Overview of Mobile Games with Adobe Animate

Mobile games have taken hold of the world. And alongside mobile games is Adobe’s Animate, an animation software that has a hand in facets of the web and entertainment. The valued 34.8-billion-dollar mobile game industry is slated to hit 74.6 billion dollars in the year 2020. With recent successes like Pokémon Go, where the 9.5 million active Pokémon trainers are found everywhere you look, it is easy to see how huge the mobile game industry has become and how it is responsible for most of the total mobile app market’s revenue. Big game companies are seeing the potential, and like Nintendo, they are beginning to dip their hands into the very profitable mobile games market. In a recent study conducted by Pewglobal.org, it was found that in the United States alone, 68% of adults own smartphones, and 45% have tablets in their possession.

That number does not account for children with smart devices and has since seen a steady increase as affordability and access to smart devices increases. With such a booming market, many would like to develop their own mobile games, and some of the greatest tools available to do so are the tools provided by Adobe, mainly Animate. With Adobe’s Animate, there is a way for anyone to make their impact on mobile games. Animate has been able to stay relevant through the years and continue to support it. Animate has always been a big part of the web, technology, and now mobile games.

In the beginning, Animate was known simply as FutureSplash, a two decades old animation software with limited capabilities that matched the painfully slow internet of the old days. Throughout its twenty-year life span from FutureSplash, to Adobe Flash, to current Animate, each iteration has been able to adapt to the times allowing for more extensive animating. Even today, as flash seems like it is beginning to fade due to the capabilities of HTML 5, Adobe’s Animate can remain king among animation software, with 1/3 of its users developing for HTML 5, allowing Adobe to stand up against the test of times. In the days of its origin, the animation software provided by Adobe was limited to a simple editor with a timeline. Fast forward to today, and Animate is used by many experts, businesses, and of course, those who animate just for fun, with the ability to animate with extreme detail. What they do with Animate spreads from anything to banner ads on sites, to animated characters for cartoons such as those produced by Nickelodeon, movies, and of course, the always popular games.

Famous examples of content created with Animate are scenes in movies and shows like Wreck-it Ralph, SpongeBob, the recent Angry Birds movie, and South Park. As for the games, many developers such as the ones at Zynga have created their games, characters, and animations with immense success using Animate. With a reach of a billion devices, Adobe Animation has earned its spot at the top and will continue to hold on to that spot as more people turn to it for their animation needs.

Mobile game applications like Animate are nothing new they have been around for a long time. They started as simple game applications like Snake, a viral game on old Nokia phones. When Apple launched its Apple App store, it wasn't until much later that mobile applications really took off. The technology has moved on since the old days of black and white screen applications to much more sophisticated and vibrant applications. Advances such as WAP have contributed to mobile gaming’s boom as well. “The advent of wireless application protocol (WAP) technology was a significant development for mobile gaming. Not only did this service allow users to download basic games onto their handsets, but it also enabled multiplayer support. With the emergence of touch-screen interfaces, the mobile games became the fastest growing sectors in the industry.” —

As years have gone by, Adobe Animate has been considered the most convenient tool to use because of its ability to handle vector images and keep overall file size rather small, making it ideal for mobile games. However, things changed when Apple came out with iOS and announced that they weren’t going to support Flash at all as Adobe Flash lost ground on mobile games. Adobe finally came out with Adobe AIR in 2011, which compiled Flash to native iOS apps. Even with this new software, Flash has been losing ground to other recent tools such as UNREAL Engine and Unity to develop mobile games. With that being said, there are still many Flash developers in the world; 15% of mobile game developers use it, and 6% of them as their primary tool. Despite the competition, Flash is still considered the best way to deliver high-end gaming on desktop web browsers. Adobe Flash later became Adobe Animate, and Adobe AIR was complemented with Adobe Gaming SDK. Inside Gaming SDK, you can find native extensions, documentation samples, the compilers, the frameworks that adobe supports, and everything you need to create games and publish them on desktop and mobile devices.

Today even though flash has disappeared, Adobe continues to provide developers with new possibilities. Animate allows users to create animations with the use of HTML5 technology like Canvas and WebGL. One of the main reasons developers use Animate is the fact that it is a vector-based application. Many developers prefer vector-based graphics as they have the ability to resize animations without a notable loss in quality. Using a vector-based format also keeps the size and weight of the graphics much lower, making it easier to work with. A new feature in Animate, in addition to ActionScript, is the use of JavaScript. This will allow for a powerful, unified workflow. Game developers will also like the ease of going cross-platform. A game created with Animate and published to WebGL will no longer need a plugin and run in a web browser. This uses web standards and also allows games to run on mobile devices. The popular game developer, Zynga, has created flash games such as Angry Birds, which are Facebook-based which have been popular among millions of Facebook users. Facebook games are still mostly flash-based that can be played on mobile devices. Mobile gaming will play a huge part in the future of entertainment.

According to a market research analyst, App Annie, mobile games have generated approximately 85% of the mobile app market revenue in 2015. Today, developers can create games with Animate and publish a mobile app to a store easily. With the use of ActionScript and code snippets, creating robust animations without any programming knowledge is achievable. They can also simply access and modify the code to suit the intended mobile output allowing them to reach more users.

When all is said and done, mobile games are in their prime and will continue to see success as long as innovative minds continue turning their mobile game ideas into reality. As we hit further advancements in development, I’m sure we can all rest assured that Adobe will continue to keep with the times when it comes to gaming, digital content, and web design. The millions of mobile gamers and developers, along with Adobe Animate and other tools, have a bright future.

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