard that reading and thinking combined make an unbeatable combination.

  36. Lee,

    Thanks for this FAQ. Its super appreciated. I have two questions:

    1. We are making a unity game. If we want to target only the players who do not have Unity Web Player, and we detect the existance of a native player BEFORE accessing the game, whould we pay royalties for the whole user base or only the extra (and probably majority) who are not accesible by the unity plugin but rather by Flash. If this is the case, it sounds super fair. Benefit from Flash’s penetration by monetizing adobe for its extra user base.

    2. We also make WFH for adver-apps and adver-games which are usually free for our clients. If we use the premium features, are there rev shares involved?

    PD. When are you coming back to Colombia??

  37. hmmmmm I’m finding it very hard to trust Adobe now.
    But also I dont think this will work.

    let’s say you develop a major flash web game (like the multiuser ones in China or angry birds for facebook or the new sim city) and you make 10 million off it. Now adobe wants almost 1 mil of your earnings. Will you give it to them or will you invest that money into developing your own version of a flash like browser based plugin that you control. Sure you will need to get your users to download the new plugin, but thats probably worth the hassle for users that are already invested in the game. And then you control everything.

    And if a consortium of developers produce a fully open source plugin that doesnt have restrictions and works like the flash player – then adobe has a direct threat that they effectively created themselves

  38. @Shawn

    sorry dude… you HAVE to admit that flash succeeded because ANYONE that bought the package could easily spread his own creativity over the web and other platforms WITHOUT ANY EXTRA COST!!

    THAT is what made it SO popular… THAT is why is STILL alive!!!

    BUT this kind of policy that PREVENTED ANYONE FROM USING 3D CAPABILITIS that are so powerfull and INDEED built into the system, would SIMPLY KILL flash developers all over the world NOT TO MENTION a WHOLE system that is built right on to it!!

    Stage3d IS A MAJOR update to flash and was ONE OF THE FIRST TO DO features for MANY years now that adobe FAILED to provide (that is why papervision, away3d and others tried to fill in the gap)

    BUT right when adobe FINALLY made it to the player.. it just SIMPLY KILLS the NUMBER ONE REASON why flash was popular for SO MANY YEARS..
    DEPLOY flash content over the web with ease of use and NO EXTRA CHARGE!!!

    DON’T YOU GET IT!?!?
    WHAT flash developers say to a perpspective advertising lets say client?
    We will create a super duper 3d game based on unity and flash and you will have to pay extra to release it !?!?
    SUCH BUDGETS DO NOT EXIST in small countries/markets…

    MAKE UP YOU MIND AND DO PROVIDE FLASH AND UNITY CAPABILITIES FOR ADOBE’S OWN GOOD..

    DO NOT VOTE IN FAVOUR TO WHAT STEVE JOBS SAYS ABOUT FLASH THAT IT WILL BE REPLACED from html5 in the near future!!

    DO NOT DO SO WITH ADOBE’S OWN WILL AND POLICY T H E L E A S T !!!!

  39. @Lee –

    Our clients are planning and/or developing now. If the “switch” is turned on in August, we need to know sooner rather than later. Hopefully “as we get closer to August” means we’ll know the costs and details within a few months (at latest) from today, not a few weeks before the August deadline.

  40. Wait. Many of you say Adobe needs to make more money with the Flash IDE? Are they not offering a subscription based license for their software? I am sure the only reason they are doing that is to make more money. And from what I have seen so far, Adobe is doing fairly well for itself.

    Why the need to confuse things more with taking a percentage of a game? Not only that, they are single handedly targeting only successful games, and those on the Web, not with AIR, or mobile, or projector?? Why not just make us license everything we make like in the Director days?

    Obviously, Adobe sees how certain companies like Rovio are worth billions of dollars, and they want their cut of it. The fact that Rovio buys a couple dozen or however many Flash IDEs is nothing in terms of how much money they make. That is why they aren’t going after the little fish… Either way I think it stinks.

    Imagine buying MS Office, and then to find out because of a word doc you wrote has been read by more than 10,000 that you have to start paying a premium to use word. Or because you used 1 certain feature of Office, lets say flow charts, that they will make you pay more. Ridiculous. The feature is there, I paid for the software, let me damn well use it. Maybe they should go back to having more than 1 version of Flash…. Flash Basic and Flash Pro, where pro you have to pay this premium,

    I agree, this AGAIN has been handled VERY poorly. And yes Lee, if you don’t think it has, well, I think you need to remove yourself from Adobe’s mind control and think about us developers for a moment. The fact that this hasn’t really reached mainstream media is because they already think Flash is dead, don’t have us developers think the same thing.

