Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Flash Games: Basic and Effective

One of my main gaming influences growing up in the early 2000's was the act of playing flash games, the kinds of games where you didn't need state of the art technology in order to play. Flash games were (and still are) the most basic form of gaming that just about anyone could get into as long as they had a keyboard and buttons that worked. As long as you had normal Up-Down-Left-Right functions and a Jump Button, you were pretty much good to go. Flash gaming is simple but it's enough to get casual gamers interested.

You could make the argument that flash games are the most flexible kinds of games that you could possibly have as far as simplicity is concerned. If you are in need to busting out a quick game that you just want to show off to gaming communities online, then making your game a flash game might be the way to go for you. It depends on what the creators of the flash game want to do with their content, how much content they want to add to their flash game and what exactly they want to highlight. Flash games are normally not huge projects to undertake, but they do require testing for bugs and such, just like other kinds of games. After all, if a player can't use the game's control properly then he or she will quickly abandon the game.

Oftentimes flash games are very basic in design
Flash games often avoid the hassle of implementing complex gameplay mechanics because the creators of these games know that online users just want to plug away at something quickly. Some users just want to play a game for a small amount of time and then go back to doing their normal mundane activities. Sometimes when games are kept simple as far as gameplay goes, it does have a positive effect on users. Gamers are generally flexible. If they see something that even remotely resembles a game, they will most likely observe that thing.

Flash games are only complex in overall design if the creator of the game feels like the content of the game would fit in nicely with the proposed complexity. Many games feature difficulty levels that can be adjusted at any time, and knowing this, some flash game creators have the freedom to present their games as being challenging or complicated in the sense of "Tetris on the run". All you need for a flash game is a basic set of rules to get the game's creative engine going. Have an objective in mind for even the most trivial of things, such as the picture above where a dog needs to catch a flying disc.

Two other examples of steady flash games include recreations of favorite platforming titles like the 2D scrolling Sonic The Hedgehog games, and the Extreme Racing series where you pick a car and race it through smooth roads and rugged terrain. There are limitations to flash games, to be sure, but there is also that saying "make something out of nothing", and I think that if you use the limitations to your advantage by keeping your flash games simple and playable, then you will be just fine as a game maker.

When it comes to creativity flash games have an extremely wide range. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the content that these games provide. The themes of some of these games are very obscure and downright weird, and here is where some of the criticism against flash games comes in.You can't just make a flash game out of anything and then call it a success. If your flash game doesn't have the right theme to it, a theme that just doesn't jive with the masses, then it won't work no matter how good that game's controls are. Many game makers commit this error.

When I was making my game reviews in earlier posts on this blog, I often referred to the Fun Factor of those games. In this case, I believe there has to be an emphasis put on the Fun Factor because flash games need to make their points right away. If a flash game is initially having a hard time keep the player invested in the game, then most likely he or she will move on to something else. The Fun Factor is a motivator. When you see the visuals of a game and take into account the theme of it, would it be something that you would like to play? It's really that simple. Would you like to play as 3 pandas and travel through an island to avoid getting caught by enemies? Would you like to run a restaurant in a flash game? Do you want to dig up some fossils in an archaeologist quest flash game? Keep the games fun.

In closing, flash games certainly have their place as being that "quick fix" kind of experience. If you don't have that much time to play a game but want to get in some gameplay action, then look up a flash game. Gaming experiences are subjective and gamers make their gaming experiences what they are. In truth, some of the flash games that you play today might become the blockbuster mobile games or gold standard console games of tomorrow along with some refining. The possibilities are that open.

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