It’s gone in a Flash! Flash Adobe has been replaced – what you need to know.

New Software for games and animation

New FREE Creative Software – How to create multimedia projects on the web.


This month we’ll continue to explore freely available creative software. Like with the previous month’s entry, which mentioned the stalwart Adobe application Photoshop, we’ll also be harkening back to a software gem of the past: Adobe Flash (previously Macromedia). As many of us may recall, Flash was everywhere. It was embedded in web pages, was integral to YouTube, was a game engine, and also allowed people to create millions upon millions of silly animations. After many days in the sun, Flash was sunsetted recently on Dec. 31st, 2020. Adobe has since expanded their program offerings via their paywalled Creative Cloud which includes Adobe Animate.  


So what is there out there to fill the void? And more so, what is available for free, open sourced, and web based? Well, without wasting more words, welcome: Wick Editor!New software used to create games and animations

The Wick Editor is a hybrid animation tool and coding environment, inspired by similar tools such as HyperCard, and Scratch. It was developed in response to a growing need for such a tool for the modern web. Similar to its inspiration, Wick Editor has all the goodies one would expect for an aspiring animator, game creator, and storyteller. This naturally includes Onion Skins. Onion skinning, in 2D computer graphics, is a technique used in creating animated cartoons and editing movies to see several frames at once. This way, the animator or editor can make decisions on how to create or change an image based on the previous image in the sequence.In traditional animation, the individual frames of a movie were initially drawn on thin onion skin paper over a light source. The animators (mostly inbetweeners) would put the previous and next drawings exactly beneath the working drawing, so that they could draw the ‘in between’ to give a smooth motion. Present in Wick are also classic interactions like Mouse Follow, goToFrame, and custom buttons for interaction via coding in Javascript. 


Because Wick Editor is online, free, and open source, this project has all but eliminated the barriers that Flash presented to me in my youth and even offers free online tutorials, a supportive and active community, and some excellent content – like my favorite: Click Me If You Can – an interactive animation by Wick user Nick Diamant.  


TLDR;  Flash was a beast and was an inspiration to a young me. Back then it was an industry standard and that came with cost and a steep learning curve. Since its sunset, there has been a void for a tool like Flash. While there are new engines like Unity, etc, Wick Editor has stepped up to the plate and has created their spin on a hybrid animation tool and coding environment. TLDR: Bonus:  There will be an exciting announcement in the coming months regarding Wick Editor!

About the Author:

John Balash was instrumental in Digital Dragon’s launch in 2013 as its first Curriculum Director and is now back in the fold as a consultant on all the latest and greatest in tech education.This is John’s latest contribution to a monthly blog series we’ve launched, Tech News from the Frontier. John is the Director of Educational Engagement at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. John has worked on educationally-focused initiatives with clients ranging from D.A.R.P.A. to Disney. Working from both sides of the desk, you can find John in classrooms and conferences around the world exploring new uses for technologies in learning environments.