Before Unity, Fierce Fun used the Adobe Air platform extensively. It was a great piece of technology designed as a wrapper for Flash applications. It meant you could deploy Flash apps and games on PC and mobile devices – something Flash was never designed for. The original Macromedia Flash was developed as an animation tool for early Web browsers. Before Flash, the Web was a very static place. With the advent of the SWF format, Flash developers could quickly create and publish highly interactive animated content. It spawned a whole generation of Web animators and indie game developers. You could draw original vector art, animate it and add code – all within one tool. In our opinion, even with Flash's many flaws, nothing has come close to it since.
Then Apple came along with the iPhone which famously did not support Flash content. Steve Jobs was extremely critical of the Flash Player – though this had more to do with his ‘closed’ Apple economic ecosystem than any technical issues – a point that most observers missed. Also, Flash’s parent company Macromedia was bought by Adobe and they never quite understood what to do with Flash.
Adobe Air was developer as a cross platform software environment and it was used to package Flash content for PC and mobile devices. It meant that Web developers could finally design and develop content for both browser and PC/mobile platforms.
Over the years, Adobe reduced their support for Air. There were great add-ons such as the Starling library but gradually developers moved to more established development software such as Unity.
In 2019, Harman (a subsidiary of Samsung) took over the continued developed of the Air SDK. With an established backer, it looks like Air will continue to be an option for developers using the new version of Flash, Adobe Animate.
For anyone interested in using Air or Adobe Animate, we have released some of our Air developer documentation. Just to note - some of the older links may not work but you should find other sections useful.
Adobe_ Game_Animation Tutorials
AIR Mobile App Setup_
AIR - SWC Asset Library