CityVille 2 Uses Plain Old Flash for Flashy 3D Graphics

While standard web technologies are gaining ground, Flash is still ahead

You may not have noticed, but CityVille 2, the next generation city-building, life-wasting social game from the hugely successful and popular Zynga, is here to delight fans of the *Ville franchise.

The new game doesn't stray too far from the formula, probably, but it does show that Zynga is more prepared, or more desperate, than before and will replace a game barely a year after it launched.

Yet another thing you may not have noticed is that the new game, like most of the other, is based on Flash.

While plenty of people are flirting with HTML5, Flash is still the one you settle down with and raise a family. That's to say, it's predictable, dependable and, the best quality of all, it's there.

"CityVille 2 allows players to toggle between different camera views, rotate buildings and see their city in ways they never imagined," Adobe explained.

"Players can also flip a switch to make it nighttime, or daytime – a first for the company – giving players a whole new way to view everything from gyms to restaurants," it added.

But don't you be thinking this is your father's Flash, oh no, the platform has gotten a few new tricks up its sleeve like 3D graphics.

That's exactly what CityVille 2 uses, it's built on top of the Flare3D engine which is itself based on Flash's Stage 3D API. Stage 3D offers hardware accelerated 3D graphics which should provide a huge improvement in the graphics department for Flash.

The alternative to this is WebGL and, while it's widely supported and it's been a few years in the making, it can still be considered experimental.

At the very least, despite the browser support, developers aren't lining up to create anything beyond flashy demos with WebGL. Stage 3D, on the other hand, while it's a newcomer, is already used in plenty of games.

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