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The Life and Death of Flash (VICE)

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VICE published a fun read this week, The Life and Death of the Flash Cartoon.

The first three paragraphs are about Flash in general, while the rest of the article is pretty much all about the early years of Newgrounds, with soundbites from @LegendaryFrog, @Krinkels and @The-Super-Flash-Bros.

I think it's important to note there is a lot of confusion about just what it means when people say "Flash is Dead." Flash as a plug-in has definitely been having a rough go at it, with rejection by iOS and some highly publicized security vulnerabilities in recent months. It does, however still work for the moment. Flash games from 1998 work the same as they did in 1998, which can't be said for games that require the Unity3D plugin (removed from Chrome this year) and HTML5 games from just two years ago (changes in browsers have broken some).

It does however seem inevitable that the Flash plug-in will stop being supported by browsers. My hope is that an alternative will exist so that SWF files can continue to be parsed and played in a browser, either via Javascript or a Web Assembly app, if Web Assembly becomes a thing.

If the Flash plug-in does go away and no alternative exists, know that we've made a huge effort here at NG to preserve a growing archive of classic SWF content in MP4 format. This means you'll always be able to watch stuff like The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny via an HTML5 video player, just like you can currently watch it on iOS.

Flash games are the big question mark but if nothing else we have cool new HTML5 games such as Newgrounds Zero Hour, made with Construct 2. We also won't be deleting anything, so we'll find ways to make sure you can play your favorite Flash games from over the years.

It also needs to be noted that while the Flash plug-in may eventually die, Flash as a creative tool continues to be used. The majority of web animation and some television animation is currently made in Flash, despite being exported as video (usually via Swivel, developed here at NG by @Mike).

A lot of mobile games are developed with Flash and while many console and Steam games aren't programmed in Flash, their art and animation is produced in Flash.

Whatever the case, NG has prepared for a potential future without Flash. Yet despite having supported animation in video format for years now, we keep finding animators who think we only support SWF. Same with HTML5 and Unity game devs. We did everything right on the development side but totally failed with the marketing.

One of the changes this week reflects that; we added a more prominent "Upload Your Creations!" button in the header. This button links to a new gateway page that better describes all of the supported content and file formats.

This will hopefully improve awareness but people need to be on NG to see it; we would greatly appreciated it if everyone could remind their creative friends that NG is here and can most likely host their animation, games, art and music.

We also continue to be grateful for everyone who votes on and reviews content, as well as those who help moderate the site. I regularly get compliments from artists and developers that they get their best feedback here on NG vs anywhere else. Newgrounds continues to be a special place and we'll keep that torch burning.

There are 11 days left to participate in the Halloween Spooktacular and a few months to make something special for Pixel Day!

Never share your creations on NG before? It's never too late to start! We pride ourselves in being the best place to discover new talent. There's so much noise out there nowadays; NG works to help you rise above it.


Working on Nightmare Cops!

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:13:15


Pretty interesting article. Yeah, Flash will be probably out of the market soon, although i give that process rather 4-8 years until flash will be just a relict from old days.

Maybe i should really look into Construct2 and Javascript as an act of preparation.

What i dont get is, for Animators are there actually programs to use that convert files in a format that most sites accept?
And if it is only a problem of conversion that should be the lesser problem. I mean its nothing that a good plugin couldnt fix.
Same goes for swf files. The bigger problem is that it would only be a plugin, so like 95% of the potential market (siteviewers)
would be out of the topic.

Well, i stick to my 4-8 years.

Cheerio.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:21:52


I don't get it. Why would browsers stop the use of the Flash plugin?


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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:22:59


If Flash does "die" I will inevitably sad, Flash was how I got into my love of entertaining(animation specifically). Plus I would hate to see NG wane due to it people thinking, "well, i cant upload swf files any where" then they just start exporting evreything in mp4 and going to YouTube and dealing with that mess.

Too bad NG isn't 'big' enough to have actual marketing or ads, though I know its been word of mouth for a long long time which I think in a way, is fine, it works especially when the big animators/content creators out there still post here (RicePirate for example) so they do make people come here at least.

Long live NG or something.


I have stuff I'm working on. Stay updated HERE if you want.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:30:02


The Life and Death of the Flash Cartoon was a good read. Those changes too sound very promising.


