How Flash Games Changed The Internet

How Flash Games Changed The Internet

In the very beginning, there was nothing. In terms of finding entertainment online,
there was always a roadblock or three when in the “finding entertainment” business because it was damn near impossible to find
sufficient entertainment for your young self. There’s only so many hours in the day and
you can’t spend all of it playing on your PSDS2 Lite XL because that’s bad! And could give you several cancers of the
brain that would surely render you a vegetable and you don’t want that do you? So in the midst of all of these troubles,
you have to look to that massive behemoth in your living room also known as your PC,
but there’s two immediately 2 problems with your PC. First problem is that you have no way to play
the latest and greatest games that were available on the PC Games for Windows catalog, you might as well use your PC to cook your
dinner at that rate. And the second and most important problem of all… you’re broke. Good luck trying to convince your parents
to get you Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure for the PS2… that’s too violent! With all those choices out of the window you
have to seek other methods of playing your favourite video games, and there’s no better
alternative to the PC than the new invention by Bill Jobs called the intelligent phone.
Speaking of phones… Hey! Hey you.. You there watching in the safety of your own
dwelling place. Are you bored of playing the same stupid game
of Glow Hockey over and over again and are looking for something brand new for your eyes
and fingers to feast on? No? Well have I got some NEWS for you!! RAAAAID SHADOW LEGENDS. 2019 has a new banger of an R.P.G that’s
stormed YouTube and the internet and is up there with the biggest PC and console titles. Gadzooks brother, that must mean it’s bloody
expensive! WRONG. It’s absolutely free!!! Storylines, giant boss fights, player vs player
and hundreds of champions to collect and customize like look at this specimen!!! You don’t need to worry about waiting times
because the game has a download base of 10 MILLION PLAYERS worldwide in just 6 months. You don’t need to take my word for it look
at the reviews, it has almost a perfect score on the play store. With 300k reviews!!! Look at the graphics on this thing, my phone
can’t even handle how GOOOD this looks. HARK! There’s a new Faction Wars feature right
here!!! Uh… but what about me? No need to worry, you literally get paid to
continue playing the game with REWARDS for the first 90 days in the game. So what are you waiting for? Get it nooooooooooooow. Check out the links in the description to
get 50,000 silver and a free EPIC champion to start your journey. Good luck and I’ll
see you there. But before the phone, there was another smart
invention that filled the lives of young kids for many a year, giving children a reason
to stick it out until the end of the school day is near so that they can escape into a
world with absolutely no rules. Apart from the many site blocking tools that
were put in place by the school council to prevent your innocent eyes from getting permanently
STAINED. Yes that’s right I most certainly am talking
about- ♫ Flash games were the dog’s bollocks. These games were the perfect time killer and
they provided hours of entertainment for absolutely no extra cost. All you needed was yourself and a browser. Preferably Internet Explorer because back
then Google Chrome was a super dodgy virus software from the future that would eat up
all of your resources and shit them out in the form of Chrome extensions. Before you had the privilege to play a flash
game, you had to go through initiation to prove that your 5 year old self was indeed
an epic gamer. How do you prove yourself? Well… Yes that’s right, before you could join
the big leagues in the world wide web, you had to prove that you had the brains and the
brawns to tackle the games over in league 1. 3D Pinball Space Cadet edition is Windows’s
version of the classic Pinball game for PC published by Maxis before EA could get their
dutty hands on them. In 1995 the game was released for Windows
and Mac and unlike the version that was widely known as the definitive Windows version (which was released in the same year), This version of Pinball had THREE DIFFERENT TABLES. More customisation than modern AAA games at
no extra cost and you could do several different quests like escaping the Bermuda Triangle,
rescuing a damsel in distress and SLAYING A DRAGON. This thing was MIND-BLOWING at the time. You want to get promoted to the Premier League
of flash games? Well, you deaf, dumb and blind kid, first you have to master the art of Pinball
and become a Pinball Wizard. But surely there has to be a twist? Well in
fact there was a slight twist in that the version that people played on the Windows
edition of the game wasn’t actually the full version of the game. Yes, you ended up getting Activision’d and
all the cool features that were in the original version of the game are nowhere to be found! But not to worry, with a high score of 103,214,325,
you are now ready to join the ranks of the elite, where you will be inducted into the
school of procrastination and losing your innocence slowly and steadily. But before you get to finding where these
so called Browser Games are, you need to know what you’re dealing with here, so as I’ve
done in all of my previous videos, I’ll provide some CONTEXT to the world of browser
