Flashlight: History of Super Fancy Pants Adventure | 2 Left Thumbs | Fancy Pants Adventures World 4

Flashlight: History of Super Fancy Pants Adventure | 2 Left Thumbs | Fancy Pants Adventures World 4


How’s it going everyone, my name’s Graeme
and welcome to Flashlight. A series where I look at the history and evolution of old
Flash series here on the internet. Today I want to look at Fancy Pants Adventures. A
flash series of highly influential, breakneak platformers that have been slowly perfected
for over a decade. You play as Fancy Pants Man, our humble stick figure hero sporting
a spiky-doo, and extraordinarily fancy pants from the town of Squigglesville. Over 11 years, through 4 main games, 1 spinoff
and 1 remake – creator Brad Borne has used Fancy Pants to push the limits of Flash games
while escalating a simple time killing platformer into a deeply satisfying world of precise
controls and thrilling gameplay This is Fancy Pants Adventures It all started with the release of Fancy Pants
Adventures World 1 in March 2006. The game was short and simple, and could have
easily been lost among 1000 other generic Flash platformers. But Flash platformers at the time were plagued with stale animations and often floaty controls. Fancy Pants stood out with it’s fun main
character, detailed animations, and console-worthy precision. World 1 cracked open what were seen as the limits of Flash-based platformers with it’s smooth, free-running style gameplay. The game may have had tight programming, but Brad was no artist, so while a sketchy looking
background may hurt some games, it went hand in hand with Fancy Man being a stick figure
sketch himself. As a fun little aside, the end boss Pauly Penguin, was done by Brad’s friend Paul Downs, because Brad felt that he wouldn’t have been able to do it himself. This sketchy art style was originally due to Brad’s own abilities but it was eventually integrated in the larger world and lore of Fancy Pants Adventures World 1 may not have been perfect, but it
stood out among the competition. The game rewarded exploration, providing extra
challenge rooms, and the ability to demo the wall-jumping mechanic that was originally
saved for World 2. Despite the lack of a real story, there was
a strong air of possibility, and the promise of so much more for the series. As strong as Brad’s engine was, it was partially bogged down by some limitations of this early programming. Such as the “scripted jumps” which took away the
option for arial control, and the feel of acceleration and direction changes hadn’t been totally nailed down for our hero yet. this original level was laid out more like a tech demo, with some jarring stops – and often unfair enemy placements. As a whole the enemies felt largely
unnecessary to the experience. But while developing a new engine for World 2, Brad returned to his original creation and applied some extra polish.
This includes simple fixes like less audio compression, and a higher animation framerate
– but he also updated the engine to match the upcoming game. The controls became even snappier,
more responsive, and he fixed the nearly entirely broken wall jumping. It was almost 2 full years after the original
that we saw the release of World 2, in January 2008. Instantly you can *feel* the tightened engine
and improved mechanics. Turning, jumping and sliding all feel much more natural and are
complimented with more complete aerial control. There are also new mechanics like ledge gripping
and platform hanging. World 2 showed an increased focus on momentum
and timing. The series was taking strong notes from the early Sonic games, with speed and
control being the driving forces behind the gameplay. This was the most noticeable when
running through the oil-slicked areas, reaching insane speeds! I stated that the original game felt almost console worthy while suddenly the game started to rival
and surpass some console platformers. Here we are playing a simple Flash game, barreling down
oil slicks, doing huge flips – or messing up and feeling the shame having to run
back up a slick. The complexity of the gameplay and complimentary animations were unheard of in the Flash world. On top of all the platforming, there is even this goofy Fancy Golf mini game that emerged during Beta testing of World 2. There’s this one particular snail enemy. You can kick and juggle his shell, and hit it into other enemies. Beta testers began to issue
challenges, to each other, to guide and kick the shells to difficult to reach areas of the level.
The final game integrates this snail shell golfing challenge, which unlocks bonuses like
alternate pants colours. One of my favorite additions was the guest
levels made by other popular Flash artists, including The Swain, Luis, TommyLM and more.
This may have just been a way for Brad to get around having to do more complex art himself,
or to experiment with new styles – but that artistic variety lent itself well to the idea of Fancy Man being a sketch in an artist’s world. In April 2011 we saw the release of The Fancy
Pants Adventures on Playstation and xBox. Brad worked with Over the Top Games to refine
World 1 and 2, implement new levels, and add multiplayer functionality. Brad was insistent that this was not World
3, but that World 3 would utilize this improved engine, and be downscaled to work as another
free Flash game. While this console game was praised for the
same reasons the original Flash series had been (including tight controls and fun parkour
like platforming) most of the expansions to the series were somewhat criticized. The addition of
weapon-based combat slowed things down and felt out of place, and the game just wasn’t
designed for a complete multiplayer experience. Brad himself has stated that he felt the inclusion
of multiplayer took away from the core gameplay – something that guided his decision to keep
the game a strictly single player experience ever since. We can also thank this installment for the
introduction of further pants customizations and hats! And believe me, those are very important
additions! A full year later in April 2012 we finally
saw the release of World 3, with Fancy Pants returning to its roots as a free Flash game.
Here is where we see the full potential of Brad and Fancy Pants Adventures finally emerge! This is the first world to attempt a semi-complex
story with Fancy Man trying to rescue his little sister from a band of pirates, but
story has never been the true focus of the series – and it has as little importance to
this game as it did the first two. The free-running and momentum have never felt
