Flash Being Deprecated?!?! Wasup with this rumor?

75 posts

Flag Post

UG Announcement: This thread is allowed to be necroed because it will be the only one of it’s kind.

Hello,

I’ve been doing web development and enterprise programming for a couple years and have always wanted to get into game programming. I love the AS3 language, tools, community, and documentation. So now that I have some time on my hands I’d like to devote some of it to mastering the language and creating a few games. However, I’ve heard some nasty rumours to the effect that flash won’t be around much longer. Now, to my mind, sites like Konggregate, the number of libraries and flash books being published, the ubiquity of the flash player, adobe’s investment in molehill, the unreal player and unity now publishing to flash — all these facts appear to give this rumour the lie.

What’s the general consensus among flash game developers? Is there really an exodus away from as3 to html5 and javascript ( an awkward language for game programming at best, in my humble opinion )?

What prompted the question is I just noticed the aviary project is closing on the 15th and the site says flash is ‘being deprecated across the internet’.

Please agree with me — this is bullS***, right? :)

Thanks,
MH

 
Flag Post

I expect Flash will get deprecated in the next few years. However, I don’t expect that to make a lot of difference, and Flash game creation skills will still be valuable in whatever replaces it (and I agree that HTML5 is not currently good enough to get people to migrate).

 
Flag Post

Well a lot of people are going to have conflicting opinions regarding the ‘death’ of flash. People that don’t like it for some reason or another love to predict that the doom is very close. People that like it for some reason or another love to predict that the doom isn’t so close. At this point, its pretty much entirely opinion based.

Sure, a lot of technology exists that can replicated a lot of what flash does currently and its being put into use instead of flash. And sure, flash does does a lot of things that existing technology can’t do as easily or whatever.

As it appears to me, Flash is unlikely to be deprecated within a few years for a few reasons.

1) Adobe just found a way to monetize it. A company that large would not develop technology, monetize it, then ditch it shortly after. They want to make sure that Flash at least looks like it is a technology worth developing on so they can make some money.
2) Too much stuff already uses it. If its taken out all of the sudden a lot, lot, lot of things are going to not work. So flash will exist (deprecated, sure it could be) for some time.
3) All the other reasons I’m sure plenty of people will point out.

 
Flag Post

The Flash gaming idustry is a BIG industry. If Adobe takes down Flash, they are going to lose a LOT of potential money. They probably will slowly switch to some other alternative sometime, but they would have to take it extremely slowly for fear of losing the interests of Flash’s target audience, I reckon.

 
Flag Post

Not worried at all.

Adobe is depreciating flash on mobile phones so they can concentrate on developing flash for web browsers (and Air for mobiles). html5 has a long way to go before it can do everything flash can do now. If hmtl5 does overtake I’ll see it coming a long way off and I’ll have plenty of time to switch over; the experience and knowledge I’ve gained writing games won’t go away because I start coding in a different language. If html5 does somehow manage to snowball I expect Adobe and Unity will release something which compiles to html5 anyway.

 
Flag Post

Woo! Another “HTML5 is pushing out Flash” thread!

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by CuriousGaming:

Not worried at all.

Adobe is depreciating flash on mobile phones so they can concentrate on developing flash for web browsers (and Air for mobiles).

I want proof on this. I’ve read that Adobe isn’t making a Flash CS7 and they are dropping support for Flash on every platform.

Don’t assume your knowledge of ActionScript will help you at all. Writing something in JavaScript and HTML is absolutely nothing like programming in ActionScript, C(variant), or Java. The game logic will remain similar, but actually getting that logic to do something is much much different.

Originally posted by Draco18s:

Woo! Another “HTML5 is pushing out Flash” thread!

Because it is true. HTML is much more compatible and highly supported by everything (though HTML5 specifically is still being worked on). Aside from the “it is already widespread” argument, there is no real reason to keep using Flash when HTML5 would do the trick. With all of this being said, at this very moment Flash is still better than HTML5 because some major browsers don’t fully support HTML5 and while the canvas element is a nice introduction it still lacks the functionality to create anything advanced.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by EndlessSporadic:
Originally posted by CuriousGaming:

Not worried at all.