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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:32:45


At 10/20/15 01:21 PM, TheMAM wrote: I don't get it. Why would browsers stop the use of the Flash plugin?

There's a general momentum towards avoiding the security risks associated with plugins such as Flash. It's frustrating though because just about every piece of software has security holes that turn up and like Flash, they get patched and everyone keeps using the software.

There are people who blame Flash for shitty web ads but there will always be alternative ways to present people with shitty web ads. Turns out the initial javascript versions are already 4x the size and cause new bugs.

Then there are people who can't get their mouths off Steve Jobs' rotting dick.


Working on Nightmare Cops!

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At 10/20/15 01:21 PM, TheMAM wrote: I don't get it. Why would browsers stop the use of the Flash plugin?

People say it's a resource hog and there are a lot of vulnerabilities. The thing that kinda pushed the whole 'end of Flash' thing was a big security hole in Flash.
Stuff like this and this.

There are a lot of good reasons to get rid of Flash, hence the people raving about its end, but there are so many reasons to keep it.

I saw that Tom beat me to the punch and mainly what he said like with the Steve Jobs rotting dick thing.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:54:03


Hi Tom

I know you keep flash movies/games on newgrounds but ...

Are you going to stop supporting new flash movies or games from now?

I like flash movies because some movies have easter eggs.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 13:59:27


Haxeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 14:00:04


I tired to upload a .wav file at the upload page as it says you now accept it... Which is great! But my attempt didn't go through?
Is this transition still in the works?

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 14:06:27


At 10/20/15 01:54 PM, Abracadabra123 wrote: Are you going to stop supporting new flash movies or games from now?

I like flash movies because some movies have easter eggs.

We will keep supporting Flash movies. Also even when we make video versions of Flash content, individual content can be set to default to the SWF version (in the case of easter eggs). Otherwise, the view page has "Format" links down the left side under the credits, where you can toggle between mp4 and swf. If you are logged in and click either one, it saves that as your preference and will always default to it unless there's a specific override.


Working on Nightmare Cops!

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 14:18:21


I noticed the new link that the top. That should clear up some of the common questions about how to submit content and which formats content can be submitted in.

As far as the implementation, the buttons don't really match the theme of the site. Keep the colors, but give them the more grungy look of the buttons on the top header. Perhaps also put a little mascot (A-Bot, Pico, Nene, whatever) next each one to give it a little more personality. It would also be cool to have a live counter of submissions. Next to "Games", for example, it would say "236,753 games submitted so far!" or something similar to show how much content has been submitted over the years.

Also Lit Portal.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 14:33:24


At 10/20/15 02:00 PM, NicholasCabraja wrote: I tired to upload a .wav file at the upload page as it says you now accept it... Which is great! But my attempt didn't go through?
Is this transition still in the works?

This will get looked at soon!


Working on Nightmare Cops!

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 14:46:19


At 10/20/15 01:32 PM, TomFulp wrote: There are people who blame Flash for shitty web ads but there will always be alternative ways to present people with shitty web ads. Turns out the initial javascript versions are already 4x the size and cause new bugs.

Then there are people who can't get their mouths off Steve Jobs' rotting dick.

I didn't know Tom Fulp was capable of vulgarity.


The Newgrounds Revolution isn't a thing, quit being a pussy.

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 14:56:28


I don't think Newground's biggest issue is a technological one, it's the shrinking userbase. Newgrounds has a future if it can regain the userbase it once had. A more mobile friendly, responsive layout might help, and if it could have a popular, endorsed mobile app, (say, a movie viewer), I would see it making a comeback.

That said, I'll always come back to Newgrounds for as long as it exists. The fact that TomFulp shows so much passion for this site and the creators it supports makes it my favorite site on the internet, and the site I'll keep coming back to for years!

PS I'm gonna own Pixel Day!


Super FTC!

It's terrible, but I'm trying to make it better.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 15:00:45


At 10/20/15 02:56 PM, DBuck-Eye wrote: I don't think Newground's biggest issue is a technological one, it's the shrinking userbase. Newgrounds has a future if it can regain the userbase it once had. A more mobile friendly, responsive layout might help, and if it could have a popular, endorsed mobile app, (say, a movie viewer), I would see it making a comeback.

