This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about putting together a curation and submitting it to Flashpoint. If this is your first time contributing, be sure to follow our step-by-step tutorial.
- 1 Before You Start
- 2 What is a Curation?
- 3 Content
- 4 Logo
- 5 Screenshot
- 6 Metadata
- 7 Testing
- 8 Packing it up
- 9 After Submitting
- 10 Appendix I: Flashpoint Platforms
- 11 Appendix II: Additional Applications
Before You Start
Checking the Master List
Before curating, please check the Game Master List (and for animations, the Animation Master List) before possibly taking time out of your day to save something that's already been saved. Use CTRL+F to search the list of titles.
There are games not allowed in Flashpoint for any reason, and should therefore be avoided for those reasons:
- Games that are still on sale. You may make an effort to get them working in Flashpoint if you want, but we will not distribute currently paid content. (Don't forget that some games start in web browsers for free then get paid versions later, the web browser version would be allowed in Flashpoint in this case; be sure to check the history before you archive.)
- Any outright emulation of a non-Public Domain game. Ports of games are absolutely fine, but games that are a ROM wrapped in an emulator are not allowed unless they contain Public Domain games or allow you to load your own. Emulators are allowed provided they don't include any games that aren't Public Domain.
- Any game from XForm Games (At their request)
- Windows 93 (At their request)
- Super Smash Flash 2 (At their request)
- Dragon Ball Devolution and other games from www.txori.com (At their request)
It should go without saying that blatantly illegal games are not allowed, either.
What is a Curation?
Flashpoint is not just a collection of files; it is a museum of playable web games. As in any other museum, each item needs to be curated before it can be put on display. Curating for Flashpoint is more than downloading an SWF, dropping it off in the Discord and expecting it to appear in the next update. Instead, you'll need to put together an archive file (ZIP, 7Z, etc) called a curation.
To make a curation, first create a new folder with the name of the game you'd like to save. (Windows won't let you create a folder name with certain special characters; you'll need to remove them from the folder name if that happens.) Inside your curation folder, you'll add a screenshot and logo, a text file containing metadata about the game, and a content folder containing all of the files required to run the game. The following sections will explain each of these required items in detail. Be sure to download our complete example curation ZIP file and follow along.
All content must be placed inside a content folder, then arranged in the same way that they would be placed in Flashpoint proper from the htdocs folder - the best practice is to try and recreate the same structure that the game had on the internet. For example, if a game was hosted at
http://uploads.ungrounded.net/59000/59593_alien_booya202c.swf you would do the folders in this example like the image below. If that is not working for some reason, a secondary format is acceptable - a domain folder, a folder with the game's name, then the game files, displayed as the second example.
You might notice that some games in Flashpoint use a domain called
localflash instead of a website domain. This is a legacy practice, and it is not used anymore unless the source files come from a CD, ZIP file, or other offline location.
Logos must be in PNG format, and have the entire title of a game, or something that is representative of the game. To be named
logo.png in all cases.
Recommended tools include Snipping Tool and Paint, both included in Windows 10 by default. You're free to use other tools, just remember, always use PNG.
Screenshots must be in PNG format, and have a credible 'action shot' of the game (no menus or obvious tutorials). To be named
ss.png in all cases.
Recommended tools include Snipping Tool and Paint, both included in Windows 10 by default. You're free to use other tools, just remember, always use PNG.
The metadata must be included in a file named meta.txt. The table below shows all of the fields that you can include in your meta.txt files. All fields should be included if they are applicable. Pay special attention to fields marked with * - they are required at least some of the time. If a field is not applicable and not required for your curation, either omit it or leave it blank.
Many fields allow multiple values. If they do, separate each value with a semicolon and a space. For example,
Some fields have a few possible values to choose from. If this is the case, they'll be shown in the table as a bulleted list, with the default value in italics. If you omit this type of field, it will take on its default value automatically.
If you're not sure how to use a metadata field, be sure to check the example meta.txt.
