Molehill might become a fun, usable mountain
[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]So, essentially, Unity has entered the Flash 3D world. While 3D api’s (Away3D is doing an excellent job, btw) might provide a way to bring 3D to life via Molehill, Unity brings a kick-ass IDE with it.
And considering that they’re going to support AS3 right out of the bag (which they practically already do with UnityScript) as well as the other languages you can already use (I’ve become a c# fan myself), I’m hoping the resulting project from Unity will allow for maximum integration with flash projects. I have no idea what output they intend to target (swf or project to yet be compiled by flash), but I do hope they output a project we can work with on the FlashBuilder or Flash IDE side of things.
There have been quite a few discussions about this move, and as usual, there’s 2 camps – the yay’s and nay’s. I see it as a positive for Unity overall – they’re in the business of making tools, and they do that extremely well, and without a doubt, their developer base will broaden drastically if the resulting Flash is what people expect and need to get their work done (reference Adobe’s output for iPhone compared to Unity’s – case closed). Case in point, I’d created a Papervision3D component for the Flash IDE a while back – it was downloaded over 450,000 times). That tells me that people want visual solutions to 3D problems and that there’s a huge potential user base for a good Flash3D IDE. Bringing Flash3D to the lower common denominators in the development food chain is a “good” thing.
But without a doubt, Adobe is the massive winner here. IMO, they are walking away with much more of a win. The one thing I’d complained about early on was that Molehill left 3D to the egg-heads who loved being the only ones who could use it. As I’ve said before – until you bring it to a state of usability by the masses, it’s pointless and will largely be fruitless. In other words, I felt that if the new 3D capabilities weren’t put in the hands of us lesser-folk through a common interface and language, it wasn’t going to go anywhere except for demoscene reels on YouTube.
Enter in Unity, and you just fixed all of that. All of what I was saying and telling them they needed to achieve, they received from Unity3D (Merry Christmas Adobe). I do wonder how Unity’s physics, Beast Light mapping and shaders will translate, but I’m guessing those are the fruits they intend to dangle in front of even the most hardened Flash 3D developer 😉
Check out the official release statement: