Unity, Flash & 3D on the web
These are exciting times. Today, at the Flash Gaming Summit in San Francisco (of which we’re proud Gold Sponsors), Adobe has announced the public availability of a beta version of the Flash Player, codenamed Molehill, that has a very interesting new feature: hardware accelerated 3D support.
Molehill exposes a very low-level shader-based interface to the graphics hardware. Adobe has decided to focus on that low-level part, and do that really well. The molehill pre-release will not be shipping with a 3D engine, scene building tools, model and animation importers / exporters, physics, lighting or lightmap creation tools, etc.
Hmmm….does that list sound familiar? It sounds a lot like what you all love Unity for!
In the past few months, our engineers have been investigating the possibility of adding a Flash Player exporting option to Unity. That investigation has gone very well, and we’re moving into full production.
For Unity users, this no doubt spurs a lot of questions. Questions such as:
- Will Unity on Flash support the full Unity feature set?
- When will it be ready?
- Okay, when will a beta be ready?
- What will it cost?
- Will it do A, B or C?
These, and many other questions, we cannot answer just yet. We can say that it will be as good as we can make it and we’ll do it as fast as we can do it.
We do however have some concrete answers for you now that shouldn’t wait…
Q. Is this the end of the Unity’s own Web Player?
Absolutely not. The Flash and Unity Web Players both have their strengths. We’re excited by the opportunity to target the Flash Player and all of its features with Unity, but there will be plenty of experiences that the Unity plugin is better suited for. It will be up to developers in the end, to decide whether they want to target only the Flash Player, only the Unity Web Player, or some combination of the two (now things are getting interesting!)
Q. What programming language will I use?
You’ll have two options:
- For people with a Flash background:
Target our ActionScript API directly from Flash. Think:
var go:GameObject = new GameObject(“Just normal ActionScript 3 code”);
- For people with a Unity background:
This is an important development for us, and we hope you’re as excited as we are to see your content reach further than ever.