Is Flash Still Relevant in Game Design?

We are gathered here today to look back on a dark day. Since January 12, 2021, all Flash content has been blocked by Adobe. Although there are years of nostalgia locked away under the Flash ban, there are still ways to access the goldmine and we will cover that later. However, we first must answer the question “Is Flash still relevant?”. The simple answer is that no, it’s not. The gap that the Flash Player filled in place of incapable web browsers has been sufficiently filled. Anything you could do in the Flash Player can now be completed in the web browser with better security, which is the key factor in its death. To grasp why Flash Player has no relevancy in 2021, we need to go back in time.

Let’s Go Back

Way back when we didn’t have the fancy tech of today, Macromedia got its hands on a web-based tool called FutureSplash (1996). This allowed giants like Disney and Microsoft to push out their animated software through the web. Eventually, FutureSplash becomes Macromedia Flash 1.0 and it was enormous. The web-based program rocketed into popularity during the early 2000s and become the cornerstone of online animation. The beauty of the Flash Player was that it was easy to install, easy to use, and the file sizes were minute – which was great back in the day before huge hard drives and when the internet ran through dial-up internet (may it rest in peace). The reason that the flash player sizes were so small is that they used vector graphics.

In 2005, Macromedia was consumed by Adobe – which turned down FutureSplash in 1995. They took the Flash Player and made adjustments to it over time. The plugin allowed famous sites like Newgrounds and MiniClips to thrive, offering a plethora of fun games to suit everyone’s taste. Even early video streaming relied on Flash Player, with the likes of BBC iPlayer using it in the early 2000s

The Problems With Flash

Unfortunately, times change, and web standards have increased, which means that the Flash Player faced issues. The primary reason that Flash Player had to be removed is that it became a target for hackers thanks to its enormous popularity. Unfortunately, because the Flash Player ran a separate application through the web browser, hackers were able to force their way in through vulnerabilities and access computers through specific memory addresses.

How To Access Flash Now

If you were a Flash Player fanboy, not all hope is lost as there are still ways to access those nostalgic games – none of the methods is endorsed by Adobe in any way. One of the best, and first, places to get access is through BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint – this is a preservation program that allows access to the goldmine of Flash games.

Flash Player may be done, but it will never be forgotten. Although it’s not relevant to game design now, it is hugely relevant to the history of game design.

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