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Kongregate closed to new games, shutting down forums and chat (kongregate.com)
302 points by teej on July 1, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 226 comments

People said Flash wouldn't be missed. People said WebGL and canvas would bring us a much better experience. It's been nearly a decade since Steve Jobs declared war on Flash.

Where has the entire browser gaming ecosystem gone to? Kongregate had some of the most original games I've ever played. Kongregate shutting down doesn't just sadden me, it infuriates me: all vendors had to do was to sandbox Flash (which Chrome did!) and not autoplay it. Instead everyone followed the lead of an arrogant jerk who obviously knew everything better than everyone.

Communities like Kongregate, Armorgames, Newgrounds will never exist again. There will never be another War of the Web.

You're really barking up the wrong tree here.

What this news really means is that how people are using the web is changing. When I was younger, browser games were the only real way to play games without spending money or having my parents buy me a Gameboy (which they never did). I could get on Newgrounds from any PC at school, it was a big part of my life.

These days, every one of Kongregate's users has a smartphone with free games more accessible and convenient than the old browser gaming model.

I run an internet writing forum that has also suffered over the years despite being a relatively massive forum in its hey day. What changed? I think these are just the affects of the smartphone era. And the centralization of social media, in my case.

People just don't go to Kongregate anymore, the hey day is over. And it's not because of Flash/HTML5 -- it's not like users in droves are even thinking about that. Kongregate has to somehow compete with kids playing Fortnite on their iPhone before class for free. Times are changing.

> These days, every one of Kongregate's users has a smartphone with free games more accessible and convenient than the old browser gaming model.

The ease of developing, distributing, and playing Flash games is completely unmatched by phone games. I could open a dozen tabs of games in the browser in seconds. How do I do that on a phone? Then there is the playability of games. Gameplay involving a small touchscreen is very different than a keyboard and mouse. As a former Flash developer, I could produce a Flash game over a long weekend, release it to hundreds of websites shortly after, and would go on to get 100,000 plays. I've yet to be shown how I can do that on iOS or Android.

> The ease of developing, distributing, and playing Flash games is completely unmatched by phone games

Really? Isn't it more down to skillset? I tried to build some Flash games back in the day and really couldn't Nowadays, I can whip up an HTML5/Android PoC with Godot in a day.

I have to agree with the OP - it seems like less about the war on Flash and more about changing casual gamer behaviour. The reason those 100,000 players found it was due to platform discovery, rather than technology itself. If the users aren't looking for the games in the same way they used to, that's the bigger story.

Why can't you do that on Canvas or WebGL today? Honest question. CreateJS is basically all of the tools that were available in Flash, including Tweening, Sounds, preloading assets, and a library for manipulating the canvas. You can even use Adobe Animate and export directly to CreateJS.

What are we missing from the Flash days? The GUI? Is the GUI the main thing that devs are missing to provide these experiences in HTML5? Because the tech is definitely there.

See: https://www.createjs.com/ And an example indie game built in CreateJS: https://donnyfromgordoncity.itch.io/gordon-city

> What are we missing from the Flash days? The GUI?

This isn't so much a problem for developers but the true beauty of Flash was kids went on Kongregate, Newgrounds etc watched Flash animations and played Flash games then got interested in learning how to make them themselves.

They (lets be honest here) the pirated Flash and even a 12 year old would be able to open that interface and make a little animation in it. Now here's the real magic because the second you need to do anything more advanced like pause your animation or loop it you actually need to write a little bit of code.

The real thing we lost with Flash wasn't the technology because canvas and webgl are absolutely superior now, it was the onramp to shipping games and animation content from young creators and the clear path to doing so.

Make a little game, export a SWF, share it with your friends, upload it to a website. You can't even upload something to an app store without having a credit card, paying $99 in some cases and entering legal contracts.

That is a fair question! The tech, as you put it, is definitely fundamentally there today.

I think a big issue is indeed the missing GUI, and the sense of solidity it provided. Flash Pro likely empowered its users more than most people think— its familiar tools lowered the barrier to entry and helped folks collaborate. Its animation paradigm was fantastic, and offered a large degree of control. Most modern offerings built on web tech are much more... fiddly. And none of them have a Newgrounds or Kongregate built around them.

Also! Remember when Flash added support for mobile devices (and later HTML5), and we suddenly had to worry about texture atlases, and had to go through our scene graphs, specifying which graphics' motions could be migrated to "cacheAsBitmapMatrix"? And how all our art suddenly looked a bit JPEGgier?

That was kind of a watershed moment. All us Flash creators suddenly realized that the software renderer that served us so well had no equivalent we could pivot to in 2009, and all available options led to clear visual degradation. We set the bar so low, few of us ever bothered to try, and while the tech has improved significantly in the intervening decade, no toolmaker has tried to exceed those expectations. (three.js is an exception, because prior to its debut the barrier for entry for 3D web content was pretty high.)

While I'm rambling about the tech side of things, I think one additional source of friction nowadays is, if I make a game in CreateJS and TypeScript, and you make a game in Phaser and vanilla JS, and my friend makes a game in OpenFL and Haxe, well, we can't exactly collaborate.

Who cares? Flash veterans, I'm willing to bet! Consider the "tween wars" of the early 2000s. Every Flash dev I knew debated the merits of all those 3rd-party AS3 animation libraries. We didn't want twenty (and there WERE twenty), we wanted one! The same folks see Flash's replacements as another bunch of frameworks to have to have long boring conversations about— except now, they're entrusted with the full burden of representing and rendering our interactive scene graphs.

There's also something to be said about fostering creator-focused communities around these technologies, but I'm out of breath.

I feel that Flash brought about a sort of renaissance period for games, which is now concluding.

I've been away from the flash game business for awhile but was missing maybe 5 years ago (and may still be missing) is a single package file containing everything that can be distributed for an HTML5 game. Like an SWF.

> single package file containing everything that can be distributed for an HTML5 game. Like an SWF.

That's not necessarily an unqualified advantage. I'll say this for HTML5 and having multiple files: you can easily choose what to load and when, which means if you're smart you can load your game very quickly by prioritising only the most essential assets and degrading gracefully until the rest of loaded in the background. This means that people don't have to wait to start playing.

It is more work to do this, although not as much as you might imagine (particularly for sounds and music), but I'd say worth it.

I don't really know Flash - had very limited exposure to it about 17 or 18 years ago - so it's entirely possible similar mechanisms might have existed that I just don't know about.

You can also easily package up your game into a single file for deployment on mobile devices using something like Cordova, which basically just zips everything up.

Flash worked like this natively.

> Why can't you do that on Canvas or WebGL today?

You can, but you don't get to start with a fancy IDE designed towards animation and event-based interaction.

