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Adobe Flash 11 to bring 3D glory to Android game developers

by Kristen Nicole

The game market for Android is certainly expanding, from the technology side as well as the publisher’s. Adobe is enabling the tech side of things, with the release of the new Flash Player 11 and Air 3 (coming in October). The updates will enable 3D games within its Flash media player, expanding online gameplay for connected devices including those running Android’s platform. The new features for Flash and Air include hardware acceleration, which ups its rendering capabilities to support 3D graphics. It’s a boon for Android developers, as it can aid them in creating 3D animation with much smoother results.

Flash 11 will also have native extensions, to allow developers to more easily create apps based on Android smartphones and tablets, incorporating light sensors, vibration control and dual screens. With the Captive Runtime feature, developers can bundle Flash and Air with their apps, so gamers won’t have to download the Adobe products separately. To help with the monetization potential of such high quality games, content can be protected with Adobe Flash Access 3 across supported platforms. That means a game can be created once, and distributed across devices without a developer having to re-purpose it for varied device specs.

New titles from Zynga, Capcom... and Rovio?

From the publisher end comes another major release from Zynga, bringing Hanging With Friends to the Android Market. Launched earlier this summer, Zynga was quicker to create an Android version of this game, considering how slow and calculating its other releases have been. Hanging With Friends is a social twist on the classic Hangman game, letting you challenge Facebook friends to a game anytime. Similar to Words With Friends, you’ll be able to play 20 simultaneous games, with in-game chat and notifications when it’s your turn.

Capcom is also growing its mobile reach with the upcoming release of Street Fighter IV for Android. In a deal with LG, Capcom’s releasing the game in an exclusive deal through the LG World app store. No details on the pricing yet, but Street Fighter IV, which is already available for iOS, is hoping to make an impression on Android users with its promo-heavy launch. Expect the game to be widely available in the Android Market sometime next year.

Heading in a different direction, Angry Birds maker Rovio may be looking to the indie market to expand its game portfolio. “We have some plans for this area, but not ready to announce yet. If we do something in the publishing area, you can expect it to be a bit different,” says Rovio executive Peter Vesterbacka. And different could be quite good for the team behind Angry Birds, an Android game that’s reached cult status. Many wonder how long Rovio will be able to ride the Angry Birds wave, so the developer’s next move will be a highly anticipated one.