I was going to talk about how tiles work, but the final episode of the Sopranos pissed me off so much that I will talk about that instead. Just kidding. Though I am not going to talk about tiles today, it is because of Adobe, not HBO. There are two things released today that should be of interest to game developers. These are Apollo and Flex 3.
Apollo, which has now been renamed AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is a way of developing internet content that can also be used off line. You can create applications that run on the desktop but are built using Flash (or Flex) HTML and Acrobat. For me this is a great move forward as I would be able to have games that are entirely playable online (for people who don't like downloading things) while having extended versions of the same game that the player can download. The nice thing is that the air program would have (with the user's permission) access to the file system so game saves would be possible. Writing a level editor would also be possible. More information about AIR can be found at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/air/.
The other interesting thing that was released is the beta version of Flex 3. While I am sure that FlexBuilder3 will remain the overpriced tool that FlexBuilder2 is, The Flex3SDK will be open source. This effectively means that you will still be able to create Flash files for free, though you obviously will have a more difficult time doing so than people using the FlexBuilder3 or Flash CS3 tools would have. One of the key points is that it will be compatible with air. If you want to get into Flash development but don't have money then this is probably a really good option. The link for this is http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flex/ .