Flash Curation

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This page goes over some of the advanced techniques specific to Flash curation. If you know of any advanced tips and tricks for curating Flash games, please add a section to this article!

Using old Flash versions

Some Flash games may be broken in the latest Flash Player version and require an old Flash Player version to work properly. For example, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Dish It Out compares only the first digit of the Flash Player version to the version it expects. This means that only Flash Player versions 6 through 9 will work for this game. So Flash Player 9 is used, and the Application Path is FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer9r277_win_sa.exe.

Amiyumi.png

Another common problem with Flash games is lagging when moving the mouse cursor. If this problem occurs, the game may need to be run in Flash Player 19 or earlier.

Finding the right Flash version

Sometimes, it's not so simple to find the right Flash Player version for a game. For example, when Shopping Mall Parking is played in the latest Flash version, your car will take damage constantly and refuse to move. To find the right Flash version for the game, follow these steps:

  1. Install JPEXS Free Flash Decompiler.
  2. Right-click the SWF and click "Open with FFDec".
  3. Click the "header" section in the tree view on the left.
  4. Translate the SWF version shown in JPEXS to its equivalent Flash Player version.
    • If the SWF version is below 9, the Flash Player version will be the same as the SWF version.
    • If the SWF version is 9 or above, use this chart to find the equivalent Flash Player version.
  5. In Flashpoint, open the FPSoftware\Flash folder. Find the executable for the Flash Player version that the game needs. Copy the name of the executable and use it as the Application Path for the game.
  6. Test whether the problem with the game is fixed!

JPEXSViewHeader.png

In the example above, the SWF version of Shopping Mall Parking is 13, and the equivalent Flash Player version is 11.0. Thus, you would try this Application Path: FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer11_9r900_152_win_sa_debug.exe

crossdomain.xml

Some Flash games may request a file called crossdomain.xml. This file permits access to domains other than the site the SWF is being hosted on. It will often look like the universal crossdomain.xml found in the Legacy/htdocs directory of Flashpoint:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<cross-domain-policy>
  <site-control permitted-cross-domain-policies="master-only"/>
  <allow-access-from domain="*"/>
  <allow-http-request-headers-from domain="*" headers="*"/>
</cross-domain-policy>

The universal crossdomain.xml allows an SWF to access any and all domains, but others found on specific websites may only permit access from certain websites, such as Sploder's crossdomain.xml:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE cross-domain-policy SYSTEM "http://www.macromedia.com/xml/dtds/cross-domain-policy.dtd">
<cross-domain-policy>
	<allow-access-from domain="sploder.com" />
	<allow-access-from domain="*.sploder.com" />
	<allow-access-from domain="127.0.0.11" />
	<allow-access-from domain="*" />
</cross-domain-policy>
 

If a game requests a crossdomain.xml, but it's missing from the web, you can use the universal crossdomain.xml in its place.

Flashvars

Flashvars are additional variables added to an SWF's Launch Command in order to load the game properly. Flashvars are added to the Launch Command by putting a "?" after the filename of the .swf, followed by any variables in the style name=value, separated with &.

For example, the game Spyhounds: Crack This Code! has a Launch Command of http://www-tc.pbskids.org/fetch/spyhounds/poodlediamond/swf/code_breaker_3KB.swf?spyday=2. Note the ? after the .swf file extension, which means the SWF here calls for the flashvars of spyday, set to 2. Changing this to another number such as spyday=4 or spyday=9 is necessary to make the SWF play the other versions of the game.

In addition, flashvars can be part of a game's embed code (see below for more info on embeds). For example, viewing the HTML source code of this Newgrounds game page reveals the following JavaScript code, which many Newgrounds games have a similar version of:

{ swfobject.embedSWF("https://uploads.ungrounded.net/650000/650656_gridgame.swf?1419422088", "swfobject_embed", "720", "540", "9.0.0", null, {"NewgroundsAPI_PublisherID":1,"NewgroundsAPI_SandboxID":"5e057c3239505","NewgroundsAPI_SessionID":"","NewgroundsAPI_UserName":"<deleted>","NewgroundsAPI_UserID":0,"ng_username":"<deleted>"}

This code will generate the following Flash embed:

