When Flash was removed from the internet it was like a giant void swallowed up half the content we had been enjoying the past 15 years. It was like being punched in the gut. This program was single handedly responsible for me learning to be a game developer. At the same time, it being removed was also a blessing. It's hard not to feel some nostalgia though.
Flash player was officially discontinued 31 December 2020. However it was long before this that we started migrating. Every website knew it was coming so we had to start taking precautions and start learning new programs. I finished my last Flash game in 2017 which was Arcalona. In total I had made over 30+ flash games. However only 18 I consider polished games that I keep on my site here. I made sure Arcalona was as big as I was capable of at the time to make one last stand in Flash and leave my mark. It also came with a lot of depression knowing I had to move on.
The biggest websites hit were the likes of Newgrounds, Kongregate and Armorgames. Many of these sites had to start changing to other business models. Newgrounds migrated into a donation based website, eventually creating their own NG player capable of playing all the Flash content. Kongregate left the browser site to die, while changing to a "Kartridge" offshoot that made mobile and steam games. Armorgames also migrated to mobile games.
I personally took a break from game making for a while and then looked at all the options. I then decided on Unity since it was capable of making browser games as well as full stand alone games. It took me a while to migrate to a new engine, however luckily for me all my Flash games weren't a total waste because I am now able to revive them with the extension Ruffle that allows Flash games to once again be played in browser. Horay! I also found I could re-use art from my old Flash games and import them to Unity. This meant I could use a combination of Flash game art with Unitys effects system to mix the 2 and create a blend of old school art and new age effects. This was quite cool!
I was heavily inspired by many games during the Flash game era that helped me become the developer I am today. I would be playing Flash games back in high school when I should have been working! Some of my favourites were the following -
Fancy Pants Adventure was perhaps one of the smoothest made Flash games at the time besides N+ it would have all been custom coded since no physics engines existed back then!
Franks Adventure was a game that inspired me to make Smithys Quest. Using the crude humour and top down style it really was amusing as a kid to play! it spawned many sequels.
Fishy was such a simple game and yet was hours of fun for us kids avoiding work in science class. Simple eat fish smaller than you and avoid fish bigger than you until you consume everything. Simple but fun.
Overall it's great to see Flash games make a return to Ruffle. But to be honest, it being removed was actually a good kick up the ass for me. It motivated me to learn a new language (C#) and learn a new game engine (Unity) and now I'm capable of making betters games and even release them to different platforms like Android and PC.
Sometimes the thing that sucks at the time is the thing that is best for you moving forwards.
It's kinda like leaving high school, you feel sad at the time. Even though it's the way fowards. That being said even though I will leave Flash in the dust, I will still immortalize it here on my website with my old Flash games until the day I die and hopefully longer. I hope you have fun playing them and getting some nostalgia just like I do.
Even though it's farewell old friend. I still use Adobe Animate to use my old art and export them and lets be honest...it's basically the same program minus the web playable capabilities. Heh! some things never die after all huh?