List of Metadata Fields
|Title*||Always required. The name of the game, in full. When in doubt, use the name indicated in the game's logo. Use the game's official title; don't add anything to it, such as a franchise or series name, if it doesn't exist in the game's title.|
|Alternate Titles|| Alternate titles that can be used to refer to the game. For example, an alternate name for Gateway II is Gateway 2. You also may use this to indicate the title of the game in other languages. Use |
|Library*|| Required if you are curating for Flashpoint Theatre. Possible values:
|Series||The name of the specific-to-webgames series. As an example; a game based on The Fairly Odd Parents wouldn't have a series of The Fairly Odd Parents, but The Fancy Pants Adventure World 2 would have The Fancy Pants Adventure as its series.|
|Developer|| The name of the developer, or developers. Separate multiple developers with |
|Publisher||The site that published (sponsored/branded) the game. Look for a "More Games" link or prominent logo; it will probably lead to the Publisher's website.|
|Play Mode|| One of the following, but up to three per game is possible:
|Status*|| One of the following:
|Release Date|| The date that the game was first released. Use YYYY-MM-DD format, with whatever precision is available. For example, if you knew a game was released in January 2010, you could say |
|Version||The version number of the game. This is for revisions of the same game, not games in series. Leave this field blank if the game's version number is not clearly shown somewhere.|
|Languages*|| Required if you are curating a game that supports languages other than English.
A list of all languages that the game supports. Use ISO 639-1 language codes and separate each code with
|Extreme*|| Required if you are curating something unsuitable for minors. Possible values:
|Tags*|| See Tags. Separate multiple tags with a semicolon and a space, for example: |
|Source*|| The URL of the webpage where you found the game. If you found the game on Wayback Machine, follow this format: |
|Platform*|| The web game technology that the game uses. See the Appendix for a list of platforms supported.
If your curation omits this field, the Platform is assumed to be Flash. This field is required for all non-Flash curations.
|Application Path*|| The path to the application to use to launch the game. This path is relative to the main Flashpoint folder. For example, the Application Path for most Flash games is |
If the Application Path is omitted, it will be automatically chosen based on the game's Platform. See the Appendix for a list of default Application Paths for each Platform. We recommend that you always use this field.
|Launch Command*|| The location of your file inside the content folder, replicating an internet URL. This is case-sensitive. Never have https:// at the beginning of a URL, it will eventually break something. ALWAYS use http://. If a URL has https:// at the beginning, it's wrong, end of story.
This field is always required. If you're having trouble figuring out the correct launch command, see Curation Tutorial.
|Notes|| A message that will appear in the right panel of the launcher. Reserve this for important tidbits related to how the game works that should be known before playing. For multi-line Notes, use the pipe symbol: |
|Original Description|| If a game's webpage contains a description of the game, you may copy and paste it into this field. For multi-line descriptions, use the pipe symbol: |
|Curation Notes|| Use this field to show a message to BlueMaxima if he needs to add your curation in a different way from usual. For multi-line Curation Notes, use the pipe symbol: |
|Additional Applications||Use this section to add a message that pops up before a game runs, a link to an Extras folder, or an alternate version of a game. For more details, see the Appendix.|
A Good meta.txt
Title: Alien Hominid Series: Developer: The Behemoth Publisher: Newgrounds.com Play Mode: Single Player Status: Playable Release Date: 2002-08-07 Version: Extreme: No Tags: Shooter Source: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/59593 Platform: Flash Application Path: FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa.exe Launch Command: http://uploads.ungrounded.net/59000/59593_alien_booya202c.swf Notes: | This is our sample curation in Flashpoint Core. Multiple lines in notes and descriptions are cool. Curation Notes: Thanks for your work!
Title: Alternate Titles: Library: Series: Developer: Publisher: Play Mode: Status: Release Date: Version: Languages: Extreme: Tags: Source: Platform: Application Path: Launch Command: Notes: Original Description: Curation Notes: Additional Applications:
In addition to our custom
meta.txt format, Flashpoint curations also support metadata written in YAML format. To use YAML, create a
meta.yaml file instead of a
meta.txt file. Then, follow the instructions in our YAML Format article.
You'll need Flashpoint Core to test your games in a lightweight copy of Flashpoint you can afford to break.
Place the files from inside your content folder within the Server\htdocs\ directory. Once you've done this, open the Core launcher, click the "New Game" button in the bottom right and mirror the info from your Meta.txt into the right panel. Click the checkmark and open your curation - if everything goes well, your game should open in a new window! If it doesn't, make sure you're copying the contents of your content folder and not the folder itself.
