The use of 3D graphics has been a steadily growing trend in Flash design over the past years, ranging from simple accent elements, such as icons and logos, to more zealous implementations of interactive 3D environments and games. This turn toward integrating 3D and Flash has happened for a good reason. As Flash has proliferated and become a driving force in web and application design, producing solutions that stand out from the masses has become more challenging. When used appropriately, the impact of 3D graphics can add visual depth (no pun intended) and mean the difference between a good solution and an extraordinary one that commands attention.
For example, a recent project I was involved in was a real-time, multiplayer chess game created in Flash and using Flash Communication Server (now Flash Media Server). Obviously, chess is in no way a new concept, and although it’s a strategy game, without an enticing interface it could be difficult to attract potential users to a chess implementation. Although a 2D interface could have been created and included all the necessary elements for play, most would probably agree that the 3D approach (see Figure 5-1) is a much more elegant design solution and entices the user to pick up and move the pieces.
Figure 5-1. Example of game design from both a 2D and 3D approach