True, but the flash game era peaked ~15 years after the internet on desktops became normalized.

IIRC it wasn't until about 2010 that app stores started, and now ten years later we're just starting to get standard languages/rameworks running natively across iOS and Android.

1. Create an iframe-able HTML5 game and submit it to portals.

2. Add SPA functionality.

>a smartphone with free games

"games" with constant ads and horrible pay-to-win mechanics. Even Nintendo can't release an honest game for mobile - I was excited by the mobile Dr. Mario until it turned out to be the same horseshit as the rest of the ecosystem, needing paid tokens to be allowed to play more levels in a day and all that. Who wants to make Angry Birds anymore when it's more profitable to trap people with bait and switch gacha games stuffed full of ads? A good mobile game is extremely rare.

Not gonna change unless the market changes, if smart phone gamers were willing to spend $20-$60 on games then you would get the quality of games you get on the Switch and no ads, and people buy it, I say $60 because Animal Crossing was that much and people bought it.

But it seems they would rather just have it free and have it subsidized by ads and exploiting whales.

I doubt it. I think if people paid that much we'd still have the same types of games, but they'd simply cost more. PC games are becoming more like mobile games, not the other way around.

flash games, especially later ones, had this too.

Sure, there're those games.

Then there's Fortnight on the smartphone.

Kongregate can't just compete with the crappy adware games and call it a day. It also has to compete with games like Fortnight. Browser games are almost completely absent from both the multiplayer and AAA space. That is very hard to compete with.

Had to google gacha, nice that there is a catchy word for this awful mechanic

That's why I pirate

Sounds like the chicken and the egg. Game makers use in-game micro transactions because people just steal the game/ don't want to pay for a game, and you say you steal the game because they use micro transactions. More likely, studios produces shitty games because people still support them and it's an easy model, and people steal games because they don't want to pay for stuff.

Better solution is to support indie devs that produce good games and stop supporting/stealing/playing the shitty studio games.

> in-game micro transactions

Those are used in full price games. Its because they extract much greater amounts of money form player base. So that is weak argument for all those starving game-makers.

Sure some smaller ones are hurting from the piracy, but people who pirate are usually ones who don't have money to buy games in a first place.

When i was young I pirated games as we were poor. Now I don't pirate because its more convenient for me to just buy things I like.

> These days, every one of Kongregate's users has a smartphone with free games more accessible and convenient than the old browser gaming model.

I agree with azhenley; this is a ludicrous claim. Flash games used the input methods of the computer they ran on. Mobile games are limited to what you can do if the player's only input device is one fat finger. They are neither more accessible nor more convenient.

I fully expect the next argument in this line of thinking to be about the usability of Vim over Emacs.

Meaning its showing the age of the person that posted it. My daughter wouldn't praise the usability of a mouse and keyboard, but instead if she could download it in the app store while walking around the neighborhood with friends.

Additionally voice and camera are input devices on phones and generally much better than those on the average PC.

When your daughter needs to write an essay does she do it on a phone? Probably not. The usability of mouse and keyboard are important for games, because it affects the types of games you can have. Notice how a lot of phone games essentially play themselves. You only have to press "go do the next thing". That's very different from having to navigate the game environment itself.

Voice and camera aren't really usable input mechanisms for most people. Camera will kill your battery life and voice recognition won't understand most people (English is not their first language).

what about "it just runs in the browser"?

I don't want to install crap on my phone every time I want to check out a game, while I used to play a new one on kongregate every single day and not worry at all.

That is likely a concern not shared by most teenagers. Installing 5 new apps a day to try them out is a complete non-issue for most people.

It seems very strange to me that we've had this radical flip in the last twenty years where kids don't give a damn about technology. When I was in high school we drooled over the latest slick laptop, or who brought a brand new massive flash drive to class, or who had the fastest internet connection at home. Not anymore. Tech has gotten so convenient now nobody has a clue when the first thing goes wrong with it. There was recently a to-do regarding a bunch of kids who failed a standardized test because the website took uploads in jpeg, png, or pdf and they couldn't figure out why submitting webp images didn't work.

Yes, but these things happen. In the 1950s-1970s many young people (at least in America) were obsessed with cars and as soon as they could afford it, they got a car and spent huge amounts of time improving them, rebuilding their engines, etc. When I was a teenager in the 1980s, cars weren't really things to get excited about, but rack-based stereo systems were. We spent hours reading about which turntable, speakers, and amplifier to buy and were constantly in the process of improving their system. By the late 1990s, that had become passe and people either had non-modular stereos or just listened to music on their Walkman (and then iPod, then phone) and didn't have a stereo system at all.

And before cars, model trains were popular amongst young males and even earlier (I think?), postage stamps. What's next?

I think that’s disappointing because there is just so much more value to technology than those things listed previously. For a teenager today, to take it for granted seems disingenuous.

>where kids don't give a damn about technology.

Not really that weird. First there wasn't that many kids into technology in the first place, and those kids that were back into it then are on hackernews today. The kids that were not into it are the ones that I'm charging an hourly rate to fix their technology.

Also, technology is no longer 'that' interesting or different. There was a lot of wizardry in getting technology to actually work back in the day. And if you got it to work there tended to be praise involved. either from yourself "I did a good job and got this broken thing to work" or external praise "Wow, I can't believe you got this video call to work, you're a genius". This was a big push for me to become who I am now, an affirmation in my life.

The issue with webp not working is a good example. Back then it was common for an interface to break with no good errors or reason. These days we'd blame the programmer for not providing a useful message like "Image format invalid, please upload a jpg file". Also, there is so much technology that you can spend/waste all your time trying to fix an ocean of problems that you'll never reach the bottom of.

What kind of kids would be tech literate enough to use webp while at the same time not literate enough to know how to convert them to jpeg/png? Last time I checked webp isn't really widespread among laymen audience.

It wasn't webp it was HEIF which is the default image format of iPads/iPhones and the image format is almost completely invisible to the user on iOS.

I guess the developer for that standardized test website didn’t see that one coming... a bunch of teenagers submitting their work using iPhones

> My daughter wouldn't praise the usability of a mouse and keyboard, but instead if she could download it in the app store while walking around the neighborhood with friends.

One of these is an issue of what you can do in the game. The other is an issue of where you can play the game.

One fat finger? I think you haven't seen how nimble kids can play Fortnite on an iPhone (its a shooter that also involves a building mechanic which means the controls are fairly complex)...

Yes, and the game has a lot of aim assist when you play on mobile. The game does the core gameplay mechanic of the entire genre for you.

I think now that we’re old, a lot of these games that require seemingly contorted, complex nimble movements are too impossible to achieve. To someone who’s 15 and hypnotized by what’s happening onscreen, not yet so impossible.

