In 2017, Adobe released a statement that shook many veteran Internet users to their cores.
More or less, Adobe was cutting the cord to its cornerstone program, Flash. Since 1996, Flash had been a dominant and memorable computer program in use by people of all ages. The games provided by talented contributors were time-killers, sure, but they were a lifesaver when you have 5 to 10 minutes to kill.
What’s the Status of Flash Right Now?
Unfortunately, by the end of 2020, Adobe is pulling support for Flash. Another downside is that many browsers are straight-up blocking the use of Flash on their browsers at that same time, so it’s not even as you can still use Flash without support features. Microsoft is going a step further by releasing a patch to block Flash use on their browsers.
Although this announcement was made back in 2017, it doesn’t make it any easier for Flash faithful, and they may be wondering where to head to next.
What Will Replace Flash After It’s Gone?
With Flash’s demise, the next logical step is to transition to HTML5.
So, What’s the Big Deal?
Flash has been around since 1996, seeing the meteoric rise of the Internet from the passenger seat. Many creative powerhouses and companies have made fantastic games, artwork, animations, and movies using Adobe Flash.
Losing Flash is like actively losing a piece of vital, compelling Internet history. While this may not directly affect everyone, I can guarantee that Flash has played at least somewhat of a significant part in your Internet browsing history.
Download and Play Old Flash Games, Forever!
With the end of Flash support by nearly every major software company and browser by the beginning of 2021, how do we access those old games that we spent hours wasting time in class? There’s a program called ‘Flashpoint.’
Flashpoint, through handy open-source software, has you download a client in which you can access many of these games for free. Flashpoint has over nearly over 50,000 Flash games, as well as different Flash animations numbering in the thousands.
This is an excellent start for the future of prior Flash content, ensuring its existence long after Adobe gives it the ax in 2020.
Moving On From Flash
If this seems like too much for you, or you don’t really mind the alternative, moving onto something that isn’t Flash might be your thing.
Best Games List
Okay, let’s look at some of the most standout titles that all of the years of Flash animation has brought us, and let’s hope they live on!
You know, Doom. The demon-killing frenzy that started in the early 1990s has continued all the way to modern-day through Adobe Flash. Obviously, you aren’t getting 21st century, hard-hitting graphics, but you are getting one of the most iconic first-person shooters that has ever been created. Not a bad deal!
Super Mario 63
You read that right, not 64, 63. Although it would be awesome to play Mario’s Nintendo 64 adventure in Flash, this is a fan-made platformer that puts you in a reimagined, 2D version of Super Mario 64’s setting. Honestly? It looks and runs great, too.
This should come as no surprise. The Russian puzzle block game has been a mainstay for gamers everywhere for almost 40 years now. With ports to nearly every system and browser, it was a natural decision to have Tetris as a Flash game.
No new bells and whistles here, just solid Tetris gameplay.
From the creators of Newgrounds, a site that hosted hundreds of thousands of Flash games and animations, comes Alien Hominid. You’re a small yellow alien escaping pesky government agents hellbent on capturing you. It involves cartoonish violence and fantastic art and animation style.
It eventually made its way to consoles after its 2004 online release date.
Okay, this one may not be one of the ‘best,’ per se, but it sure is memorable. QWOP has the player control a track and field runner, using the QWOP keys to control nearly every aspect of their limbs.
This may seem simple, but it doesn’t take long to realize that this is harder than it looks. You’ll often find your runner on the ground, flailing away because you couldn’t press the proper buttons. This entertaining game creates some hilarious situations, especially playing with friends.
Flash has been around helping developers make addictive browser games for quite some time. Flash naturally moved to accommodate mobile games and applications as mobile gaming grew.
A number of years ago, Flash used to be required for playing videos on the web, (like with YouTube back in the video uploading site’s early days). Meanwhile, Apple devices, like the iPad, have never supported Flash.
