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Thread: Flash vs. HTML 5

  1. #21
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    @ImprisonedPride: Well, that´s cool, as i said, i´m looking forward to having all 3 major OS on a single machine early next year, too =)
    Right now i´m mostly using windows for apps not available on the mac like 3D Max and others running way better than on mac (like most of the Adobe ones).
    Then i´m equally using the mac for the apps available only for mac OS or running way nicer than in windows version. And yeah, also using it for all iOS stuff since that´s good to do with a mac so one can use all the xcode tools and the whole device interaction works better.
    Well, we´ll have even way more different OS types and versions around soon what with now Chrome OS devices coming out, next year also playbook OS and various other ones =)
    Its funny, to me these times feel a lot like in the early video game and computer days, tons of new devices, OSs many distribution ways and other avenues for indies popping up each day. Not sure how long expansion in diversification will go on like that, but it is interesting to experience =)

    @Incrue: I guess Imprisoned was talking about him using free apps for his work rather than him working for free =)

  2. #22
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    I know, its not about IP but what i dont get is that usually some guys on this open source religion thinks that everything should be free.Its something like, if you use their free stuff you are in some kind of moral debt.Like, if you get it for free you should also give back for free.Those guys are also the ones who think they have the right to decompile our games.
    I hate all of this crap.When i want something, i pay.I don't like to ask for favors, nor i think that everything belongs to everyone.

  3. #23
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Besides, is there Unity for linux already?

  4. #24
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    No, there isn't. Linux isn't a target platform for many of the big software companies since the linux penetration figures in the desktop consumer market are tiny.
    Interestingly enough Linux, besides for servers, is most widely used in quite changed and expanded upon OS versions like android OS. And yeah, with unity one can deploy to android devices.
    Regarding actually running in the browser on usual linux desktop distributions, well, i think that is most likely to happen when google chrome with native client support rolls out, so sometime next year.

  5. #25
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    I also almost missed your earlier reply. Yeah, that is a long going on discussion, some seem to see it as ideal to have all accessible for free while others see a sense and requirement for people actually making money with the content they create. I don't think it is an attitude specific to a single OS user but more specific to a group with certain world views. ( coincidentally many in a particular group may lean towards certain OS of course ). While i for example understand why some kind of people might lean towards Linux i find it weird, ironic and totally marketing driven when it is about leaning towards other OS due to its "openness". Some thinking about Android being so much more open than the iPhone for example, while Apple was the one who opened the mobile app distribution up to indies way more than many other companies before and many of the android consortium members and devices are not open at all, partially don't even open their app stores to all developers for example.
    Anyway..

  6. #26
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incrue View Post
    Programming for free, that sounds like a great way to live
    Programming for free? That's just crazy-talk. No, as tom said, I was referring to having free software at my disposal, the work I do is paid for. Besides, you can't expect budding indie developers to shell out hundreds of dollars when they hardly have their foot in the door of the industry. It might take you a long time to just break even from purchasing the licenses...
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  7. #27
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprisonedPride View Post
    No, as tom said, I was referring to having free software at my disposal, the work I do is paid for.
    But the linux guys do it for free, and they want you to follow their religion and do the same.Untill some day everyone will be brothers, we will hug a tree and sing kunbaya

  8. #28
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
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    I never felt pressured into Linux, nor that I should "pay it forward" through redistributing help to the Linux community. It seems that neither does the other 99% of the market share.
    Last edited by ImprisonedPride; 12-07-2010 at 07:47 AM.
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  9. #29
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    HTML5 can not be compete right now with Flash. For several reasons:

    - First of all no browser supports HTML5 100%. Even the HTML5 specs are not ready 100%. Most of the modern browsers supports some HTML5 features, but this is not enough if you want to write an application. Applications should run on existing browsers and this discourage developers to use HTML5.
    - Not all HTML5 competes with Flash. HTML5 is more complex and only one of its features is intended to be a flash killer: Canvas. Here are 3 things that will make flash better in the short run: Flash can be run on almost any browser, even on old browsers, Flash has lots of extra features, is faster and there are lots for libraries and code for flash.
    - Beside some visual aspects like round borders existing and implemented HTML5 features are not really used for the simple reasons that they are not supported by old browsers. In the rare cases when they are used existing options are present and if HTML5 is detected it is used(for example the html5 video player is used if detected otherwise flash is used).