I miss forums. Not reddit, but things like vBulletin. It felt like a community of people you would get to know instead of a faceless mass.

They still exist. Find a small community and join it.

I’m on a forum of about 100 people who chat about crossover fanfiction, with a good share of us writing our own fics. And other random topics too, of course. It’s fun, self-hosted, and no news feed.

Maybe it can still exist because of the high proportion content creators, making the community feel like a community.

Plenty are still around but they’re extremely hard to monetize and have been mostly replaced by social media.

In this case, I imagine "monetize" actually means "at least earn some money so the people hosting it don't have to cover all the costs from their own pocket"...

Yes, and that's what led to most of them being sold pretty quickly as costs piled up. Internet Brands and VerticalScope were 2 of the major companies that bought out and consolidated a lot of them.

They're still around but the space has changed a lot and the forum software is outdated too. It's much cheaper to run servers now but most people have moved on to social or chat groups.

The costs of running a forum of 100-1000 people (like many of the forums you might remember) are basically $5 a month and a bunch of time.

100-1000 concurrent users? I'd round that up to at least $100/mo if you know what you're doing.

$5/mo is how Akismet spam detection costs.

No, people who check in and post a couple times a day or so. The forums I loved (and some I still love, such as various fan forums the rollercoaster community runs), at least, weren't places where there was something new to consume every refresh where you'd sit on the site all day and refresh every 5 minutes - that... would've been extremely expensive on dial-up internet, for a start. You checked in with the community ever so often, and if there were people you got along with really well you'd add them on a messenger application! Unlike reddit, if you didn't get a response within 10 minutes, it didn't mean your post would sink into obscurity... probably everybody on the forum would at least see the title by the weekend.

You don't need to be paying for spam detection on a small community forum that is being actively moderated. Set up the software to prevent newbies from making new threads without moderator approval, use a DNSBL, have spam reports from anyone who's been around longer than a week automatically hide posts, remove said privilege from people who abuse it. I've never had a serious spam problem on a small forum I was actively moderating. Same with mailing lists. Also, if you do feel like you need spam detection, Akismet is available for free if your forum, like many, is non-commercial.

Yes! The faceless mass is caused because the "community" has gotten way too large. If you want a better experience, you need to build your own community based on your interests and keep it from getting too large and unmanageable.

Maybe this is an unavoidable byproduct of having everybody on the web... I started using it around 2005, I can’t imagine how people who started with homepages and newsgroups must feel.

Ornery and irritable - not really that technology moved on, but mostly for what could have been but wasn't.

Additionally, bemusement - watching people go crazy over Reddit and Slack, when all I can see is glitzy, more newbie-friendly, centralized incarnations of Usenet and IRC.

Don't even get me started with Facebook (though, I hear FB isn't even popular with today's kids - rather, it's that thing old people use.)

Yeah but also not so small that it dies off from non-use. Tricky balance to keep there.

I'm part of a few forums, all which serve a niche. And on the smallest of them the community of people is real (though it's often in a us-vs-them way).

I think forums still exist but are just different, look at Discord.

One of the reasons I like Metafilter is the community.

forums.darknedgy.net needs more people!

> These days, every one of Kongregate's users has a smartphone with free games more accessible and convenient than the old browser gaming model.

No they don't. There are tons of young children who play these games and don't have phones.

Is that where we are heading now? That even 6 year olds get phones?

They get tablets.

Heading? We’re already there, sorry to break it to you. Last time I went to the zoo, there were practically toddlers taking photos with better phones than I’d ever owned.

> Is that where we are heading now? That even 6 year olds get phones?

Isn’t a phone just another computer? I mean, how is it worse?

I don't know what phone you have, but I wouldn't know where to begin to learn programming on my phone. But I started learning programming at 6 years old on a desktop computer.

As did I - on an 8088 that I still have around! But you know, I was drawn to things like that. I read every page of the several hundred thick binder that came with it, and tinkered with everything it described - even the things that weren't really much use. I lamented the lack of a hard drive, so I could try out the drive initialization and head parking commands (why? Who knows! They were there!). MS-Debug was a gold mine where I could play around with this arcane Assembly language. I couldn't build anything significant, and I tended to crash my system a lot, but it sure was fun! I tinkered with everything, really --- mostly electronics, but some mechanical devices as well.

But you know, how many kids are like that? Given that and a tablet... most kids would just take the tablet. I think the ones who are like that, will find their way to it anyway, given half a chance (so exposure is still important).

Maybe there's some sort of middle ground - mobile games/apps that employ the same basic concepts as programming, to act as a gateway?

Or maybe in a decade we'll just have holographic haptic keyboards that are trivially portable...

Ofcourse - that was always the promise of the tech revolution - to become connected from day 1 - and we're getting there. 40 years ago only well-to-do people were connected, 20 years ago it trickled down to teens, nowadays we've reached toddlers.

My oldest is 8 and he plays a TON of browser games (no smartphone yet, doesn't have the password to download stuff on his iPad).

Then it's no wonder he plays a lot of browser games, right?

I mean, yes? That's the point I was making?

I see a lot of other people piling on to also rebut this bit, which is what I was specifically targeting:

> These days, every one of Kongregate's users has a smartphone with free games more accessible and convenient than the old browser gaming model.

But is it a strong rebuttal if it only stands because your kid is in a special situation? Obviously there are exceptions to the rule that everyone moved on to a smartphone, and your kid is one of them, but your example kind of proves the rule - people that don't use smartphones are quite rare (as in they are 8 and don't have a smartphone and don't have the iPad password - not exactly a common situation to find yourself in).

So, had I put an "almost" into "[almost] every one", you would have seen the point I was making and realized that your daughter isn't going to single-handedly keep Kongregate afloat?

Basically everyone responding to me has tried to catch me on a technicality error. Yet notice how these "rebuttals" don't change the reality that Kongregate and NewGrounds are struggling.

For example, a response that actually engages with a point I was making would be to disagree with the reasons why they are dying and why Kongregate pulled the plug on new games and chat.

I'm pointing out that Kongregate has to compete with games like Dota Underlords and Fortnight on portable phones made for portable gaming which are a caliber of game you don't even see in the browser game market.

You'll have to help me understand why you think your daughter not having a smartphone moves the needle on the points being made here.

My son, alone? Nope. But I'm still getting royalty checks, so someone other than 8-12 year olds are playing. The world is a big place, and not everyone has an iPhone. Are fewer people playing than back in 2008? Yes. Is it enough to be viable? No way to know. I would say that Kongregate made some big bets over the last few years that didn't pay off (mobile, publishing, Kartridge). That doesn't make them bad bets, they just didn't work out.

