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Crytek ''Investigating'' Flash Support in CryEngine

By - Source: EDGE Magazine | B 17 comments

Crytek is looking into supporting Flash Player 11 in CryEngine, but it may not be the same solution used by Epic.

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.

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  • -1 Hide
    illfindu , October 7, 2011 3:24 AM
    This hole engine push for Flash is kinda interesting since I got the feeling that there has been a little more movement from non-Apple companies to make flash less a part of systems. If I'm not mistaken windows 8 IE doesn't have flash support by default this hole development could change the way people look at HTML5 VS Flash. Disclaimer I am not saying flash is dead , bad or buggy just making a personal observation.
  • 6 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , October 7, 2011 3:46 AM
    So, i'm a lil confused on this topic, Mainly this
    Quote:
    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.

    Really confused by this.... Are you (Kevin Parrish) saying that the games will run faster on flash then they will playing the games the traditional way through the regular drivers? Why won't they have to upgrade there systems? Does flash some how make games faster then the way games traditionally work through drivers?

    I read this article on a different site, but I thought it was a 1000 times faster then the older flash, so you would be able to play console quality games in a browser, but this statement makes me think flash does something to sidestep game requirements..???? Will Crtek's engine somehow run fine on low spec systems that couldn't run the game before when running flash 11 ???
  • 8 Hide
    koga73 , October 7, 2011 4:23 AM
    the new version of flash has hardware acceleration and lower level graphics apis to be able to communicate more directly with the graphics card. flash, depending on which graphics library it selects at run-time can now push a ton of graphics data that it never could in the past. the best part about flash is it runs on anything and everything. *except supported by apple
  • 1 Hide
    alyoshka , October 7, 2011 5:36 AM
    Why Now? No Point in it anyways....
  • -2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 7, 2011 5:50 AM
    upgrade_1977So, i'm a lil confused on this topic, Mainly this Really confused by this.... Are you (Kevin Parrish) saying that the games will run faster on flash then they will playing the games the traditional way through the regular drivers? Why won't they have to upgrade there systems? Does flash some how make games faster then the way games traditionally work through drivers? I read this article on a different site, but I thought it was a 1000 times faster then the older flash, so you would be able to play console quality games in a browser, but this statement makes me think flash does something to sidestep game requirements..???? Will Crtek's engine somehow run fine on low spec systems that couldn't run the game before when running flash 11 ???


    Of course not. This whole thing is just another hype wave. There's NO POINT in having your games running in your browser (you'll still need that same powerful system, Flash ain't gonna magically replace your GPU). In fact, adding one more layer on top of DirectX will degrade the performance more. Flash STILL will have to access DirectX in order to render the graphics and therefore the whole thing is pointless.

    Enthusiast gamer doesn't need it. Casual gamer will be pissed off at the pointless performance drop. That is all.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 7, 2011 8:28 AM
    Apple disses Flash
    Flash changes to be a games platform
    ...
    May only be casual games at first but there's good money to be made
  • 2 Hide
    mjello , October 7, 2011 11:12 AM
    Flash does not require directx. Thats the whole point. Any device with any operating system that supports flash, and has a compatible GPU can play the flash games. Thats the whole point of this. It might still use directX when available but its not required.

    And there is just no way to do that without a performance loss. So in no way does this replace traditional games run on directX or OpenGL directly.
  • 1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 7, 2011 11:40 AM
    Quote:
    Flash does not require directx. Thats the whole point. Any device with any operating system that supports flash, and has a compatible GPU can play the flash games. Thats the whole point of this. It might still use directX when available but its not required.

    And there is just no way to do that without a performance loss. So in no way does this replace traditional games run on directX or OpenGL directly.


    No, Flash DOES require DirectX. DirectX is the API that connects all other software to the hardware - this is how the developers can create games that install and work easily on all kinds of hardware configurations. Think of DirectX as of a computer cabinet, if I am to involve analogies. It allows you to install all kinds of different hardware and provide a generalised way to access it without being very specific about the hardware - DirectX will take care of it for you. OpenGL is the same.

