Web Weeklyskimask

Perhaps, you have heard of the Flashpoint Project (or have seen the button near the bottom of my page). The Flashpoint Project is one of the most ambitious archiving projects that I have ever seen, and is very much its own ecosystem. Thousands upon thousands of Flash games, animations, and web elements have been generously archived forever in the Flashpoint database. This database is free to use, easy to contribute to, and essential for preserving the impact that Flash had on so many users. Dri0m currently leads this massive undertaking, but the Flash Project has never been just one person. Contributors, testers and developers from across the globe congregate on the Flashpoint Archive Discord server every day to work diligently and passionately.

Thank you, Dri0m, for passing around these questions to your hunters, testers, and curators. As an aside, I was not able to get in touch with BlueMaxima, but the admiration for his work is certainly reflected by those below.  

 Connecting multiple Users . . . .

                                                                                                                          Badgermein skimask

1. "Not so long ago, there was sincere panic around Flash being retired. I'm sure you remember those times. Was Flashpoint created because of that, or has this project been a long time coming?"

2. "Were you surprised to find so many people that were passionate about preserving Flash media, or the other programs included in the project?"

3. "What are some challenges and/or hard limits to the Flashpoint project? Or, what are some of the trickier aspects of archiving these programs?"

4. "What are you looking forward to in the future in regards to the Flashpoint Archive?"

5. "What part of the Flashpoint Archive are you and your team most proud of, or worked the hardest on?"

6. "Which browser-based game is your favorite?"

  Dri0m (Manager)   
"I'm Dri0m, I joined the project about 5 years ago. I currently manage the Flashpoint server infrastructure and take care of this project as a whole being preserved. I used to do a lot of webscraping and archiving before the death of flash websites."

"I'll answer you the questions with help from our staff to give you proper and accurate answers."

6. "For me, it's totally Hoshi Saga."


  HyperSamusterArts (Curator)
1/2. "I wasn't really surprised actually, considering Flash was gonna shut down, I was expecting someone to find a way to keep Flash games after 2020, till I saw about Flashpoint, and then went into it."

3. "For me it would be certain stuff that you can curate that is NOT Flash, I had field days learning how to curate Shockwave, and I haven't tried with other platforms because these aren't my cup of tea, or are platforms that already have their content found/unsure if more exist."

4. "More useful features, and ofc, games and animations."

5. "I am a curator, I am not that active much but I always find rare stuff from several sites to add it to Flashpoint."

6. "Not sure, I would say a LOT since I enjoyed them in the past, same goes for other platforms outside Flash."

Aside from Flash, there are many other programs archived,
both for games and animation.

  AL_2713 (Tester, Curator)  

"I'm not someone who's active many places online, but I grew up with a lot of the games on flashpoint, as well as computers and the early internet. I've been a contributor since around mid 2020 and I've been working on it in my free time as a hobby! I've always been interested in technology and computer software, and I feel this project help ignite that passion even more."

1. "I'm not involved in the creation of Flashpoint, but I do feel it was created, or at least had a massive affect on the projects creation. Flash's retirement did at the very least have a massive impact, and made preservation efforts be taken more seriously. Especially considering there were very few efforts to preserve these web games before the announcement, and in general archival groups are taken more seriously once content is announced to be going away sooner than later."

2. "I'm not really surprised. These web games were incredibly popular and served as close memories to those who played them, especially to larger web communities like Newgrounds and Kongregate. The idea that these games would become unplayable, or just gone forever, I think ignited the sense to preserve them."

3. " Simply getting some of these older programs to work on modern hardware can be very tricky. Especially considering some games require specific versions of the program to even run, or run into technical difficulties being run in an unintended environment. A lot of these challenges were overcome by some incredibly smart and talented members, i.e members with the Mechanic role."

4. "In general, growth and improvement to the archive. With how massive the internet is there will always be more websites and games to backup, and it's exciting to see the archive grow! Even more improvements to our metadata and more obscure plugins would also be great to see in the future. There are also so many games out there that are just lost. Games that have very little documentation or files available because projects like this weren't around back then. But through efforts like web cache dumping or hunting down obscure websites or sub-domains makes it possible to recover these games. It's always exciting to see advancements in finding these obscure titles!"

5. "It's easy to be very proud of the archive itself. Entries have been added nearly every day for over 5 years by over a hundred members, and it's still growing. Especially when some entries take hours to get working properly, or are just a massive effort to find and recover the files. I'm also just very proud of the community I’m in. Seeing so many people passionate and hard working to preserve these games is beautiful to see."

6. "So many to choose from, but Catch the Candy is always fun! There are dozens of other games I love including games from the Nickelodeon site, and Shockwave.com to name a few."


  Sneaky Zucchini (Curator)   

"I am just another user nostalgic of the times of the old web. Neocities, flash games, webrings, online forums..and so on. Back to a time when the entire internet wasn't owned by 3 companies, and it was a wild west where you could discover all kinds of things. Back when everyone had their own home page instead of just social media."