<object id="swfobject_embed" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="https://uploads.ungrounded.net/650000/650656_gridgame.swf?1419422088" style="visibility: visible;" width="720" height="540"><param name="wmode" value="direct"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="never"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowfullscreeninteractive" value="true"><param name="flashvars" value="NewgroundsAPI_PublisherID=1&NewgroundsAPI_SandboxID=5e057ff9668f3&NewgroundsAPI_SessionID=&NewgroundsAPI_UserName=&lt;deleted&gt;&NewgroundsAPI_UserID=0&ng_username=&lt;deleted&gt;"></object>

Note this section in particular:

<param name="flashvars" value="NewgroundsAPI_PublisherID=1&NewgroundsAPI_SandboxID=5e057ff9668f3&NewgroundsAPI_SessionID=&NewgroundsAPI_UserName=&lt;deleted&gt;&NewgroundsAPI_UserID=0&ng_username=&lt;deleted&gt;">

Even the Flashpoint Proxy can't get past this game's sitelock with the SWF alone, meaning these additional flashvars are required. Adding the flashvars in the format as explained above gives us the following Launch Command, which indeed makes the game work:

http://uploads.ungrounded.net/650000/650656_gridgame.swf?NewgroundsAPI_PublisherID=1&NewgroundsAPI_SandboxID=5de02ce828e08&NewgroundsAPI_SessionID=&NewgroundsAPI_UserName=<deleted>&NewgroundsAPI_UserID=0&ng_username=<deleted>

Using the Plugin Projector

Some Flash games check whether they are running in an internet browser and refuse to run if they are not. For example, Neon Maze displays the below message when run in the standard Flash projector:

PluginOnly.png

For games like this you can use the "plugin" projector, which pretends to be a Flash browser plugin instead of a projector. Just change the Application Path to FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_plugin.exe and the problem should be fixed! [Editor's Note: The plugin projector is not yet available in Core 11. Remove this note once the next Core is released, please!]

Using the Debug Projector

Some games may constantly open blank browser windows, may fail to load without any 404 messages on the Logs tab, or may have buttons that don't do anything when clicked. For example, if you load this curation of the game Calibration into your copy of Flashpoint Core, you'll notice that clicking the "Control with Computer" button does nothing and the gameplay will not start. To figure out what the problem is, you can use the debug projector:

  1. If you're using Flashpoint Core 11 or below, you'll need to download the debug projector and move it into Core's FPSoftware folder.
  2. Change the curation's Application Path to FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa_debug.exe and run the game again.

Continuing with the example above, when clicking the "Control with Computer" button you'll now get an error popup with the following message:

Error: Error #2067: The ExternalInterface is not available in this container. ExternalInterface requires Internet Explorer ActiveX, Firefox, Mozilla 1.7.5 and greater, or other browsers that support NPRuntime.
	at Error$/throwError()
	at flash.external::ExternalInterface$/addCallback()
	at com.robo::Instructions/selectComputer()

If you see an error message that mentions ExternalInterface, that is your clue that the game needs to be run in a web browser instead of the Flash projector. See the Using HTML Embed Codes for instructions.

The debug player is also useful for advanced tasks such as reimplementing game servers or recreating missing XML assets, where you need more info about what data the game expects to receive. In addition to the debug projector, we will also include a debug Flash plugin for Flashpoint Navigator in the next Flashpoint Core version. [Editor's Note: Please update this when the next Core comes out!]. To use the debug plugin, open FPSoftware\fpnavigator-portable\FPNavigator.ini and change the following line:

FP_FLASH_PATH=%FP_BROWSER_PLUGINS%\Flash

To this:

FP_FLASH_PATH=%FP_BROWSER_PLUGINS%\Flash-Debug

[Editor's Note: Make sure the above folder name is correct once the next Core releases!]