gaming. Browser gaming has been a thing for a very
long time now, and while the concept of it is losing favour in the rest of the gaming
world, it’s a highly influential concept that has rightfully sealed its place in the
national board of gamer knowledge… limited. The beauty of a browser game is the fact that
it could literally be played absolutely anywhere unless you’re on an old android or iOS device… but those didn’t exist back in the day. And spanned a massive variety of video game
genres and gameplay types. You could have a single player game or a multiplayer
game or an MMORPGLGBTBLT game. You could also play browser games on any operating
system that you want, just as long as you have access to the browser in question. As a child, we were SPOILED for choice for
what game you could play. You could be having a great old time playing the original Bejeweled
and the next thing you know you could be brutally torturing a mannequin- It all started in 1995… Toy Story had just
been released and showed that there was a market for computer animated projects, Quebec
tried to pull a Scotland and escape from Canada but they weren’t having any of that and
Ebay had just started giving people the opportunity to sell their used goods… online! One plucky company who went by the name of
FutureWave Software were looking to challenge Macromedia who at the time were the big dogs
of the industry. FutureWave modified their already existing software by adding the ability
to animate frame by frame. They named this creation FutureSplash Animator and released
it for PCs and for Macs. When this dropped the entire industry had their minds blown. To hide the embarrassment from being beaten
to the punch by an inferior company, Macromedia bought the entire company one year later and
the animation editor was renamed to Macromedia Flash, successfully washing away the efforts
of FutureWave software as their name was deprecated forever… which kinda sucks if I’m honest
because FutureSplash sounds so much better than just… Flash. In a twisted run of karma,
Macromedia was then eaten up by Adobe and their efforts were swept away in the wind
as Macromedia Flash was renamed to Adobe Flash. Which was then renamed to Adobe Animate. Continuing
the never ending circle but we’re getting too ahead of ourselves here. Back in the 90s,
a new language was created by the overlords at Macromedia called ActionScript, which was
a programming language released at the same time as Macromedia Flash. These tools allowed
developers to start making games for browsers… but wait there’s more! The Sun no shut your MOUTH I’m not talking about you. *sigh* Sun Microsystems launched a site that went
by the name of HotJava which people could use to run games and applets that could run
on any browser that also ran Java. Now the foundations were SET and you could now GAME!!
Hold on one second… There we go… Among the earliest websites to run Java programming
was a site fittingly named ClassicGames dot com. This site hosted games such as Chess,
Freecell, Checkers, you know, the classic kind. And it was the largest collection of
Java games on the internet. And it was multiplayer! As far back as 1997 you could game against
other people and assert your dominance over them as you move in for a checkma- FUU- Companies saw the rapid growth of ClassicGames
dot com, growing from 50,000 members to 60,000 in less than a month! This made Classic Games
one big fat dollar sign and the first company to pounce on them were YAHOO! Who bought the
game site and renamed it to Yahoo Games, effectively wiping the name recognition of Classic Games
dot com. Meanwhile Microsoft wanted a little piece of the pie and bought a small website
which went by the name of The Village. Problem with the Village though was that after Microsoft
got their hands on it, you had to download more than 3 MB OF DATA to be able to play
the game, that’s DIABOLICAL. Can’t believe you’d do that Bill! Children in Africa could’ve
eaten that data. In order to access the village, you needed to have Internet Explorer on your
computer because only Internet Explorer could do it. From this website though, we got our
first “banger” series of Flash games… BEJEWELED, which has now gone on to sell over
75 million copies, so PopCap have only Bill to thank for that one. The arguable GODFATHER of Flash, who has stayed
loyal to the medium pretty much ever since its inception, is Tom Fulp. Animators and
flash game devs probably perked up upon mention of that name, but I’m sure the rest of you
“n o r m i e s” aren’t aware of just who he is so for the uninitiated: in 1996,
Tom Fulp developed 2 games for a website he created as a devotee to a set of hardware
named Neo Geo. After making a separate site with the intention to host browser games,
he began using Macromedia Flash in 1998, combining the two websites he created to make a new
site known as Newgrounds. Newgrounds would become a powerhouse on the internet as most
people’s exposure to “edgy” content from the internet came from the site: the
Numa Numa Dance was uploaded onto Newgrounds first before YouTube and other sites began
to pop up that also had the intention of allowing for user uploaded content, such as Kongregate
and Armor Games for example. In 2001, Miniclip was created by two legends in the Blighty
using 40,000 pounds of their own funds. Now it’s a BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY. As far back
