This week I learned about BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint project, which preserves tens of thousands of Flash games on Windows through a custom, Electron-powered launcher. I lost track of time replaying some old favorites the first time I installed it.
This made me feel nostalgic for the original Flash version of Ramps I made back in 2007 (retroactively dubbed “Ramps Classic” a few years later). Although it’s pretty crude in comparison to the iOS version, it was fairly popular for a time. I shared the game on my personal site, DeviantArt and Newgrounds, but it quickly spread to all sorts of Flash gaming portals since I hadn’t implemented any sitelocking mechanism.
Ramps isn’t included in Flashpoint as of this writing, but it is on the list of games users have requested. This motivated me to make a personal effort to preserve the game.
While there are quite a few “SWF to EXE” converters floating around out there (some from dubious sources), I eventually found GitHub user junebeetle’s “Create Projector” workaround for generating standalone executibles from Adobe’s official Flash Player. These will run on the latest versions of Windows or macOS even if Flash isn’t installed.
I thought about hosting the files here, but in the spirit of preservation I decided to upload them to the Internet Archive instead.
Playing the original Ramps again for the first time in years is pretty wild. Although its gradient-heavy visuals, lack of audio and questionable physics have not aged very gracefully, it’s still fun, and some of the in-jokey passwords instantly take me back to that time of my life.
It’s a shame that it isn’t as easy to play Ramps for iOS, which improved on the original in just about every way. But it’s nice to be able to revisit the earliest iteration of my first game, and it’s heartening to know there are others interested in preserving that era of the web.