ncm123

Alternative HTML5 Platform to Adobe Air?

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Hi,

I have built a mini games app in Adobe Air (in iOS and Android). It features lots of swf animations and lots of games. Now since the future of Adobe Air is circumspect. I want to hedge my bets by rebuilding the games in another platform which has a better future outlook.

I had a few questions:

1) Which platform is better for building an app- OpenFL or Phaser ? I found OpenFL online which seems to be the best way to port flash games into html5.

2) Can I have a multi platform app in which suppose 100 games are there - 50 made in Phaser and 50 made in OpenFL?

3) I had read in one website that Phaser is not good for resolutions above 600x400 px. Is this true?

4) Since we want to support all resolutions in Android and iOS- we need vector graphics (the core strength of AIR). Do Phaser/CoreFL support Vector?

Thanks,
Nish

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On 30/03/2018 at 1:20 PM, ncm123 said:

1) Which platform is better for building an app- OpenFL or Phaser ? I found OpenFL online which seems to be the best way to port flash games into html5.

Try both for a couple of hours and see which you like.

I suspect your actual preference will come down to writing in JS or not.

Stuff like Haxe (or even GameMaker Studio or Construct etc etc) means you're always beholden on what that language lets you do in browser and how good the transpilation to JS is (it must be JS to run in the browser, or have some weird non-webby runtime like Java or Flash, bare in mind these runtimes don't fare so well anymore for various reasons). I'm not sure how good the interop is with JS but its worth considering when you start.

If you program in JS you know your program will run in the browser and you can do pretty much whatever you like, including making use of existing code in package managers like npm or bower etc (just use npm, its killed all the others). Npm is full of community JS and so will always be more prevalent than closed-shop affairs.

Consider whether OpenFL is going to get you where you need to go when doing your initial research. In many cases it will and many people prefer Haxe over JS.

If you're going to consider working contract for other people you'll likely find it easier if your JS skills are up to scratch, which may be a concern for you.

On 30/03/2018 at 1:20 PM, ncm123 said:

2) Can I have a multi platform app in which suppose 100 games are there - 50 made in Phaser and 50 made in OpenFL?

Do you mean a website? That acts like a portal to other pages that expose these apps?

If yes, then no problems.

On 30/03/2018 at 1:20 PM, ncm123 said:

3) I had read in one website that Phaser is not good for resolutions above 600x400 px. Is this true?

Nope.

Check out the games section here, including those that work on iOS and Android, most run perfectly at higher resolutions.

On 30/03/2018 at 1:20 PM, ncm123 said:

4) Since we want to support all resolutions in Android and iOS- we need vector graphics (the core strength of AIR). Do Phaser/CoreFL support Vector?

I don't know about CoreFL but Phaser uses Canvas rendering, so does not support Vector graphics.

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Just small disclaimer: Game Maker's HTML5 runtime sucks (it is the most buggy GMS target of all).
 

53 minutes ago, mattstyles said:

Phaser uses Canvas rendering, so does not support Vector graphics.

Phaser uses Canvas AND WebGL renderers, AND both renderers SUPPORT VECTOR GRAPHICS. Not natively ofc. but with small effort you can load SVG as images and even animate them.

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@ncm123 some questions back-at-you to help narrow down the advice ...

  1. Do you currently develop with a visual tool (e.g. Flash CC / Animate CC)?
  2. What's new that suggests Adobe AIR's future might be "circumspect"?
  3. Are you intending to switch to web / mobile-browsers or will you continue with native / app-stores?
  4. If looking to pivot away from the "Flash" stack, why not move far-far-away (rather than to a nearest-neighbour)?
  5. Are runtime-2D-vectors really needed?  Or would multiple-rasterized-asset-sets or GPU shader/geometry approaches work better for modern mobile devices?
  6. How quickly do you wish to port your existing catalog to the new platform?

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8 hours ago, PsichiX said:

Phaser uses Canvas AND WebGL renderers, AND both renderers SUPPORT VECTOR GRAPHICS. Not natively ofc. but with small effort you can load SVG as images and even animate them.

More precise would be to say that browsers support svg rendering and Phaser can use that to generate textures to render. The main difference is that you can't easily scale things around while maintaining pixel perfect rendering and anti-aliasing for free.

OpenFL had some swf rendering thing that worked on html (real vector rendering), but I'm not sure if it's still there and works (this was many years ago).

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6 hours ago, b10b said:

@ncm123 some questions back-at-you to help narrow down the advice ...

