Updated! Added a video of Gridshock on a Nexus One.
Recently, the folks at Adobe gave me access to early builds of AIR for Android. With permission, I’m able to share a little bit about my experience so far. For your enjoyment, I’ve also uploaded a couple of videos to YouTube where I demo Chroma Circuit on the Motorola Droid along with Gridshock and Qrossfire on the Google Nexus One.
First, here’s a look at Chroma Circuit:
Since I’ve only been targeting a single platform so far, I hadn’t yet spent a lot of effort making my games resolution independent. With each one, I had to spend a couple hours making adjustments to ensure that the layouts would properly fit the screens of different devices. None of this new code that I wrote is Android-specific. In fact, now that my games have these changes in place, I shouldn’t need to make any adjustments when Adobe brings AIR to other types of smartphones in the future. That’s awesome. Of course, if a platform has an important UI paradigm, like Android’s hardware back button, then yes, I’ll make the necessary tweaks to ensure it is supported.
Now take a peek at Gridshock too:
Performance-wise, AIR for Android is fast. When I was making iPhone apps with Adobe’s Packager for iPhone in Flash CS5, I had to make heavy use of hardware acceleration to make even the most basic animations run smoothly. On Android, my games are all rendering in software, and they feel no less responsive on the phones than they do on my desktop. As Lee Brimelow pointed out, “[Adobe is] able to get tremendous performance on Android devices because Google and the various handset manufacturers have chosen to work closely with us to provide the best possible experience to the end user.”
Finally, here’s my third game, Qrossfire:
With barely any work on my part, I got my three existing mobile games running in AIR for Android. It’s exciting. This week, I’ll be starting a totally new game (finally!), and I plan to target my Android phones first. It’s a side-scrolling shooter, which is a nice change of genre for me, and the control scheme I have planned should be fun to implement with multi-touch.