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Thread: Broadband and shockwave 3D, why struggle?

  1. #1

    Talking Broadband and shockwave 3D, why struggle?

    I know there are several posts about flash vs shockwave however I would like to look at this from a different perspective.
    Being from the UK currently there are very few broadband Internet connections and although I donít mind downloading the larger shockwave 3D games, i know many pople would not wait. I would like to know how popular is this technology in the states and Canada? Where I believe that broad band is a lot more common.
    Some of the shockwave 3D games I have seen are absolutely amazing; they really are a league, or two, above the flash games.
    I would like to know why file size so important when broadband internet supposed to be the future. How many people with a broadband internet would be bothered about a short wait, hey its not even a long download on a 56K Why continue to struggle with flash when so much more powerful tools are available.
    And these games are just so good, check out


    thanks for your time

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    I agree with everything you've said, but there's still a place for Flash. And actually, it's a pretty big place.

    There are a lot of games for which speed isn't a consideration, where both Flash and Shockwave are more than adequate. Card games, puzzle and strategy games, and retro-arcade games are just a few examples. For many games, the developer has to slow down the performace so that the player can keep up.

    For those kinds of games, Flash is always going to be a better choice than Shockwave (for online games, that is). Even if you can download a Shockwave game in 10 seconds, you could download the Flash version almost instantly. And we will get to a point where we don't like waiting 10 seconds for a download (in the same way that we now don't like waiting 10 seconds to access our hard drives).

    And with processor speeds constantly improving, the number of games and kinds of games for which Flash is the best choice is growing. So while the Shockwave niche moves, the Flash niche expands.

    Game developers tend to see bigger, faster, louder, more graphically intense games as better games. Whether or not that's true depends on your perspective. If you're looking for a game to increase traffic to your web site (and on on some level, that really is what Flash games are all about--at least in commercial terms), then you want the game with the broadest possible appeal.

    The fact is, simpler games have broader appeal than bigger, faster, louder, more graphically intense games.

    What is the most popular computer/video game in history? What game has been played more times by more people for more hours on more machines than any other game?

    It's not Quake or Doom. It's not Myst. It's not Pac-Man or Donkey Kong. It's not Super Mario Brothers I, II, or III.

    The most popular computer game ever, hands down, is Solitaire. Yeah, that simple card game that comes with Windows. It's been that way for nearly a decade, and it'll be that way for a while yet. None of the others are even close.

    One reason for Solitaire's success is its distribution. Everybody with a PC has it, whether they want it or not. But that's true for Mine Sweeper, too, and it doesn't get played as much. Solitaire is just the perfect simple mindless distraction. It's not really even fun after awhile. But it's addicting, and it gets played.

    Consider this, too: More people will play Tetris (or some Tetris clone) today than will play Quake and all other 1st person shooters combined.

    And in 10 years, more people will still play Tetris than play whatever virtual reality extravaganza is "all the rage" then.

    There are a hundred million people on the net who would never even consider playing most of the fancy 3D games. But many of them will try simpler games. They are Flash's market.

  3. #3
    I agree with what you are saying, if you want a simple quick game, be it a classic, or a new take on a classic why bother using shockwave. I could not agree more. I guess an analogy would be why go and by a sledge hammer if the small hammer you already have does the job fine.
    I was wondering, as you seem knowledgeable and (although cliqued) with you finger on the Internet gaming pulse. When do you envisage the shockwave 3D really taking off? I think this kind of thing would really appeal to teenagers, especially boys. And could be a big draw to a site, but Iím not sure, whatís you take on this?

    I ask all these questions as I have a lot of free time after my exams this summer and I would really like to have a play with shockwave. However I donít want to spend all summer learning Lingo and the other elements only to find that this format will not take off for another year yet.

    I guess I like to play games a lot in my free time, and I feel that this new plug in could bring more of a up-to-date feel to internet gaming. Absolutely no offence to anyone who has pioneered 3D flash. Big respect to you all. But this plug in, with clever scripting, I think could take us to game like those on the play station, (no ps2), what a revelation for internet games.

    Just my thoughts

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    I'm afraid I don't have a very good track record for predicting such things. But, for what they're worth, here are my observations:

    Shockwave has some challenges.

    As we already discussed, Flash dominates the "simple game" market. That's okay; that's not what Shockwave's meant for anyway.

    Perhaps more of a concern is how it competes with retail games that get played over the Internet.

    There's been a lot of talk about developing multi-player RPGs in Flash lately. Shockwave might be a better development tool for such games. But the problem I see is, who's going to play it? A game like that takes a commitment to play. You probably aren't going to play it for just an afternoon.

    But I would expect most people who are committed gamers to be inclined to spend the $20 or $30 to buy Everquest or Asheron's Call and then pay the $10/month subscription.

    For many people, $10/month is negligible. It's not going to be a factor in deciding which game to play. And for those who can't afford the $10/month--they probably don't have the kind of broad band connection you'd want to have anyway.

    (There are exceptions of course. There are teenage boys whose parents just won't buy them Everquest. They might play a Shockwave RPG.)

    The same thing is true with first person shooters. Why play a Shockwave version when you can download a demo of Quake II or III (depending on what your computer can handle). My guess is that a Quake demo, even with its limitations (mostly that it's limited to just a few levels), is probably better than we're going to see out of Shockwave for a long time.

    So teenage boys are playing Everquest and Quake, and everyone else is playing Flash Tetris. What does that leave for Shockwave.

    Well, I think there is a niche in there somewhere.

    The two games you linked to in your original post would work great on a Flash/Shockwave games site. They provide some "curb appeal" that would bring people in to play the other games. And they would get played their fair share, too.

