What's up with Flash gaming?

I’ve been pondering Flash games for a while now, and it occurred to me that I don’t quite see so many as I thought I used too. I don’t know - maybe its because I just move in different circles now I’m in the ‘professional’ world, but it seems like there’s more emphasis on the practical things like applications or tools and everyones’ forgotten about the fun things like games.

So, where have all the Flash games gone - and has anything changed in the last 4 or 5 years?

Well, Newgrounds is the old one I remember - and except for a ‘Web 2.0’ facelift, it seems like the same old content is there - Stickman animations (StickDude Killing Arena 4), various impressive console-game-style conversions and a variety of time sucking Minigames (The Zombie Wars). Ok, you have to give credit to the guys who made this stuff, but it doesn’t seem like things have progressed at all on the ‘wow factor’.


Back when I first started seeing Flash the best stuff was animations and games - often simple graphics and animations, but they trumped anything that businesses and promotional websites had. 5 years on and the commercial world of Flash is on the cutting edge - not quite developing - but certainly making use of the latest and greatest visual effects, things like Papervision3D.  The stuff on Newgrounds? That’s like, so 2003.

Does this mean Flash games are going out of fashion?  Unlikely - It’s probably just my age (and by that I mean I’m no longer surfing the internet while I’m bored in lectures). But it would seem that the community-driven Flash game development has progressed at a much slower rate than the commerical games - but then maybe that’s just because people have different motivations!

(Commercial) Flash game example;

Or “You’ve read this much so I might as well provide some sort of link to backup my musings…”

This is RoboBrawl. It’s like BBC tv series Robot Wars, but it’s been produced to promote the intel Xeon processors, as the not-to-subtle advertising points out. The slick design is the main attraction for this site - a lot of work has gone into both the game programming and the design, that much is obvious - but without the appealing mid-battle interface I don’t think it would work. The visuals are what carries the site, because the ‘game’ itself isn’t quite so visually powerful once you get into it.  Regardless, it’s a good place to while away several minutes and absorb some marketing messages!

And of course, we mustn’t forget the Red Bull Flugtag.