Using HTML Embed Codes

Some Flash games require browser-only features such as JavaScript. For example, Zuma (in Flashpoint) constantly opens blank browser windows when loaded in the Flash projector because it is trying to call JavaScript functions. For games like this, you'll need to use Basilisk instead of one of the Flash projectors. You'll need to embed the game in an HTML. Follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the webpage containing the game.
  2. Right-click the page and click "Inspect Element." (Don't right-click on the game, right-click somewhere else on the page.)
  3. Click the arrow button on the top-left of the Developer Tools window. Then click the Flash game. This should highlight the game's embed code.
    • If you're using Basilisk, it may not allow you to select the Flash game. Instead, you'll need to click a nearby element, then move your selection slightly to highlight the actual embed code.
  4. Press Ctrl-C to copy the highlighted embed code.
  5. Open a text editor such as Notepad and paste the embed code into it.
  6. Save the file as an HTML ("all files" on the Notepad dropdown menu).
  7. Place the HTML and the SWF it references at their original URLs in the content folder.
  8. Change the game's Application Path to FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe.
  9. Change the game's Launch Command to a URL matching the path to the HTML inside the content folder. Continue with the curation as normal.

Fixing the Embed Code

Embedding a Flash game in an HTML can occasionally cause problems with the game that did not previously exist. If a 3D game you are curating suddenly stops working when embedded in an HTML, or strange visual glitches appear in the game, you likely need to fix your embed code. Fortunately, the fix is very simple.

When you are embedding a Flash game in an HTML file, you should nearly always use the direct wmode parameter. For example, let's say you noticed visual glitches in a game with the following embed code. Changing transparent to direct would fix the problem.

<embed src="someGame.swf" width="900" height="450" wmode="transparent"></embed>

Finally, if you are curating a 3D Flash game using an HTML embed, you should always use the direct wmode, because Stage3D (Flash's 3D engine) only works reliably in this mode. For example, if you had a 3D Flash game with this embed code:

<embed src="someGame.swf" width="800" height="600"></embed>

You would change it to something like this:

<embed src="someGame.swf" width="800" height="600" wmode="direct"></embed>

Creating New Embed Codes

Sometimes, only an SWF is available, and there is no webpage to copy an embed code from. If the SWF does not run correctly in the Flash projector, you will need to create an embed code from scratch. Start with the template embed code below:

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="example.swf" width="640" height="480"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowfullscreeninteractive" value="true"><param name="allownetworkingmode" value="all"><param name="wmode" value="direct"></object>

Open the SWF in JPEXS Free Flash Decompiler. Click the "header" section in the tree view on the left. Next to "Display rect", you will see the width and height of the SWF indicated in twips and pixels. Ignore twips; pixels are what you are looking for. In the example below, the width of the SWF is 640 pixels and the height is 480 pixels.

JPEXSViewHeader.png

Next, replace the width and height in the template embed code with the SWF width and height that you just found. Finally, replace example.swf with the filename of your SWF.

You can also add or change additional properties of the embed as desired. See this page for a reference of those properties.

Once you have your embed code, complete the curation by following steps 5-9 above.

Finding SWZ Assets

Some games require Adobe Flex libraries, which are files with a .swz extension. These are particularly difficult to deal with for several reasons:

  • Sometimes a game may request these assets from fpdownload.adobe.com, while other times it may request them from the game's own website.
  • By default, Flash Player caches SWZ files on your computer at the following location: %APPDATA%\Adobe\Flash Player\AssetCache\. If Flash Player already has an SWZ file cached, the file will never be requested again, so you may not even know that a game requires SWZ files!

To make sure that Flash Player's cache doesn't hide a game's dependency on SWZs, you will need to change your Flash Player settings:

  1. Visit the Flash Player Settings Manager's Global Storage Settings panel using a Flash-enabled browser such as Basilisk Portable With Flash Player.
  2. Uncheck the box for "Store common Flash components to reduce download times".

With the SWZ cache deactivated, you will now see requests for .swz files whenever a game requires them. In the future, we plan to set this option automatically in Flashpoint Core to alleviate issues with cached SWZ files.

Flashpoint Core 11 includes some outdated SWZ files, so if you are using Core 11 or below, you will need to download this file and unzip it into Core's Legacy\htdocs folder, replacing any existing files there.

In the next Flashpoint Core version, all known SWZ files will already be included in the fpdownload.adobe.com folder inside Legacy\htdocs.

  • If a game requests SWZ files from fpdownload.adobe.com over HTTP, you will not need to do anything extra.
  • If a game requests SWZ files from its own website, you will need to copy the requested files from the fpdownload.adobe.com folder and place them in the requested locations inside your curation's content folder. Or if the original site includes these files and the game works with them, you can use them instead.