    But I think Shockwave games have other, perhaps greater, possibilities.

    I think there is a certain kind of website where the quality of the game is more important than the speed.

    For instance, let's say a studio wanted to use an online game to promote a new movie. Say there's a new James Bond movie coming out, and at the end of the trailers, there's a message, "Play the game at http://www.newJamesBondFilm.com."

    They would not want to compromise the quality of that game. They would accept the download times associated with a multi-megabyte game before they would let James Bond look like a tall version of Super Mario (and I doubt it would really take megabytes to make such a game).

    That's going to be true in many situations where a game is more a promotional tool than an entertainment piece unto itself. And not just with huge corporations like the Hollywood studios. Any company that wants to use an online game for marketing is going to be more impressed with great 3D graphics than with you telling them, "but it downloads in 15 seconds."

    That could be a huge market, and it's ripe right now.

    So if you're inclined to learn Lingo, I'd say go for it. And there's probably more money in it (because of the kind of clients you'd target) than there is in Flash.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Good subject!

    Over the past year I have found flash to be more limited then I originally hoped, for game development. However the biggest reason I think flash & shockwave will never make more complex games, is the inherent limitations of soft rendering! Even shockwave has its limitations, because it canít take advantage of high-end graphics cards designed for faster real-time graphics.

    Free web games have to compete with commercial games as well! Thatís why a flash game will probably never eat all the plays free time, like Q2 % Q3 or ever-quest, do! Flash is perfect for smaller projects and so is shockwave; so donít get your hopes up to far. When your flash/shockwave games arenít getting played that much?

    This is a good start if games are your passion, but do realize the limitations of the applications you are using, because it will affect your game.

    Well happy flashing!

  6. #6
    Thanks for your replyís guys, its good to get clear well constructed arguments on a message board, (especially as my grammar leaves something to be desired, Iím a science studentJ). I will definitely continue to come back here; I have nothing but praise for this board.

    Anyway back to the topic. Yeh I noticed that there has been a lot of talk about rpgís on this board of late, I too felt that this was not the sort of game that would succeed on the Internet. This does not mean that I would not like to see a successful completed rpg, I loved the fallout series of rpgís, I still play them both now even though they are several years old.

    As you said this kind of game requires so much commitment, and would not appeal to a wide market. There are just too many people who would not consider buying an rpg. It is already a small target audience, however I do no know if the game being free would encourage more people to play, or the download would just discourage the majority. I fear the download would discourage the majority, only the seasoned rpg players would consider the download. This is however only my opinion, and in the grand scheme of things, is worth very little.

    On the positive side, the best side to look at, for non-commercial purposes a flash rpg, if done with path finding, and tile based world, very hard I know, would be amazing.

    I agree; you could not be more right about the promotional aspects of 3D shockwave games. Iím writing this only shortly after the pearl harbour film party was featured on the news. With such extravagance, and the importance of creating the right image, shockwave could have huge benefits.

    My only other thought is that the computer gaming market is growing rapidly, and I do not know the stats, however I get the impression that it is the twenty to twenty five age groups that is growing very rapidly. Along with the traditional, teenage boys group. Possibly do to the less Ďgeekyí image of the computer gaming industry.

    A suggestion might me that this will leave an opportunity for graphic intense, fast pace, more download intensive shockwave games. But my gut feeling is this will not happen. There are many new Internet users, accessing via a console such, as the play station 2. This, I think, has a slower modem than the average computer users 56K.
    I do not even know if these consoles have shockwave support, if they do, the download times will be long. Where as flash will be quicker. Compounding the problem further, the plug in will not be able to utilise the power of the play station. Maybe if these problems could be over come then this would be a market for shockwave games. The cost of a PS 2 game is high for most cash strapped lads (or lasses), maybe the Internet could provide a temporary alternative, just a thought.

    I donít intend to learn shockwave for commercial purposes, more of a fun challenge, its something I would like to do for my self. However I would like other to play my games, so I donít want to alienate the bulk of people. (The requirement for smooth running is a moderately a fast pc, alienating more people. However I guess those that would play shockwave games are the people who already play commercial games, so there system is already up to the job)

    Sorry about the length of the post I just find this an interesting topic, and thank you for you constructive replies.

    Sorry almost forgot, have you seen the Adobe Atmosphere 3D plug in, designed to compete with macromedia, for me this will flop. However takes a different approach, streams the graphics. So initially the world is with out any texture, then as the graphics load the texture builds up. Take a look at http://www.adobe.com/products/atmosp...pleworlds.html
    Its good, but Iíve still to make my mind up.

    Again thanks for you time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Froth nailed it on the head... and what I keep saying over and OVER (until people finally get it!) is why wish for one thing to be something else, when it wasn't meant for the job anyways?!

    If you (not you Froth, but people out there) want to make 3D games, then you are not in the web-game market. You are trying to compete with retail games, so I say, you might as well let go of your Flash and "multimedia authoring" fetish and start using real software development tools. (Visual C++, Visual Basic, and DirectX).

    The low-down is that the audience for web-games is seriously different from the audience for state of the art 3D games, so just let go of your little urge to try and cross-over the two.

    People keep pointing out the 3D games over at Shockwave. Has anyone stopped and thought about those games in terms of FUN? Forget about the eyecandy, cuz really NONE of those games are any fun except for Real Pool. And incidentally, those 3D games are all OLD. Why haven't any new ones been made? I'll tell you why... no one plays them! They suck.

    Casual gamers on the web want puzzles and simple quick games, that they can play at the office during break.

    So people, lament all you want about limitations. Do you want to make product that makes business sense, or are you in it just for your own indulgence?

    Check out the REAL state of 3D on the web here: http://www.virtools.com


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