Whether you know it or not, you’ve played some Flash-built games. Do you know that game where you launch hornery avians at swine? Well, it was made in Flash (we’re talking about Angry Birds, for the record)! You’ve likely heard of FarmVille and Clash of Clans too, both of which were developed in Flash.
Despite YouTube moving from Flash and some Apple products never supporting it, Flash is still very relevant today. If you want to get into some Flash game development, there’s no time like the present.
As always, we’re here to help out. We’ve scoured the world wide web to pull together some Tutorial options to help get you started with Flash game development. Some resources are free, some are not, so you’ll have to decide the path you take in your programming pursuits. We do our best to give you the intel you need to make a solid decision.
P.S. We’re sure you’ve already thought of this, but just in case you haven’t…You’re going to need the Flash software to actually practice what you learn in these tutorials, and to use the software to make games. If you haven’t downloaded it already, Adobe offers a free trial.
Flash Development Made Simple
UDemy offers an Adobe Flash for beginners course. Guess what? It’s free. Hard to beat that! UDemy is a solid place to start your Flash learning journey. Upon completion you will receive a verifiable certificate, stating that you did, in fact, complete this Adobe Flash course. It might not unlock hundreds of doors for you, but it certainly won’t hurt your prospects, either.
This course deals with using the software for web interface design, interactive animation projects, and even using the program to stream high-quality video. Introducing interactivity to your awesome graphics and animations is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from building games with Flash.
So while this course doesn’t specifically feature game development, it will give you plenty of skills that you can carry over to your game masterminding.
This particular course has had nearly 78,000 students enrolled since its release several years ago. It has almost 150 lectures to go through (148, to be exact), which ends up being about 10.5 hours of instruction.
The course has been reviewed by 186 people (at the time of this article) with an average of 4.4 stars out of 5. As you can see, it’s been well-received.
Check out the reviews yourself and see if past students have gotten out of this course what you hope to get out of it.
TrainSimple provides Adobe-authorized training in Adobe Flash. Sounds official! Of course, this kind of high-caliber certification from the software owners comes at a steep price… It’s $15 dollars a month to join TrainSimple and use their programs.
Their introductory course includes dozens of lectures that are all under 10 minutes long, focusing on one particular skill at a time, with a video presentation to communicate the idea to you.
There’s a quick course trailer available to watch, which talks about Flash and what you can expect to learn. It also shows you some pretty clips of what Flash is capable of when you take the time to really learn it.
The course allegedly takes about 5 hours. It may be more depending on how much time you want to spend practicing.
Still, no matter how busy you are, you should be able to knock out a 5-hour program within a single month, meaning you could theoretically get through the introductory course and some of their advanced flash courses all while just paying a single $15 fee for one month of membership.
The course/membership comes with complete access to TrainSimple’s library, their recommended learning paths, and many exercises for you to practice your fresh skills.
Speaking of Adobe-authorized… Adobe itself actually has a moderate database of training materials and video tutorials for you to look through. They break their Flash training down into 5 steps: Flash basics, Graphics and symbols, Timeline Animation, Interactive Buttons, and Digital Video.
It may not be the most fun way to learn Adobe, but at least you’re learning from the authority on the software. Some of the lessons are in video format, others are text-based tutorials. Certain lessons have sample files you can download, which let you look at a working file of the completed project from the tutorial.
If you’re inclined, you can compare your own tutorial results against the sample provided to make sure you completed the exercise correctly. Oh, and these tutorials are free, too. So that’s plus.
Kongregate Labs offers a free tutorial for building your first game in Flash. It’s a game Kongregate Labs calls Shoot. They also offer “Shootorials.” You can download the source code for Shoot and they provide guides that show you how to finagle with the code. This lets you learn some Flash elements while putting your very own touches on the game.
There are eight different tutorial sections, each one teaching you how to adjust a different element of the game. This is a great option if you want to launch right into game development rather than learning the more general elements of what Flash has to offer.
Make Flash Games
MakeFlashGames.com offers text-based tutorials that teach introductory elements to Flash. There are also a number of tutorials that teach you how to make specific games.
