The stereotyping of Flash games.

Overheard this on a bus ride home:
Student A: Phew, finally done with the tests.
 
Student B: I know, right? Geez…
 
Student A: So, what are you gonna do these few days?
 
Student B: Oh hey, I’ve been playing this game called….
 
Student C: What? That’s lame. You should totally play (Insert your own mainstream title.)

I guess you can pretty much guess that Student C is what I’d like to call your local WCG/MLG player. I don’t think its wrong for the to spend so much of their time on their hobby; be it DotA2, Diabo 3 or SC2. But they are always so narrow minded when it comes to gaming. They are the shining knights of their chosen steed, refusing to accept the time-worthiness of any non-AAA games. I’ve always silently hated them for their ignorant standpoint and sometimes wish for the servers to crash and watch them squirm and hiss.

Haha, but back to topic. I wish we can stop looking down on Flash games.

Misconception 1: Flash games cannot have good graphics.
Perhaps most flash games really don’t look to be the notch of video gaming, most of the graphics mirror those in the 90s or so. The main problem here is that previously Flash is highly optimized for 2D animation, not so much for 3D. This lackluster in visual experience has deterred gamers from it, but perhaps it might not hold for long. Then again, please do not play games only for its graphics. Its just… sad.

Misconception2: It’s a weak and cheap language.

Curiously, video game audiences have increasingly hungered for a more cinematic experience over the years. While the industrial giants have been able to keep up with the wants, Flash is almost seemingly left out. To be honest, C++ is actually cheaper than Flash. To develop a game using Flash you need to purchase the software for hundreds of dollars. The reason a developer would choose to use Flash is that its really easy to learn compared to C and its variants. Another reason would be its cross-platform compatibility. It can be played on almost every single  OS.

Misconception 3: It’s not done by professionals, it can’t be worth my time.

You’re right, there are not many professional, established flash game companies out there. Most of these games rely on delivering free game content and micro-transactions. This marketing model is thought to be the bane of the industry by providing cheap thrills and attempting to suck a customer’s wallet dry. I don’t like them too, but there exists a select few that brought hours of entertainment to me whenever I was home alone. However rare it might be, there are indeed some flash games I really enjoyed. Sure, I love my Portal, Trine, Bastion and Bioshock, but there’s a special place in my heart reserved for these little goodies that escaped the limelight. Whatever justifies your time spent on those hyped up games… whether it was engaging because it was fun or because of an extremely good narrative, can undoubtedly be found in flash games too.

In some cases, its a really good opportunity for developers to get their ideas out easily, especially when they are not able to market the games themselves. Games to check out:

Shift
Gemcraft

The company of myself
I saw her standing there
Everyday the same dream
Loved
Love

And I few more I couldn’t think of currently… got anything to share? 😉

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