RE-Edit : Scaleform mobile SDK 4.4 is out!
Edit, official answer from Autodesk: “Initial Indie friendly efforts have focused on MayaLT, as the most widely used Autodesk game tool. Autodesk is considering a similar option for their Game Middleware tools (such as Scaleform, Navigation and HIK) which will make them more affordable and accessible to Indies. An Indie friendly pricing model, hopefully coming soon, would allow them to offer the latest version of Scaleform to Indies and not bother maintaining a separate (and older) consumer Scaleform Mobile download. That should solve the problem for Indie devs that want the latest Metal, XCode and 64 bit support.”
We’re in 2015 and Flash is still there. It might be a dying technology but it couldn’t die right now because there isn’t any other tool which is able to replace it. The strength of Flash is obviously its vector animations. However since several years many of the flash developers don’t use the Flash Pro software in their daily job. Now we’re mostly using Starling and sometimes we grab animations from a fla and turn them into a SpriteSheets, or using DragonBones or mostly a SWC file to turn it into textures at runtime. Also there is the fact that we’re not able to reload SWF file using AS3 code on iOS.
Those facts highlight that something is broken in our production line: graphic/animation designers are increasingly dependent on developers. We are not able to take their SWF to make it running on our mobile device, so we must recreate everything ourselves via code and optimized framework (Starling). And hell, I hate doing animations jobs.
I think AAA studios were laughing when Flash was announced dead, because they use it daily. Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, The Witcher, Crysis… all of them use SWF file for their UI stuff. Have you thought a moment that even EA was using SpriteSheets with several resolutions for its menu!? Obviously not, with SWF file they are able to target all resolutions needed with just scaling/stretching their SWF without any loss, from a crappy 640 x 480 resolution to a 4k. However they are not doing it via AIR (it even doesn’t exist on console), but via Scaleform. Let’s have a look on this amazing tool!
Continue reading Scaleform, for the love of Flash