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HTML5 vs Flash

  • A big hello to the creative community at Scirra!

    I am totally new to making games with zero programming knowledge. Recently I have taken an interest in designing my own educational games and spent some time pondering over whether to learn how to do that with Flash or learn HTML5.

    Here are my thoughts and I apologise if it is oversimplified or blatantly incorrect. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Flash vs HTML5

    Cons

    1.Using Flash would rule out Apple users. (looks like you can convert Flash games to HTML5 but I'm sure there will be tradeoffs)

    2.When HTML5 really takes off, it will become a good substitute for most Flash capabilities, can be used on all operating platforms and so will be the standard one should learn for future relevance. Flash might or might not stand up to the test.

    Pros

    3.Flash is a powerful tool to build educational game and has been tried and tested to work. Currently, it's capabilities exceeds that of HTML5.

    Now I've downloaded Scirra Construct 2 and created my first shooting game (tutorial 1). It's really awesome. I have no qualms about paying for the paid version but first I have some questions I hope someone would help answer:

    1. Why did Scirra decide to write a software to build HTML5 games and not in Flash? Is it because it is easier to do this with HTML5?

    2. Are there other similar tools out similar to Construct 2 to help non programmers build Flash games?

    I am aware that question #2 may not be appropriate or welcomed in a Scirra forum but like I've emphasized earlier, I'm sold by Construct 2 already and am just curious and asking some pre-purchase questions any reasonably discerning consumer might ask.

    Hope to hear from someone soon! <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Good questions Contrejour, I initially wondered why they sided with HTML5 but with the fact that Adobe is moving away from Flash on mobile devices at all (Android no longer receives updates, and Linux does not either actually!) I'm very thankful they did.

    Aside from easier multi-platform game releases and iOS support, Windows 8's Metro interface is very friendly to HTML5, even allowing the web apps on it's store, so this definitely looks like a platform that will be around for a long time to come now.

    As for similar software to Construct 2 I believe there is a free version of The Games Factory 2 which exports to Flash games. The only restriction is that they must be free and can only be uploaded to the Newgrounds portal <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> (They probably have a paid version but it might be like Game Maker where you need to purchase individual exporters).

  • Contrejour : you can develop games/app in Flash that are going to be used "as is" on iOS/Android/Desktop without thinking about it. In fact, your game/app is going to be exported as an "AIR" app (the Adobe "wrapper" to have an ActionScript VM - the langage used in Flash - work everywhere).

    If you want to create Flash-compatible games, there's Stencyl. It's also working on iOS.

    The great thing with Construct2 is that it's, basically, exporting a website. Any device with HTML capabilities is going to display. The performances are another thing, added on top of that (an 3DS isn't going to display an HTML5 game properly, while any smartphone will do...)

  • I thought it was no contest with Flash vs HTML5. Adobe have announced they're not even updating it any more on mobile. Even Adobe are beginning to distance themselves from it. If you want a future-proof way to publish to the web on mobile platforms, HTML5 is your only choice.

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  • Are there other similar tools out similar to Construct 2 to help non programmers build Flash games?

    Multimedia Fusion 2 can export to flash, and it is also a "no programming" tool. They are also working on Multimedia Fusion 3, though nothing has been shown so far.

    If you absolutely must support flash, I'd give MMF2 a go. They also offer some pretty compelling exporters, such as native iOS applications, linux, java, java for mobile, xna(dead, unfortunately) and they're working on a native android exporter.

    As another commenter said, they have a free "the games factory" demo that I would encourage you to try.

    You'll quickly realize, however, that construct's workflow is vastly superior, and Ashley/Tom do a much better job updating the product, fixing bugs, cultivating the community, creating strategic partnerships (spriter being the most recent)... well let me just cut it short and say that C2 is a better product, and if you end up using MMF2 because you have to support flash, you'll be wishing you were using construct 2 instead.

    I had to go through that because a client needed a real time game, and I could only make it work with UDP (unsupported in HTML5 as of this post), so I had to use MMF2. It's worth repeating, once you start working in construct, you don't go back.

  • Thanks to all for your responses! I had no idea Flash is going the way of the dodo. That sounds scary. I know of many applications built around Flash.

    Love Construct 2! Keep it up!   <img src="smileys/smiley32.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Contrejour : don't say to anybody in the industry that Flash is going that way, because they are going to laugh <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />. You won't be able to run Flash from webpages on mobile configurations, but you can still code an entire app in Flash and export it to mobile. In the end, you still coded your app in Flash.

    Anyway, C2 & HTML5 is a good way to follow (always keep a maximum of open options for yourself !)

  • FYI, there's a sample Pong game about "Flash vs HTML5"

    You can check it here:

    http://labs.codecomputerlove.com/FlashVsHtml5/

  • The only advantage I see flash having is in animation, making a TV show like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in HTML5 is just ridiculous in my opinion (somebody could prove me wrong though). HTML5 is light-weight and doesn't require a plugin or anything on the user end.

  • Flash is totally a thing of the past.

  • As an update to this thread, check out Edmund McMillen's Binding of Isaac's postmortem, specifically page 3

    I recommend you read the entire postmortem, but he discusses how flash really wasn't appropriate for the kind of game he wanted to do, and how flash couldn't even compile the end result consistently when the files passed 300Mb. He goes on to say he regrets making it in flash.

    It makes me wonder - would construct games over 300Mb have issues as well?

  • I tested a fake 'game' early in c2's development with 20,000 5 condition/5 action events and it still previewed plenty fast. That was without much in the way of graphics though, so I don't know how long those might take, but event compilation speed at least is great.

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