Here’s an interesting presentation from Zynga’s Ben Cooley talking about their cross-platform endeavours with Flash and Adobe AIR. He spends some times exploring the benefits of AIR and the challenges of porting Flash-based browser games to mobile. A significant portion of his presentation is also given over to Zynga’s PlayScript language and compiler, which I’ve mentioned before in my blog.

PlayScript was developed to circumvent many of the problems Zynga had with AIR, such as the limited access to native device APIs, ActionScript’s poor performance compared to native code, app size overheads, and lack of native UI support. What’s also interesting is that the PlayScript language is essentially a mash-up of C# and ActionScript 3. Ben basically says in his presentation that with PlayScript, Zynga effectively has a language that is very similar to what ActionScript 4 could have been.

Later on there’s also some talk of an experimental JavaScript compiler, which could allow PlayScript or ActionScript 3 projects to target web browsers that don’t support Flash Player. There are also some live demos shown near the end of both Starling and Away3D being successfully used in PlayScript projects and running outside of Adobe AIR.

It’s all really impressive stuff and makes you wonder why Adobe never really took Flash, AIR and ActionScript in this direction. It’ll be really interesting to see the progress Zynga make with PlayScript and also what quality of games they produce with it.

  1. However PlayScript isn’t really free, as you need a Xamarin license if you want to take full advantage of it, don’t you? Also, one thing I wondered when I learnt of PlayScript, can you target desktop apps with it? didn’t seem so when I looked around.

  2. Hi, there’s a demo in the video (38 mins) showing a Starling demo being run as native Mac OSX apps.

    Christopher (Author)