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AIR needs GPU support!

Imagine you’re writing an AIR-based game that uses fullscreen at a rather high resolution and a full-frame rendering engine like, say, PV3D and you find out that AIR can’t really handle this.

After a lot of research it turns out that there seems to be no way in an AIR app to use the GPU mode that is otherwise supported by Flash embedded in HTML via wmodes parameter. In fact the docs state it’s not even supported by AIR …

… Flash Player 10 introduces two window modes, direct and GPU compositing, which you can enable through the publish settings in the Flash authoring tool. These modes are not supported in AIR …

While this is a definitive must for a hopefully soon appearing update there’s another issue with fullscreen modes … AIR doesn’t really feature any decent solution for fullscreen! You can have your app to be either in fullscreen OR in windowed mode but trying to be able to switch between both looks very ugly because the system chrome isn’t being disabled automatically when switching to fullscreen which results in that the window size will simply get maximized. So creating applications where you could let the user switch between fullscreen and windowed mode seems to be impossible at the moment with AIR 1.5.

I can understand that the Flash player on the web needs it’s security restrictions in this regard but AIR should definitely not be touched by this! I hope Adobe will improve this for a future update, AIR is a great platform for (complex) game development but these two issues are serious limitations to that!

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