Adobe is depreciating flash on mobile phones so they can concentrate on developing flash for web browsers (and Air for mobiles).

I want proof on this. I’ve read that Adobe isn’t making a Flash CS7 and they are dropping support for Flash on every platform.

Here ya go: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplatform/whitepapers/roadmap.html

Adobe is planning on developing changes to AS3… so it’s rather unlikely for them to abandon Flash. They are dropping standalone Flash on Linux though, except in Chrome browsers.

And here’s a blog post saying they are focusing on the player for Desktops, AIR on mobile, (and Adobe is also working on HTML 5 products): http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html

Don’t assume your knowledge of ActionScript will help you at all. Writing something in JavaScript and HTML is absolutely nothing like programming in ActionScript, C(variant), or Java. The game logic will remain similar, but actually getting that logic to do something is much much different.

Definately. That’s why I like AS3 so much… it’s like Java except it looks nicer in a lot of ways =).

Because it is true. HTML is much more compatible and highly supported by everything (though HTML5 specifically is still being worked on). Aside from the “it is already widespread” argument, there is no real reason to keep using Flash when HTML5 would do the trick. With all of this being said, at this very moment Flash is still better than HTML5 because some major browsers don’t fully support HTML5 and while the canvas element is a nice introduction it still lacks the functionality to create anything advanced.

Of course HTML is. But HTML can’t do all the interactive stuff that Flash does easily. There is some really innovative websites that would disappear if we couldn’t do more than we currently can with HTML.

Now, as for HTML 5, as you mentioned… canvas has a lower penetration on computers (including mobile) than Flash does… so I think Flash is still competitive, definitely.

The biggest reason I think however, that Flash is going to stay popular, however, is because, as you said, Actionscript 3 is a C and Java like language. A lot of people (myself included) find that really easy to write in. While switching to HTML 5 may offer us some players in terms of mobile, it really isn’t worth switching languages over, and writing in something we consider more difficult (not to mention that a lot of games aren’t suited for mobile in the first place – mine certainly aren’t). Flash Player isn’t going to be just ‘disappearing’ after all. People will continue to download it to play content that was already made years ago. And as long as people keep wanting to download it, we can continue to program in it, and Adobe can continue to support it.

That isn’t to say you can’t write Javascript in a C like format (that’s what Haxe is). But, there really isn’t a compelling reason to switch right now.

 
Flag Post

HTML is much more compatible and highly supported by everything (though HTML5 specifically is still being worked on). Aside from the “it is already widespread” argument, there is no real reason to keep using Flash when HTML5 would do the trick.

Do you know that product called Game Maker? That’s a game-making software. It publishes in HTML5, and it’s easier to use as a substitute for programming. Do you know what this means? If they pull Flash out of the market and introduce HTML5 instead, even a noob who knows nothing about programming will be able to ‘write’ a game using that software. The computer gaming industry could collapse in on itself. Also I don’t why Adobe would want to discontinue Flash. The Flash Player has been around for 16 years, and has had probably hundreds of millions of downloads. Adobe surely wouldn’t stop Flash even though it’s been the thing most used by computers for God knows how long.

 
Flag Post

I believe that Adobe will phase out plugin support (perhaps alluded to by their discontinuation of beloved Linux support after v11(?) – why deny the entire linux market support for new features… unless you’re not planning on developing any new Flash plugin features…) across all operating systems. The Flash development environment, on the other hand, could become more powerful than ever by really leveraging direct publishing to HTML5, Canvas, and Javascript. Adobe’s interest in the CreateJS suite may well likewise signify their interest into a full camvas/javascript publishing solution, either as a component of the Flash development environment or a separate application (or web-app, even) in the Creative Suite. No doubt Adobe would continue to place an emphasis on strong legacy support for ActionScript (it is, after all, a scripting language, and can be interpreted into Javascript and JSON instead of the proprietary Flash plugin format). This would enable Adobe to maintain the entire Flash developer base and add to it anyone familiar with common web languages.

