For the most of us, Flash 3d fans, seeing the AMAZING capabilities of the next Flash Player is a torture.
On one side you can't keep your pants dry by looking at the few fantastic demos posted during the last days and you just can't get rid of this very large smile on your face. The whole day dreaming of the game you plan to do for years, the one that will shake the planet. How Steve's "thoughts on Flash" post looks silly now. You look back at the last 2 weeks where you spend your time mostly trying to fix these damn sorting issues on that avatar... ahaha yeah, no more.
You wish you could travel in time to release day and already be busy writing that game that will put gameconsoles out of business... waiting is killing us.
Well prepare for a cold shower, because this baby is not some mickey mouse toy added to the Flash timeline. It's a wild mustang!
Do not expect to ride it that easy like previous ones when it comes to the new 3D Graphics with Hardware Acceleration API. This player is a serious high tech piece and it will require some time and experience before you'll be able to print something that looks good on screen. Take my word for it, at least if like me, you have zero background in gpu talks. I got my cold shower and the water just starts become warmer. But wooohooo this shower feels good!
Fortunatly for most of us, highlevel AS3 3D API's such as Alternativa3D, Yogurt3D, Flare3D, Sophie3D, Minko and of course Away3D will ease all these tasks for you and enable you to work almost as you used to. This means for Away3D that it will change here and there. Probably true for the other engines as well. Even if we try to keep it as familiar as possible, it's to be expected.
For me this big leap means a shit load of extra work! Being one of the lucky basterds able to "play" dayly with Molehill features for a few months now. I realize better now what's ahead of me regarding Prefab3D: I would need to rewrite a big (read big big) bunch of Prefab in order to support fully the new player.
With almost 15000 users now, even if it makes me very very proud, it also makes me very responsible. When a platform changes that much, it often means the death of many projects. They become obsolete. It's the moment where you ask yourself if a project has a reason to be continued. In case of Prefab, I'm truly convinced it becomes even more relevant than ever to have dedicated tools to work with. If you have adopted Prefab in your workflow, you will be able to continue use it! I will do all I can, together with the Away team, to make this happend on player release which should also be Away3D 4.0 release day.
In fact I've already started, but working atm on isolated cases only, as I do not have yet AIR builds for mac that would allow me to proceed faster. (Someone gets spammed really often for this )
The idea behind Prefab3D was to fill the gap between your 3d apps and Away3D. Get rid of the overhead of data that Flash can't handle, act as a test environement, ease many processes, dedicated exports for all Away3D engine versions and types etc... It just left the widget status for an app one.
For the 2.0, this concept will remain of course, but because the player will offer a more 1/1 talk with the most popular 3d editors and because we finally enter big boyz terrain business and production wise, the app needs to evolve forward as well. It will support (at least that's the plan) other aspects of the production, where coding, testing, generating and assembling will get more or less the focus. But this will not happend over night as if I look behind me, there's noone but me and my Away3d mates.
So first goal will be to ensure we have a working version available when the player will be released doing more or less what its already doing now.
During the coming weeks, I'll be therefor deving 2 versions at the same time, not sure yet if I'll keep separated apps (1.x for 9/10.1 and >2.0 for next players) or build some kind of mix... Only one thing is sure: I'll probably be quiet on our dev group. Sorry for that by advance.
For now, we are still in F10 realm, and I'm happy to present you 1.4. I've just uploaded a new update, version 1.430. I hope you will enjoy the new tools and enhancements even if it's not as fast as it hopefully will become!
Here is on top of my head, a list of new features and fixes done for this 1.4 version:
Note here that you need to make a default texture map next to your file to load the textures
automatically. Read AC3D for the tips and tricks.
and probably more here and there...
Oh almost forgot: I want to add "en passant" a big thank to Adobe for giving us Molehill and having me in prerelease program from day one and express my admiration for the Flash player dev team.