    If a company makes an announcement like this, and then even its own employees don’t know the answer, and won’t know the answer until August, how the hell do they think the developer community would react??

  41. In a real world example for a gambling SlotMachine :

    My company creates a slotmachine front-end .swf with Unity and sells ist for 80 000$ + 5% revenue-share to an aggregator who is going to host it.
    Now the Aggregator starts so sell licenses of that slotmachine to 300 gambling providers for 50 000$ + 30% revenue-share and each of these 300 companies are also going to make more than 50 000$ a year.

    Who is going to pay Adobe in this example ?

  42. I’d like to join the chorus of people saying that Adobe massively screwed up their PR yet again, but the way I see it, the so-called tech “journalists” are as much to blame as anybody in the Adobe PR department. They will pounce on any perceived weakness and totally misrepresent the facts so that they can get some more click-bait for their site. It’s ridiculous but not entirely unexpected.

    With that in mind, Adobe’s official press release should have contained a FAQ much like this one: clear, to the point, and simple to read– since even “journalists” can’t seem to be bothered to read anything longer than a few paragraphs before rushing off and clicking “publish.”

  43. Will Adobe have say on what content license can be granted and what content it cannot be granted. As strong EFF supporter, this is one main issue for me.

  44. Flex and Air SDK are freely available for development. Flash developers can skip using flash ide altogether if they so desire (i do it all the time) and for the cost of a measly 9% and only if i use the combination of the two which i haven’t … ever … and i probably won’t. i’ll just skirt around any potential conflicts like any smart programmer, because i can… it’s called problem solving.

  45. @Lee

    Sorry for the use of stupid, Adobe being so much more than you…

    For now, Box2D in alchemy beta is 20-30% faster than AS3. Why not more? Maybe because Adobe tell everybody not to use the beta of Alchemy in production? Why would anyone spend a lot of time trying to improve performance if it’s never going to be used in production? I think you can say the same most of the experiment that have been done with Alchemy so far. But now that it’s officially supported, I expect to see a lot of physics, pathfinding and other processor intensive task port to Alchemy with a lot more care given to performance optimization, not just demoing the possibility.

    What about my other comments: Write once, distribute everywhere, having my client open their book to Adobe (especially if their not from U.S.A.), and GPU usage seen as “premium” stuff even if it’s now implemented in CSS and Canvas on WebKit browser and FF?

  46. @Ti – Flash is still pretty much totally free. You can use Stage3D, you can use any of the AS3 3D Engines like Alternativa, you can use any of the 2D libs like starling. The only thing you can’t use is Unity… and even if you do, you pay just a small portion of profits, after you start making money. It’s not like you have to pay anything in order to release, and it’s you can code pure Stage3D to your hearts content.

    @ Peter – As I understand it, the end publisher is the one responsible here, they are the ones who directly collect revenues from users. So Each of the 300 companies would need to get a license, and remit a portion of their profits to Adobe. T

    he aggregator, and you, may likely reduce your commissions a little in order to offset the additional 9%. Or, you switch away from Unity, to a pure AS3 engine, in order to exempt your Slot Machine from this requirement and make it more attractive.

  47. Flash is faster/cheaper/better than HTML5 – today. I started that way, because of something you said in Denver last night that got under my skin, and this PR position you guys keep finding yourselves in stems from this – Flash let’s us do more for less money, and in less time than we can in HTML5. By your own estimation in that same session in Denver – Flash will always be far enough ahead of HTML5, that we will always be able to do more for less money and time with Flash vs. HTML5.

    This is more than anything what all the “crying”, is about. Adobe’s terrible (really bad) PR is making it hard for those of us in the trenches to sell Flash the same way we used to, because the messaging from Adobe sends signals to clients that Flash is dead, even Adobe knows it, and what they really need is HTML5. Then they come to us with unreasonable expectations about what can be done TODAY in HTML5 – not in 5 years, but today.

    Flash is still better tech for the same things it has always been better tech for. It has basically got 100% reach on the desktop in browsers (99% of the market) and with AIR Apps (which should be re-branded as Flash Apps), it has basically 100% reach in app stores, and therefor on mobile devices. 100% reach + faster, cheaper and better.

    So there’s your narrative for what you used to rightly call “the Flash Platform”. Make that sell again, and jagged pills like premiums features will go down much smoother. You don’t even have to change any of your technical plans or decision making processes (or areas of focus) – all of which have been frankly very well thought out. Just for the sake of our sanity, fix your company’s narrative around Flash.

