Why I Don’t Use Flash Much Anymore

As the author of Flash books as well as Director books, I get a fair share of email questions about Flash. But these are getting harder and harder to answer because I am using Flash less and less. Why, you might ask, would I be using Flash less and less while it is growing in capability and popularity? Well, there are several reasons.
First, I no longer feel that Flash is a tool that Macromedia is gearing toward people like me. I’m a game developer. But the last two versions of Flash have added tons of features more suited for corporate enterprises. Things like components and ActionScript 2 won’t help me make better games. Other features like the Flash Comm server cost too much for me to use on the type of games I make. These features may be great for Flash and Macromedia’s bottom line, but they aren’t suited for what I do.
Second, Flash is slow. This was OK for a while, because Web games were expected to be slow. But now the audience has matured and they expect more. Shockwave is up to that challenge and Flash is not. Sure it has become much faster in recent versions than, say, in Flash 4. But things like parsing a dictionary of words for a word game or detecting collisions among multiple objects just aren’t practical. Sometimes things like that are possible if you spend a great deal of time optimizing that one task, but if Shockwave can do it with a few lines of code, then my ROI with Shockwave is that much greater.
Third, it is too easy for people to steal my Flash movies. I don’t mean just take the swf and place it on their site. I can protect against that. I mean they can take the swf, use 3rd-party “utility” software, and convert the swf to a fla. Then they can pull out my security, modify the game, and use or sell the game as their own. It has happened to me already. Add the fact that they can do this overseas, in coutries where IP is laughable, and you have a real problem. I have to consider anything I do with Flash to be open and vulnerable. I’ll fight to the best of my ability to protect my IP, but the best thing I can do is to develop in Director, where it will take me less time, work better, and be protected.
Has anyone else worried about Flash security issues like this? Or the fact that Macromedia seems to be taking Flash in a “business-only” direction?

Posted on January 18, 2005 at 11:07 am by site admin · Permalink
In: General

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  1. Written by Fraser Campbell
    on 1/19/2005 at 9:06 am