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Bringing Back Classic Flash Games Using AwayFL

Coolmath Games Staff / January 18, 2023
Bringing Back Classic Flash Games Using AwayFL

You might have noticed that lately at Coolmath Games, we have been re-releasing previously unplayable flash games. We are starting with the Papa’s games, and have already released Papa’s Freezeria. There are tons of other flash games on the horizon that were previously unavailable after Adobe Flash Player was no longer supported.

Stay tuned over the next few months to see what comes out. While we can’t give specifics yet, these titles include classics in genres like tower defense games and platformer games. Of course, none of this is possible without a flash converter that can change games from Adobe Flash Player to HTML. To do this, Coolmath Games is using AwayFL, an open-source flash emulator.

What is AwayFL?

AwayFL is an Adobe Flash emulator that is written using typescript. It is the catalyst that will help us get some of your favorite flash games playable again. To learn more about AwayFL, read on to hear some frequently asked questions answered by the principal developer of AwayFL, Rob Bateman.

Why did you decide to start working on AwayFL?

“Away Studios was originally focused on real-time 3D graphics production, and developed the popular open-source Away3D engine for the Adobe Flash Player back in 2007/8. After the start of Flash's decline, it seemed only natural to rebuild Away3D using 'native' web technologies, but by then there were already a fair few 3D engines for Javascript available, so it was hard to find an audience. Then we started receiving requests from some of our old work clients, asking to convert their Flash content to HTML, and the idea grew from there to extend the converted Away3D code (renamed AwayJS) to run Flash files. Eventually, these AwayJS extensions were separated into their own GitHub project, and became the AwayFL player.”

What languages did you develop the emulator in?

“When we started converting Away3D to AwayJS in 2013, we wanted something similar to the Actionscript language (the language Away3D used in Flash) to simplify the conversion process. Typescript looked promising, but it was still in beta, had a bit of a flaky compiler, and had a community size smaller than competing languages such as Dart and Coffeescript, so not an obvious choice! However, we liked what the Typescript team were doing, took a gamble that the language would gain in popularity, and luckily it paid off. Once we started the work on AwayFL in 2015, it seemed only natural to continue using Typescript as by then the language was much more established.”

What are the advantages of AwayFL over other flash emulators?

“We are probably the longest-running Flash emulator project if you count our pre-AwayFL days, and our team has always been small and highly focused which allows for faster resolution of issues, optimization, and refactoring. As a result, we currently support more Flash features than our nearest rival Ruffle, and tend to see better execution speeds in games which lowers the hardware requirements for AwayFL-executed Flash content, expanding the potential user base. We also have a preference for being web-first in our coding philosophy - Typescript being an obvious benefit in this area. Thanks to the current-day ubiquity of the language, virtually any web dev should find it easy to get up and running with our codebase. And by far the most important advantage when it comes to software, AwayFL is free and open source to use, with zero restrictions on publishing.”

What is your favorite flash game?

“This is such a hard question to answer! If we're only counting Flash games released on the web (i.e. no AIR games on Android or iPhone), that helps narrow it down. Based on my own memory of obsessively playing and being completely sucked into the community and content, the best game I recall (and in some senses one that summed up the whole Flash Player scene at the time) is Line Rider by Boštjan Čadež. The initial 2006 version spawned several remakes, but the simplicity of the original had so many of us hooked - I seem to remember everyone playing it at the office where I worked, sharing their course designs and trying to create ever crazier levels. Fun times.”

If you’re interested in trying out AwayFL, or want to get involved in the community, find out more by visiting AwayFL's site.

There is definitely a lot to be excited about for the future of Coolmath Games. Make sure to stick around for a while and check back in once in a while to see if any of your favorite flash games that were taken down in 2020 have been re-uploaded. You never know what is around the corner!