as 2008, the company was valued at around 900 million pounds. Basically like buying
Bitcoin in 2012 and selling it before it all went to hell. At the inception of the flash
gaming industry, developers who made such games went for a business model in which the
games they make were free demos to full games that would come out later: games such as Clash
n Slash for example. The rapid explosion of Flash games in itself was due to the fast
spread of information in the early 2000s using sites such as AIM and email. You could send
a couple of links to some SWF files across the world wide web and they’d just zoooom
across to your big BAWKS, it was GREAT. So now your brain’s been filled with the
KNOWLEDGE, it’s time for you to venture into the vast landscape of the world wide
web. But first you gotta pick a website. For people as young as I was when I was playing
Flash games, there was absolutely NO way for anyone to access a website that even remotely
had the term “game” or even synonyms similar to the term “game” because the school
had everything on lockdown. You try and access just one site? FBI OPEN UP!!! So as students, we were all given laptops.
Nowadays you have schools buying iPhone 11 Pros for their youngest students, but we were
laptop children. Not the amazing super rigs that you have to shell out your right bollock
for, but those tiny ones that you had to leave on overnight to just log into your account.
When we had those lessons in the computer labs, you’d always see a group of people
playing Line Rider at one corner of the room, the class clown in tow, drawing the biggest
willy he can ever conjure up and discretely showing it to the class while the teacher
is speaking. Anyway, I’d be attempting to access Friv so I can play the newest version
fo Super Mario Bros Flash and actually complete it this time instead of dying at the same
POIIIINT- But shock and horror, to the surprise of a
grand total of no one, the site is blocked! And now you can never play the game in class!
But wait, your tech savvy friend has just given you a link to another website that can
download the full game! Looks a bit weird, where’s the dot com? Why’s it a set of
numbers? Oh well, better get downloading! Oh look the file says Super_Mario_Bros_Flash.exe!
This is downloading really fast, thanks frie- And now you’re a clown for listening to
that kid in class because you’ve just loaded your laptop with that trojan. When you’re at home though on the family
desktop, it’s a whole different story because the entire internet is now open to you and
at your disposal to explore, giving you plenty of choices of flash games to play and have
lots of fun with. The games that were available to you were so vast: you wanted to play a
game of Copter? Well you’ve got it; most early flash games were essentially reskins
of already existing games such as Super Mario, Pac-Man and Frogger for example. The arguable
golden age of gaming with Flash started at around 2004, and throughout the noughties,
different animators and developers came out of the woodwork to create various forms of
art that people still play and enjoy to this day, for example: you just discovered a brand
new website called albinoblacksheep and there’s a game on it called the Scary Maze Game! It
looks relatively normal, it’s just a blue pathway leading to a red box and you have
to guide your mouse to it! And it looks like the last level is a bit more tricky, the borders
are extremely thin… not to worry, just look a little closer, you can do it! Almost there!
(jumpscare) And this would become the basis for many scare pranks and shock sites that
plagued the internet from 2004-2010, and also showed that there really were no rules on
the internet at that time as Flash games were highly controversial. In the late 1990s and
the early 200s, real-world events were used regularly in order to get people playing the
game. One of the most famous examples of this is the infamous McDonald’s Videogame, in
which you play a CEO of McDonald’s and you commit various acts of corruption to keep
the company afloat, such as bribing public officials to allow you to demolish villages
and clear rain forests for example. Naturally, Maccy D’s were not pleased and a new game
was created called Burger Tycoon, which is exactly the same but without any mention of
the Golden Arches. In more extreme examples, you had flash game devs creating games making
fun of various shootings in America and trivialising them in the form of RPG flash games: of course
the media would not be too happy about those ones owing to the fact that they were extremely
easy to access as they were free and online. As the whole concept of Flash and browser
gaming evolved, you started to see more games and projects being made that turn into massive
franchises, such as Bloons for example, turning from a simple game of a monkey throwing a
pin at balloons to a large money making tower defence behemoth. You can’t mention the
growth of flash gaming online without mentioning the effect of StickPage, a website dedicated
to hosting animations and games that all revolved around stick people: Stick War being an extremely
popular example, and the Henry Stickmin franchise of games pioneering the whole concept of choose-your-own-adventure
and including various different pop culture references and humour that still holds up
to this day. Can’t forget about the Fancy Pants franchise as well, going from a simple
game you’d find on the second page of Miniclip to having an Xbox Live adaptation of the original