    If there's a way for Flash to SOMEHOW bypass DX or OpenGL and interact with hardware directly, please provide some links with such info - I'm always ready to expand my knowledge :) 
  • 3 Hide
    mjello , October 7, 2011 12:09 PM
    amk-aka-phantomNo, Flash DOES require DirectX. DirectX is the API that connects all other software to the hardware - this is how the developers can create games that install and work easily on all kinds of hardware configurations. Think of DirectX as of a computer cabinet, if I am to involve analogies. It allows you to install all kinds of different hardware and provide a generalised way to access it without being very specific about the hardware - DirectX will take care of it for you. OpenGL is the same.If there's a way for Flash to SOMEHOW bypass DX or OpenGL and interact with hardware directly, please provide some links with such info - I'm always ready to expand my knowledge


    So directX is available on my android phone ? Interesting. No what I am saying is. It might use directX on windows. Its just not required to run the game. Ive just run a couple demos demonstrating 3d support on my android phone. Others didn't work. Just too taxing or several 100MB download. Not very good, but it worked for some. My point is. The game will run, as long as you got enough power and flash 11 support.

    That offcourse won't allow crysis to run on an android phone. And interface programming specific for the device will still be required. There is no keyboard on my touch phone so I can't drive very well hehe. Couldn't even get the screen keyboard activated.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 7, 2011 1:25 PM
    The Flash implementation is a layer on top of DirectX *or* OpenGL (*or* Open GL ES for mobile) depending on the system. There's no DirectX on Android, no DirectX on Mac OS X, only OpenGL. DirectX is Windows only. Flash does not bypass any of this (they would have to write custom drivers for every video cards which is near impossible). And even if you don't have a GPU on your device, it will still work (but much more slowly) thanks to a software (CPU) rasteriser.
  • 2 Hide
    feeddagoat , October 7, 2011 1:31 PM
    Basically its a way that solves porting between many different environments. Android, x86, BBOS, QNX, PS3, xbox360 etc. All support flash, all run it "well"
  • 0 Hide
    jecastej , October 7, 2011 1:45 PM
    If Flash can deliver a good service is good with me but lets not make the same mistake and allow it to be the default option.

    I've been using Flash for some time now and I was getting tired of Flash being the default technology for graphics animation or interface on the internet when I thought there should be other possibilities too. With HTML5 at least I have a "low cost" alternative I can use on almost any device. However is no like I hate Flash and want it to die. But maybe, maybe the recent anti Flash feeling pushed Adobe further as a developer to expand the technologies included in Flash and make it still very relevant for the present and for years to come.
  • -1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 7, 2011 2:34 PM
    Quote:
    So directX is available on my android phone ? Interesting. No what I am saying is. It might use directX on windows. Its just not required to run the game. Ive just run a couple demos demonstrating 3d support on my android phone. Others didn't work. Just too taxing or several 100MB download. Not very good, but it worked for some. My point is. The game will run, as long as you got enough power and flash 11 support.

    That offcourse won't allow crysis to run on an android phone. And interface programming specific for the device will still be required. There is no keyboard on my touch phone so I can't drive very well hehe. Couldn't even get the screen keyboard activated.


    I believe that answers your Android question:

    Quote:
    The Flash implementation is a layer on top of DirectX *or* OpenGL (*or* Open GL ES for mobile) depending on the system. There's no DirectX on Android, no DirectX on Mac OS X, only OpenGL. DirectX is Windows only. Flash does not bypass any of this (they would have to write custom drivers for every video cards which is near impossible). And even if you don't have a GPU on your device, it will still work (but much more slowly) thanks to a software (CPU) rasteriser.


    Android simply has a different renderer.
  • 3 Hide
    Trialsking , October 7, 2011 4:11 PM
    Quote:
    games built for high-end consoles


    Did anyone else see the oxymoron?!?!
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , October 9, 2011 6:15 AM
    what i find interesting is that "games built for high-end consoles" can run in a web browser on the PC. :p 
    Will that mean i'll be able to play Halo 4 after all? :o 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2011 1:21 AM
    I'm really excited to see these game companies move toward browser based 3d gaming. It has been possible for sometime for example tanki online which is a 3d MMO built around the previous versions of flash and has decent graphics. They plan to release version 2 very soon that takes advantage of “Molehill” 3D GPU. Here is a demo of version 2 youtu.be/CSp2ZIlkjhs. Better shaders and higher resolution.

    You can easily see the how much improvement the new API's bring.