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Is it really worth remaking the Flash game of more than 10 years ago?

2024-06-18 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >

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This article comes from the official account of Wechat: ID:chuappgame, author: etc.

"the games we have played are like memories and important milestones in our lives."

On the last day of 2020, Adobe officially ended its technical support for Flash, and on January 21 of the following year, Flash ushered in the end of his life. Since then, Adobe has banned Flash content from running through plug-ins, which has led to the retirement of thousands of Flash games and animations. You know, from The Behemoth (masterpiece "Alien Native Man" and "Castle Destroyer") to Cellar Door Games (masterpiece "Thief Legacy" series), many studios we know today started with Flash games.

As a former CEO of Armor Games, John Cooney produced a number of unique Flash games, such as Achievement Unlocked and This is the Only Level, and launched The Scriptwelder Collection, a collection of Flash developer Scriptwelder, on Steam. Later, Cooney decided to launch a collection, or The Elephant Collection, for his game.

About five years ago, Cooney came up with the idea of making The Elephant Collection. He thinks it's a good way to save his games by putting them together and releasing them on Steam. This can both present modern and upgraded Flash games to new users and share them with nostalgia with old players-to this day, people still email Cooney to ask if they will make a transplant version of the old game they developed.

"The Elephant Collection" will include 10 Flash games related to "Little Blue Elephant". "I've been thinking about what the collection should look like, such as how many games are included, what my priorities are, and so on. At the same time, I have experienced a lot in my real life: the outbreak, having two children, job-hopping from Kongregate to Armor Games... the project is moving forward bit by bit, but slowly."

After some tradeoff, Cooney decided to work with Armor Games. Cooney, 21, joined Armor Games,2012 in 2007 and joined Kongragate for seven years. He returned to Armor Games in 2019 as vice president of business development at the R & D studio, and was promoted to CEO two years later. Cooney said that given the close relationship between his career and Armor Games, it is a natural choice to hand over the distribution rights to The Elephant Collection.

During the development of The Elephant Collection, Cooney and his team wanted to retain some key elements of the original Flash game. For example, the resolution of his early games was 550 × 400 pixels, and some were even as low as 250 × 200 pixels, which was about the same size as a stamp. After the transplant, Cooney's idea was to increase the original size of each game to about three times.

"We put a lot of thought and effort into thinking about how to improve, optimize and reproduce the art material in the game. Because Flash uses vector graphics, Flash games were very 'pocket' in those days, and many of them were only around 2MB and often shared with each other via email."

Remaking games have greatly improved the picture quality, although the process of upgrading the quality of art materials is much easier than expected, but they still encounter some unexpected challenges. Generally speaking, the flash effect at very low resolution will not cause much trouble for people with photosensitive epilepsy, but now that the situation has changed, the development team must find ways to ensure that the game does not cause seizures.

At the same time, the development team needs to think about how to retain the characteristics that make Flash games different. Achievement Unlocked 2, for example, guides players to open a second game in a new window, that is, to play games on both screens at the same time. "but the Steam platform doesn't have this concept at all, so you have to think of some workarounds to give players the same experience as the original." Cooney explained.

In this collection, Cooney builds a social center that connects different games and allows players to hang out, which he calls "experience in experience". Cooney also realized that it was important to retain the elements that made his Flash game stand out, including some Bug that had never been fixed. For example, the "only this" express player community is still very active. "the game works fine, but there are some important loopholes to keep. Twelve years ago, players thought these Bug were like cheating codes, and now they want to experience them again to relive their childhood. For some reason, people put this knowledge on a shelf in their brain and never forget it."

"Achievement unlock 2" has designed a dazzling 250 achievement goals, and some people call it the masterpiece of Armor Games. Before the rise of social media, independent developers and players of Flash games used to gather on platforms such as Newgrounds and Kongregate to communicate with each other and talk about their works in the comment area. In those days, a lot of strange things happened on the Internet, and the game Bug would even be regarded as a feature.

For example, Cooney once named a game "TBA" because fans started sharing his new project without knowing the meaning of "TBA" ("to be determined"). "I realized that I had violated a marketing rule and did not publish the name of the game correctly, so I finally decided to name it" TBA ", which is one of the interesting things in the era of Flash games."