The responsive mobile layout is an ongoing project and we totally intend to have an app for viewing movies. It's all coming later than we wanted but we'll still get there.

I used to compare the web to my dad and his HAM radios, but unlike HAM radios, web would just get bigger and bigger and not be a niche thing for enthusiasts... More and more though, sitting in front of a desktop feels kinda like someone sitting over their HAM radios. :P


Working on Nightmare Cops!

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 15:08:15


At 10/20/15 01:32 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 10/20/15 01:21 PM, TheMAM wrote:
Then there are people who can't get their mouths off Steve Jobs' rotting dick.

SAVAGE.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Excellent points all around.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 15:16:11


I do like the fact there is now an option to convert flash movies into mp4, but it won't help much with add revenue for the artist. And two flash is one of the reasons I join Newgrounds and Flash kinda help build Newgrounds because back in the old days this site was all about flash contents.


Check out my work at MysticSkillz

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 16:07:15


Flash as a plug-in has definitely been having a rough go at it, with rejection by iOS and some highly publicized security vulnerabilities in recent months.

Search for Apple exploits and there are so many. So are Apple products rejected? It's just bias and corruption all over. See if HTML5 can do this without lag or freezing:

The Life and Death of Flash (VICE)


Flash is literally too important to the internet to simply be killed off. Lots & lots of things would spontaneously stop working if that were to happen. Besides, if a browser stops providing a service, another one will crop up in its place to do the job the other one cant.

Maybe Newgrounds should have its own browser? Like one that you can get from the downloads page?

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 17:10:47


At 10/20/15 12:50 PM, TomFulp wrote: It does however seem inevitable that the Flash plug-in will stop being supported by browsers.

Firefox confirmed that they will get rid of all NPAPI plugins, during 2016.
They said they will continue to work with Adobe to keep Flash working on their browser. Among other things :)

https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2015/10/08/npapi-plugins-in-firefox/


Hi, you! You're awesome, probably! <3 Have a great day!

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 17:36:02


Doesn't someone write an article like this one every six months or so?

It seems we've been hearing Flash is dieing for seven or eight years now, and it's still not dead. I give credit to all the claims of Flash's death because I don't want to get caught up in denial, but I can't help but start to think they're full of shit. Or maybe I just regret not striking while the iron was hot.

Yeah, Flash as a means for watching cartoons is dead. But all that content can still be made, minus the Easter eggs and other such features (I considered making a choose your own ending movie, but decided against it) We now have the tech to stream HD video, so the kb sizes of Flash cartoons aren't a strength any longer. But it remains the best way to play games in a browser.

I'm going to keep making Flash games, because Flash is the best platform to get the most players to a game. And with Adobe AIR, even if the swf format dies, games can still be distributed, albeit less effectively.

These articles should really be talking about the death of the swf format for cartoons. I know it's not as catchy or alarming as the death of Flash, but it's a hell of a lot more accurate.


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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 17:37:02


At 10/20/15 03:00 PM, TomFulp wrote:
I used to compare the web to my dad and his HAM radios, but unlike HAM radios, web would just get bigger and bigger and not be a niche thing for enthusiasts... More and more though, sitting in front of a desktop feels kinda like someone sitting over their HAM radios. :P

I personally hate watching videos on my phone, even if it is a Galaxy Note 4. I rather watch it on my 23 inch monitor with at least two channels of audio instead of the one my phone(and the majority) of phones have. But I know the general populace is want to watch their crap on their phones when they can.


I have stuff I'm working on. Stay updated HERE if you want.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 17:50:22


Nothing puts me into mid life crisis mode other than news like this. I have this project I have been working on since high school and I know I am terrible when it comes to releasing content and solidifying an idea. I will be upset the day I finally get around to finishing it, and Newgrounds won't accept my old flash file because Steve Jobs had to ruin the internet from beyond grave since he just hates flash so much for no reason.

At 10/20/15 02:46 PM, WahyaRanger2 wrote:
I didn't know Tom Fulp was capable of vulgarity.

