The molehill that is a mountain: 3d flash APIs

Last year around this time I wrote about what 2010 would bring in the world of flash. Write now I want to talk about one specific change that seems to be coming in 2011 - project:Molehill ( 3d APIs for flash Player ). The following video ( if you are viewing this on a flash capable device ) is from the announcement at this year's Adobe Maxx event.

For me this is quite exciting. Back when I worked at Provis we talked a lot about using 3D for web interfaces. Because we we're a video heavy agency we even had a 3D person on staff and we experimented with different libraries from time to time. Unfortunately, not much came of it as it never seemed worth the time investment to change our pipeline that much.

Now I work in the social media game space and true 3D in flash with decent performance opens up a whole new realm of games for social media. It does this just in time. Social media gamers are becoming mature gamers fast and will demand a better experience sooner, rather than later.

My only concern is that, as stated in the video above, these are very low level APIs and I have no experience programming 3D ( though I am very excited to learn ). This problem should be reduced by the many 3D framework projects that will use these APIs under the hood. Those frameworks I do have some experience with and it is quite fun.

So what do you think we will see in the social media gamespace ( facebook, mySpace, vKontakte, orkut, vznet, google me, etc. )? First person shooters? Racing games?  MMORPGs? The first M in MMORPG means massive and this could really mean massive. World of Warcraft has something like 13 million users and Farmville still has around 55 million monthly ACTIVE users. That is a comparison that always makes my jaw drop.

Until then I'd love to hear what you think and even what you are working on.

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Coming to the end of 2010