Flashpoint Mini Status Update: June 2020

Ben Latimore
May 29, 2020 · 3 min read

It’s been one month since the release of 301. Considering that it was the biggest release we’ve put out since the project began, we’ve been trying to relax the pace a little, and not throw in massive, project-defining changes each week. That’s not to say there hasn’t been any progress whatsoever, though, and in this smaller-than-usual update, I’d like to take you through said progress.

The Current

The master build of Flashpoint has mainly received fixes (such as the Windows 7 and PopCap Plugin/3DVIA Player stuff) and new games. The day I write this, version 8.1, currently codenamed “Spirit of Adventure” because I can’t stop listening to this damned Aether Realm album, passed 2000 new games, and there’s a couple hundred new animations on top as well.

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Just a small sample. In ultra-widescreen, because why not.
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Animations in not-widescreen. Just not enough of them for this one, sorry!

We’ve taken the time to expand the Vitalize and Hypercosm libraries a little, there’s plenty of educational titles showing up, and a few hidden gems here and there this time. As always though, we’re open to more people coming and helping; we’ve managed to get through almost 40% of the request list, but there’s always more to do.

One other bonus has made its way in though; we’ve integrated TOMY’s Old CPU Simulator into Flashpoint Secure Player, meaning we should be able to get some games that were previously crazy fast into way more playable speeds.

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You can’t tell it’s running at normal speed, but it’s still really goddamn hard.

And here’s a quick preview of what the changelog looks like currently.

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The New

With the rather slow period of transitioning to and from the pandemic, we had a bit of a stall on the Launcher. Thanks to a bit more free time on the part of our devs though, we have some neat new features and tweaks to show off, with more to come.

Please note that whether or not any of this will make it into 8.1 remains to be seen — these sorts of things take time.

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No more logo and screenshot upgrade required — we’re gonna get images straight from the internet.
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Tags are getting a big overhaul. There’s gonna be easier ways to filter them, they’ll be shaded differently for easier sorting, and we’ll even have a big list of them to browse through. Even just having them in a list like this in the right sidebar is an improvement.
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Yay, better random picks! We’ve needed that re-roll button forever.
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The new launcher version will be using a single-file database. Finally shedding LaunchBox XMLs completely for a massive speed boost.

There’s more on the way that I can’t quite show you just yet — whether they be so minor that they aren’t worth displaying, or hard to actually show off. With that said, the big ones are:

  • A more intelligent way of packing, downloading and playing games. We’re gonna be packing them into ZIPs, basically.
  • A form of Infinity that can continuously pull new databases from the net — no more downloading and extracting new versions, it’s all live.
  • More plugins, of course! Although we’re trying to polish up what we have before we go too crazy with new stuff.

The End

And that’s pretty much it for now. Flashpoint will continue on as normal until we’re ready for the next release. We’re hoping next month, if only as a maintenance release, but until then, there’s still 50,000 pieces of web media to go enjoy. Have fun.

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