Flash, HTML5, and games

April 29, 2010 · Posted in Games, General

Steve Jobs posted some interesting thoughts on Flash today on the Apple website. His thoughts circulated around why he didn’t want Flash on Apple’s mobile platforms. Jobs’ musings came down to what he characterized as technology issues, including Flash’s lack of openness as a technology, battery life issues, and the fact that Flash was created as primarily a mouse-driven tool.

Regardless of whether Adobe could improve the ability for Flash to operate in a touch-screen world, have better security and performance, or less impact on battery life, the fact is that Flash would still be owned by Adobe, rather than controlled by Apple or be an open standard that is managed by the technology industry in general. And that’s just something that Apple can’t take.

So, what do we, as gamers, do about that? We are in a singularly interesting situation compared to much of the rest of the Apple mobile community. iPhone, iPod, and iPad users can get their videos from other locations (YouTube, Vimeo), they can get their videos in H.264 through hardware decoding, and they can get their website animations removed or remade pretty quickly with HTML5 or Javascript.

But Flash games? They’re games. Made with Flash. Take out the Flash and…well….

Can you find cheap (or free) games that are easy to make like Flash games? Jobs points towards all of the games on the App Store. But with those games on the App Store also come a developer agreement that is not so very open, and a review process that is becoming more and more a point of controversy and inconsistency. So, what is a Flash game developer to do?

Enter HTML5.

HTML5 has been making some real advancements in video and animation. But for games, for the most part we’re still in a rudimentary process. It’s not going to stay that way, though. More and more developers are going to turn to HTML5 when they see it as a viable game development tool. It’s the new “Wild, Wild West”. And, most importantly, it doesn’t have to go through the App Store review process to be approved.

In the meantime, feel free to blow stuff up.


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