1. "I am not the creator of flashpoint so i cant speak on this, but i believe that Its mostly because of that panic. Nothing lasts forever, but i suppose it was hard to grasp just how much content was about to be lost to time. It was Geocities all over again."

2. "Not really. I know that passionate people can be found around the web, and who all believe in the cause of preservation and archiving. I see it every day, from those who want to preserve the old web of the 1980s to old tv show archivists. I was just more surprised there was THIS organized of an archival project going, with this many games."

3. "I cannot really answer on the technical details of this question, but one particular challenge i think was a big and detrimental one was the ethics behind some of the content found on this project. The project is an archival project first and foremost. It aims to archive EVERYTHING from the era. This includes content that goes against a lot of peoples moral standpoints. This poses an ethical philosophical dilemma. The job of FP is to archive. It does not play gatekeeper to what content is allowed to be archived and not. This is caused a lot of divide in the community, and risked the integrity of the project.

Another challenge would be to make this great tool work properly on other platforms, specifically the mac platform. Right now, mac os users will have to make do with half the content. "

4. I am mostly looking forward to seeing it be recgonized as the true staple of archiving that it is, in line with archive.org. I feel it truly deserves it, as the team behind this gigantic task has shown true professionalism and skill, all driven by pure passion. I hope to see FP get all the funding it deserves to keep itself stable.

5. "I am not part of the dev team, but i have to applaud just how sophisticated this piece of software is. Its absolutely amazes me how well put together it is, and how well built it is to support all kinds of obscure platforms, some i never even heard of before. I am a curator, and i have to say i'm so proud of seeing just how many people are out there listening and learning and offering a helping hand to make sure every single piece of media is not forgotten to time.

"I also want to say that i am proud of myself for being able to learn as much as i have when it comes to curating and archiving internet content. Trough this project and its dedicated staff, i was able to learn the skills to make what i thought was long lost games playable again. I am proud to have played a small part in archival of some of the greatest era of the internet."

6. "I cant pick, there's too many games i played when i was a kid. But i will have to say a lot of the games i played on Norwegian gaming sites, back when my grandmother was still alive. Games from SOL barn og ung, 123Spill.no and cartoon netwrok's websites filled my time with joy."

An archive of this size leaves you wondering where to start.
For your convenience, there are multiple expertly-curated lists for you to peruse.

  Choror (妹 Appreciator) (Hunter, Curator)  

"I'm just an average internet appreciator whose introduction to gaming was flash game sites. Some of these were so good (more fun/hour than latest AAA titles) they stayed with me for years to come, which in turn had let me found about related archival efforts."

 1. "Flashpoint has been around since much earlier. When i have started archiving games as part of it, it was still whole lot of time before the day Flash got retired, but the project was going strong already - thousands of games made using several technologies, not only flash games were being archive, among them 99.99% of popular titles. It's the complete opposite of sudden rush to protect our collective childhood, we had enough time to methodically comb the internet (and cache of computers people played lost games on) to archive the games."

2. "Knowing how many people remember them fondly, it's not surprising so many were interested in doing something to preserve its legacy. What is surprising though is the sheer ability of technical people devoting their spare time towards the project. Difficulties related to making Flashpoint work, especially now when it supports many more plugins than just popular ones like flash or shockwave just aren't something that can be solved by just throwing people on them."

3. "The ultimate limit we have to deal with is that things of which there's no copy (known of) just can't be archived no matter what. It doesn't matter that we can't get some technology to work correctly today - there's always a chance someone develops a way to go around it. However, if there's no files at all, no amount of expertise and insight can help. That's why the trickiest and most important aspect of archival work is learning how to look for files we're trying to recover. From relatively simple things like searching the Wayback Machine for missing files, through less obvious like looking on obscure sites (or ones in languages you don't know, like Chinese 4399 in my case) and even creating a tool which searches internet browser cache for known lost game files, there's plenty of ways to recover hard to get games, each of which require some time to figure out."

4. "Honestly, simply it being there for foreseeable future. As long as an active community is there, no matter what difficulties might we meet in future, through our shared effort they will be overcame. If i were to say something more concrete, keeping on searching for these games thought lost to time - you'll never know if someone who has downloaded them years ago is going to pay our server a visit tomorrow and share the holy grail of flash games (We had this kind of thing happen with some old Minecraft versions for example, as well as with the lost part of MOTAS)."

5. "The meticulous tagging system developed after a rework is really a great thing from player's point of view. Maybe it's not anything flashy like finding a game people were missing after it got removed from the site it used to be on, but it's the day-to-day, playthrough-to-playthrough experience that makes a game archival project attractive for wider public."

6. "Stick RPG series by XGen Studios i guess. It has everything - life simulation, action, numbers going up, rpg elements, open world, you name it."

  Flashfire42 (Hunter, Curator)

"I am Flashfire42 on the internet and don't feel my IRL name is needed however it shan't be difficult to find."