I think it's very likely they could make enough money from their remaining brand and html5 games to pay for a couple of full-time bodies to keep the lights on. The company has changed hands a few times the last few years and the founders have moved on, so I would think it has more to do with the current owners bailing on Kartridge and winding the business down than the pure economics of the site itself.

> I run an internet writing forum that has also suffered over the years despite being a relatively massive forum in its hey day. What changed? I think these are just the affects of the smartphone era.

I wonder what the phpBB of social media/smartphone apps would look like.


As someone who runs a vBulletin forum, seems like Discord is the rage nowadays.

Thing is, Discord is a chatroom, and chat and forums are fundamentally different. Realtime vs. slightly less constant. Forums produce less of a flood. More easily searchable, allowing quote replies (something Slack has Discord doesn't). Forums might be old-school, but I find them eminently more readable than commercialized chatrooms like Discord or Slack. And they allow for more powerful discussions than quasi-BBS like Reddit or Hacker News.

You could theme your phpBB forum, install mods, add lots of fun flourishing touches (like custom ranks), etc. Some forums displayed avatars and post counts, others didn't . All that made every single phpBB forum feel like its own distinct community. I don't see that with Instagram.

Phone games are largely a nightmarish morass of ads-to-progress and pay-to-win.

> People just don't go to Kongregate anymore, the hey day is over.

This is not true. I still play games on Kongregate - a few times a month.

I think he meant to use that phrase in it's popular usage form meaning "most people".

July 2017 - HTML5 games account for more than 50% of all new games uploaded to Kongregate and almost 50% of the revenue. https://blog.kongregate.com/html5-is-here/

50% doesn't mean much when the website itself loses its relevance:


Wow, they all trend the exact same way. End of an era, but sadly missed.

Jesus, thats pretty sad. Rip kongerate you will be missed


Maybe just no one wants the website any more?

Adobe had a decade or more to show that they could develop a secure browser plugin. They couldn't do it, or decided their resources were better spent elsewhere.

If you don't want to maintain a small army of full-time security staff, you can't ship binary code running untrusted data-as-programs on billions of consumer devices. Full stop.

Adobe didn’t want to continue to support Flash. I know this because their office was across the street from Zynga’s and they came over and told us (I was running a team at the time doing experimental HTML5 games). Their plan was to move to Air and they hyped the crap out of it to us.

Much effort was put into Air research and development. As a result, Zynga IPOd with a ton of huge web games in the pipeline with the theory we could cross compile with Air. This was a massive mistake and Supercell and King quickly dominated us while the next few years were spent catching up on mobile gaming.

I can't feel sorry for Zynga.

Sandboxing turned out to be a good answer. I don't know why we don't just implement Flash in WebAssembly and be done with it. It can still be built-in to web browsers.

Hello! Author of the tool here, if anybody has questions I am available on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexpignotti

In fact, it's probably possible to recompile x86 Flash to webassembly and run the real thing...

Flash was absolutely atrocious from a technical standpoint.

It had to go. We had to adapt to better things.

It's not that webgl isn't capable. It's that the market for in browser flash like games has diminished when you can now play AAA games in the browser.

The market has changed. And sadly that doesn't mean every single person doesn't want them anymore. Just that the majority don't.

What was atrocious about Flash? AS3 was a decent language. Better, more open tools were coming along. Insecurity and privacy concerns were addressed by properly sandboxing it. The biggest downside of Flash is that it wasn't an open web technology, but the answer to that shouldn't have been to remove it before an open alternative was established. All in all I don't see what all that fuss was about.

If WebGL and Flash competed on an equal footing the WebGL tools (including Flash-like, newbie-friendly frameworks) would be forced to get better than Flash.

It was great from a development point of view, looking back it completely pushed the bounds of what we thought was possible and pioneered Alma y things which only later finally made it into the browser.

- Strongly typed language (js is still not there) - interestingly Microsoft killed Ecmascript 4 which was AS3, but are now championing typescript) - Canvas api is basically the flash.graphics api - Tweeting libraries - It didn't invent Ajax at all, but wow was it great at the times for dynamic data - 3d in your browser, and it was fast too for computers of its time - 2d / 3d transformations per object - custom font loading - reusable components

There was a lot about flash that was bad also, like compiling it was a chore, flex was a disaster, but it pushed the web forward so for that I am thankful

haxe was a great strongly-typed language that compiled to flash

>but the answer to that shouldn't have been to remove it before an open alternative was established

An open alternative was available - HTML5 games were possible before Chrome started disabling Flash by default. Smartphones and social media really killed the market for online browser games - you really don't seem them anymore other than .io games. For anyone developing games, the return is far greater in the app store vs. online. Ad Revenue, if your name isn't Google/Facebook is a joke. I can't imagine why anyone would develop a browser game today when the App Store exists.

For artistic expression? I know plenty of Flash games that are not for-profit at all. Small interactive toys hosted on personal homepages.

Sure, but that ignores the reason why sites like Newgrounds had the massive library they did, you could get paid to put your content on newgrounds because you got a slice of the ad revenue. Massive games libraries like Newgrounds didn’t exist for solely for artistic expression

Still waiting on a freely available toolkit that allows for easy game creation with animated vector assets.

I'm relieved I'm not the only one who thought AS3 was decent. It had the structure of Java without the absurdities of Java (first-class functions always come to mind immediately).

> Flash was absolutely atrocious from a technical standpoint.

Flash the runtime? Flash the browser plugin? Flash the authoring environment?

Actionscript the language?

Not all of this stuff needed to be dumped. And not all of it has been replaced by something that can measure up to what was lost.

Some of

Your train of thought seems to have fallen into a black hole.

Personal attacks aren't allowed on HN, regardless of someone else's train of thought. If you wouldn't mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and sticking to the rules when posting here, we'd be grateful.

Wait, what? There's no attack there, it was just a funny way of mentioning they seemed to hit post before finishing a sentence - there's even a space after it like they planned on typing more words:

> Some of

Ok, I see now. It read like an insult but I see your point. Sorry!

Judging by the downvotes, I'd guess a lot of people misunderstood you.

Well, you made my day, at least =)

I think the prospects for an 11 year old hacker creating their first game with art, programmed behaviors etc, were much higher on Flash in 2006 than on WebGL in 2020.

I disagree. Godot, Unity and Construct are all examples of tools that are both easier to learn and less costly in 2020 than Flash authoring tools were in 2006. They export HTML5/WebGL games that can be hosted for free in a few clicks on itch.io.

I think the prospects for an 11 year old hacker creating their first game with unity or godot are much higher than they were in 2006 with flash.

Look at the submissions for any itch.io 48 hour game jam and see how many of them are playable on the web, and created by people with very little experience. These prospects have moved to places where they're more accessible, not disappeared.

