The Future of Director is Bright

I was recently asked about Director’s future. I’m very optimistic, basically. I’ve got some good reasons for being so.
1. I believe that DMX and DMX04 are selling well. No concrete info here, since Macromedia doesn’t release sales figures. But I get that feeling from the people I talk to at Macromedia.
2. The know the Director team is always hard at work on the next version of Director. They always are. The engineering team never stops.
3. Macromedia recently released a .1 version for DMX04 (Director 10.1). This is an obvious sign that Director is important to Macromedia since they spent the money on a post-release update.
4. The addition of ECMA Script (JavaScript) to Director was a significant investment. It shows that Macromedia is taking bold steps forward with Director. By the way: It’s true purpose is to make it easy for people who have ActionScript or JavaScript skills to begin to use Director, not to replace Lingo.
5. Macromedia recently signed a deal with Yahoo to market Shockwave (not Flash). The raw end of this deal is that we get the “do you want to install the Yahoo Toolbar” dialog during the Shockwave install. But the good side is that Macromedia is making the effort to market Shockwave.
6. Macromedia has recently hired someone specifically to push Shockwave (again, not Flash). They recently sponsored a Shockwave game at the Macromedia site concerning the election. The purpose of the game was to get more Shockwave installs. The fact that they are doing this is a very positive sign.
7. At last year’s Game Developers Conference it seemed that a majority of Web-based game developers were using Shockwave. They cited Shockwave’s versatility, speed and ubiquitousness. Not to mention the 3D.
8. At last year’s Game Developers Conference, I came to the conclusion that Shockwave is the only viable 3D game creation tool for the Web. Other tools exist, but have significant drawbacks.
9. Director’s only real competitor is Flash. But Macromedia is moving Flash is a “business enterprise” direction. Tools like Breeze and the Flash Communication Server are not priced for small developers. Macromedia is pushing business use of Flash, not creative or entertainment uses.
10. The reason Flash grabbed so much of the market away from Director was that it was a small, cool, fun, easy-to-use tool. I’m talking about Flash 3, 4 and 5. But starting with MX, and particularly Flash MX 2004, Flash is not so much fun or easy-to-use. ActionScript 2.0 is not something that creative types are going to be able to embrace — it is serious programming stuff. So while animators will continue to use Flash, though probably through Toon Boom or some other tool, the era of creative discovery for Flash is over.
11. Even if things went really south with Director, look at Authorware. It was “dead” back in 1996 when Director was the star Macromedia product. But yet in 2004 it is still alive and supported.
12. As an “expert developer” who uses Director all day, I feel I still haven’t seen the boundaries of what Director can do. Every time I use it, I find some new technique or faster way of doing something. Back in the Director 4, 5 and 6 days, I felt I was pushing the edge of what Director can do. But now, I can’t even see the edge.
That’s all for now. I can probably think of more reasons why Director’s future is bright, but I think this is enough for now. In the future, maybe tomorrow, I will talk about where I see Director going in the future.

Posted on November 4, 2004 at 9:32 am by Gary Rosenzweig · Permalink
In: General

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  1. Written by Greg
    on 11/4/2004 at 2:28 pm