As an oldfart, I can tell you that Old Newgrounds was nothing but envelope pushing vulgarity, and it was pretty awesome. Pico, the site mascot hails from a game that was inspired by the Columbine shootings(it was a mature commentary on the whole thing where you played as a student defending his school from mass murdering goth kids). Originally, the game was going to be called Coprophillia, and you would play as Pico sky rocketing into the air through means of projectile diarrhea. The old voting panel was edgier too, with the "blam" scores of 1 and 0 being "This makes poop look good" and "Blam This Piece of Crap!" respectively rather than the unoffensive "This isn't very good" and "Blam this plz!". Some of the oldest content includes the "FDA" or "Fuck Dat Ass" music videos which mostly featured this blaxploitation, leisure suit wearing, afro sporting pimp character spouting "Fuck Dat Ass Bitch!" to D&B remixes. This site also made the news when one uploader uploaded the raunchiest scene from Tom Green vehicle "Freddy Got Fingered", so that no one had to actually see the movie. One of the main draws of old Newgrounds that made it into the great sites of yesteryear were the "Assassin Games" which pit you in an imaginary situation where you get to kill celebrities who gained a reputation for being annoying in someway or another. Nowadays, we are more likely to tread carefully about what we say or do in fear of coming across as sexist or racist, or ableist or just as some kind of anti social jerk when we don't mean any open hostility to anyone, especially not those who are good and noble. The new episodes of South Park hit the nail on the head with the "PC Bro" characters, because political correctness has gone a little rampant.

Now back in the old days we would probably be smarmy and say "You must be NEW here!" and spout N00bie jokes but now is not the time for that. With this site's shrinking userbase and the prospect of a future without flash, we need all the support we can get, so I have to welcome you in open arms. Speaking of Assassin games, someone needs to make one of Steve Jobs, called "Kill Steve Jobs... Again." I think it will really send the message across, and reach out to many. Especially with the common Zombie trend I see going around in entertainment. Bonus points if you can finish Steve Jobs off by shoving his rotten genitalia through his ass and out his mouth.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 19:49:00


Flash had too long of a time with no viable competitors to encourage Flash development to become much better. I am very curious to see if Adobe is working on something to replace flash, but it seems like if they don't have it by now, it might not ever happen.


The fazing out of flash seems like a deliberate attempt to shoe horn other proprietary software into the mix.
It's a shame that something so instrumental in making the web so accessible and engaging to new users is now not being given access to new users.
It was only like 10 years ago that flash was responsible for like 90% of all rich content on the web.
Do you remember when everything was static on the web, then Macromedia came from out of nowhere and all of a sudden the whole web was alive.


"A reward is it's own reward." - Killgar

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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 20:02:27


At 10/20/15 03:08 PM, Alexander wrote:
At 10/20/15 01:32 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 10/20/15 01:21 PM, TheMAM wrote:
Then there are people who can't get their mouths off Steve Jobs' rotting dick.
SAVAGE.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Excellent points all around.

Damn. Same here. Had to check to make sure it was still 2015. Sounds like something angsty 2000 Tom Fulp would say! I love it.


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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 20:06:36


In other news, the world is ending soon.

Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 20:14:50


At 10/20/15 01:32 PM, TomFulp wrote: Then there are people who can't get their mouths off Steve Jobs' rotting dick.

Wow. Did not think I'd live to see the day where you'd say something like that. Good for you.


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Response to The Life and Death of Flash (VICE) 2015-10-20 21:46:09


a great and helpful post about the past, present and future(?) of flash in our browsers and in future publications (movies, games and other cool stuff).

i love your great teamwork spirit, tom.
you say inspiring words, you are always eager to keep the flame alive, and you always help people to express their artistic side in here.

in the wild ocean of the internet, newgrounds is a solid, beautiful oasis in the middle of it.
it has art, joy, humour, serious movies/themes, funny movies filled with comedy/satire/parodies, games, drawings and many-many more things that form a massive mosaic that impresses everyone who observes the artistic community of NG.

indeed, its a great site, its a great place to be, and we MUST keep the torch burning.

i say, that some good coders/actionscripters/programmers of NG should create a good APP/program that would allow for new-internet users to be able to browse/view/play flash movies/games even AFTER adobe stopps supporting its player online.

it would be a quite successfull program to do, and it would help alot people (and the future of flash in general).

that's all.

keep rocking, guys!