Cooney recalls that many players often sent him messages directly on AOL and Messenger asking when the new game would be released. Cooney also mentioned in a GDC talk on Flash games in 2017 that he and other developers would be reminded every time their work was stolen by the Flash game portal-a problem that has become more and more common over time.

In 2018, Cooney even launched a sequel for TBA. Although early Flash games could not be spread on social media or video sites, they still had the potential to become popular. On platforms like Newgrounds and Armor Games, a new game can sometimes be played more than 1 million times in just 24 hours. The message boards of Kongregate and Neopets, as well as a large number of forums have also contributed to the vigorous development of the Flash gaming community. Cooney admits that he misses that era very much.

"Flash is amazing. These games are very small, but they provide players with a vibrant and interesting experience. What's amazing about it is that many developers, including me, have started tinkering with Flash games step by step. Our first distribution platform is Newgrounds, Kongregate, Armor Games. Making these games is more like a hobby, allowing us to be creative and build a very cool light experience. "

The barriers to making Flash games are not high, and they are easy to use for those who are familiar with tools such as Paint, so they are popular with many developers. "Flash takes you into the shallow water of the pool and then lets you swim to the deep water at your own speed." "if the developers of Flash deliberately designed it to be easy for game makers to use, then they are a bunch of geniuses," Cooney said. "I never thought I was a good programmer. I didn't know anything about programming before I came into contact with Flash. It taught me how to program and gradually taught me how to make games."

In his spare time, Cooney also likes photography and cycling and watching hockey games. Cooney believes that there are several main reasons why publishers have frequently launched reset or remake games in the past few years. On the one hand, for players, some games are very important at some stage of life, and they are eager to play them again. "the games we have played are like memories and important milestones in life, reminding us of the situation at different stages of life. Many works of art have a similar effect, but games can do this in a special way."

From the point of view of developers and publishers, it is also important to preserve old games. Cooney says he still visits a website that retains his first Flash animation to relive the time he created on his school computer in high school. With Adobe announcing that it will no longer support Flash, this work has become more important for Cooney than it used to be.

"We have to find ways to preserve the content that has been created, which is critical for the industry as a whole, or we may repeat the same mistake and follow the old path of the film industry-because people have not found the right way to preserve it. Many early films have been lost. I think in the game industry, we need to work together to ensure that future generations can still play old games, not only so that game works can be seen and played by more people, but also to record history. "

Cooney mentioned an Internet archive simulator that can run Apple II games, as well as Flash game simulator Ruffle, but the task of saving Flash games is still daunting. Kongregate alone has more than 100000 models, and if you include Flash animations on platforms such as Newgrounds, that number will grow exponentially.

Armor Games includes all 50 Flash games created by Cooney in his early days. If developers just want to save and distribute these old games, they can use simulators like Ruffle or migrate to Windows, Mac or mobile platforms with tools such as Adobe Air. If developers are going to release it in the Steam store, consider the features of the new platform and what players expect from the game. After all, some Flash games have a flow of about 15 seconds, or a loop that is repeated over and over again in a few minutes.

"players have different views on which games are worth their time, energy and money on different platforms." "Steam is attractive because it allows independent games to compete with massive 3A works," Cooney explained. "but Flash games look like the products of the early 2000s in many ways, so developers must consider the external packaging of these games and the needs of the players."

Cooney hopes that one day the gaming industry will have tools comparable to Flash-low barriers to use and accessible to everyone. At the same time, he also mentioned a number of free-to-use software that is not as complex as the "illusory" or Unity engine for beginners, such as GameMaker, Godot, Construct and Scratch, and it is also important to keep these tools for future generations.

"since you know how to use a computer, they will teach you how to make games step by step, which is really helpful for beginners. It's important for me, at least, to go through these intermediate steps. Today, there is a dazzling variety of game development tools, and many of them are free and easy to use. I believe that today's young developers have more good opportunities than our generation, and these tools will get better and better. "

This article is compiled from: https://www.gamedeveloper.com/ design / flash-game-preservation-evolves-with-the-elephant-collection

Original title: "Flash game preservation evolves with The Elephant Collection"

Original author: Diego Arguello

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