All games should be tested in Flashpoint, if not Core then at least the full version. Just opening the game in a projector or browser is not enough of a test.
Packing it up
You've finished your first curation! All of these files should now be packed into a single .ZIP or .7Z file and submitted to our #curator-lounge on the Discord. If your curation is up to snuff, you'll be given Trial Curator status, which will let you submit curations through the curation channels. You can use Discord's own upload feature for files under 8MB, or one of our file upload locations for bigger files. See Submitting a Curation for up-to-date submission links for each type of curation. The page also provides more detailed instructions if you have further questions.
Here is the full example ZIP file. (This was also linked earlier, in the Overview section).
Editing Your Curations
If you notice a mistake with your curation shortly after you've submitted it (and it hasn't been added to Flashpoint yet), just delete it and resubmit. (If you used our upload service, you might have to ask a Curator to delete your file for you.)
If your curation has already been added to Flashpoint, read our article on Metadata Edits and head over to the #pending-fixes channel in our Discord so you can make necessary changes. If you're wondering whether your curation has been added to Flashpoint yet, look for a
:Tools: emoji reaction anywhere below your post in the Curations channel.
Because we can't remind you enough already: Join our Discord and ask away in the #curator-lounge channel.
Appendix I: Flashpoint Platforms
This is a table of all web game technologies ("Platforms") supported by Flashpoint. The table includes the following for each technology:
- Official Name: The official name of the technology. Useful for searching for information about the technology or looking for games.
- Short Name: The name displayed in Flashpoint Launcher.
- Default Application: The path to the default application used to launch a game of this technology.
- Curation Tutorial: A link to a curation tutorial for each platform. Some tutorials are not available yet, so please help create them if you can!
|Short Name||Official Name||Default Application||Curation Tutorial|
|Flash||Adobe Flash Player||
||Curation Tutorial, Flash Curation|
|Shockwave||Adobe Shockwave Player||
|HTML5||HTML, HTML5, WebGL, or WebAssembly||
|Unity||Unity Web Player||
|3DVIA Player||3DVIA Player, 3D Life Player, Virtools Player||
|3D Groove GX||3D Groove GX||
||3D Groove GX Curation|
|ActiveX||Each game generally uses its own ActiveX control name||
|Authorware||Authorware Web Player||
Note: PopCap Plugin and GoBit Games Plugin are also supported, but we already have every game for those technologies in Flashpoint.
Appendix II: Additional Applications
The Additional Applications metadata field can be used to add Messages, Extras, or Alternates to a curation. Each of these items is explained in detail below.
Use the Message sub-field to add a short, one-line message that pops up before a game runs. If there's something that Flashpoint users need to know before playing a game, use this field.
For example, here is the Additional Applications field of a game that starts in fullscreen and is difficult to close:
Additional Applications: Message: This game starts in fullscreen. To exit, alt-tab and close the window in the taskbar.
Extras allow you to include a folder of bonus materials with your curation. If you would like to include files related to a game that are not required to play it, such as source code or unlockable items, this is how you can do it:
- Inside your curation's folder, next to the
contentfolder, create a folder called
- Place all of the bonus materials you would like to include inside of the Extras folder.
- In the Notes field of your
meta.txt, add a short explanation of what's included in the Extras folder.
- In the Additional Applications field of your
meta.txt, add an Extras sub-field like this:
For example, here is the Additional Applications field of a game called Tokyo Guinea Pop. The curation's Extras folder contains unlockable items from the game's original website.
Additional Applications: Extras: tokyoguineapop
Alternates allow you to add alternate versions of a game. This is commonly used to add older versions of a game, alternate languages of a game, or hacked versions from sites like Arcade Prehacks. Note that all of the files required to run an Alternate should be included in the
content folder of your curation, along with the files for the main version.
To add an alternate to the Additional Applications field, include a Heading, with an Application Path and Launch Command indented under it.
For example, the curation of a game called Drop 3 includes a hacked version. Here is the Additional Applications field of this curation:
Additional Applications: Play Hacked Version: Application Path: FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa.exe Launch Command: http://www.irregulargames.com/drop3/drop3-hacked.swf