Flash emulation project aims to preserve gaming history

(Image credit: ConArtists)

Adobe have said they'll stop updating and distributing the Flash player at the end of 2020, but fortunately the era of browser games and interactive animations will be preserved. Mike Welsh, who previously worked on the Flash-to-HD video converter Swivel for Newgrounds, is currently working on a program called Ruffle, which will emulate Flash right there in your browser.

Over on the Newgrounds forum an announcement explains, "There is even work being done to create a browser extension that detects old Flash embed code and swaps it with Ruffle, meaning you could visit any old website and the Flash will (eventually) just WORK."

Newgrounds will be adopting Ruffle internally so that Flash projects there will work even without the Ruffle browser extension being installed. "We're adding a true/false attribute to every Flash project to track whether it works in emulation. The initial rollout will cover animated content, then gradually expand to cover more and more games. We'll also be tracking which Flash games are touch screen friendly because they will work on mobile for the first time ever."

This is pretty exciting for the preservation of browser games like The Last Stand 2, Neptune's Pride, or the hundreds of others we played back in the day. You can keep up with progress here.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.