Last night saw just the latest sign that civilisation is on a nosedive to hell, as the entire internet lost its mind over the prospect of seeing pictures of a new telephone. Subsumed by that news was far more interesting news for people who prefer their technology in a hot metal box: Epic have gotten their Unreal Engine 3 running in Flash. In theory, this means running the likes of Unreal Tournament 3 in a browser - as is demonstrated below.
This is apparently thanks to Adobe's latest update to the web-straddling monster that is Flash. Flash 11 brings hardware acceleration, which means, says Epic's king Tim Sweeney, “games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base. This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetise their games.”
Ew, he said "monetise." But he also said that we could be in for mega-graphicked PC games that step away from traditional installing altogether, if the games are designed smartly enough. Here's another demo, of their Epic Citadel iOS app converted to Flash on a desktop PC:
I'm quite impressed. I don't know that I necessarily want to be playing streaming browser games instead of sitting down to something installed and ready and all that, but this stuff is tantalising and clever indeed. Wonder what the current browser engine monarchs, the Unity guys, will offer in riposte to this?