The Enduring Legacy of Newgrounds, the Flash-Based Proto-Steam


Missed that article from rollingstone last month
The Enduring Legacy of Newgrounds, the Flash-Based Proto-Steam

here the intro

Tom Fulp started the influential Flash portal as a lark, and it became the center of an unruly creative explosion

For enthusiasts of a certain age, the term “Flash game” might evoke unpleasant memories: flickering ads that challenged you to knock down pins and win a prize, or shoddy sites filled to the brim with stolen title after stolen title and littered with invasive pop-ups. For the rest of us, these free games made in Macromedia/Adobe Flash and playable in nearly any web browser might have slipped from our recollections entirely. In their mid-to-late 2000s heyday, even the best Flash games were little more than harmless curios, often shamelessly derivative of other popular games and hampered by their own simplicity.

But for those of us who couldn’t afford or couldn’t bother to build a nuclear-grade PC to sample the likes of Half-Life 2, Flash games offered an enticing alternative. Perhaps the high-octane juvenile thrills of games like Spank the Monkey and Club a Seal couldn’t quite compete with the likes of Counter-Strike or Call of Duty, but then again, Spank could run on your grandma’s old Compaq. And, for gaggles of bored kids looking for sub-Seth MacFarlane gags while they avoided doing homework, there were few sites better than Tom Fulp’s Newgrounds, still one of the largest Flash portals on the web. Today, nearly a decade after the site’s zenith of popularity, Fulp is better-known as a key staffer of notable developer The Behemoth, which counts early indie hits Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid in its catalog. Unlike most sites, Newgrounds wasn’t just a money-making scheme, but a platform, a gallery, and a discipline. Most of all, it was a community – a community that managed to spawn a raft of successful developers, including Fulp himself. Like it or not, today’s marketplace of games – embodied by platforms like Itchio and Steam – owes a lot to Newgrounds, even if modern gamedom isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to acknowledge its debt. And few know all this better than Tom Fulp himself.

interesting read that you can put in correlation with that other article
The state of Mac gaming from arstechnica


Here my point, Adobe AIR is great at publishing the same app for multiple platforms like Windows, macOS, Android and iOS (and even to some extend Linux).

I’m hinting at that part of the article

Even though progress has been made, challenges obviously remain. Cross-platform multiplayer support is one example; Mac gamers are stuck in a small, walled-off community in many cases. Smith explained this problem thusly: “Most games use a deterministic engine, which relies on client-side processing to calculate things such as pathfinding, unit positions, spawns, and combat. Any differences between the maths of different clients, however tiny, will accumulate to a tangible divergence in behavior, and ultimately a disconnect.”

Implementing multiplayer across multiple operating systems and architectures is therefore not always possible.

Now, take the multiplayer experience from the flash golden age era in the browser, and apply it to the desktop and mobile with Adobe AIR.

My point is that multiplayer 2D games (probably 3D with bigger resources) based on Adobe AIR and that can be played from either Windows, macOS, Linux, Android or iOS could fill a need (a niche?).

From “massively multiplayer browser game” to “massively multiplayer cross-platform game” :wink: