Wow, I’m reading some excellent comments from my last post (17 is probably a record). I want to keep hearing them, but I also wanted to post an article this weekend, so lets keep it on the same topic. Last night Adam posted this video below which is news to me. A version of Quake 2 done in HTML5…
…hopefully thats as ugly as HTML5 will ever get (because that game is just plain ugly) but it does show what HTML5 is capable of. A lot.
Also I want to say despite my recent game dev course for the iPhone and the game I made for the iPad, I’m not at all siding with Apple here. I would love to see Flash on the iPad, but not only that, I’d love to see Flash development stick around for another 10 years. And I think it will. Reasons…
- Developers, aplenty! I have no actual stats on the number of Flash developers there are right now, but I’d guess many, many millions. Flash is taught in high schools now! Its like THE computer technology course these days. I get emails from 12 year-olds about Flash. I get emails from high school teachers wanting to teach 200 kids Flash. I get emails all day long about Flash. Its never been more popular.
- Flash is like a gateway drug. In a good way. There are people that start drawing with Flash that become good illustrators, when previously they couldn’t even draw on paper. Same with animation. Same with programming! How many of you have started with Actionscript, then realized “holy cow, all these other programming languages are pretty similar to AS” . Count me as one. I didn’t know jack about programming until Flash. And when I come back to it, its like home base. It feels good to write in Actionscript. Developers are going to keep coming back to a great program that they can work quickly in.
- Director is still around!! Talk about a “dead” program, how did Director get an update in the post Adobe-merger days?? Who’s using it? Director MX 2004 really should have been its death knell, and somehow it got an update 4 or 5 years later. Point is, software is made for people that use it. And apparently Director still had like 200 people using it, so Adobe figured well 200 guys times $999, hey not bad. And Flash has a bazillion more users than Director ever had. Adobe just needs to keep expanding on what Flash is great at.
- Flash isn’t going away as a browser plugin. Its pre-installed in most computers, and even if it wasn’t, everyone knows you need it. When that “update your Flash player” prompt appears, people don’t think, they just do it. Its not like 8 or 9 years ago when a clueless parent’s kids were the ones that finally got around to updating their home computer’s Flash player. But let me say again, I don’t think the future of Flash development is tied in with the future of the Flash plugin. Both will survive much longer, but in 10 years I think new Flash developers will be like “what’s this S.W.F. format thats listed in the Publish Settings?” .
Sidebar: My friend John, who is like my guru of all things computer related, disabled Flash years ago. Actually what he did was make it so you have to activate Flash if you see an empty box with the Flash icon. He did it to deactivate ads mostly. And I know why, because on a Mac occassionally a Flash ad will freeze the hell out of a page that loads up. Safari will then crash, and guess what happens then: a popup comes out that says “do you want to send this crash report to Apple”. That report gets emailed to SteveJobs@mac.com and he goes storming around the castle yelling “wtf, Flash crashed another browser!!!”. So when you hear that Steve Jobs hates Flash, thats probably what started it.
One more reason…
- AIR is just getting off the ground. And it is an awesome aspect of Flash development. Every one of you that knows Actionscript 3, became an “app developer” the day AIR came out. The thing thats missing right now, is some kind of catalyst for AIR like what the App Store was for iPhone apps. But that’ll come. And some other hot tablet will have an AIR App store with 100,000 games overnight.
So anyway, stay positive. Keep your clients informed. Keep your friends informed too. If someone says “Flash is dead, dude”, tell them to disable it for a day and see how they like their internet in iPad-mode (it sucks by the way).
But with all that said, every one of us is gonna have to buck it up and learn HTML5 whether we want to or not. If you’re a freelance developer (or a guy like me, that sells stuff to guys like you), new shit is on the horizon that we all gotta cram into our brains. So I leave you guys with Alec Baldwin, talking about something important….
…and I know you’ve seen it before on this blog, but this is required viewing every month. And if your client says they want an App version of their site for the iPad, and you tell them its gonna cost $8,000 to develop, and they say “okay, lets do it”, you’ve earned your coffee. Coffee is for closers remember. Then you just gotta start learning. You sell what you know.