There's no question that Adobe's Flash Player changed the way we see and interact with the Internet since the days of coding HTML by hand and using animated GIFs. But there's also no question that many sites tend to be a bit heavy-handed with Flash, requiring visitors to load lengthy, annoying clips or site animations that at times will turn them away. Unfortunately, for those who don't care for Flash, the tech isn't going to go away. In fact, it may be changing the face of the Internet -- especially online casual games -- again.
Just days ago, Epic Games' Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Technical Director Tim Sweeney showed the studio's Unreal Engine 3 -- most notably Unreal Tournament 3 -- running within a web browser powered by Flash Player 11 during a keynote at Adobe MAX 2011. According to Sweeney, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps. This is due to the hardware-accelerated APIs within Flash Player 11 that enable it to render 2D and 3D graphics 1000 times faster than before, thus allowing Flash Player 11-supported games to reach out to an enormous user base.
But even more, for those with low hardware specs and bandwidth caps that can't stream games from the likes of OnLive and Gaikai, this may be the only other alternative besides shelling out the big bucks for a new system. "This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games," Sweeney said.
Now there's talk that Crytek is looking into -- or rather "investigating" -- adding support for Flash Player 11 in CryEngine. Carl Jones, director of global business development for CryEngine, told EDGE Magazine that for a while Crytek thought about taking the same route as Epic, but then came up with a solution of its own.
"It is an interesting approach we’ve been investigating as well," he told the magazine. "We're developing a unifying technology to create high quality social and gaming experiences on all platforms including browser, smartphones, tablets, etc. We hope to be able to tell you more about it soon when we present our truly cross-platform solution."
There's speculation that this "solution" may be tied into Crytek's upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter, Warface. The game is aimed at the Korean and Asian markets, but it's possible Warface will reach a wider audience if it supports Flash Player 11 or the related solution Crytek briefly mentioned.