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Unity Is Flash dying?

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A lot of game developers seem to be divided on this question. I recently stopped using Flash and I'm now using programs like Unity to make games. What do you think?

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There was a time when browsing the interwebz without the flash plugin activated was pure madness. Now not so much, and that fact makes web browsing from underpowered Linux boxes like 80% nicer (since both gnash and official flashplayer plugin kinda suck). Which I'm glad for.

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On PC definitely no. Since you cannot protect your code and assets in HTML5 yet.

On tablets and such, yeah, pretty much. Unless you use Adobe Air technology.

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I generally don't really pay attention to "is <insert technology> dying?|" threads.  It is usually over reaction.  PC gaming is still here, C++ is still here,  XNA is still here.

However in the case of Flash then yes it is a technology that is slowly dying out.  I work at a company that has about 30 full time flash developers and the office banter was always other web teams telling then that flash was dead and then them pointing out a dozen reasons why you couldn't do what they did with HTML5.  Nowadays though things have changed a lot of them are learning new skills and all of them are desperate to get out of Flash.  They see it as a skill that was very lucrative for them for a good few years but now is oboslete.
Sure there are several very good Flash engines out there and a lot of indies still plugging away at Flash games but then there are still people making games for the Atari 2600.  It's hardly mainstream though is it?

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I also don't believe that Flash is dying, not soon anyway. On desktop it's still one of the best ways to make online games. And since the release of Stage3D for mobile it's a good way to make cross platform games on mobile. Some argue about Flash/AIR apps that eat all the processing time but that also depends on the way you write the code. But this question has been discussed countless times. I think it all comes to personal preference and experience in writing quality code.

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I have JavaScript and plugins (including Flash) globally disabled, except on a few sites that are whitelisted. Insofar, while I have a rather no-fun internet, I do gain a good insight on the prevalence of Flash and other downloadable, user-installed security exploits.

 

About 80-90% of all sites on the internet have more or less noticeable layout defects without JavaScript, because hey, it is totally impossible to have a website without using JavaScript to do the formatting. No such thing as CSS exists.

The other 10% display fine, although most of them still show a (usually unintrusive) hint that some minor things may not work as expected because there's no JavaScript.

 

About 1 in 20 sites does not show any contents at all without JavaScript, those are usually the ones that aren't getting me as customer. This includes one major Blog site (not like I see much point in blogging anyway, personally).

 

Also, at least a third of the sites that I encounter (or more?) show a little placeholder for some Flash thingie somewhere that apparently has no function (probably shows some flashing ads?). For most major sites, however, Flash is merely a gimmick, they work perfectly fine without Flash.

 

Unluckily, a lot of small and medium sized business sites (above all restaurants and hotels) do not work at all without Flash. The entire website is usually made by a professional advertising agency and consists of one big Flash canvas.

 

One notable major site which uses Flash and which almost guarantees that Flash will not die out any time soon is Youtube.

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With AS4 canceled, and lack of support, indeed, flash is going to a (possibly very slow) death.

It's been heavily debated the last 3 years but I believe it has become clearer in the last 6 months.

A lot of local businesses have shifted their attention to various other tools to produce web-based applications around here, and if it is the trend, by sheer lack of enterprise-level userbase, it will slowly disappear.

 

That said, AS3 will still "exist" so it won't technically die, but it may become less and less necessary to have a flash player installed.

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One notable major site which uses Flash and which almost guarantees that Flash will not die out any time soon is Youtube.

 

I'd not ride much money on that bet if I were you.

 

Netflix is ditching SIlverlight for HTML5 video streaming -- If you visit Netflix with the IE 11 beta, it comes down over HTML5 today even. Then, you have the fact that Youtube is owned by Google, and Google are huge proponents of HTML5 and their VP8 codec, and it would appear pretty clear that they'll want to ditch flash ASAP. It may not be ready for adoption today, but Google is biding its time I'm sure. Once its feasible, flash will disappear from youtube in the blink of an eye. That's where my money is, anyhow. I think we're talking months, not years.

 

On the larger topic of flash -- Flash on the web is dead/dying now. Its just not a possibility on all of the different kinds of devices we use today, and with HTML5 and Javascript becoming more and more capable, and more and more proven, everyone's moving away from flash on the web. Even Adobe is repackaging flash as a way to make off-line apps (which, you'll recall was part of Microsoft's failed strategy for Silverlight). Where I think that Adobe might "save flash" or at least some part of it, is by repackaging the flash tooling as an authoring environment for HTML5 content. Really, the flash run time was inconsequential -- it was necessary at the time to deliver flash content -- but the value has always been in the tools. 

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One notable major site which uses Flash and which almost guarantees that Flash will not die out any time soon is Youtube.

 

I'd not ride much money on that bet if I were you.

 

Netflix is ditching SIlverlight for HTML5 video streaming -- If you visit Netflix with the IE 11 beta, it comes down over HTML5 today even. Then, you have the fact that Youtube is owned by Google, and Google are huge proponents of HTML5 and their VP8 codec, and it would appear pretty clear that they'll want to ditch flash ASAP. It may not be ready for adoption today, but Google is biding its time I'm sure. Once its feasible, flash will disappear from youtube in the blink of an eye. That's where my money is, anyhow. I think we're talking months, not years.

 

On the larger topic of flash -- Flash on the web is dead/dying now. Its just not a possibility on all of the different kinds of devices we use today, and with HTML5 and Javascript becoming more and more capable, and more and more proven, everyone's moving away from flash on the web. Even Adobe is repackaging flash as a way to make off-line apps (which, you'll recall was part of Microsoft's failed strategy for Silverlight). Where I think that Adobe might "save flash" or at least some part of it, is by repackaging the flash tooling as an authoring environment for HTML5 content. Really, the flash run time was inconsequential -- it was necessary at the time to deliver flash content -- but the value has always been in the tools. 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/html5

 

Google is working on it, you can use youtube without flash today if you want.

 

Adobe is working on it aswell, the latest version of Flash professional can export animations to HTML5 and i wouldn't be surprised if future versions will be able to export interactive content (scripts etc) as well.

Edited by SimonForsman

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