An example of a game that uses SWZ files is Josefina's Fiesta. If you run the game (after changing the setting mentioned earlier) you should see some requests for SWZ files on Flashpoint Launcher's Logs tab. And you can see more clues that the game requires SWZ files when opening its main SWF file in JPEXS Flash Decompiler:

  • In the tree on the left, expand "others" and click the "Metadata" item. You'll see some XML data, including:
    <dc:title>Adobe Flex 4 Application</dc:title>
    <dc:description>http://www.adobe.com/products/flex</dc:description>
    

    Both of these lines indicate that the game was made in Adobe Flex, and thus requires Flex libraries (SWZs).

  • If you search the game's ActionScript for .swz using the "Text Search" dialog, some results will appear. This should include the full SWZ URLs, which you can download manually if you want.

Decrypting MochiCrypt

Mochi Media was a game publishing network that allowed developers to conceal their games in an encryption called MochiCrypt. Unfortunately, since Mochi Media is long defunct, some games encrypted using MochiCrypt will no longer work, often displaying nothing but a blank screen. As an example, Wizard Smash is a Ninja Kiwi game encrypted using MochiCrypt that suffers the fate of a blank screen, both on the Ninja Kiwi website and in Flashpoint Core. To get the game working in Flashpoint, we'll have to extract the decrypted, playable SWF from memory, using either JPEXS Free Flash Decompiler or MochiCryptUnpacker.

Using JPEXS

An example list of SWFs found by searching in memory using JPEXS. In this case, the largest SWF isn't actually the decrypted game, but the second-largest works in Flashpoint Core as a MochiCrypt-free version of the game.
  1. Install and open JPEXS.
  2. Open the game's SWF in Flash Player.
  3. Go to the Tools tab and click "Search SWFs in memory".
  4. Search through the list on the left for Flash Player, likely named flashplayer_32_sa.exe. Use the "Refresh list" button if you need to.
  5. Click "Select" to search through Flash Player's memory to find SWFs. You'll see lots of SWFs on the right, but the ones with game content are typically the ones with the larger file sizes.
  6. Click "Save" to save a SWF, then run it in Flashpoint Core using the original SWF's Launch Command. If it doesn't work, try another SWF found in Flash Player's memory until you find the decrypted, playable SWF.

Using MochiCryptUnpacker

  1. Find the Releases section to the right of MochiCryptUnpacker's GitHub page.
  2. Click on v1.0, then Release.zip to download the program.
  3. Extract the ZIP and open MochiCryptUnpacker.exe.
  4. Drag the game's SWF over the MochiCryptUnpacker window. The decrypted SWF will appear in the same folder as the original SWF.
  5. Run the decrypted SWF in Flashpoint Core using the original SWF's Launch Command.

Regardless of which method you use, once you find the decrypted version of the SWF and ensure that it works properly, you should do two more things: change the game's Status to Hacked with an explanation in the curation's Notes field that the SWF was decrypted, and make sure to include the original, encrypted SWF as part of your curation. Afterwards, continue with your curation as usual.

Site-specific Guides

Some Flash game sites pose a particular challenge to curate. This section provides tips on how to curate from those sites.

Candystand

Candystand.com no longer exists, having been absorbed into Publishers Clearing House in 2016. Additionally, many Candystand Flash games use a special preloader animation called a "stinger" and will refuse to load without it. If you are trying to curate a Candystand game, but it requests a stinger.swf file and gets stuck on a blank screen, you will need to find the game's original webpage on Candystand via the Wayback Machine. The easiest way to do that is to visit the old Candystand blog, which includes the original release announcements for many of the Candystand Flash games. Use the Search bar on the right of the page to search for the game's title. We'll use Fashion Star as an example - here is the original release announcement from 2008. The release announcement will include a link to the game - copy that link and paste it into the Wayback Machine to find the archived game page. Choose a capture from around 2010 - later captures tend not to work correctly.