Open-source web techs are easy to obtain and don’t incur licensing fees or agreements with commercial entities, nor do you have to endure the effects of conflicting corporate interests (i.e. Flash becoming banned from Apple products). The primary impediment to the phasing-out of Flash is that there are currently few if any effective means to protect proprietary content across open source web-techs – it’s the same reason that Netflix has never supported Linux and why it took them so long to support Android.

 
Flag Post

Are we trying to sell the skin before one has shot the bear?

HTML5 IS NOT yet ready.
HTML5 IS NOT yet stable.
HTML5 IS NOT yet supported universally.
HTML5 IS NOT yet able to make many things which are made in Flash.
HTML5 IS NOT yet nearly as convenient as Flash is for gamedev.

Yep, there’s yet word everywhere. But until HTML5 overcomes abovementioned obstacles, it cannot be used for gamedev.
Sure there are a few proof-of-concept HTML5 games out there but them are bulky in code, buggy on different browsers/platforms, awkward to develop and, well, let’s say it, not as nearly beautiful and/or addictive. A such HTML5 game that is considered a big achievement to develop is done in Flash in a few days.
Also, good Flash and AIR games are published via Steam and such now and then because of their ‘console level’ quality.

HTML5 is not yet suited for gamedev. It CANNOT be considered a Flash replacement.

You CANNOT make games in it. Period.

But there is another side of the coin.
If for any reason Adobe thinks that they are going to get less money (or just not-so-much-to-get-hands-dirty-for) from Flash than they invest, they may and will shut it down regardless of whether there is a replacement or there is it not.

If the question is straightforward “Where should I make browser games now, in Flash or in HTML5?”, then the answer is short: “In Flash”. You cannot do it otherwise.

But what in a couple/five/ten/hundred years when HTML5 is ready? Well, let’s find it out THEN, not now. Now write in Flash. We are all doomed after all, we are all going to die some day, so whacha gonna do, dance and bump your head over a wall because you are going to be deprecated one day?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by BrainStormer:

Are we trying to sell the skin before one has shot the bear?

HTML5 IS NOT yet ready.
HTML5 IS NOT yet stable.
HTML5 IS NOT yet supported universally.
HTML5 IS NOT yet able to make many things which are made in Flash.
HTML5 IS NOT yet nearly as convenient as Flash is for gamedev.

Yep, there’s yet word everywhere. But until HTML5 overcomes abovementioned obstacles, it cannot be used for gamedev.

And that is why this thread topic needs to go back into the grave. Nothing’s changed since the last time we had this discussion.

 
Flag Post

Here ya go: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplatform/whitepapers/roadmap.html

Appreciated.

And here’s a blog post saying they are focusing on the player for Desktops, AIR on mobile, (and Adobe is also working on HTML 5 products): http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html

That was written back in November of 2011, so I am not sure how valid that still is. Things do change. I’ll take it for what it is though and assume it still holds now. Once again, appreciated.

But, there really isn’t a compelling reason to switch right now.

Gonna agree with this despite my original statement about how widespread it is. There are technical reasons why Flash is still better, but once HTML5 catches up (and it is doing so quickly) it will be some serious competition for Flash. It is a horrible thing for me to say as a programmer who wants to go professional, but I don’t plan on programming a game in any language that isn’t object-oriented. JavaScript tries to pass itself off as object-oriented but it falls on its face really hard.

Do you know that product called Game Maker? That’s a game-making software. It publishes in HTML5, and it’s easier to use as a substitute for programming. Do you know what this means? If they pull Flash out of the market and introduce HTML5 instead, even a noob who knows nothing about programming will be able to ‘write’ a game using that software. The computer gaming industry could collapse in on itself.

That is happening right now with Flash and Stencyl. Flash also has these programs that do stuff for you and allow you to make a game with little to no programming knowledge.

I believe that Adobe will phase out plugin support (perhaps alluded to by their discontinuation of beloved Linux support after v11(?) – why deny the entire linux market support for new features… unless you’re not planning on developing any new Flash plugin features…) across all operating systems.

I partially agree with this. HTML5 movie players are already being used. I think Adobe will find a way to mix Flash and HTML5 for a more stable plug-in (we all know how unstable Flash Player is).