    On the long run HTML5 will be supported by most of the browsers, including mobiles. When HTML5 will have a big developers base it can replace flash, of course is flash don't find another niche. However, flash will dominate the scene at least for a couple of years, despite the fact that big actors like Google and Apple are pushing for HTML5.

  10. #30
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Flash will never die
    But it sux to know that if you make a game, every idiot on earth will be able to steal and decompile it.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Pazil's Avatar
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    I know, as opposed to clicking View -> Page Source for HTML 5 games...
    WIP-ZOMBIES

    I love vegetarians! More meat for the rest of us!

  12. #32
    Senior Member webgeek's Avatar
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    We've played a good bit with porting parts of our kick butt isometric rendering engine (1920x1200 full-screen 50 FPS scrolling) over to HTML 5 and the results have been very disappointing. The HTML 5 canvas tag was quite a bit slower at blitting than Flash. So much so as to kill performance. Additionally, contrary to what Apple wants you to think, HTML 5 on the iPad/iPhone is far slower than Flash We tested that a good bit and were consistently surprised.

    In short, HTML 5 could replace Flash for games but it's good a lot of performance and API hurdles to get past first.

    -Mike

  13. #33
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Man, i wonder that you were surprised about the html 5 performance (or lack thereof).
    Flash´s performance is in various areas better than the one of html 5 right now, i thought that was pretty commonly known by now. Flash´s performance "just" sucks compared to various other plugin technologies and of course even a lot more compared to what can be done in native apps when creating them with other solutions.
    And yeah, flash´s performance also sucks in general when one thinks of a possible future where either the full app would be cloud based and just the image streamed to the user or be a native client sort a app, no matter if launched from the browser or not; in both cases not needing any plugin.
    I have a mac and a pc sitting here and well, on the pc usually flash only takes browser performance down noticably when there are several flash movies on one page, on the mac it happens already with a single flash movie and yeah, pretty much all browser crashes i get on the mac are due to the flash plugin. Would the performance of the browsers and websites be better if all that is done using the flash plugin now would be done with html5 instead? Not at all, at least right now it would likely be quite worse.
    But would the performance be better if some of it would be done with better performaing plugin technologies or as native app/ native client solution: yeah, totally.

    Right now the only upside of html 5 to me is that it runs on various platforms where there´s no plugin support.
    Next to that, no matter if one likes that or not (i personally don´t), for the advertising banner industry it is benefitial when people can´t block advertising on websites as easily anymore (if all ad content on the web was made in html 5 instead of largely in flash that would mean basically not being able to use the sites themselves a lot anymore either in many cases when blocking the html 5 content for the site in general to get rid of the ads, it would be way more cumbersome to have something working like a flash ad blocker for html 5 content).


    I think for a chunk of the content publisher industry flash is seen as something negative because most of the motion media/ interactive free to consume content on the web is flash content ;
    for platform holders anything that reduces the stability and performance of their browsers is seen as negative
    and regarding consumers, well, a lot of those are not technically knowledgable enough to know whether html 5 would perform better, cloud based app video streaming would perform better or native client stuff would perform better or content done using a different plugin would perform better,
    a lot of those consumers just see: well, there´s some of this plugin content and it seems to slow down my browser or even make it crash in between.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 12-18-2010 at 06:23 AM.

  14. #34
    Senior Member webgeek's Avatar
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    Man, i wonder that you were surprised about the html 5 performance (or lack thereof).
    Flash´s performance is in various areas better than the one of html 5 right now, i thought that was pretty commonly known by now.
    Ha, I've not personally been keeping up with any performance tests and the like so I just based my assumption that HTML 5 would be adequate from all the hype. Clearly it's just that, hype

    With that said, one thing we found very interesting is that our ES5 JavaScript API is MUCH faster than our AS3 version of the same API. This is particularly interesting as we have to jump through a lot of hoops to get our binary protocol working in JavaScript since it lacks the concept of a byte datatype. It's possible this is due to a performance issue with our Flash code but thus far it looks like JavaScript's execution of raw code is just very good.