Once you've found a capture of the game's original webpage, you'll need to find the main SWF file's URL (if you don't have it already), as well as the stinger file's URL. The easiest way is to load the page in a Flash-enabled browser such as Basilisk Portable With Flash Player and use the Network tab of the browser's Developer Tools. Open the Developer Tools, type swf into the "filter URLs" box, and look for the main game SWF and one with "stinger" in the name. Download these SWFs and place them in your curation as normal. Continuing the Fashion Star example, if you visit this capture in a Flash-enabled browser, you'll see it load these URLs:

https://web.archive.org/web/20100125191002/http://www.candystand.com/games/fashion_star/fashion_star.swf
https://web.archive.org/web/20100125183943/http://www.candystand.com/games/stingers_as3/stinger_mouse.swf

If you have trouble loading a Candystand page in a Flash-enabled browser, another option is to right-click the page and click "View Page Source". Then you can search for ".swf" to find the SWF URLs manually. Note that the page source uses relative URLs, so you will need to add http://www.candystand.com to the beginning of each URL in order to download it.

Now that you have the SWFs downloaded, you'll need to add a bit of code to your launch command to tell the game to load the stinger file. Add ?swlist= to the end of the launch command, followed by the URL of the stinger, minus the http://www.candystand.com part. For example, you would add ?swlist=/games/stingers_as3/stinger_mouse.swf to the end of the launch command for Fashion Star. The final launch command would be:

http://www.candystand.com/games/fashion_star/fashion_star.swf?swlist=/games/stingers_as3/stinger_mouse.swf

That's it! Your Candystand game curation should load fine now!

Miniclip

Some Miniclip games cannot be loaded directly and must instead be loaded via the Miniclip Gameloader. If you have a Miniclip SWF that shows a blank screen and refuses to load, follow the steps below to load it using the Miniclip Gameloader:

  1. Download the Miniclip Gameloader from Flashpoint's servers (or grab it from Flashpoint Ultimate if you prefer).
  2. Place the file inside a www.miniclip.com folder within your curation.
  3. Create a launch command pointing to the game's main SWF.
    • Here is an example: http://www.miniclip.com/games/game-name/en/gamename.swf.
  4. Between www.miniclip.com/ and games/, insert gameloader.swf?fn=/. This new launch command will launch the Miniclip Gameloader and tell it to load the main game SWF.
    • The example launch command from above would now be: http://www.miniclip.com/gameloader.swf?fn=/games/game-name/en/gamename.swf

With any luck, the game will now load and play properly!

4399.com

4399.com is a Chinese webgame site with many rare and interesting games. But because of China's new "anti-indulgence" gaming regulations, the games have become more difficult to access. You will need a Flash-enabled browser with uBlock Origin installed. We suggest following the steps below:

  1. Download and install Basilisk Portable With Flash Player if you don't have it yet.
  2. Within Basilisk, visit the uBlock Origin for Firefox Legacy GitHub page.
  3. Click the .xpi link under the "Assets" heading to download and install the add-on.
  4. Once the add-on is installed, click its icon in Basilisk's toolbar, then click the "Open the dashboard" icon (the small icon with 3 lines).
  5. On the dashboard page, click the "Filter Lists" tab. Scroll down and expand the "Annoyances" category, then check the box next to "uBlock Filters - Annoyances".
  6. Click the "Update Now" button. 4399.com Flash games should play fine now!

Spil Games

Spil Games is a publisher which owns many webgame sites, the popular of which are Agame.com, A10.com, and GirlsGoGames.com. Many games published by them use their API, which makes them somewhat tricky to curate. You'll know a game uses it when it fails to load and you have a 404 for http://api.configar.org/crossdomain.xml in your Logs. Do not use MAD4FP to curate these games, it will not download the required files and may add them to your cache, making curating more difficult. To curate a game that requires the Spil Games API, follow these steps:

  1. Download this zip file of the universal files needed for all games using the API. Add the contents of all three folders into your curation's Content folder.
  2. Run the game again and check your Logs. You'll have a 404 for http://api.configar.org/cf/pb/1/settings/0/0/ followed by a long string of letters and numbers. Copy that URL and download it using cURLsDownloader. If it asks you if you want to rename the file, enter 1 to rename it. After adding this file to your curation, run the game again.
  3. You will most likely have multiple 404s in the Logs, copy the URLs for any crossdomain.xml files and .swf files. Download these using cURLsDownloader and add them to your Content folder. You may need to repeat this step multiple times until they have all been downloaded.

It should be noted that the game may work without all of these files, however they will likely be missing images, logos, or language translations. Since we want the games to be as complete as possible, all of these files need to be added to the curation.