If you need a short break from learning Flash and working through a tutorial, you can click one of the links for the finished Flash games that are mixed in with the tutorials. Who says you can’t mix business and pleasure?
The website ranks the difficulty using a star system, one star is easy, two stars is a little more challenging, etc. That’s helpful for knowing what you’re getting yourself into. There are a bunch of tutorials to pick from.
The site includes everything from a simple “Apple Catcher” game, to a Flappy Bird game, to a Tower Defense Game. Screenshots of the code elements and the software windows help make it easier to understand and follow along. Did we mention that it’s free?
Newgrounds is the OG hub of Flash games. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this timeless classic of a Flash game haven. Luckily they have a couple of tutorials on making games with Flash, so they actually earn a spot on our list. All of the tutorials on Newgrounds are free.
There are some decent options for beginners. A few of the guides will teach you how to make games from scratch.
There’s a platformer tutorial, an RPG platformer tutorial, even a 2D physics tutorial. The database isn’t very extensive, but there are some videos in there that can help you if you’re stuck, or help you get started. At the very least, you can browse the Flash relic in awe of its ancient glory.
What Will Happen to All the Flash Games in 2020?
Thanks to certain online users and groups of passionate people, some movements are attempting to preserve many of the Flash games that are out there. In particular, one group, BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint, has been blazing a trail to make sure people can play iconic Flash games.
What Games Use Flash?
The list is super long. From iterations of Tetris, Mario, and other classics, to original yet straightforward titles, Flash has had a hand in some of the most memorable online games in the past 20+ years.
So, Are Flash Games Dead?
Yes and No. Yes, because the end of 2020 will soon be approaching. If they aren’t archived in some way, the patches and various methods of discontinuing Flash on specific browsers will make playing games nearly, if not outright, impossible. They live on through different projects and initiatives started by passionate fans and players to preserve a piece of living history tied to great memories and strong creative know-how.
Can You Still Play Flash Games After 2020?
Through projects like Flashpoint, the answer is yes. Although they won’t have every game, they have thousands, more than enough to keep you busy. They are adding new games and other Flash aspects often, though.
If Adobe Discontinues Support for Flash Player in 2020, Will Flash Games on Sites Like Kongregate & ArmorGames Still Be Playable?
No, as many browsers will actively discontinue the use of Adobe Flash within their own browsers.
Could Someone Who Is Not A Developer Port It To An Alternative?
Yes, absolutely. You don’t need to be a computer whiz to do something like this, either. You do need familiarity with HTML5 and other aspects of computing, but it’s not a Herculean effort like you might think!
Would Some Browsers Still Allow You to Use Flash Player?
No, they will all pull support of Adobe Flash after 2020. Although the date isn’t set in stone, it is slated for the end of 2020.
Will I Still Be Able to Play Flash games?
Thanks to projects like Flashpoint, yes. Keep in mind that they probably won’t be able to get all of the Flash games ever made, because it’s nearly impossible to even approach something of that magnitude, but many of your favorites will still exist.
Will Any Browser Support Flash After 2020?
With Microsoft completely ridding itself of Flash, it seems that many browsers will follow suit. This includes Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and mobile access.
Steve Jobs himself was a vocal opponent of using Flash on iOS and other mobile platforms and actively campaigned for the use of other things like CSS and HTML. Perhaps this is Steve Jobs finally getting his way!
Is There A Flash Game for PS4?
No, and even the PS4 browser to access the Internet doesn’t support a Flash plug-in.
Are Flash Games Still Playable?
They will definitely have to be saved in either a client or as Flash files that you open outside of an Internet browser. The main thing is, they aren’t going to literally disappear. It may take some hoops to jump through, but you can definitely access Flash content.
How Do I Keep Flash After 2020?
Unfortunately, you can’t keep Flash on your browsers. They have all more or less stated that they will discontinue the use of Flash on their browsers. Adobe is pulling support as well.