1. "I feel that Flash and other web plugins have long been a part of the net and it just takes one person to get the ball rolling to get a preservation project underway."

2. "Having been around since the fairly early days being introduced to the project about 4 months into the discord server being created I wasn't surprised that there would be some push to get it archived. And I was one of the mad individuals digging up plugins from the depth of the net."

3. "The real challenges was getting a lot of it working in the first place. If memory serves in the earliest days we didn't really have any way around site locks for example, The Technology Flashpoint uses is nothing short of incredible. with many of the plugins being 32 bit it is quite a chore at times keeping them working on a modern OS."

4. "I am looking forward to the continual mining of the FlashFreeze archive, Flash may be functionally dead on a standard internet browser with slights slowly fading away still but our archivists were hard at work scraping thousands upon thousands of sites with old plugins so even when the search engine indexes run dry we will still have stuff to curate."

5. "It is hard to really pin down 1 specific thing, Personally I am quite proud of our Shiva3D collection as I dug through the old shiva forums looking for links to sites to curate content but its a real labor of love from all the members of the team."

6. "Honestly who can really choose just one. With literally Millions of options I don't think I will ever be happy with the decision I make at any given moment. But if I dust off the Nostalgia goggles and put them on I would say Bash The Computer or Bloons Tower Defense 3 were the first 2 games to appear in my head, Though I will pour one out for my dead MMOs like Club Penguin as well."

Download the archive at Flashpointarchive.org. It's free!
(Or look at the games you're missing out on, on TikTok, if you're into that sorta thing).

  Renegát (Curator)

"I used to play as a kid on my country's largest flashgame hubsite, so just the usual origin story for the appreciation of the genre, like many others here. I found out about this server after learning about the demise of flash, and when I looked for games that werent on the launcher, they told me that you can curate yourself without much coding knowledge. I am here since, uploading batches from time to time."

1. "I am not fully aware of the early days, but the end of those archaic outdated plugins were always hanging on like Damocles' sword. But just like emulators for old consoles, it was inevitable that some preservation would pop up sooner or later."

2. "I weren't really surprised about people being passionate about the medium in general, but I found it surprising how friendly and welcoming the whole bunch is. With tech projects like this you usually expect the weird introverted asocial tech geniuses to cause an atmosphere unfriendly for the ones not in the deep know-how, but nope, here you will find your place regardless of levels of tech literacy."

3. "Time isn't on our side, more and more sites will disappear, with more and more obscure games to be gone forever (most of the big sites still operating usually have the same top 1000 best-of games). On the tech-side, although the programmers did a damn good job to make a casual-friendly environment both for curators and users, the process of saving and playing some old or unusual engined games will always be hard (especially multi-assets, those are hotpots for data lost forever). And I don't wanna go into the servers, since it's not my resort, but I know that it's expensive to provide a good service."

4. "New games as always, I also look forward to the new features constantly cooking up (and the addition of new obscure platforms, they are an interesting historical remain of the old internet). I also hope the project gets more widespread recognition, it still flies under the radar of many people."

5. "What I am most proud of are the games that were hard to curate, find or fix, but at the end I somehow managed to do that (the first two at least, I got a ton of help with the fixing part, thank you "hacker" department). Sadly there were also ones that were only partial, reminding you that you weren't fast enough."

6. "I cannot pick a favorite, I have many favorites of many genres, but what is recently in my mind is the Strike Force Heroes series, they will soon finally get a Steam remaster they deserve. And the song "Glorious Morning" from Age of War will always make me emotional."

  prostagma (Curator, Tester, Moderator)

1. "While Flashpoint was a direct response to Flash's EOL, there were always small pockets of people doing a bit of its purpose for different reasons, from server recreations to torrents with an author's Flash content. BlueMaxima's ace was in uniting most of these efforts and raising awareness for the cause."

2. "As a Homestuck fan, I got accustomed to internet users who archived related content because a lot of official/fan stuff could and did suddenly go poof. Flashpoint just came to me as another place to save a specific kind of media, and you could find other examples if you peeked hard enough like for Android apps or Pokémon beta content.

"I was surprised on the amount of Escape the Room games we had and that most was archived by one person, though."

3. "We had a time constrain nearing Flash's End of Life, as websites were shutting down left and right without all of its files in Wayback. Currently server scripting is the hardest limitation, mainly to rewrite them from scratch, which is why we don't usually save games that require one."

4. "For enough Flash content archived from live sources that it becomes more viable to look into our FlashFreeze archive, which is where files are stored so someone else can look at them in the indefinite future. But also, the option to "seed" parts of the archive instead of the whole project."

5. "There were many QOL changes for the launcher and how we save games in general during the project. But I want to point at our submission system that replaced sending games and most edits through Discord to this website, and decentralized BlueMaxima's role to the rest of the staff."

6. "Snailiad, nostalgia factor combined with one of Newground's best Flash titles."