End of Flash

7 min read

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Hapuriainen's avatar

(the annual anime/manga wrap up is on tumblr this time)

Well, this is the last day Flash is supported then huh?

For me there isn't much of a change since I've already quit making dress ups in 2018 (it's not very motivating to put work into something that'll soon stop working) but this is still a good day to look at the situation.

I've received a lot of suggestions on picrew and meiker.io. The main problem with them, however, is how you're restricted to using the tools you're given, while I have a very particular idea on what a dress up UI should look like, or just want to add things like secret characters or pants scrunching into boots. So "you don't need to know coding!" is a flaw and not a feature as far as I'm concerned. However it has been well over two years since I last made a dress up and there are moments when I'd really want to make another one so maybe I'll make something with these programs some day!

(I've also heard of downloadable flash bundles or browser extensions and whatnot, but I'm not really interested in something that would require the user to download anything since that would probably cut the viewerbase a lot)

Another common comment has been the question on how you can continue playing the existing dress ups after browsers drop Flash support. If you have enough energy, one answer is this: Download them to your computer, and find a program that can run swf files (I don't know any by name but something is bound to show up if you google a bit)

While future dress up making prospects are still unclear, it has been a good moment to look back at what I've created. The whole story started with the Nami dress up in January 2008, and I still find it baffling that I 1) included absolutely every outfit I could find, including stuff she wore once in some obscure promo picture or random figurine and 2) after all that nonsense the second dress up I created half a year later was... a second Nami dress up with an equally stupid selection of items. Documenting Nami's wardrobe has been a thing even later, with 2014 being the most recent version. I wish I had made one more for comparison's sake but it's a bit late now.


A comparison gif of the different Namis can be found here

When making the abovementioned gifs, other than the artwork I also had to compare the coding and general presentation. I'm glad I learned how to put items on different pages fast because trying to find anything in the first Nami dress up was an interesting experience and my audience has been very charitable with me for it to have over 400k views. And still it certainly was the start for this need to "collect" the character's outfits, which has continued with many other works too, most notably with the Trinity Blood dress ups.

Next thing that's worthy of note are the Pokemon creators 1 and 2 and the Naruto character maker. I hate the Naruto maker, not because of how much I've grown to dislike Naruto but because I find the art inexcusable awful and I'd like to have it removed from my gallery. But it has stayed on because I know plenty of people find value in it and I think it might even be my most popular work ever. Which is a bit unfortunate but we must live with our past. Meanwhile I have much warmer feelings towards the Pokemon ones and looking back, the Pokemon section of the v2 was quite a feat and if I may say so. Large Pokemon blocking the character is a pretty dumb oversight on my part, but other than that I find the v2 to be quite good and feature complete for its time.

On a less pleasant note the Naruto and Pokemon makers have been the source of most aggravation when people expect me to keep them up to date to the newest developments of the franchise. Not too long ago I got a note with a 15 item list on stuff I should add to the Naruto one (including stuff like "better hair", "more clothes" and "poses" which would require redrawing every item multiple times to suit each new pose), and if there's a good thing about end of Flash it is hopefully that messages like this will cease.


Speaking of character creators, the ill-fated magical girl maker should be mentioned here. Eight attempts, and none of them made it past the starting point. Some of these had some clothing parts finished, while others had multiple different ages to choose from (versions 4-6) or the option to pose the doll (version 7). Version 8 from 2018 never made it to any of the Flash Dumps but please take a look at her here, I think the doll turned out reasonably cute (with lots of tattoo/body paint options it seems). One day I will complete this.


As I said earlier, the need to dabble with outfits hasn't gone anywhere, and so far the energy has been poured into the "chibi magical girls" drawing series on my magical girl tumblr. That is, I draw a chibi in the same pose with the notable outfits of the character. Now for the first time I counted everything I've drawn in the past two years and the result was an alarming over 900. I'm pretty sure this would be a dress up if Flash had been a viable option. I would even have that goddamn magical girl maker by now if I kept adding each character's items to it one by one...


Then let's bring up yet another project that never came to be. A Pokemon Trainer Maker v3... it had actually been in the works! And it would have been huge! I wanted a save button for it, and the thousands of options would have been loaded from different files to prevent the working file from growing unmanageable, and because of them I had to completely start over with a different programming language. At the time I quit working on it it had 90 visor-less hats, 120 visor-compatible hats and 15 visors, and 180 different bangs, and I seem to also have drawn hundreds of Pokemon (including alternate forms like the clone Pokemon from the Mewtwo movie). If I remember correctly the Pokemon section was actually pretty cool, I think I even managed to code a search where you could just type in the Pokemon you want instead of fiddling with menus. But now I can't get it to run anymore and I can't understand what I was doing with the code either so that will remain a mystery.


In the end it has been a fun decade with Flash and it's a shame to see the work become deprecated, but I hope that some new way to create easily accessible interactive online works will show up eventually. But until I find a viable option I'll have to keep just being retrospective. For me this has been mostly a dumb hobby (with a couple of commissions), but sometimes I get messages from people telling how a work from me has been a part of their childhood. I of course have my own internet things that I'm nostalgic for and that are important memories to me, and while it's a bit alarming that my oldest dress ups are almost old enough to have an account on dA without lying about their age, it is also flattering to hear that something I created is a memorable part of someone else growing up. So I'm always happy to get comments like that!

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