Flash: The Facts

 

Flash is dead …. Again. Officially this is my fourth or fifth time hearing this in the last 15 years.

Ok, so time to get some facts straight.

Flash CC is not the Flash Player
When people talk about “Flash”, in general, they are talking about the Flash Player. The Player is the embedded object that plays animated content in your browser. Recently the security issues identified concerned the Flash Player. There is also the development tool called Flash CC. This is used to produce content for the Player but also other formats including apps, video, HTML5 and WebGL. Though they are obviously related, they are 2 separate programs.

A key concept here is that the Flash development tool (Flash CC) is used to produce other content besides “Flash” content. If anything, over the last 12 months, the majority of Flash developers are using it produce apps, video and HTML5 – not content for the Player.

So the next time, you hear someone talking about Flash, ask them to clarify – is it the Player or the development tool? (it’s probably is the Player they are talking about).

Kill Flash means Kill Browser Plugins
We hear a lot about “Kill Flash”, actually people are referring to browser plugins (Flash being one of the main ones). Back in the day when Web browsers were basic, they used plugins to add additional functionally such as video and interactive animated content. Plugins used to include the Flash Player, Java, Silverlight, QuickTime and others. With the advent of the HTML5 standard, many plugins are not needed anymore as their functionally is included by default in the browser.

In general, browser suppliers are attempting to move away from anything that is not Web standards compliant. Java (applets) and Silverlight have been depreciated and are rarely used now. Also the browser Chrome does not support the Unity Player anymore.

The Flash Player is, by far, the most ubiquitous of the browser plugins. As such, it attracts a lot of attention. Even though it was patched quickly, the recent security issues have not done it any favours

The Bigger Issue: Browsers and Control
Flash also played its part in the bigger issue of controlling the distribution of digital content. Since the advent of the first personal computers, there have been competing operating systems with competing digital content. Despite what you hear about the open Web and interoperability, each of the large technology/media companies would really like you just to use their software only. Java’s “write once, run anywhere” software was a real threat to the then established platforms. Hence you don’t see it anymore as a consumer technology.

The Flash Player was a real thorn in the side for some publishers. It allowed consumers play games and watch movies off-portal. Off-portal refers to the open Web i.e. you are not signed into any particular network or platform. Steve Jobs famous spat with Flash had more to do with digital distribution, than any particular technical issues.

The most popular mobile app type is …….. games, by a long shot! With the Flash Player, you can get access to a lot of free games. Even with the security issues, it will be interesting to see if consumers keep playing free Web games via the Flash Player. HTML5 games have not really taken off – you’ll see why if you try playing one across different devices. So what is the alternative?

What’s After Flash: WebGL
Web G what….
WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is a JavaScript library for displaying interactive 3D and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins. It works on all the main browsers and its fast! Provided the underlying hardware has the necessary support, it allows GPU accelerated usage of physics and image processing and effects – which translates to fast animated graphics.

And guess what; you can create WebGL content with Flash, the development tool! Having said that, WebGL is still a bit raw and its performance does vary on difference browsers and devices – it’s still not the finished article.

As you can probably tell I’m a big fan of Flash as a design and development tool. It brings content creation, animation, UI design and interactive scripting together in one package. Yes, it has its glitches and I would not be using it for 3D games or similar apps. For 2D games and apps, it is still a very efficient and creative tool, used as part of an overall digital production process.

So when people say Flash is Dead, they are really talking about browser plugins. Maybe they are right; online consumers will be the ultimate decision makers here.

Peter
Developer & Chief Bottle Washer
Fierce Fun

Mobile App Tester/QA

The Fierce Fun development team is seeking a self-motivated individual with a strong work ethic and a significant attention to detail. This role involves coordinating and testing our mobile game apps on a variety of phone/tablet devices and operating systems.

What You Will Be Doing
– Test each new game build thoroughly and comprehensively
– Report and detail bugs in the tracking database
– Organise Android and IOS testing with other team members
– Ensure our testing device database is up-to-date
– Managing build uploads to Goolge Play and the Apps Store

Located in Dublin 3, Fierce Fun is an app development studio specialising in mobile apps & online games, for Apple, Android and HTML5 platforms. We provide a supportive environment for a QA/tester to gain experience in a games app development company.