game and a sequel to boot. Animators used Pivot to practice their fight choreography
and uploaded these to websites such as Newgrounds and Stickpage with death metal blaring through
the speakers and now your parents are running downstairs because you’re blasting music
at 3 AM in the morning. Not all browser and flash games were stuck in the realm of 2D
as well: while you had the oddballs like classic Plants vs Zombies and games like the Thing
Thing franchise, early developers used Shockwave to their advantage with games such as On the
Run becoming extremely popular and a personal rage game for me because I used to be unable
to get past the very first section without being NUTTED by the black car. Nowadays I
speedrun in, ain’t no problem with that. Before the age of Adblock, using Internet
Explorer also introduced me to various other games such as Adventure Quest, because that
game couldn’t stop leaving the sidebar of every bloody website that I ever visited.
Multiplayer 3D browser games like Team Tanks and Armagetron also provided entertainment
for everyone after a long school day. Flash games were a godsend for young gamers out
there as they provided thousands and thousands of free online games that were of varying
degrees of quality but WHO CARED! Licensed tie-in games were also actually good at the
time, with Cartoon Network’s game library blowing all the competition out of the water
with their games. Flash games continued evolving through games such as Happy Wheels beginning
to do numbers on YouTube and people flocking to that game for some gory fun, but in recent
years, the whole concept of flash games seemed to be dead in the water. With the rise of mobile gaming in the 2010s
and more children getting access to smart phones at a younger age, Flash games seem
to be dying, and that can be pinpointed all the way back to the release of the very first
iPhone. Yes, Steve Jobs was the catalyst for change in this industry, as the original iPhone
did not support Flash, a notion that was seen as GHASTLY to the general public and people’s
pitchforks were raised. In response to this, Steve went on to say that Flash falls short
when it comes to the future of mobile, stating that “the mobile era is about low power
devices, touch interfaces and open web standards.” None of these really apply to Flash as it
was now seen as a big security risk. Because of all of these points, Flash has started
to deprecate itself forever from the internet. Browsers like Chrome by default refuse to
play Flash content without you going into the settings to give them permission, and
it all reached the point of no return when Adobe announced that Flash would be discontinued
in 2020, ending an entire era of gaming for kids online… until recently. The mobile
machines shall not get their victory as various large projects are now underway to preserve
and archive as many flash games as possible after Adobe’s announcement, one of the most
notable being the Flashpoint project, with the main goal of becoming a hub for all the
lost and forgotten-to-be Flash games to nest in, in the hopes that people would remember
the fun times they had way back in the noughties playing the Impossible Quiz and cursing themselves
for using a skip before the final question. Sites such as Newgrounds and albinoblacksheep
uploading classic animations to YouTube and switching the video player on their site to
HTML5 which would allow the content to still be played without it being lost forever. As
well as this, games written in other formats that aren’t Flash gained a lot of notoriety
in the latter part of this decade, with the io domain becoming an extremely popular hub
for games like agario and slitherio, written in C++ and HTML respectively. Browser gaming
has evolved beyond young teenagers using Shockwave Flash to create their 4 frame game and has
become a huge marketplace for people using powerful engines like Unity and Unreal to
create fully fledged independent games that they sell on marketplaces such as Developers have come a long way from making
simple Flash games and they’ve turned into moderately sizeable franchises that you’d
find on marketplaces like the former Xbox Live Arcade and Steam for example. None of
this would have been possible without the large influence and rapid growth of that small
program, FutureWave Splash over 2 decades ago and shows that flash games did indeed
change everything… on the internet at least. Thank you guys for watching this video, I
hope you enjoy this retrospective into the whole world of Flash gaming and how it’s
changed and evolved over several years. This is the first of a couple of videos that I’m
planning on making over the next few months and I personally really like how this one
turned out because I haven’t made a video like this in what seems like 2 years. Again,
all of my social links are in the description and why not pledge to my Patreon where you’d
get exclusive behind the scenes content, scripts, early access to my videos and some extra perks
that can be found on my Discord server! All of which again are linked in the description.
Before I forget, I’m also streaming a couple of horror games and scary stuff over on my
Twitch so if you want to go follow me there, the link is down below. Thanks to Admiral
VAPE, Frances, Dakota Lewis, The Man with Three First Names, Bailey, Angie and DAG for
pledging to my Patreon with the ascended pledge and I’ll see you guys in the next video.