    -Mike

  15. #35
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webgeek View Post
    Ha, I've not personally been keeping up with any performance tests and the like so I just based my assumption that HTML 5 would be adequate from all the hype. Clearly it's just that, hype

    With that said, one thing we found very interesting is that our ES5 JavaScript API is MUCH faster than our AS3 version of the same API. This is particularly interesting as we have to jump through a lot of hoops to get our binary protocol working in JavaScript since it lacks the concept of a byte datatype. It's possible this is due to a performance issue with our Flash code but thus far it looks like JavaScript's execution of raw code is just very good.

    -Mike
    Yeah, how much of the html5 and flash and other technologies comparisons is hype and how much factual depends on the use case and what one compares i think =)

    To my experience some code only execution is a lot faster than flash code execution in many other languages/environments, flash graphics side execution seems to be still a good bit superior than html5/ js graphics execution in many cases though and then unity and native apps beat that by quite a margin again.


    As i said a lot of people see plugin content on a page and notice browser performance and stability going down in many cases and just don´t consider how it would run if the same content was done using a html5 solution instead, so there´s only the negative experience with current implementation, without knowing whether html5 would do such a better job or a worse one when doing the same thing.

    Besides all that many things done in flash, unity and other middleware solutions are of course not doable at all in html5 in its current form and for many of those that would be theoretically doable it would be a nightmare to do them without any kind of proper editors for it, next to other points like lack of drm and source code protection mechanisms etc.

    I feel like the whole html5 aswell as full on cloud computing (a la onlive where the user only receives the final image instead of his machine doing all computations to create it), aswell as the native app delivery focused pushes going on right now all do a great job in showing the weaknesses of flash but especially the html 5 in browser option is nowhere near being a good replacement for all things one can do in flash or other plugin technologies.
    Right now it basically makes sense to replace flash content with html5 stuff where it is a propper replacement, but as soon as it goes into heavier media interaction, well, html5 just isn´t there yet in many cases and in those cases where flash doesn´t perform well enough on graphics side it would usually make more sense to go for unity or other middleware solutions rather than for html5.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 12-19-2010 at 05:08 AM.

  16. #36
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeMD View Post
    Take it from somebody who told you 3 years ago that Unity will never amount to anything in the browser gaming arena and of course I was right.
    No, you was not.Unity definately has his space on the web and that grows every day, off course it will never be as big as flash because every idiot on earth can make a flash game, wich also gives a bad reputation to those who work on that
    http://www.kongregate.com/unity_game_contest

  17. #37
    Funkalicious TOdorus's Avatar
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    I think that if killing anything, html is a Flex-killer, it seems way less focused on flashy graphics, than it is on data interaction. The whole canvas seems there, only so you a less restricted way of presenting data.

    Are there any html5 game examples, apart from the hardcore "let's see if we can make a game in [technology]" crowd? Flash also isn't geared at creating games, but at least it is at a graphical presentation, which helps out games a lot. Html5 seems more enterprise geared like Flex, where display is less of an issue.

  18. #38
    Senior Member webgeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeMD
    Take it from somebody who told you 3 years ago that Unity will never amount to anything in the browser gaming arena and of course I was right.
    Sorry, I'm gonna say you totally missed the boat on this one. Unity is taking off something huge. Electrotank attends quite a few social game conferences (Login, Engage NYC, Engage San Jose) as well as all the US Game Developers Conferences (Austin and SF) and even Games Con in Europe. We are starting to see a lot more interest in Unity for virtual worlds and MMOs than we do for Flash. Suffice it to say that Electrotank, a Flash-only development shop since it's inception 8 years ago, is now becoming a Flash and Unity shop. Jobe Makar, author of multiple of the best-selling Flash books, is now becoming a Unity developer. A good number of our senior Flash developers (several of them I'd consider some of the best Flash developers in the world even though you've never heard of them) are all becoming skilled Unity developers.

