There’s a common thread among most of the thousands of Adobe Flash-based games that have sprung up on the Internet in the last few years. The graphics almost always suck, or they’re deliberately cartoonish. But Vector Entertainment hopes to change that with fancy 3-D graphics in Flash games.

The San Rafael, Calif., company has built a 3-D gaming technology dubbed the V3D Engine on top of Flash 10, the latest version of Adobe’s ubiquitous media technology. The technology is being used in its first game, Vector City Racers, a casual game that’s in closed beta now. The game is a massively multiplayer online game, or essentially a world where thousands can gather and interact with each other.

The mission of Vector Entertainment is to build a big racing-themed destination site for boys ages six to 12. Of course, the kids online game market is crowded, with big players such as Disney’s Club Penguin and Neopets thriving.

The company has 12 employees and was founded in 2007 and has raised $5 million from Meakem Becker Venture Capital .

It will be interesting to see how this compares to the Unity 3D game engine , which also can render browser-based games in 3-D, and a similar technology from Instant Action . Vector says the technology enables 3-D graphics with particle effects, shadows, depth of field and other features of cool 3-D visuals.

Chris Bergstresser is chief executive, and the company has partnered with MCS Games . The beta will open to all on May 18.