The Evolution of Infrared5

June 21st, 2011 by Keith Peters

I joined Infrared5 back in November 2007. Those were very different times. We were a hard core Flash shop, focusing on Red5 Server based applications and Papervision3D. The iPhone had been out for less than six months and only Apple could write apps for it. The iPod Touch was just a few weeks old. Nobody had heard of Android. Tablets were just a failed venture by Microsoft that most people had forgotten about a few years before. Nobody was particularly excited about HTML (5 or otherwise) or JavaScript. If there was any perceived threat to Flash at the time, it might have been Silverlight, but nobody was particularly worried about that.

Now, the landscape is very different. I’m not going to say Flash is dead. I don’t think it is. I don’t even think that it is dying, per se. What is happening though, is that there are so many other cool and interesting things out there now, that Flash has lost its place in the spotlight for many developers. Also, I think that Flash initially had a very low learning curve and very little barrier to entry. A lot of Flash developers grew up as Flash did, learned real programming, object orientation, design patterns, best practices, etc., and were then able to branch out to other languages and platforms.

I have to say, that Infrared5 has not only rolled with the changes very well, but has completely embraced the change. I think virtually all of our front end developers are now seasoned iOS developers. Several have embraced Android development as well. We have Windows Phone 7 knowledge (mostly me), and our 3D platform has moved from Papervision to Unity. We’re doing HTML5 stuff as well as Flash and Flex sites, iPad apps, kiosk applications. Many of our projects even span multiple platforms – a Flex 4 app with an HTML5 public facing site, Flash or Unity 3D games with a companion iPhone app via Brass Monkey.

The company’s tag line is “Yeah, we can build that.” I’d say we’ve lived up to that.

In closing, I ran across this quote the other day that I really loved. It comes from a free on line book, “Learn Python the Hard Way”, by Zed A. Shaw, which you can find here: http://learnpythonthehardway.org/ . In the last section called “Advice From An Old Programmer”, he says:

“What I discovered after this journey of learning is that the languages did not matter, it’s what you do with them. Actually, I always knew that, but I’d get distracted by the languages and forget it periodically. Now I never forget it, and neither should you.

Which programming language you learn and use does not matter. Do not get sucked into the religion surrounding programming languages as that will only blind you to their true purpose of being your tool for doing interesting things.

Programming as an intellectual activity is the only art form that allows you to create interactive art. You can create projects that other people can play with, and you can talk to them indirectly. No other art form is quite this interactive. Movies flow to the audience in one direction. Paintings do not move. Code goes both ways.”

The full quote is here: http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/advice.html

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Trailer: Star Wars Trench Run 2.0

August 4th, 2010 by Mike Oldham

Star Wars: Trench Run 2.0 Trailer from THQ Wireless on Vimeo.

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Star Wars: Trench Run 2.0 & Brass Monkey Launch

July 21st, 2010 by Mike Oldham

Many of you may have gotten small tastes of Star Wars: Trench Run 2.0 and the Brass Monkey game controller from recent videos and articles. It’s literally been months of anticipation, but the moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. We are pleased to announce that Trench Run 2.0 and the Brass Money controller have finally gone live in the iTunes store and on Starwars.com.
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Brass Monkey Interview with Boston Innovation’s Kyle Psaty

July 7th, 2010 by Mike Oldham

Big thanks to Kyle for coming out and putting together this great video! Check out BostonInnovation for more information on local start-ups.
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Brass Monkey & Star Wars: Trench Run 2.0 at E3

June 21st, 2010 by Mike Oldham

Time Magazine’s Techland writer Peter Ha caught up with Chris Allen at the E3 Conference to discuss the unreleased version of Star Wars: Trench Run and Infrared5′s latest product, Brass Monkey.

The new version of the Trench Run is set to launch in the coming weeks, and the Brass Monkey iPhone game controller is going to blow your mind. Brass Monkey allows users to control web based experiences (Flash & Unity3D) with their smart phones (iPhone & Android) to create a highly immersive gaming experience. By bridging the gap between mobile and web based gaming, Infrared5 has essentially created a experience similar to the Wii, but without the need for a console. Brass Monkey can connect multiple devices simultaneously and works over the WiFi network. Although the technology has its obvious connections to the gaming industry, it also has a multitude of other implementations, i.e. education, medical, interactive billboards, etc.
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Star Wars: Trench Run – The Inspriation Behind The Game

June 11th, 2010 by Mike Oldham

Intro:

If you’ve ever met John Grden, you’ve probably have discussed Star Wars in some form. Despite his love for the Star Wars series, his dislike for Ewoks has become a popular discussion topic amongst our team and a great way to bust his chops if needed. John has been programming for over a decade and has built everything from games to RIAs and collaboration tools for a variety of projects and clients. John has also supported and contributed to the Open Source Projects Red5 and Papervision3D. We love John for many reasons, but mainly just because he rocks’. As part of this Q&A series, we got a chance to peak inside John’s brain and figure out where this unhealthy addiction for Star Wars began.
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