No I’m not talking about a new kind of enemy (at least not yet…. more on this later). What I’m talking about is Adobe AIR. I’ve had a love hate relationship with AIR over the last year. As most know I wrote CW in flash. Not because I’m a flash fan-boy, but because of all of the flash portals. I wanted to do a flash portal version of CW. Well it seemed natural to use AIR to produce the full desktop version of the game. This is what I have done and for the most part it has been fine.
Recently Adobe released AIR version 2. Should be great news… should be packed with performance enhancements and maybe even some tonic for the full-screen performance hit. Adobe even pushes the update to everyone with AIR installed by prompting them to upgrade. And like any reasonable person would, most people say “sure” and upgrade.
What they get next is a version of Adobe AIR that has demonstratively inferior performance when running CW compared to AIR 1.5. Here’s the KC forum topic about it: http://knucklecracker.com/forums/index.php?topic=3568.0 and here is an Adobe forum topic about it: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/659527?tstart=0
Now I have no real doubt that Adobe will over time get this sorted out and life will once again be good. But… what’s a game developer to do? Release another game and hope this never happens again? Wouldn’t I have been better off to use something like mProjector or Zinc and built a bound executable? At least this way I wouldn’t have to worry about Adobe causing me a support nightmare because their QA let a problem like this slip out the door.