Sure there are a few proof-of-concept HTML5 games out there but them are bulky in code

That’s because they use code to draw everything. Once again you have the standard argument. You can let flash do it for you, or you can program everything yourself for better customization and higher flexibility as well as the ability to host it as a standalone webpage.

 
Flag Post

removed.

 
Flag Post

From what I can tell, flash will continue to be the industry leader in online desktop and laptop games. Their is simply a ton of flash content already created, and as long as people continue to use the content, manufacturers of full-fledged computers will probably continue supporting the content. That said, as mobile smartphones become even more ubiquitous, the amount of minutes people play casual games on the computer will suffer from casual mobile games. This process should be slow however and my perhaps work in our (developers) favor. As less traffic goes to flash sites, the smaller competitors won’t be as profitable any more. This will cause most of them to fold, sending more traffic to the few big sites left (Kong, MiniClip, Newgrounds, etc.). The big sites will be fighting over the audiences and might be willing to pay developers better (sponsorships, ad revenue) to get the games exclusively and thus win over the smaller demographics. That’s how I see it possibly playing out. Of course, this is a flash developers forum, so don’t expect unbiased answers ;)

tl;dr Flash won’t be hurt by HTML5, but mobile casual gaming. This might actually make flash a bit more profitable to develop for as a result.

 
Flag Post

Dear whoever said JS isn’t object oriented:

It is.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by BigJM:

Dear whoever said JS isn’t object oriented:

It is.

I believe Endless said it attempts to be but it doesn’t do it’s job well (in his/her opinion).

 
Flag Post

Also, I think it is important to point out that there is a big difference between Flash for web design and Flash for game design. People are probably not going to have Flash websites anymore, as there have always been issues with building websites in flash (the onset of mobile device incompatibility is just the latest, but Flash sites always sucked for SEO, etc.).
But, that is a vastly different animal from Flash as a tool for making games, which will likely live on as a desktop gaming medium for years to come.

 
Flag Post

HTML5 IS NOT yet ready.
HTML5 IS NOT yet stable.
HTML5 IS NOT yet supported universally.
HTML5 IS NOT yet able to make many things which are made in Flash.
HTML5 IS NOT yet nearly as convenient as Flash is for gamedev.

A such HTML5 game that is considered a big achievement to develop is done in Flash in a few days.

I don’t think that the temporal argument has any relevance here – it doesn’t matter which technology already has the largest user-base or the most web-content, it’s about which technology holds the most potential towards future progress and adaptability. It’s about the long run. Arguing the little picture is the equivalent of Facebook users whining whenever Facebook changes the layout, as opposed to providing useful feedback. The fact is that HTML5 will become stable. And full-blown development suites will become available, making it just as easy to publish an HTML5 game as it is to publish a Flash game. No doubt it won’t even be necessary that you learn Javascript or HTML5 – I am sure you will be able to write your code in Coffeescript, ActionScript, Roy – whatever.

Also, good Flash and AIR games are published via Steam and such now and then because of their ‘console level’ quality.

…and HTML5 games are starting to show up on Kongregate because they are of similar quality to their Flash brethren… Do you believe that HTML5 will not make the jump to the console in the next few years? It seems inevitable, in my eyes. Particularly for the Playstation and Wii consoles considering that they already have integrated standards-based web-browsers. As you can already purchase HTML5 games for the PC from a number of vendors, I’m sure it won’t be too long before Steam picks up support for them as well.

HTML5 is not yet suited for gamedev. It CANNOT be considered a Flash replacement. You CANNOT make games in it. Period.

So not so. I would argue that leveraging the v8 engine’s ability to compile Javascript into low-level code, there are very few things that CANNOT be done with canvas and Javascript – they simply have not yet been accomplished this early in the game. Javascript may still be slow, but it’s been speeding up for the last few years consistently and will continue to do so – moreso as JS demi-gods like MrDoob continue to push the boundaries and drive the demand for improvement.

If the question is straightforward “Where should I make browser games now, in Flash or in HTML5?”, then the answer is short: “In Flash”. You cannot do it otherwise.