Here's an example where 1158 web entries were created in a weekend.


For a jam with no prizes.

>Godot, Unity and Construct are all examples of tools that are both easier to learn and less costly in 2020 than Flash authoring tools were in 2006.

I don't think this is true at all. Making something in Flash and publishing it even back then was easier to me than to use Unity or Godot today. The latter two tools are much more powerful, but way more complex.

Also, you linked a game maker's toolkit gamejam. Of course they're going to be playable in the browser. I would consider that to he easier to use (or at least on par) than Flash.

Unity 2020 reminds me very much of the shockwave authoring tools.

Game Makers Toolkit is just the name of the youtube channel that hosts the jam. Not the name of a tool anyone used for it. Most people used one of the three tools I named. You're probably thinking of Constructor, which is the third one I named and is indeed easier than flash was. But I think recent Unity releases have surpassed my memory of the flash tooling I got to use. Tough to say because I don't have the old shockwave stuff around anymore to do a side by side comparison.

In most of the itch.io jams, browser games are strong. People still do downloads too, but the winners are almost always HTML5/WebGL playable. You just get drastically more plays (and therefore more ratings during the contest) if people don't have to install things.

I think a lot of the creativity you used to find on Kongregate really has gathered at itch.io.

Yep, there hasn't been a better and easier time to make your own homemade games than today. People who deeply laments for the Flash era are simply not looking at the right places.

Thank you, I feel like Itch.io should be featured on the main thread on HN. I didn't know about its existence.

you should probably be comparing Flash to the wide variety of engines and tools that can release to HTML5 rather than to raw WebGL

>It had to go. We had to adapt to better things.

I'm sorry, I don't understand why. If someone develops a fun little game in Flash, and then I play it on Kongregate, what harm has been done?

Because flash was a plugin, not locked to that one little game. Once you install it, every website could use it. A lot was done, by browsers, over the years to try and give more control to the end-user, but Adobe didn't have too much interest. They were the dominate player, what other option was there!? Countless security vulnerabilities (https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-53/p...), siphoning personal data back to Adobe, etc. Looking today at what some companies are doing to harvest data, one could say they were just ahead of their time...

It was atrocious but there was much better tooling behind it that made it all make sense.

I just wish flash would have been stripped down into a web only version that was safe and only for things like flash games.

I too miss Flash games, but there are still tons and tons of free indie games on the web. Have you checked out itch.io, for example? There are ~90k free HTML5 games [1].

[1]: https://itch.io/games/html5

Agreed. I've played free flash games on Kongregate that were better quality and more original than many things you'll pay for on Steam. That said, I've been pleased to find Don't Escape and Deep Sleep on Steam and it's nice to give back. Wish more creators would do that.

Kongregate, what a trip. I saw 'Kongregate' in the title and thought 'hey, I have games published there!' As a teenager, using MochiAds to get paid for some flash games was absurd - this was something I was just "good at", and honestly, what really introduced me to software development as both a passion and a career.

In college I made a living from releasing Flash games that I made during the weekends. Nothing has matched the ease of distributing a Flash game. My games would spread to hundreds of websites with video advertisements in them.

Flash is about more than just games, musicals featuring Colin Mochrie, and documentaries about badgers and mushrooms.

Flash has lasting anthropological significance. Some of the kids who grew up tinkering with Flash grew into structural roles and helped build the internet as we know it today. Others sequestered the interests that got kicked off of the mainstream into petri dish crevices of the internet such as the early days of 4chan.

> documentaries about badgers and mushrooms

Documentaries about snakes, as well?

In all seriousness, you make a reasonable argument, but tinkering existed well before the age of Flash. Now, won't something else fill the role?

> Where has the entire browser gaming ecosystem gone to?

https://itch.io/, basically. There's also the Pico-8 gaming ecosystem which has some really great concepts built with the platform's constraints: https://www.lexaloffle.com/pico-8.php

I think Jobs was right about Flash, but you are also right about Flash; the browser game ecosystem was nice.

Several key aspects of Flash, 90s web, Hypercard and other technologies that sustained creative enthusiast ecosystems seem to have been low barrier to entry, easy sharing and discovery, and a lack of obvious alternatives for a large pool of creators and users. Those things are hard to (re)create.

On the other hand, demoscene shows no signs of dying as far as I can tell.

The app economy is huge and locks in creators and users, but it has high barriers to entry as well as poor discovery and very limited sharing locked down by the platform owner.

There seem to be many easy-to-use game engines, as well as sites for web games, but that's part of the problem - there isn't the concentration of interest in one class of games or an easy way to share them across sites.

We now have DOS emulators in the browser[0]. Do that with Flash!

[0] https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos_games

> all vendors had to do was to sandbox Flash

If only browser security was so simple.

It went into mobile apps. The browser part didn't matter to most people. So now we have walled gardens.

As a kid, Kongregate was a safe, inclusive space for high-quality games that I didn't have to fear would mess up a family member's computer. It looks like that much hasn't changed a lot, which is great.

Sites like this played a large part in increasing my bravery and familiarity on the web, on which I now earn my living.

Yeah, Kongregate was also one of my first chatroom experiences as a kid. The community had many friendly people, and now as an adult, it's nice looking back and feeling I had a good environment to learn how to interact on the web. It also inspired me to learn Actionscript to try to make my own Flash games, which eventually lead to me now with a CS degree.

> that I didn't have to fear would mess up a family member's computer

Save for having flash enabled . Hard to believe they've validated all 128,000 games.

To be more realistic, Flash was a much smaller attack surface than downloading and running random executables. I'm guessing that a fairly small number of kids were actually subject to Flash exploits while playing games on Kongregate. Compare that to downloading a screensaver...

I don’t see the difference between running a Flash app with no sand boxing whatsoever and a random executable.

Security is a continuum, not a binary.

Things that native apps can do trivially but that require explicit permission for accessed in Flash (or the web in general): filesystem read/write, listen in on microphones, spy with webcams, etc etc.

If you have a flash zero day (and they totally exist!), you can do those things, but that significantly raises the difficulty, which reduces the number of attacks you'll actually see in the wild. Most attackers aren't the NSA or Mossad, and resources that they have to spend on getting and exploiting zero days are resources they can't spend on other parts of the exploit chain.

The Flash API surface does not include direct host access the way the native application API surface does. That means that while identifying native apps doing "bad things" requires solving the halting problem (and moral philosophy), any ability of Flash applets to do "bad things" is an unambiguous bug. Sure, without a sandbox those bugs are easy to exploit when they exist, but they can nonetheless be fixed. I wouldn't trust Flash from 2005 against NSO Group from 2020, but I'd certainly trust it against the author of the Melissa virus.

