Ruffle and Dungeon Robber
February 14, 2022 2:39 AM   Subscribe

Flash is dead, or is it? Ruffle is an alternate way to run Flash content! It's written in Rust, a language designed for memory safety, so it's much safer than Flash was. It's available as a standalone application, or a browser extension (compiled it to WebAssembly). You can even use it to run Flash apps on iOS. If you want to test it out, you could have another go at Dungeon Robber (Doubles Jubilee, 2013), a simulation of dungeon exploration using the rules from the 1st Edition AD&D DM's Guide.
posted by JHarris (14 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Hints for dungeon exploration:
- Your first game, you start out as a Dungeon Robber. Other classes are unlocked as you play.
- You'll die a lot. This is to be expected, and is historically accurate.
- The map you see is not a map of the dungeon. It's a map of the generation process from the DM's guide. The actual dungeon is pretty much meaningless; it doesn't much matter which direction you decide to go, most of the time.
- If you get hurt, you can heal back up by returning to town and staying at your home. It still costs 10 gold pieces to heal each hit point, though.
- When you decide to leave the dungeon, you may have a chance of getting lost, and then must wander until you find the stairs again.
- You get far more experience, on early levels at least, from finding treasure and banking it in town (one xp per gold banked) than killing monsters. Treasure banked is put into investments, saving it for your retirement. Once banked, you can't get it back out again, so save some for healing. Get to 1,000 experience to get to level 1.
- You "win" if you retire (in town) before dying, but the higher your level and the more gold you have banked when you retire, the better.
- The deeper in the dungeon you go, the more dangerous it is. Sometimes you end up going down levels involuntarily. You might consider going down to level 2 or 3 on purpose, hoping to find some unattended treasure and escaping with it before the monsters or traps kill you. Or play it safe on level 1.
- See how far you can go, and marvel that we've come so far from playing D&D solitaire like this.
posted by JHarris at 3:02 AM on February 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

Also: if you retire characters before they die, depending on how much cash you had banked and your level, your old characters set up in the town and provide services to later characters! And to equip things you find in the dungeon, click on the character sheet icon at the bottom of the page.
posted by JHarris at 3:13 AM on February 14, 2022

Ruffle is very much a work in progress. Support for ActionScript 1 and 2 is still incomplete and it can't currently play any Flash content that relies on ActionScript 3, but it's under fairly active development and probably will end up being a better Flash player than Adobe's at some point.

Meanwhile, I can't see any compelling reason not to add the Ruffle extension to your browser and try feeding it any old Flash you've a hankering to reconnect with. Worst case, it won't play it properly yet. Unlike the Adobe players it is an extension, not a plugin, so it's always going to be far better sandboxed than Adobe's players ever were, and between that and being implemented in a language designed to eliminate buffer overflows entirely, it should be much less susceptible to being maliciously exploited.
posted by flabdablet at 3:31 AM on February 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yep. This was originally envisioned as a Doubles Jubilee post on Dungeon Robber, but since Ruffle is needed to play it now I put that in too. For what it's worth, Dungeon Robber works well in Ruffle.
posted by JHarris at 3:47 AM on February 14, 2022

Ruffle reminds me of the console emulation scene of the mid-to-late 1990s. While it wasn't quite the same as Flash being deprecated, not many NES and SNES games were being reissued at the time, and with the consoles having been end-of-lifed, it felt like a certain era was gone forever and I'd only be left with what little scraps I had assembled from a limited number of birthdays and Christmases and lucky yard sale finds.

And then suddenly emulators! And with them I could have all the experiences I missed out on because people had taken the time to (ahem) "preserve" the roms and create platforms on which to play them. And it was wonderful.

(Also, remember when the pro-ROM distributing argument was that publishers aren't providing any legal way to play these games, so we're forced to do this? Good times)
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:45 AM on February 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

Good to hear about Ruffle, but what I need most is a way to run Flash (the creation application, not the player) in modern OSes. Windows 10 refuses to run it at all any more, and if I wasn't still using Mojave, it would probably be the same case on the Mac side.
posted by May Kasahara at 6:43 AM on February 14, 2022

So just in case this was un-obvious to anyone else, you can get this going in ruffle by:
  • Loading in your browser and saving the resulting file
  • On the ruffle page, load this file
Other than using a little view source operation on the dungeonrobber page I'm not sure how to figure out "randomdungeonmap14"...

Fun game, I hadn't thought of it in years.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 6:50 AM on February 14, 2022

There's also a ruffle plugin for various browsers that'll play Flash things fairly painlessly.
posted by entity447b at 7:16 AM on February 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

The browser builds are extensions, not plugins like the original Adobe Flash Player was; this is possible because WebAssembly is a thing these days. Once you've installed the Ruffle extension just like you'd install any other extension, browsing to will make it play inside the browser without further ado.

Ruffle extension for Firefox at the official Firefox browser add-ons site
Ruffle extension for Chrome at the Chrome Web Store
posted by flabdablet at 7:37 AM on February 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

I've been trying out Dungeon Robber using Ruffle, and noticed some weirdness with text - newlines in places there probably shouldn't be, and weird characters when i go to the graveyard (extended ascii or maybe color codes?) Going to the graveyard seems to crash the game soon after.
I guess my question would be how much of this happened when playing with "real" Flash, and how much is an artifact of using Ruffle?
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 7:55 AM on February 14, 2022

It's written in Rust, a language designed for memory safety

so, how's that working out for you?
posted by 7segment at 8:46 AM on February 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

weird characters when i go to the graveyard

What RPG doesn't have weird characters in a graveyard, though
posted by oulipian at 9:18 AM on February 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I probably should have supplied links directly to the extensions in their repositories. I would have linked to more Ruffle-related things in the post, but I noticed that the main page was designed in a style where all the "different" links were to the same page, using anchors to scroll to different parts of it? I wasn't sure how to enter that into the post form, if it would balk at having several links to effectively the same place.
posted by JHarris at 10:32 AM on February 14, 2022

One can use the anchor tag included links as the link and metafilter doesn't strip them out.
posted by Mitheral at 11:47 AM on February 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

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