    So that's us, what about everyone else? Sadly, I'm privy to confidential information I can't reveal. Suffice it to say that there are lots of new Unity shops working on larger and larger Unity games but there are also major game devs from the traditional game industry building Unity games. I know of at least two triple-A title game development studios who make games you see on the X-Box, PS3, and PC who are now building Unity web-games to push the sale of their new titles.

    I think the mistake people here have made is assuming where Unity will grow. Unity is taking the traditional game development community by storm. It's not winning over tons of Flash developers yet but it's making a killing on the traditional game market. This has a direct impact on Flash devs though in that it still means more and more Unity games hitting the market and the web. Even if people are not building web games with Unity, that is one of Unity's core features and I guarantee you that you will start to see more and more Unity web games. Kongregate moving to support Unity is a huge first step. Considering that the Unity indie license is less than Flash's license certainly doesn't help Flash's case.

    Take an elegant tools and asset workflow. Then combine it with an easy-to-use programming language like C#. Add some deployment ubiquity so it runs on every platform. Finally toss in very good performance at a low price point and you can see why Unity is so attractive to game developers.

    Quote Originally Posted by TOdorus
    Are there any html5 game examples, apart from the hardcore "let's see if we can make a game in [technology]" crowd?
    Yes, Travian. Hugely successful HTML-only game. There are quite a few spin offs of it as well, some use Flash like Evony but many don't. It doesn't have animation and the like, but you didn't specify that.

    -Mike

  19. #39
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    Sorry, I'm gonna say you totally missed the boat on this one.
    Yeah, I really did, after 6-7 years of Unity these days I just can't find a flash game from all those awesome Unity games cluttering up portals all over the web.

    Oh wow, looky looky here. Over a year ago when they announced it and I said it was nonsense and it in fact didn't work out Unity marketing now decides to fork up $20 000, maybe now it will work better. Yeah sure, keep dreaming.

    Unity is fine for as you say traditional gaming market/development, but please it's pointless discussing it here, just as it would be pointless to go over to Unity forums and discuss flash.

    Completely different markets.

  20. #40
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Hm, your posts often make me wonder if i should even reply, if you´re even interested in hearing a different opinion than yours, well, i still try some times
    So first of all:
    1. Game portals in the form they are common now are a relict of the past, let me tell you.
    They still have a ton of players, but that´s not where most of the money is made and the focus is way more on other outlets nowadays.
    Player counts of other distribution channels are exponentially growing while the same can´t be said for most portals at all.
    And especially on revenue side a lot of portals are not very attractive to many seasoned developers who actually earn their living with games. That brings us to:

    2. A lot of game portals have deals where they pay the developer very few money up front if any and then maybe do a revenue share thing.
    That´s not the case for all portals, but applicable as general rule of thumb.
    That doesn´t fit very well together with doing more involved games.

    So when one takes 1. and 2. together there are two example reasons for why many of the unity developers would rather try to release their game on facebook, pc download/ steam, iOS, android, wii, 360, ps3 or as retail pc game or do some well paid client work than go for trying to get a sponsorship deal going with some game portal.

    Again, there are exceptions to this rule on both developer and portal sides but yeah, it isn´t the same as with the flash game market where there are tons of people handing out their games for free with some ads added into them, at least not right now.

    Does that make unity more or less a good choice?
    Does it mean unity is less widespread on less platforms than flash?

    I mean come on, who cares if there are 10k sites with unity content on there or 100k sites.
    Unity is used for many things and it is making quite big leaps on most fronts, so why are you so stuck on insisting the opposite?

    Also while use cases and outlets for flash and unity aren´t completely the same, both are used for game creation and deploy to multiple platforms, so yeah it is a kinda self limiting view to always be stuck to "this no flash, different thing, close eyes, pretend its not there".
    Last edited by tomsamson; 12-27-2010 at 09:46 AM.

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