Another way of putting this is that there are two senses of "sandboxed" - one is having a limited API surface and one is using software fault isolation techniques on the interpreter/runtime itself. Flash (and JS) always had the former, even though the latter is fairly recent.

Send them some love then (i.e. $) to help them out.

Some of the best games (and game ideas) I've ever seen, bar none, were on Kongregate. Flash (and particularly later versions of ActionScript) were just so good for this kind of programming, and really, even the modern web hasn't caught up yet. Looking forward though to the next iteration which is HTML5 based...

I am going to miss this a lot, too.

I don't think the "next big thing" here will be HTML5, though. Unity is _ridiculously_ easy and has led to large swaths of indie games on Steam - people don't quite understand just how easy it is to make games in Unity these days. You can pass without understanding coding at all to a large extent, and reminds me a _lot_ of working in Flash.

If you don't believe me, look up Sam Hogan on YouTube - or search YouTube for "unity game in 24h". I'm not saying these are all good - but it reminds me a _lot_ of how Flash enabled rapid development of game ideas.

Unity was approachable in its early days. Now it’s a mess , not to say that there aren’t many fantastic games produced using it, but anyone coming to it now is going to find it very hard to get a foothold. Having had a good experience with it when it first started making waves I installed it for a family member recently and found the whole process excruciating, none of the tutorials seem to work out the box and there’s a lot of specialised vocabulary you need to know before you can make use of the tools. It seems like Unity is competing with Unreal now rather than going for the market vacated by Flash.

What is the difference between Unity and Flash? As a runtime environment and editing environment?

Is this an ad? Not only you mention a single engine, you also sell it as super easy.

The reality is that making good games is extremely hard, and has always been.

Unity is not the first game framework, there have been many along the years. Flash being one of them (while not even designed for that originally!).

Some of them are easier, some are more featureful, some have better graphics, some are specialized into a genre etc.

While some genres need almost no code, others are full of pages of tricky game logic. And that is without counting into account the engine code.

Further, Unity had nothing to do with Steam being flooded. The actual reason is that

  1- Valve pivoted into being a distribution platform,
  2- they stopped curating what goes in,
  3- gaming exploded and became way more mainstream (along with streaming, e-sports and programming, all which helped a lot), and
  4- people started making money selling courses, degrees and content on how to make games.

You broke the site guidelines here. Would you mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html? Note that they ask people not to post insinuations about astroturfing or shilling.

Your comment is great without that first bit.

Thanks dang, I apologize then.

Out of curiosity, how do you deal then with veiled ads etc. in this day and age?

By critiquing the content.

I know that's not a perfect answer, but it's pretty much all we have, and the approach does have one major advantage: it doesn't need to care how veiled an ad is, or if it's an ad at all.

Thanks! I agree in a platform like HN (where readers likely have above average critical thinking skills) that can work.

I'm not as optimistic about thinking skills, because manipulation techniques seem to work anyhow. But barring actual evidence of abuse, I think we mostly can only try to get better at countering false or distorted information with more correct information.

what were some of those titles?

Here you go - I had to recover my password and make my profile public to give you this link! You're welcome! https://www.kongregate.com/accounts/medoc/favorites

But seriously, those are just a fraction of the amazingness I've experienced. I don't even think the 2D platformer Portal clone is in that list - that was amazing.

You mean https://www.kongregate.com/games/Dragy/portal-the-flash-vers... ? You do have it on there, and that is a great game.

Damn, I remember some of those games (though I played on newgrounds instead). Yeah, they were really cool.

But, but, but... How will I get my badge of the day ? All those shiny konpanions I collected for years ?

Kongregate is still in my morning ritual, and some new games are still a lot of fun and enjoyable.

I guess they want to concentrate themselves on their new kartridge product (not working on Linux...).

But I find this announcement surprising (closing chat) as they just added a new (and, well, not very useful) feature to it.

Strange. But I hope they’ll have great time in their new adventures.

I'm in the same boat :(

I have every single Shiny Kongpanion there is, have not missed a single one. I have around 70% of the badges on the site.

In a way, no more badges means I might actually get to 100 (yah right :) - except that with flash breaking probably 90% of the games at the end of the year, there's not really a whole lot of time left to do that.

I lost interest once I hit the level cap, level 65. Although they did raise it, there's little reason to chase after imaginary internet points.

The Kongpanions were supposed to be used in games but after a few weeks I had enough Kongpanions to saturate any game that used them. Again, more imaginary internet points.

There are still old places like Stickpage[0] and Newgrounds[1] that are up. They feel like relics from the early web before mass consolidation onto social networks like MySpace took place.

[0]: https://www.stickpage.com/

[1]: https://www.newgrounds.com/

Newgrounds is helping develop Ruffle, a Flash player built in Rust that runs (via WebAssembly, I think, though it technically supports ASM.js via emscripten) in HTML5 browsers: https://github.com/ruffle-rs/ruffle

Good luck. I know of a previous Flash player built in Rust that was killed iirc by Adobe's lawyers after years of development.

Uh, source on that claim? The Flash player specification and even its VM are both open and unencumbered.

Is that why Shumway was abandoned?

I grew up in Newgrounds and helped Dan set up ArmorGames and ran some of their contests. It was a lot of fun and a super creative space.

waves Hi! I made what I'm pretty sure was the first game for ArmorGames, in fact it was still branded GamesOfGondor, since he originally wanted to commission all LOTR-themed games.

Dan was a really nice guy, very friendly and enthusiastic. Wish I had done more with him in retrospect, but the artist I was working with suddenly lost interest while working on the second game, and things kinda fell apart.

The first game is still up on Newgrounds: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/210883

Hey, I remember you! Good times!

I was also involved in the GoG days but I didn't think people remembered that. It changed pretty quickly due to legal reasons.

omg inglor! I remember your name was a meme back when I was in the newgrounds forums learning how to make games. I remember you had a contest(?) or were just helping people learn how to make games only using the drawing API without any hand-drawn assets. thank you!! :)

Literally an ancient relic from my past. Seems very long ago, so wholesome.

This is upsetting to see but not surprising. As a daily Kong user, the website has been going downhill hard over the past decade. Especially over these last 3-5 years, it's been a wasteland of terrible quality games. In it's early days, Kong was a fantastic place to be. Friendly communities and amazing games. Especially the earlier RPGs and MMOs. I had such fun on the older MMOs that have all since been such down. From AA:TG, Odin Quest, Call of Gods, RotMG, and more. Kong was a huge part of my teenage years.

