Scaleform announced the release of GFx 4.0, its open and extensible Flash-based user interface/multimedia product, which introduces features like Flash10.1/AS3 support and a new multi-threaded rendering engine.
Implemented across all major platforms in more than 700 games of varying genres, Scaleform GFx enables developers to use the Adobe Flash toolset to create user interface elements like hardware-accelerated 3D game menus, HUDs, animated textures, in-game videos and mini-games.
The company promises this 4.0 update offers a 2-10x performance increase over previous versions due to its new multi-threaded core architecture and rendering engine (codenamed VGx), as well as the framework's new optimized AS3 virtual machine.
Scaleform says that GFx 4.0's Flash 10.1/AS3 compatibility allows licensees to draw from a range of publicly available assets and a larger pool of developers. It's designed to enable studios to port their web games to native apps on mobiles and consoles with minimal modifications, too.
Other key additions include mobile device optimizations, support for 3D, support for stereoscopic 3D, an AMP (Analyzer for Memory and Performance) profiler, UI kits for rapidly designing mobile apps, and a Common Lightweight Interface Kit for pre-built and optimized UI components.
"After more than half a decade shipping the leading UI solution across hundreds of games, our focus with version 4.0 was to create a new core architecture and rendering system that addresses the need for a multi-threaded GPU accelerated Flash UI engine on all platforms, from PCs to consoles to mobiles," says Scaleform president and CEO Brendan Iribe.
"Doing this required a major re-tooling of the code base, but it's paid off -- with GFx 4.0 developers getting a far more extensible and high-powered solution that is now optimized for mobile platforms. We're thrilled to get the new SDK into the hands of developers and let the code speak for itself."
An alpha version for Scaleform GFx 4.0 is available to download here