Depends why you’re developing browser games. If you’re looking to embroider your resume I’d throw down in HTML5, perhaps using CreateJS and the Adobe Flash Professional Toolkit for CreateJS as tools of choice to remove the headache of creating animated assets. If you need more power, of course, it’s best to go with tried and true until Javascript can catch up. But if you have no experience with ActionScript, I would argue that it may well be prudent to skip development for the proprietary Flash player all together – although, as I’ve mentioned, I have little doubt that you will one day be able to publish creations from Flash straight to HTML5/JS (i.e. ActionScript will not become obsolete).

Addendum:
On the topic of using a more traditional OOP paradigm with Javascript, the Isogenic engine just added support for items as instances of a class – not that it hasn’t been done before or anything. Just nice to see it incorporated into a full engine.

 
Flag Post

Kuro… who cares if Flash Player is proprietary? I’d have a guess that most of us don’t really care that it isn’t completely Open Source. We just like that it’s free, and that they don’t use their proprietariness abusively. Also, you’ve heard of Project Tamarin, right? It’s an Open Source Flash Player VM run by Adobe and Mozilla. Haven’t used it myself, but it seems pretty cool. And yeah, it’s not the full thing, but it has allowed for a few cool things like this: http://labs.influxis.com/?tag=tamarin

In any case, here are a few technical hurdles that HTML 5 needs to overcome first before becoming a major player.

1) All of the major browsers have to accept Ogg Vorbis format. Currently, IE and Apple don’t, if I remember correctly. This means the only way to avoid MPEG fees currently is to use a WAV (which are much bigger) or… you guessed it, to use a swf. Ogg Vorbis needs to be universalized to fix those issues.

2) The old browsers need to updated. Browsers like IE6 and 7 aren’t compatible with HTML 5, and are still used somewhat commonly. HTML 5 with Canvas needs to have the browser penetration that Flash does, and currently it doesn’t have that quite yet.

3) From what I heard, monetization isn’t super easy in HTML 5. It would be good to get an ad-program like Mochi which works for HTML 5 games.

4) Mobile Phones need to get more RAM. Part of the attraction of HTML 5 is mobile, and currently, a lot of games are just too intensive to play on mobile.

It shouldn’t take too long for this to happen. But some of these things needs to happen before HTML 5 becomes an attractive option. And it needs to have advantages over Flash to convince people to switch languages. After all, even after Flash gets outdated, people are going to continue to want to download Flash player in the future to access old games. So you could say that a compelling reason is needed to make the switch.

EDIT: On the Addenum, I’d really rather use Haxe anyways. It can publish to both, and looks a lot like AS3. <3 AS3.

 
Flag Post

Dear whoever challenged my statement:

Please don’t.


In my opinion, if you want to develop games for the web right now, you should be looking to publish for Flash Player. It’s currently the leader in that area, Adobe is very committed to maintaining this and I’d be willing to bet that it will remain that way for many, many years years. There will be another Flash Pro (CS7, or whatever they call it), whoever was reading that there wouldn’t be. While speculating into the distant future may be interesting to some (it’s not to me anymore; I’ve seen this same discussion a thousand times) it’s not really practical to base your current decisions on it.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by TheAwsomeOpossum:
Originally posted by BigJM:

Dear whoever said JS isn’t object oriented:

It is.

I believe Endless said it attempts to be but it doesn’t do it’s job well (in his/her opinion).

Precisely. Doesn’t mean that won’t change, but at this point in time it does a horrible job.

 
Flag Post

Well, it doesn’t attempt to be OO, it is OO. I get what you’re saying though; I just misinterpreted it before.

 
Flag Post

The fact is that HTML5 will become stable. And full-blown development suites will become available, making it just as easy to publish an HTML5 game as it is to publish a Flash game.

Doubtful, as the Big Three can’t even decide what video format to use.

 
Flag Post

As long as big companies use Flash we are all safe, and now we see even more boom of Flash games than ever before. I mean Zynga came with Farmville 2 using Flash, why do you think they didn’t use HTML5? Its freaking OBVIOUS.

AAA titles are now moving to web as well, we can see multiple MMOs being developed using Stage3D. So I wouldn’t worry about future of flash its definitely not dying its just evolving and focusing more on games which all of us here want.