AIR + PBBGs

With the release of AIR for Linux, Adobe has given us a very interesting piece of software for us to play with and attempt to work into our games. Myself, working mainly as a Actionscript developer, find this app to offer a wealth of potential to us.

For those that don’t know what AIR is, it simply put is a desktop widget system. But it much more than that. It offers the user the chance to interact with your web content from their desktop. Just imagine a player getting a notification in the corner of their screen that they have been attacked in game, or that their research has completed or they have new mail. Imagine that they could easily respond or perform a new action using the same interface such as reply to the map, check their status, or attack back.

This could be a big step for game design.

But I’m more curious as to what everyone elses thoughts on this is. This AIR widget of course wouldn’t be the core of your game. But just a way to always let your players interact with the game.

5 Comments

  1. Blogger doesn't do trackbacks (something I intend on remedying) So I'll just leave a little comment. I like the concept of AIR, I think I'm just too much of an XHTML/CSS/JS fanboy. There are all sorts of widgety alternatives to AIR out there. Have you seen Mozilla Prism?

    TimidMidget

  2. Hey TimidMidget. I have tried to use prism in the past and it's not exactly what I had in mind. What I was getting at was not making a PBBG using AIR. But you make an AIR component so that your players can receive updates from the web based game to their desktop.

    Prism is cool and all, but it somewhat defeats the purpose of what I had in mind. If you use Prism, you are still viewing the original site. If you were to use a widget like that offered the user a lesser amount of info in a more compact form. This is just a means of always being connected to the game or events in game without constantly having a window (a browser or prism) open.

    Something that you may want to look into is http://www.adobe.com/products/air/develop/ajax/ .

  3. Bah, grumpy old man mode again, but a true PBBG should be not require that you are always connected. Why exclude folks playing on their phone if you don't have to? If you need permanent connections for your game, make a dedicated client. Technologies to fake a dedicated client are cumbersome and difficult to debug.

  4. I'm not trying to say that you always need to be connected. But to have a means to do basic interaction without going to the main site. Which everything could be done through.

    Here's a real world example: I have a gmail account. But since I'm not constantly on the gmail site, I have a app running in my systray that notifies me when I have a new mail.

    I also have a twitter app that allows me to update without going to the site.

    And I have my gcal integrated with my system clock so I can view my calender without going to the site.

    What I am suggesting is something similar to this. Not a means of replacing the game, but to receiving notifications and perform basic interactions for player ease.

    Its not meant to replace the site, but to expand the options for the players.

    And if I knew how to set up a text messaging server for a web game, I sure as hell would. It's something I've been meaning to look into.

  5. bardicknowledge,

    I have to admit, as soon as I'd made that blog post and comment I found the time to take more than my previous cursory glance at AIR and realised it wasn't just for Flash/Flex, so I unashamedly admit I was completely off course with my comments.

    I've played around with SMS's especially on the UK providers, they provide some very decent services – at a cost mind. Though I believe you can strike big deals with operators to send free messages if your going to be getting a lot of messages sent back to your service.

    Back to the millstone,
    TimidMidget

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