As Flash started to wane, the quality of games dropped sharply. Even then the devs who did take the plunge and learn Unity, the games from that released on Kong rarely lived up to the quality of Flash games. The chat rooms also become more niche and weird. As an example, there were one or two major teen dating public chat rooms that they could never get control of. No matter how many people they banned, they'd just keep making new accounts.

I feel like a friend just died.

I had no idea they were folding. They just rolled out a new currency feature (blocks) 12 days ago.

I've been on the site for so many years. 1936 badges level 73. I'm grieving and in denial this is even happening!

I subscribed NewGrounds because I don't want them to disappear too


Browser based games are better than ever. Wonder where it will go next.

My favorite, which was acquired by Kongregate in Dec 2019:


2D Last Man Standing. Great fun.

> Browser based games are better than ever.

I disagree, browser based games took a very hard hit after Flash was killed and the infrastructure that was built around these games died. Newgrounds might be still limping around, but pretty much everything else, like Kongregate now, has died and nothing replaced it (most of the sponsors that funded these games moved to mobile, but very few of the actual developers did and mobile games are very different than the more raw/brutal flash games you'd find on pretty much every flash gaming site out there).

The tech, from a purely technical and capabilities perspective, is better sure. But the ecosystem and tools are much worse.

I'm worried about all the great flash games that will disappear when no browsers can run flash anymore. I hope preservation efforts are successful..

This is a larger problem with software archival. I suspect a lot of the media created during the fledgeling decades of the "digital" era will simply vanish.

https://bluemaxima.org/flashpoint/ Flashpoint is a pretty great project that's easy to contribute to.

Capabilities are better, thanks to WebGL and modern JavaScript - and no proprietary tooling is needed, but the overall barrier for entry now is much higher: during the heyday of Flash any teenager could put together something silly, adapt, learn, improve, and beyond. You can’t do that anymore because there is no good, well-supported, code-free way of making art and animations without writing any code for HTML5+Canvas.

None of the kids that got started by making silly animations in Flash back in 1999-2007 could do that today: there is no paintbrush tool for the web.

Adobe Animate (previously Flash Professional CC) added an HTML5 export button in mid-2018.

I understand that Flash's HTML5 support requires a Flash document to created from scratch to support HTML5 and it doesn't support the same features as SWF - but I might be wrong.

UPDATE: Yeah, Adobe's document here says that many features aren't supported by their HTML5 export feature: https://helpx.adobe.com/animate/using/creating-publishing-ht...

I spent middle school hacking games on Kongregate to obtain badges and high scores. There were incredible tools available for hacking flash games - debuggers, decompilers, cheat engine like tools. Most of the tools were dedicated to kongregate games and allowed easy interfacing with the website. Years later I tried to remember exactly what tools I had used and what communities I participated in and was never able to find them.

Anyone else do the same and have a better recollection of the tools you used?

Yes! That's how I spent a lot of my spare time too in adolescence. There was a forum called Kongrehack run by a Swedish guy where game-hacks were shared. Initially we used Cheat Engine to modify select memory locations in games, but the game creators came up with better defences to obscure the easy hacks.

Somebody created an entire browser - called something like Niflheim but I can't remember the exact name - designed for the purpose of cheating Kongregate APIs. Finally, a subversive guy found a way to submit directly to the "I have won a badge API" and wrote a program to submit all the badges in batch. This took the fun out of winning achievements in games, but introduced many of us to the world of coding, automation, and hacking. Why grind for hours when you can cheat the scoreboard in seconds?

I also developed a way to cheat on Kongai, which was one of my favourite games on Kongregate. However I got bored and moved onto other things in life shortly after. If you were active in this community around 2008, we probably talked to each other back then.

Yes! I was definitely on Kongrehack and used Niflheim. I never used mass submission of badges, I would break each game individually. Hacking the game became the challenge, and games that nobody else on Kongrehack had managed to cheat at were the best challenge of all

Some more information - I found this YouTube channel which has videos of various hacks of Kongregate games. I don't think I ever saw it as a child but it brings back memories of various things we would do.

Here is a tool called Ragnarok that let's you edit values based on their name. You would open the reversed actionscript and could play with things based on the variable name:


Editing save files was big. The files were in a proprietary format called sol. All of the videos I see on that channel are just "download this save file with a completed game state", but there were tools for editing the save file yourself. Some games introduced obfuscation of data in the save file and the cat and mouse game began.

Oh, here's an example! Apparently the sol editor was a feature of Ragnarok, and maybe the disassembler too:


Here's a video of Niflheim, seems similar to Ragnarok. Maybe Ragnarok replaced it as a better tool?


Other than that it seems most of the cheats on that youtube channel are using cheat engine. While I definitely used that, I don't recall it being part of my go-to arsenal.

Nice find! That brings back memories. Yeah Ragnarok was the replacement for Niflheim, although both were buggy and stopped working altogether at some point.

KongregateHack was really young, impressive that he ran a whole online community aged 14 or 15. Wonder what he's up to now.

Is this the forum? https://konghack.com/

I don't think so, that website looks a lot newer. And I'm pretty sure the original was called KongreHack or KongregateHack.

It feels sort of sad to see this website go. It still reminds me of the kingdom rush games I played a few years ago.

You can get them in mobile for like a dollar each and they are just as good if my memory is anything to go by!

Also available on Steam which is where I first played them.

End of an era. Browser gaming is a shadow of its former glory. Many of the best mobile games started as flash games here. Then Steve Jobs declared war on Flash and made in-app purchase games possible. Now casual games are the pay-to-win nonsense you see on the App Store.

If free markets are truly what is best for consumers, then casual gaming isn’t a free market.

For people looking for alternatives, try https://www.reddit.com/r/WebGames/ , which specifically lists games that can be played within a browser.

The community was great - I still talk to some of the folks from the chat rooms I used to mod. I loved the dev community that sprung up around the site, too, with useful userscripts and assistant apps.

End of an era. Thanks for all the memories, Kongregate.

I kick myself sometimes for not being around when they cut down on chat rooms and I never got reconnect with anyone in Ninja chat.

Jeez I was so young, I’d just log in to kongregate, type “i liek ninjas” because that was how people knew I was at my keyboard, and then spend the whole day playing flash games.

I did this hundreds of times over many years, took a break during college, and when I came back they’d culled down the number of chat rooms.

Guess I’m just replying to vent, and to also say thanks for all the good times, Kongregate.

> Certain ... forums ... will be removed from the site

I no longer contribute to any forums because of stuff like this.

There were various forums I’ve contributed to over the years — sometimes posting thousands of times over 5-10 years. Then the forum is migrated to new software (losing all user accounts or posts), or shutdown for good.

Mozilla did this several times.

Why bother spending the time to contribute towards an online community when your credibility in that community can be removed when new management comes in and decides to change forum software or shutdown forums altogether? I imagine it’s how Yahoo Groups people felt.