  1. Do you currently develop with a visual tool (e.g. Flash CC / Animate CC)?
  2. What's new that suggests Adobe AIR's future might be "circumspect"?
  3. Are you intending to switch to web / mobile-browsers or will you continue with native / app-stores?
  4. If looking to pivot away from the "Flash" stack, why not move far-far-away (rather than to a nearest-neighbour)?
  5. Are runtime-2D-vectors really needed?  Or would multiple-rasterized-asset-sets or GPU shader/geometry approaches work better for modern mobile devices?
  6. How quickly do you wish to port your existing catalog to the new platform?

1. Yes, I use animate cc to make apps using adobe air.
2. The last post by adobe about the roadmap was in june 17 when they decided to EOL flash. They promised a roadmap and it has not been uploaded till now. In any case I dont wish to base my business around one proprietary technology which is in the hands of someone else. The least I can do is hedge my bets.
3. Planning to do both. Upload on both web/browser and native/app stores. Native app stores are the main source of business.
4. Currently looking to port my games to something else. So looking at something which is easier to port.
5. Because vectors give less file size and can scale. 
6. No emergency - just wanted to have my options clear in case adobe no longer supports air. I understand that there is no clarity if that will happen but still want to get insurance.

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9 hours ago, mattstyles said:

Check out the games section here, including those that work on iOS and Android, most run perfectly at higher resolutions.

 

I was trying to build a phaser game into an app. But it was lagging horribly in android. Is there some showcase/list of apps that have been made in html5?

About your question in 2) I am trying to make an app which will have multiple mini games. Something like boredbutton. 

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13 hours ago, PsichiX said:

AND both renderers SUPPORT VECTOR GRAPHICS. Not natively ofc. but with small effort you can load SVG as images and even animate them.

This isn't supporting SVG.

This is turning SVG into Images and losing all benefits of using SVG in the first place.

Same as using an svg as source for an HTML Image element.

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4 hours ago, ncm123 said:

About your question in 2) I am trying to make an app which will have multiple mini games. Something like boredbutton. 

This is always tricky unless you're happy that each mini-game lives in the main code base.

There's no issue with just loading the swf in to the DOM though, ditto for loading up an iframe pointing at your mini-game, although in both cases communicating between the mini-game and the main app will need working out. For iframes this isn't a major problem as there is a browser api for comms between host and iframe, for the swf object though...

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@ncm123 given your answers, and the state of web platforms in 2018, my advice would be for you to focus on tooling, rather than tech.  Let the tool vendor worry about the tech, you focus on the creative content and your business model.  Consider sticking with majority products like Animate, Unity, Construct, GameMaker etc .  Otherwise, at this stage of the technology lifecycle, starting afresh with an early-adopter framework may have diminishing comparative advantage.

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17 hours ago, mattstyles said:

This is always tricky unless you're happy that each mini-game lives in the main code base.

There's no issue with just loading the swf in to the DOM though, ditto for loading up an iframe pointing at your mini-game, although in both cases communicating between the mini-game and the main app will need working out. For iframes this isn't a major problem as there is a browser api for comms between host and iframe, for the swf object though...

Currently all the code of the mini games is in the main code base. I just download graphic assets for every game.
Do you think html5 is evolved enough to support simple physics/platformer games in android or ios? 

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5 hours ago, b10b said:

@ncm123 given your answers, and the state of web platforms in 2018, my advice would be for you to focus on tooling, rather than tech.  Let the tool vendor worry about the tech, you focus on the creative content and your business model.  Consider sticking with majority products like Animate, Unity, Construct, GameMaker etc .  Otherwise, at this stage of the technology lifecycle, starting afresh with an early-adopter framework may have diminishing comparative advantage.

Hi,
Thanks for your reply. The only reason I am trying to find alternatives to adobe air is to hedge my bets in case adobe does decide that they are not going to support AIR any longer. I am not planning to port out my existing apps. I just wanted to have a tested alternative since almost my entire business is based on apps made from Adobe Air.

When you say state of web platforms in 2018, I did not understand this part. Do you mean it positively?

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9 hours ago, ncm123 said:

When you say state of web platforms in 2018, I did not understand this part. Do you mean it positively?

Yes, imo things are positive in 2018 for mobile-friendly-web-games (in respect to "technology lifecycle") - today we see increasing adoption and several unique use cases.  I think it's reasonable to say there is an order of magnitude less risk in its adoption today vs 8 years ago - so mainstream vendor support has become decent.  In respect to Adobe we should be mindful they are a publicly traded stock - therefore general perception can influence published roadmaps (perhaps more than what's really happening internally?).  Adobe Creative Cloud would be incomplete without a visual creative development environment - rebadging Flash and transitioning from web player to app packager to HTML5 tool shows a consistent support to platform uptrend.  But such course corrections can invalidate a developer's high level skillset - so they will lose some of us along the way.

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