    /rant

  48. New flash player has broken the web – literally.

    50%, maybe more, of the people I am speaking to are no longer able to view content with hardware acceleration enabled in 11.2 – Adobe response to this – NOTHING.

    Green screening the entire internet – fantastic.

    Well done.

  49. The way I see it… adobe is a sinking ship which needs saving.. isn’t it?! :)
    So, when it comes to Stage3D API – what’s the case and why should anyone pay whatever license?! I fail to get that one… What’s the part that is licensed? Let’s say I don’t use the brown colored “flex” framework.. What should I pay for? I seriously don’t get that! Adobe’s conditions (API failures and licensing failures) are becoming so ugly that I’m already ashamed to call my self an ActionScript programmer. And that’s how adobe makes me feel… I can say for sure: Adobe sucks more than Microsoft!!!

  50. Here’s another problem – premium features are for “console quality” games. What does that mean? AS3 devs don’t make console quality games? You guys need a linguist in house or something…

  51. @lee

    Could you give more details on how the reporting will work? If someone makes a Flash based game with Unity, and makes little to no money, are they really going to have to report their income from the game to Adobe for the rest of their life?

    Could Adobe make an exception for Flash player “premium” licensing to people who already own a license for Flash Professional or Flash Builder? They could even do royalty exception based on the number of employees a company has relative to the number of Creative Suite licenses the company owns per employees? If Adobe is already getting paid by a customer who buys their tools, should that customer also have to pay royalties as well?

  52. No response from Adobe regarding this issue – they are rolling out an 11.3 beta update in order to deal with it…….stunning levels of failure.

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4323737#4323737

    You have raised Adobes new found ability to communicate regarding issues, and here we have the new flash player almost totally failing on brand new systems all over the internet – Adobes response has been to categorically blame the hardware vendors of graphics cards and users for not having the latest drivers – Lee – seriously – the fact that this is there resposne should be enough to alert even YOU that there is something seriously wrong with Adobes marketing and communications.

    It is absolutely time Shantanu Narayen moved on – this is beyond failure.

    Adobe has a global responsibility to the web through its deep integration with flash player, and to the global flash developer community – JOBS and peoples LIVELIHOODS, and Shantanu Narayen is simply destroying both of these through Flash Mobile, Flex and now a completely unusable flash player.

    I think its time someone said something – and at the very least Shantanu Narayen was given a tap on the shoulder – its appalling what is happening.

  53. @Edin Tam: Ahahah, Adobe is a sinking ship? Really? Illustrator, inDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flex, Acrobat, After Effects, etc. Yeah, they better be careful.

  54. I am sorry for you Lee, you and Thibault ended up once again clarifying all Adobe announcements. The whole community impression is yo both are community mediators. Thibault’s website has been hacked today for some reason so you just alone on the battlefield.

    True is, whatever yo think about quality of this announcement is just a shadow of previous bad things happened. And further contribution to the death of this platform. If you are blind enough not able to see it you have to wake up. Stop doing public announcements, talk to community on some private forum or somewhere, because we community developers can accept and understand some facts, But we can fight with dump decisions makers who picking up main stream bullshit only!

    They will not dig deep enough, they don’t even know of existence of your blog, they will make decisions base on the rumours, that next iteration of X project will be HTML5 instead even if this is super duper 3D game. This is a core of your PR failure. Stop behave as bloody Apple that believe what is better of us (wider audience than developers) because you are not on this position!!!

    Personally I would love to see that from those licences Adobe have benefits, and enough founds to keep flash player going. Who knows, making this move at first place 2 years ago might actually save Mobile Plugin witch is crucial for the future. (Do you know guys how many Android Tables are on the market?) But having this other way around, you just keep shooting into your foots. If you will not wake the f**k up Flash and Adobe is going to die.

    You are no longer Flash Evangelist, you are Adobe agenda supporters if you continue to do PR this way!

  55. What if you use premium content, but your product is not really gaming oriented. For example, we sell a high-performance visualization/imaging tool to the enterprise. The product has a big server component. When we sell our product, we sell it as a server with a flash client, and the license is per site, or per user or per message. The flash client is only provides a piece of the functionality of our total package (the way our server integrates into the enterprise systems is not trivial). Right now the client uses alchemy opcodes for performance reasons and we looked at stage3D to handle some 3d rendering. We have no clue where we fit in with this new announcement – and what the cost of using the new APIs is, after all, the flash browser client isn’t really our product – the server/client combination is.

  56. Lots of thanks lee, for all of your efforts, as well as those of Thibault.
    We were having good dreams untill last october. After 3 months doing android java dev I went into Flex for android/cocoa, feeling that it would really be great.
    Then a huge brick has fallen over our heads as flash developpers. Adobe betrayed us all and then,
    broke what we were doing a living of.

