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What's to come?
So you've seen the physics engines, the 3d capabilities, and the new standard of coding with Actionscript 3.0. What now? A lot! Too much to finish within this article, but a bit of a heads up won't hurt.
If you haven't heard yet, CS4 is coming. Yes a whole new version of Flash along with a bunch of other fantastical Adobe products will be coming out within a few months. The beta for Flash CS4 is already underway, and there is a quick preview of some new, and I think very wicked and sick, features that can change what Flash can do forever. If you think some of those fully Flash sites are impressive wait until this version comes out. It blurs the 2d line and creates 2.5d, a pseudo 3d. You can move things in '3d' and the objects will resize themselves and rotate accordingly to the constraints you put on it. There is also an introduction of bone structure previously exclusive to 3d animation. This allows very complex joint animations to be done with minimal effort. So that's one thing, a quantum leap in animation tools.
The next thing is that real 3d. If you noticed the date it was back in 2007. Where did it go? Not too sure but the latest 3d engine is built and sweetly open sourced right over here. This is no joke. Sure the first person rooms are impressive, but some real interaction is needed. This WOW engine can render true polygonal objects with physical interaction, and the all impressive cloth rendering. Not sure if water can be done yet, but watch out Crysis, Flash is on your back.
So just take a minute to absorb everything in and think about what can be done. With graphics cards becoming dirt cheap and Actionscript becoming more advanced and not so power consuming, in-browser 3d gaming is just on the horizon. Look out for that day when Doom is remade in the glory of vectors!