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View Profile rtil
please forgive your useless sister.

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The thing i'll miss the most about Flash..

Posted by rtil - 1 month ago


One of my favorite things about putting together Flash movies was the interactive menus. Sure, preloading was a chore, but the reward - in my opinion - was being greeted with a fun and unique menu. Usually they were on collabs with lots of parts, special credits or even minigames, bonus featurettes or easter eggs to amuse yourself with.


A lot of the old flash cartoons I have uploaded here obviously have had their menus and other things cut when they were converted to video, including the features that came with them. Something that made them special that had to go with the inevitable death of flash player for the web.


I've noticed that a lot of that interactivity in general is removed from video players, like the death of annotations and community subtitles on Youtube. One i'll always remember in particular was CAD: The Annotated Series, in which anyone on Youtube could contribute annotations overlayed on top of the CAD animated series, which was the only way to really tolerate watching such trash. Fortunately, it was preserved here before Youtube killed off annotations for good.


Anyway, maybe someday they will come back as menus continue to live on even in the slow death of physical media where they were ever present on DVD's and Blurays, as you sometimes still get cool menus on streaming VODs. They have a charm to them that I will definitely miss. Maybe they will live on in some fashion through Ruffle? I haven't seen it in action yet, but here's hoping.


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Comments (30)

Well if you made it in a game engine I suppose you could still do it that way. Would you be able to upload it as a movie or would it be a game?

Wonder if there is a way to preserve flash and maybe copy it into a similar engine

At least with Flash games you have the option to preserve them on other platforms like Steam or Itch. If you want to keep movies in Flash format, well there's not really any platform for that, other than a big archive download, which is kinda sad but also understandable.

Those loading minigames were often really clever and unique.

I miss that too. It's been years since I added things like Scene Select and a Replay button at the end of my sprite animations. I like the idea of Flash not being only for animations but the interactivity part too, something I still miss.

Flash doesn't need to die though! If we just keep it alive it'll live on, as long as there are dedicated geniuses like Mike (and everyone else who contributes) out there: https://github.com/ruffle-rs/ruffle

Don't know about animations in particular, maybe they're not a priority yet as there is Swivel for conversion, but you can see it an action here at least: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/59593

More and more's getting converted.

I do miss those menus too, it's a shame newer generations maybe won't ever experience them the same way with faster bandwidth and all, but no need tu cut out the interactivity on old submissions with conversion entirely! You can still have both the .swf and the .mp4 on the same submission. Let users chose their preference.

YouTube killed so many choose-your-own-adventure type work when they killed those too. Major shame. Another reason to stick to this place where at least there's a will to preserve! But not stagnate either. Moving forward doesn't mean you can't look back or keep some memories in your pocket.

Well 'converted' is probably the wrong word. More and more's running via Ruffle now. No source modification. No plugin. Seems a bit more lightweight too. Does feel like the future. :)

It feels like the end of an era in some ways. Flash was a big part of the 90s/2000s internet boom. I remember spending way too much time on NG when I was growing up, there was a genuine sense of excitement about how 'underground' the site was. I know it sounds silly to say that now, but at the time NG had a real presence to it, you never knew what you were gunna find when you hit the Flash Portal x3

Preloaders were a really fun aspect too, they started off pretty basic, but overtime people would add little animations or minigames. That was the thing about NG, you could see people infusing their creativity into stuff as basic as a load bar. I feel like some of the charm is lost now by using a video player, but it's a fair compromise for stability and being able to skip around the timeline.

I recently went through the Flash Portal to view some of the oldest NG content, it's interesting to see just how rapidly the quality of animations and games improved. It's fun to note how trends came and went too. The early days were a minefield of DBZ fights, Eminem parodies and Waaaazzzup audio rips x3

Personally, the thing I miss most is the excitement of seeing a series start to develop, and getting invested in seeing a new episode, I used to look forward to a new Miss Dynamite, Foamy, Tomorrow's Nobodies, Burnt Face Man, Stick Slayer, RAB, Hyperboy, DOVG... And all the one off greats that I won't list because I'm starting to ramble now xD

But yeah, Flash was great, and even though the quality of animations/games are amazing in 2020, there's something nostalgically inspiring about how clunky and experimental the old stuff was.

*Cries while pressing F*

@phenorax @kruno5

Mike is already working on Ruffle. A way to emulate Flash so it doesn't go away and can be viewed on mobile. Some Flash have been converted to video and thus lost some of its Easter Eggs. Adobe is the one that is letting Flash die and the entire Internet as a whole has moved on without Flash.

Tom has also been preserving a grandiose number of Flash movies with Swivel. We also have the Newgrounds Player in effect right now.

https://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/creator-resources/flash-resources/swivel

100% agree. I miss the interactivity too. Video formats are so boring compared to what you could do with SWF.

Also, I don't screw around with VODs, so all my movies/TV shows have menus.

If creators went the extra mile to learn new web game engine technologies, they could still have interactive menus.

(Though I suspect the modern attention span would no longer tolerate a movie not instantly starting, coupled with the problem of targeting different browsers)

@kruno5 I agree. Everytime I say something about flash being so good people say: THANK GOD IT'S FINALLY DISSAPEARING. Like, if you don't like flash then just disable it and shut up.

There were few that utilized a DVD style menu the way that Genryu's Blade did.

@Cyberdevil Ruffle works without a plugin but it also removes filters of movies and games and fucks up the text sometimes.

@stevetherapper the filters? Like glow and shadow on objects, stuff like that? It's still being developed though so hopefully they sort all of that out too. Also hope it's still as lightweight as it is now when they do..,

Yeeeaah that's something really unique of the Flash apogee, tons of animations would go the extra mile greeting you with a DVD menu with scene selections, concept art and everything else you mentioned.

The way Flash worked made it easy enough that it was the convention, Although I think the NG Smash Bros Collab did a great job with the powers of html5 for the menu, but something like that does require a bit more support.

html5 is fairly straightforward imo, about as much or more accessible than actionscript. if it's easy to lift and transplant into other projects, it'll catch on.

I wonder if an Extension will exist that will act like flash but it's really not if you get what I mean.

Let's just be glad it existed.

@Cyberdevil oh ok. I’m a little outdated on the news so yeah. Thanks for reminding me tho.

@GradeAIdiot That'd be Ruffle. ;) If what you mean is an extension that basically keeps working where Flash stops: https://github.com/ruffle-rs/ruffle

Regarding entirely different ones that are similar there was the Unity Player for a bit, but it didn't really catch on...

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