Bass Abyss is finally back and playable!
With this update, we can finally say farewell to the venerable Adobe Flash Player as it is no longer a requirement to play. Everything you need is a modern web browser. Play on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS with no need for plugins or installers.
This update is focused on compatibility with Ruffle and bug fixing, so don’t expect anything new or groundbreaking other than the game being playable. That alone is a big milestone all things considered.
However, I did plenty of optimizations in the code. I had long postponed them since the support of the Flash Player was waning. There was little point in investing more time in a game that no one could play. All that changed thanks to Ruffle, so it was time to look at that huge backlog of bugs and squash them all to the best of my ability.
Ruffle is a different runtime, and consequently, in that environment, the game demonstrated bugs that did not exist in the Flash Player runtime. So even though this was unplanned work, I did my best to address these new Ruffle-specific bugs. There are graphical glitches and limitations inherent to the platform that required some adjustments. I even had to disable some features and visual effects. This should not prevent you from playing and finish the base game. I will add these features back as soon as Ruffle demonstrates support for them.
The bottom line is, if somehow you can play this version of the game in the old Adobe Flash Player, you will experience visual differences. I do not plan to test and support the game in the Adobe Flash Player anymore since it is officially retired. Ruffle is now the reference platform.
As mentioned before, all you need is a modern web browser in any of the major computing platforms out there in the market.
Bass Abyss is arguably an old game that required some modest hardware back in the day, but with Ruffle, now we are at the mercy of the modern web technologies and whatever requirements they have. If terms like WebAssembly and Rust are foreign to you, you are not alone. But the portability of the game alone is well worth the trouble of using a web browser to play it.
I have experienced different results with different browsers on different computers. For now, the best results I have gotten have been using Windows 10 on a desktop machine with Google Chrome. So just try anything you have at hand and don’t give up.
Why “Back for Good”?
Ruffle, Rust, and modern web browsers are based on open-source technologies that are supposedly not going to just fade away. If the promise holds, browser vendors will support the open web standards Ruffle targets for the foreseeable future. Unlike the Flash Player, which was proprietary software that could be retired at the whim of the owner, or be bullied out of the market, as it indeed happened, the prospects of this happening to Ruffle are slim to none.
And even if the Rust developers get bored, at least the emulator in its current state is available for good, hosted on this website regardless of what happens with the Rust project. So, Bass Abyss is not going away anytime soon.
Not only that. The Ruffle emulator has proved its worth, so this is not just about restoring old content anymore. Creating new content has become a viable proposition.
- Updated Third Armor Intro.
- Fixed background image bugs.
- Improved asset management and speed.
- Prepopulated streams of platforms. Especially nice for levels 12 and 15.
Notable missing features and hiccups
- No ability to paste custom map codes.
- No High Scores.
- No video modes.
- Slowdowns at the beginning of the stage.
- Processing existing large custom maps might briefly freeze the user interface.
- Disabled the Bloom toggle in the Graphic settings.
- No glow effects.
- No bitmap-based transitions.
As usual, I had to make a cut here otherwise this update would take forever. Time will tell what comes next.
I have not tested every single character thoroughly so there might be other outstanding issues. Just let me know so at least I can capture the issue in my backlog.