better, with improvements to both the gameplay and more importantly: the level designs.
All enemies have been altered to allow for different ways of dispensing them other than stomping
their heads. This frees up the ability to more easily flow into slide and kick combos,
without any jarring interruptions and it actually makes the enemies a fun addition for a change.
Like these frog guys, that I couldn’t help but take a minute to punt around. It’s just
plain fun! .
Speaking about the level design, there is the option to chain together segments of running,
diving, and jumping until you reach the levels ending – but it is so much more rewarding
to explore! There are often various branches to be discovered which take you through all
new areas of thrilling platforming. Some of which include mechanics that are only applicable to that one area. This division reminds me of the high/low splits that we see in old Sonic levels, where you choose your own path – and sometimes have it chosen for you based
on skill. The difference if Fancy Pants never limits you. If you want to return to a past level, or make the climb back up to the higher part of a level, there are options to do that. So you could run straight for the door, or spend
10 minutes trying to complete a very complex red-coin style challenge of quick, reflex
based platforming for a small reward. The game even introduced this very well executed
wall-run mechanic, and some surprisingly fun swimming based levels.
Seriously, it is hard to go back to earlier installments, trying to chain together wall
jumps without the precise wall-running included. It adds to that feeling of non-stop movement; that this character is just bursting with this force and energy driving him forward! World 3 also fully realizes the concept of
Fancy Man and his world being a sketch, with the introduction of the pencil. As a weapon it’s not that fun to use. It feels a little underutilized, but it reinforces this concept In November 2014 we were treated to FPA World
1 Remix. A complete remake of World 1, showcasing the new and improved engine being crafted
for World 4. You start in a familiar looking setting, but with minimal exploring, you’ll begin to find creative ways that Brad broke open World 1 to expand it to be so much more than just a rehash of the original. I especially like the tongue in cheek “No one ever liked level 3” as he uses his pencil to change the level as you’re playing it. It’s a great way to bring things full circle,
and to show exactly how far this series had come in nearly 9 years time. The art, animation,
sound, gameplay, and most of all design sensibilities have all improved so much in that time! Fancy Man has had a few small appearances
outside of his 3 main Adventures and their remakes and revisits. In 2008 he was added as a playable character
in Newgrounds Rumble, with Brad providing all of his movesets and animations himself.
And in 2015 we were treated to a simple Mobile game that acted as a way to tide over fans
waiting for world 4. It is a well-made game, with the usual precision and strong design
sense we’ve come to expect, but it just wasn’t a proper Fancy Pants Adventure. 2012 was the last full installment in the Fancy Pants Adventures series, and 2014 was last time we had a proper outing of any sorts with Fancy Pants Man. UNTIL NOW, because coming to Steam this year, we will at long last be treated to the next proper installment of this beloved series, with Super Fancy Pants
Adventure – slated for a September 2017 release!! There are 56 total levels, a brand new pen
weapon set to improve on the flaws of the pencil, new moves, new challenges and modes,
and there will be no multiplayer, since the focus is being put on making a perfected singleplayer
experience. Brad has said he doesn’t want to insert 100 new mechanics or gimmicks. The focus is definitely going to be on refining what we’ve seen before. And I’m perfectly okay with that! If you ask me, that’s the only way I’d want to have it. While trying to think of a good way to summarize things for Super Fancy Pants Adventure, I came across a nice quote on the Steam page.
I altered things slightly, but it says: “Brad Borne started this series over 10
years ago, as a young indie developer, working to redefine video game platforming by making
speed and tight controls feel compatible. Over the years he has honed his craft, turning
his Fancy Pants games into a worldwide phenomenon with over 100 million plays and becoming one
of the top (online games of all time). This newest version, Super Fancy Pants Adventure,
is a culmination and a reimagining of the series into a full-fledged title.” I don’t think there’s a better way to sum it up than that. I hope you guys all remember Fancy Pants as
fondly as I do, and that you are equally excited for the release of this full game. I can’t
wait to play it, and to show my support to Brad for 10 wonderful years of free Flash
gaming. It’s mindblowing that he has remained this dedicated to his fans and to his craft.
Now hike up those fancy pants of yours and get ready to join me, on another wild run: With Super Fancy Pants Adventure. Thank you all so much for watching, I really
hope that you did enjoy the video. I’ve only made two of these Flashlight videos before: one in a similar style, and one was something totally different. I’m still kind of
experimenting with the series. I’m trying to gear to towards being more of like an overview
or a chronicling, rather than a review. I’m still fine tuning the series and trying to
find that nice middle ground that I’m shooting for. So I would really love some feedback
from you guys! Now episodes of this series do take a long time to put together, significantly
longer than the usual let’s plays on the channel. I can’t guarantee them with any
sort of consistency unfortunately. This channel does have a Patreon though, and I’m going
to add this as a new stretch goal that if I hit a certain goal (to be determined)
that I’ll then make installments of this series monthly. And increased tiers from there
mean more installments of Flashlight, more animated videos on the channel, more live
streams, basically any extra complicated form on content. I’m looking forward to hearing
from you guys. I’m super excited about Super Fancy Pants Adventure, I’m going to have
links to all that down below. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a let’s play of it then the
game comes out. That would be pretty awesome! Alright, thank you guys all so much, I’ll
see you again soon.