Ideal requirements:
3rd level qualification (preferably technical)
Patience and focus required for mobile app testing
Significant attention to detail and problem-solving skills.
Excellent communication & documentation skills.
Experience with Android and iPhone/iPad phones and tablets

Terms:
Duration 3 months
Days 2 to 2.5 days per week
Hours Flexible
Location Docklands Innovation Park, East Wall, Dublin 3

Apply Here

Project Manager Internship (Digital)

  • Create and update weekly and monthly task lists
  • Manage the project schedules and milestones
  • Run and manage weekly team & office meetings
  • Ensure all project documentation is up to date
  • Making sure that the correct project templates are used
  • Other coordination and administration tasks as required

Located in Dublin 3, Fierce Fun is an app development studio specialising in mobile apps & online games, for Apple, Android and HTML5 platforms. In addition to original product development, we provide online game & Web development services.

We provide a supportive environment for a project manager to gain experience in a digital development company. Ideal requirements:

  • Some previous coordination/team management experience
  • 3rd level qualification (business or marketing)
  • Good work ethic and an ability to learn quickly
  • Highly organised and efficient with an excellent attention to detail
  • Good interpersonal and team communication skills
  • Strong MS Office knowledge and skills

If you are interested, you can apply here

Commercial Game Development

Start-up games companies are often made up of inexperienced but talented game designers and developers. One thing missing from many early stage game developers is a detailed commercial strategy. The workshop below is for game producers, designers, CEOs, marketing managers and product managers.

Workshop (Presentation) covering:

  • Staring with a Commercial Viewpoint
  • Development Loss, Publishing Profit
  • Business Models: Premium vs. Freemium
  • Choose your Market Wisely: Core vs. Casual
  • Create a Games Business Unit, not a Development Team
  • User Centered (Game) Design
  • Agile Game Development- Design, Deploy, Iterate

If you are interested in this workshop, drop me a line and I forward further details.

Skills needed to become a Game Producer/Project Manger

A while back, I was putting together a course outline specifically to train video game project managers and producers. If you are looking at becoming a game producer, here are some of the skills and knowledge that you will need:

  • General Software Project Management
  • Software Project Lifecycle
  • Project Management Methodologies
  • Planning, Budgeting & Monitoring a Project
  • Communications: Internal & External Stakeholders
  • Overview of Global Games Industry (Core and Casual)
  • Game Publishing and Business Models
  • Role of a Game Project Manager
  • Building a Game Development Team
  • Development Platforms and Tools
  • Game Design & Production Processes

To get a career in this area, you should first become familiar with the fundamentals of software project management. Then you will need to cover the specific aspects of managing game production teams.

Web Summit: Food Summit

Food Summit Marquee

Deserts Tent…very popular!

Great idea having an Irish food producer Food Summit on as part of the Dublin Web Summit. The Food Summit showcased high qualify foods available from Irish chefs, bakers, farmers, cheese-makers and fishermen, as well as top artisan food producers. I had the lunch on the 2nd day and it was amazing, especially the smoked cheese. And the deserts…wow

I hope they do the same next year, it was a great success, as I heard many of our overseas visitors commenting on the food quality and service.

Pity they went to Lisbon….

Starting and Growing a Technology Business

I came across this excellent guide from consultants KPMG on the nuts and bolts on setting up on an online/technology business. In a step by step process, it covers each of the key areas that you need to consider before setting up your tech business. From my perspective, it covers those crucial area of people and finance. Without the right people, you cannot start a business, Without the correct financing, you cannot maintain a business. The guide encourages would-be entrepreneurs to go out and get good business and financial advice, most of this initial advice will be free

It also covers important topics such as:

  • The Business Plan
  • Tax and Legal Structures
  • Financial Reporting
  • Expanding to International Markets

I meet too many aspiring entrepreneurs who think they can leave all financial matters to an accountant. As the founder of your start-up, you need sufficient knowledge to tell your account or financial adviser how you wish to structure your business. Investors will also require you to constantly be aware of your high level financial metrics.

A recommended business guide for technology start-ups.

https://home.kpmg.com/ie/en/home/industries/start-up-high-growth-companies.html

Digital Talent hits the Irish jobs market

 

Congratulations to all the teams who participated in our WebElevate Expo this week. On show were an impressive range of digital projects including iPad games, educational games, websites, responsive apps, video and social media campaigns.

If you are looking for Web or mobile development talent, our recent WebElevate graduates have finished their final projects and are now available for job opportunities. The development talent available includes:

  • Mobile App Developers
  • Web Developers
  • Game Developers and Designers
  • UI/UX Designers
  • Front End Developers
  • Project Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Social Media/Digital Marketing Managers
  • Content/Copy Editors and Writers
  • Web Designers
  • Video Editors and Producers
  • Graphics and Digital Product Designers
  • Online Marketing & International Sales Executives
  • SEO/SEO Marketing Analysts

If you are looking to fill positions for the above roles, drop me a line and I will put you in contact with our Careers Manager.