66 thoughts on “How Flash Games Changed The Internet

  1. remember kids you can use the console on a pc at school to find the ips in the school network that are allowed to access game websites on the school network.

  2. What's kind of interesting is seeing all these flash games migrate to the app stores.
    It's mostly notable with stuff like games that's mainly aimed at kids. I swear I've seen some flash dress-up games get app versions that I kind of doubt were made by the original developers.
    So in a way flash games are dead, but in a way they're also not?

  3. While I don't remember most the games you showed off, still enjoyed the look back! Most flash games I played were on sites like Cartoon Network, Nick, or PBSkids and it's crazy to see how much they changed.

    (Tip if you know the name of a game, try using the waybackmachine if you can't find it 👌)

  4. Thing Thing Arena 3 is where it was at. I played it for hours until there was so much blood that the walls were black and I played at two frames a second.

  5. Okay so my biggest achievement is figuring out that any site can go thru a school firewall if you put the link through google translate🤯🤯🤯🤯

  6. And there's also the flash substitute that NewGrounds released a while back. Not sure if it works anywhere else, but it's convenient.

  7. Speak for yourself. I spent 100% of my internet time playing Quake 3: Arena and such. And before that it was MUDs. And when I wasn't doing that I'd spend hours hanging out with friends in IRC. I never had any trouble finding entertainment online. I probably only spent about 0.005% of my internet time on Flash games.

  8. I recently looked at your sub count for the first time and was legitimately surprised to find that your channel isn't way bigger than it is. Your videos are really interesting and entertaining and you're fun to watch and listen to. It's sort of easy to just blindly assume that any good YouTuber is raking in the views. I guess it's kind of nice that such lovely content is reaching anybody at all! Thanks for always delivering, even if videos are infrequent.

    I remember there was this one game I only wanted to play because it had tiddies in the thumbnail but when I tried to play it the game wouldn't load and my dumb preteen self seriously believed it was because the FBI was onto me or something, game was "Foxy Sniper" or another one like that

  9. You know you can still get that Space Cadet Pinball game now? It doesn't come with Windows anymore, but it's still actually downloadable. I just played it today. I don't remember the link, sorry, but it shouldn't be that hard to search for.

  10. Honestly this is one of my favorite YouTube channels these days. You can tell that thaf takes a LOT of time writing and editing the videos he puts out. And when he does eventually put out a new YouTube video I IMMEDIATELY stop what I’m doing and watch the latest video. Great work with doing these videos man

  11. No, HTML 5 and Javascript let people make games for browsers. Flash let people makes games for a browser extension. There's a difference.

  12. You've literally taken me down memory lake, Thafnine. These games is what made the grueling hours do computer class so goddamn worth it.

  13. I watched this the same day I watched the latest JonTron video. I genuinely and sincerely think your video is funnier by a significant margin. Granted, this is because I'm a huge fan of your kind of hyper-kinetic slapstick visual comedy, but even so, I love how creative you can be. You've got natural comedic timing and a great sense of humor that doesn't rely on constant imprecations, which is a disturbing rarity in the current era. Keep up the good work.

  14. You can shit on EA all you want, but just so you know… Maxis is still alive and making games. The Sims 4 expansions are still great.I have a close relative who works for EA, and I've been to their headquarters.

  15. When I was 5, I watched my brother download Roblox then I downloaded some random crap that had Mario and Luigi on it so my dad’s computer was near destroyed.

  16. 0:21 you doubt the bond between me and my precious DSi. I needed to hone my mad skillz in Mario cart so I could fucking own these hoes on the iPhone. Brain cancer? Worth it. Follow your dreams. Never give up.

  17. I have to say that right now flash games and it's developers are my biggest inspirations for starting as a game dev.

    I'm currently studying comp science engineering and university drains a lot of time that I would've invested in personal projects, but just recently I took the decision to shorten my studies (from 6 to just 4 years) because my original career contemplated classes like macroeconomy, project management and more stuff along the line (things that I wasn't aiming for initially, this study plan is followed in Chile), I was dumb enough to not foresee so much in the future, but with that one decision in mind I hope I won't sidetrack again.

    Besides that, I've never felt so much momentum to start as I'm feeling now. Flash games meant a lot in my childhood and I can't picture a life where I don't, at the very least, pay them a proper tribute somehow.

    I know the discord channel for BlueMaxima's flashpoint, and now I've got the time to curate a list of flash games that still haven't been curated. Now it's my moment to start contributing step by step, and to learn game dev properly even if it might be a little late by today standards.

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