26 thoughts on “Flashlight: History of Super Fancy Pants Adventure | 2 Left Thumbs | Fancy Pants Adventures World 4

  1. I'm kicking myself pretty hard here!
    I had "Fancy Pants Man" in the script every time his name is said. Then when recording, I just said "Fancy Man" every time!! I'm sorry I guys, I know his proper name is Fancy Pants Man. I can't believe I didn't catch it until I edited the full thing and uploaded it 😳

  2. Hm, this game filled a niche that's similar to Sonic the hedgehog, which we all know is in tough times. I wonder if that's why it was successful? Or at least contributed to it.

  3. I like this format of talking about a game's history! Though there are webgames that don't specifically use Flash but still fall under the umbrella term of "flash games" – will you be covering classic Shockwave games as well for example? Or 3D Life Player?

    I'd love to see more episodes of this. Ezone, Miniclip, Shockwave.com , Primary Games, Newgrounds, Robotduck… there's a lot you could cover. Here's hoping compatibility issues don't get too much in the way! :I

  4. The two Flash games that probably had the biggest impact on my life were Fancy Pants and Shift. I don't really know how popular Shift was but it had several sequels.

  5. I actually fount out about Super Fancy Pants Adventure after i got home from school, where i played a bunch of fancy pants.
    C O I N C I D E N C E

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