Even my posting to HR is limited to stuff that I guess will be gone one day.

Nothing lasts forever.

> Why bother spending the time to contribute towards an online community when your credibility in that community can be removed when new management comes in and decides to change forum software or shutdown forums altogether?

How about for the impact you had during the time it was active? I don't know what your contributions were, but if they were that prolific, then surely they were of service.

Shutdowns are always a blow, and I don't intend to tell you want to do with your valuable time. But hopefully you can see more value in your contributions than only what they may have meant in the future.

This is true of a game development community that I made about 2500 contributions to (had a goal of making 5-6 meaningful posts per day).

They migrated their software and the accounts became unlinked to the previous contributions. In the last 7 years, I contributed only 40 more times.

Is not the post you just posted on a "forum"

A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Yep. And read my comment about HN at the end.

I think you mistyped it as "HR".

This is very sad news. I spent a great deal of time in my childhood playing games on Kongregate. I remember reading strategy guides for Kongai, their CCG that admitted wasn't very good but I always tried to complete the game challenges to earn that weeks Kongai card.

Eventually it seemed like everyone moved away from browser games to console and PC games, at least that was true for me. It's been a long time since I've even thought about Kongregate, but it's still sad to see it go.

I was literally just starting to surf their dev pages to get back into some very light HTML game design. I don’t have nearly enough time to make an actual game with an actual game engine. But I’m a professional web developer so I can smack HTML around with a little bit of JavaScript no problem. Now I’m not sure what to do. Is https://ldjam.com/ the new home for this sort of thing? Newgrounds?

Itch.io game jams. Check out Phaser.js, a javascript WebGL games framework, it's dead easy if you know a little JS.

Check out A-Frame or an authoring tool built on it. It's very HTML-oriented.

Reading between the lines it seems they can not handle the volume of spam they are getting. (Many forums going read-only, and chat rooms shutting down.)

Sounds more like they're trying to gently kick the community out, because they're shutting down the site-as-we-know-it. Gently, because Kongregate is still pretty cool.

The Immortal Grand Prix flash game from 2003 [0] was the single best turn based tactics game I've yet encountered online. Does anyone know whether it is still hosted somewhere, how one might self host Flash games (assuming one had the Shockwave files), or of games comparable to this one?

[0] https://youtu.be/VGxhmhNJ9qo

I remember joining there when they announced they would have medals (Xbox 360 achievements had just become a thing, and were big). Played a lot of great games and had some fun chatting, too! But the one I maybe think of the most is Desktop Tower Defense (1.5, maybe?), as it was all the rage when I joined. Christ, that was 13 years ago! Gonna have to revisit that soon, I suppose...

How feasible would it be to clone the entirety of the website? (Scrape games, recreate all functionality, etc.)

Funny timing; I was considering whether I wanted to use their platform to try a concept or two and get "free" social support, but now I suppose I'll have to figure out handling that on my own.

Also wonder how much of this is business/cost optimization vs user-generated liability.

My dream has always been for one of the consoles to buy the scraps of Flash from Adobe, add good controller/save support, and then open it up to developers to make 2D games. Having shipped games in Java, Flash/AS3, haxe, objective c, swift, javascript, unity -- I've never been as productive and happy as when I was using Flash. Swift/SpriteKit is pretty nice, but I'm tired of the Apple treadmill and seeing my games die after a few years unless I put more work into them.

RIP. I got my start in software engineering building and publishing (crappy) games to Kongregate. It was a wonderful site, and it will be missed.

Man, I just hope someone can somehow bring back Kongai (and fix the remaining bugs). That game was amazing; it was just a poor fit for what it was used for. (A difficult competitive game used as a sitewide metagame on a site full of quick casual games...? What were they thinking? But the game was amazing! There's just not really any good way to play it anymore.)

I never played a video game on Kongregate because when I was interested in browser games Miniclip was number 1 in Europe.

I think browser games kinda died when smartphones came around because you got better experience when playing a game naively than in a smartphone browser.

But I think browser games technology is better than ever and there are a lot of opportunities to explore in that industry.

If they want to become a mainstream game developer, gutting an established fanbase and community seems counterproductive.

I wonder if this is the beginning of Kongregate's integration and deployment of Forte powered features: https://blog.kongregate.com/kongregate-announces-partnership...

They already delivered something with Forte. You earn "blocks" now for getting the weekly kongpanion.

You were supposed to be able to exchange them for chat stickers.

The launch was a disaster, partly breaking the site for 2 days, and they had to disable the stickers.

And without chat, I don't see much point in the stickers. (Maybe they'll find something else to do with the blocks, stickers were never that interesting to me anyway.)

In a way you can say that rather than the beginning, Forte actually killed Kongregate, probably by draining developer time and budget.

I did not know that they already had started with a public roll out of Forte powered features. Thanks for the added insight!

I was never big on Flash games but I did enjoy one on Kongregate: a card-based game inspired heavily by the various works of H.P. Lovecraft.

I get it, Flash is buggy and second in being a security mistake only to PDFs. Still, it's a shame these little games will be forgotten, swept aside.

Flash posed a threat to Apple’s walled garden.

Apple wants you to download an iPhone app (and buy the iPhone for that)

If all a user needs to do is open a browser tab, on any device, and have an good app-like experience they hardly need an iPhone.

The web never really caught up with the experience flash gave the user.

And Apple benefited.

Can’t you still open a browser tab? Web apps do exist. How is that any different?

As mentioned elsewhere, the experience flash gave has never been beat in most cases.

So what happened to this site? Did people move onto something else (a site) or was it smartphones?

It was killed by Flash. Adobe is not just going to stop updating flash, they are outright force disabling it at the end of the year, even for people willing to risk it.

This kills the majority of the games on Kongregate.

And thus shockwave, with its .exe outputs wins in the end for old games?

Eh, you can still run a flash decompiler and recompile it to an exe (which embeds the flash player) https://github.com/jindrapetrik/jpexs-decompiler

Sad to see Flash going out like this. It was such an easy tool for any creative to put to use and then share the result.

I've got to say, I still visit kong every couple of days to see if there are any cool new games. I will miss it.

I still remember loading up Kitty Cannon over dial up in the farm house in our small town of seven in Western PA.


RIP Kongregate.

How did games work on Kongregate? Did people makes games specifically for the platform with their APIs?

Typically they would have an existing game and then integrate the APIs into the game.

You didn't have to do that, You could still upload your game without it. It was just if you wanted a chance of getting badged. And badged games had way more plays. So there was a lot of incentive to do it.

my fav games on kongregate: https://archive.vn/pPJwB


I Loved Kongregate Games!

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