Sprite sheets and workflow enhancements for Adobe’s rich media tool
Flash has had a hard time of it over the past year, having lost ground to jQuery and been canned on mobile. However, Flash remains a tool still much in demand for advanced multimedia projects and it's increasingly being used as a development environment for mobile apps and games.
As shown in Creative Bloq's extensive Flash Pro CS6 review, the latest update continues this refocussing of the app, boosting its abilities regarding mobile gaming and development for multiple devices. New and improved features include sprite-sheet generation, AIR integration and support, support for hardware acceleration, mobile simulation for debugging, and native extensions – compiler code that is written in the native language of the target device.
Freelance Flash game developer and Flash lecturer Iain Lobb wasn't convinced about the merits of the upgrade, however. While he reckoned sprite-sheet generation was "a really welcome addition and may prove invaluable for Flash animators working on games," he argued everything else was "already available for free via the open Flex SDK". The lack of 'big ticket' features also disappointed him: "I feel Adobe is neglecting Flash professional – there hasn't been a really big update for designers and animators since the Macromedia days. It increasingly seems the only real reason to update is so you can open files from clients and co-workers, because with each version Adobe breaks backwards compatibility." Lobb also rallied against the UK pricing, which even when taking into account taxes is significantly higher than in the USA: "For a purely digital product, this is ludicrous, cynical and indefensible."