    Now we are just tired of working for Adobe or Apple or any big corporation that could break us again and again. Paying a licence for flashbuilder then see people telling you that well they don’t want flash anymore is really weird of a situation.

    Java has followed a different path and Adobe should have learnt from it.
    Fully open sourcing the flash player and focusing on the tools and infrastructure would have leveraged actionscript.

    Adobe sells software right ?
    Adobe is making a lot of money on open source html5, not focusing on the rendering engine but
    on the content tools, right ? so why closing the source of the flash player again and again ?

    Don’t you realize that it’s not a game ?
    You and other developpers are able to go away and start new bricks of software from c++ or else.
    But hey, think about the many flash developpers on a dead end because we heard all that weird advertising from you and other “sectary preachers” of actionscript 3 and “by default private and native method flex framework that can’t use inheritance”.

    Most of us had to switch to other languages : Java for the most advanced ones, php and Html5 for the others.
    Let’s face it : Flash is now an escrowing platform, no more a development tool.
    Flash has existed, it was great, adobe bought it kept it closed source, didn’t work with research centers that had brilliant ideas about peer to peer and many enhancements, then it died.

  57. This licensing model will make everyone who even just considered using propper game creation middleware like unreal, unity etc to output content for the flash player consider twice.
    That means Adobe is further accelerating the downfall of flash.
    The flash community has asked for proper hardware acceleration for all graphical content in flash for ages.
    Adobe has not delivered to this day.
    instead first they forced AS3 and redoing all content in that in a stupid aim to lead to better performance, while clearly the main performance bottleneck is on graphics handling side.
    Then they introduced hardware acceleration but only applicable when trophing away all existing apis and also anything one can do in the flash IDE on visual side and do it all from the ground up in new Apis.
    Yet another EPIC fail.
    They also of course have not delivered a new IDE version to allow graphical workflow creation of hardware accelerated content.
    Instead of being thankful that others like Unreal and Unity jump in and fill the void helping flash to stay relevant a bit longer, no, Adobe turns around and punishes all supporting the flash platform by charging content creators for using middleware which fills needs Adobe brought up by not delivering for 6-8 years.

    Shame on Adobe.

    Nothing against you personally Lee, but yeah, shame on Adobe.

  58. That is a good thing. Flash needs to eat a little too. What if a company wants 30% of your every earn?
    But if my game sell 50.000, i would make it with something else (obj-c, java) from zero besides giving 9%.

  59. Hi Lee,
    Please inform the release notes writer for 11.3 that they are missing
    “”

    Thanks to your web site i was able to get it to work, but that needs to be in the release notes as the link at the bottom of the download page says “Review the release notes to learn how to implement the new features”.

    Cant implement without that missing line of code ;) thanks again.

  60. @Lee Brimelow unfortunately clients don’t read the details. They hear the headlines and then if only one another person says Flash is dead, they decide that this must be true. And so the wave rolls on until the hype is complete. Then at the next meeting with them if you mention Flash, that’s instantly a negative thing! Instead they want their game in HTML5 now because, hey, everyone is raving about it (without really knowing how much it sucks to develop games with HTML5/JS and regardless that HTML5 is a sub-optimal platform for game development to even begin with). Way to shovel a grave for a great technology like Flash and AIR.

  61. Lee. Me gets the feeling you’re not the go to guy on making decisions on the presence and reel of nonsense that comes out of the corporate world of gup that is Adobe marketing.

    That’s fine. But please, for the love of all that is Flash/AIR, tell us who is making the big calls on how these things are presented to the world from Adobe – because it’s about time that person heard what’s happening.

    When AIR is said to be based on Flash technology to anyone considering anything, such is the damage that Adobe has done to, and permitted to be done to the reputation of Flash, that it’s laughed at, mocked and derided.

    MoleHill Should have been renamed something else. AIR 3.2 should have been a version upgrade, to AIR 4, such is the weight of Stage3D. Which reminds me…who thought of that name? Didn’t think you could find worse than MoleHill, but I stand corrected.

    The irony, of course, is that Adobe makes design kits for folks that are intimately involved in advertising and marketing, yet Adobe seems absolutely incapable of understanding advertising, marketing, brand equity, reputation management and public relations.

    Perhaps its time Adobe turned to its customers and asked them for help, and then LISTENED!

  62. Looks like adobe recanted :-) you should update your page (the retraction is more confusing than the original change). Thanks for your clear, well written article btw