New to the forum and looking for some advice…
We are a Web Development Company and have done some small to medium web
diversifying to create products and one option was small games online
and for mobiles.
We’ve developed a Real Time Strategy Engine, or at least a Proof of
Concept for one, in pure HTML5. We’ve tested it to a certain degree on
most of the modern browsers and on the iPhone (planning on testing on
Android ICS but not sure about HTML5 support). All of the move, fire,
build code and some visual effects and sounds are all working well (link
below). It’s probably about 5 weeks of research and development that
originally started around learning the nuances HTML5.
Proof of Concept (Edit: Now works on iphone)
The idea is that the HTML will work not just on normal browser but also
on phones creating a nice cross platform game without massive cross
paltform effort. We planned to write simple browser wrappers for iPhone
and Android to create saleable apps.
However, I’m really rather unsure of what to do next. Is it possible for
an independent company to achieve success with something like this? Is
there any money to be made from this approach? Is this something that
could be taken to a publisher? Or is this just so saturated that
attempting anything like this just isn’t worth any more effort?
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I think there is going to be a bright future for HTML 5 in gaming,
particularly for the indie development; however it’s not quite there
yet. There’s quite a few bugs the browser devs need to resolve to make
the experience smoother on all platforms. Mobile platforms in particular
have notoriously bad experiences because the user input is treated for
web browsing and not gaming (pinch zooming, rubber banding, scaling,
etc.). The audio support, in particular for Windows Phone, is quite
atrocious. For some reason these browser devs have a lot of problems
with audio. It took Firefox over a year just to support the audio loop
If I were building HTML 5 games today it would be for desktops only and
they would have to be really simple, like Farmville, Plants vs Zombies,
or a Tycoon type game. Chrome and Firefox are generally not that bad,
although they still both have small audio issues. Getting them to
semi-work on mobile platforms would only be to help promote the
technology, although I wouldn’t blow a whole lot of time on it. I think
writing native apps is still the best choice for mobile platforms right
now. At the least, I would have native code manage audio and user input.
You then delegate the rest to the browser.
Sound does seem to be a problem, especially on the iphone where it is
fairly complex games albeit 2D only without using plug-ins. I was
actually quite surprised how clean the cross-browser/cross-platform
implementation was.The linked proof of concept works on IE9, Chrome,
Firefox and Safari including iphone. The only problems making it support
all platforms were with Sound and Xml everything else worked pretty much
out of the box including some common but not standard touch events.
I think we were considering using HTML5 as the base and using platform
specific wrappers to create packaged apps. These wrappers could act as a
kind of abstraction layer to compensate for the weak spots such as
sound. That said the next step we are looking at is trying to use HTML5
Websockets to implement multiplayer. If that works then I’m thinking it
might actually be a viable approach.
Indeed, it is quite powerful in the graphics department. Windows Phone
can maintain 30 FPS with \~2 layers of rendering. With native code, the
phone supports a maximum of 3 layers before the FPS gets too low,
although typically you try not to exceed 2 layers. This puts it on par
with native rendering performance. The CPU performance is also pretty
1000 particles with physics and the phone managed to keep up. Due to
fillrate limitations, you probably wouldn’t render more than 5 - 10
particles, so there’s plenty of CPU power left over. More so when you
consider the proliferation of mutli-core processors.
Using HTML5 as a base is quite acceptable. There’s a few simple games
using PhoneGap that show it’s capable, especially with a backend to
power the areas where HTML5 lacks. I’m not sure what to think of
Websockets though. I’m waiting to see what the final say will be on
Looks really cool!
shit! a full rts in html, i cant believe it
i gotta check this out MYSELF!
if you wanna make money, you need an original idea, otherwise i see this
as a good opportunity for your company, go for it.
I was messing around with html5 and had a tile engine that could load
150,000 64px square tiles based off an array
I just repeated the array a lot in notepad to make it huge for testing.
Performance varies across browsers and drops as you make the canvas
EA released a html5 game a few years ago called “Lord of Ultima” you
might check out their setup as they use MVC for a RTS using html5 and
just keep everyone updated with ajax calls, which is probably right up
You might check out making a custom webkit or application with
standalone V8 engine integrated to publish it as an app.
edit:: after playing, your game is awesome :)
If anyone is interested we’ve got quite far on with this as a bit of a
what if experiment and are now putting in into an open BETA. We’ve also
got a native iPhone version that we’re testing running from the same
runs in the UIWebView however the frame rate is shocking, despite being
fine just running in Safari. Turns out this is a common problem with
engine to be used due to security permissions. So we had to write a
the UIWebView. This seems to work and the framerate is now better than
the native HTML5 even in Safari. We also used this method to get around
Apple’s restrictions on playing sound in HTML5 without a media player
style UI and are attempting to use a smiliar process to enable
multiplayer over Bluetooth.
Beta is below, any feedback is appreciated…
It worked fine on my desktop, but it loaded too slow on my droid so I
gave up. Overall it’s interesting where you’ve ended up. I think the
game could use a bit more polish. I would personally class this more
along the lines of an alpha release than a beta, but I guess it depends
on how much further you want to take this. I think there’s a couple more
features you need to add in such as a tutorial, revised UI, fullscreen
support, and streaming music to name a few.
Just some suggestions:
1. Change the construction sound. I want to drill a hole in my head
every time it loops. Buttons should also play a sound when you click on
Scrolling the map is a bit cumbersome. Sometimes it works, other
times the cursor leaves the browser and your game won’t register the
scroll. Supporting fullscreen will help eliminate this problem. Consider
supporting variable scroll speed. When the cursor is anywhere between 0
and 5% from the edge, smoothly accelerate the scrolling. It’s a bit
clunky right now. I assume on a mobile phone you support flick
The UI could use some love. Buttons should adopt 4-states. Idle,
hover, pressed, and disabled (at least for PC, 3-states for mobiles).
Some nice sprites to animate this would look great. I know this is for
mobile phones, but I would probably stick to a lighter version of the
C&C UI. Expand and collapse the panels on the edges of the screen when
needed. Avoid popping up panels in the middle because it totally
obstructs your view.
Background music with the option to enable/disable (for those
listening to something else).
I think you should increase the view area. Selecting tanks to defend
your base and not being able to see the enemy one screen down from you
makes it a tactical nightmare. At the least, support pinch zooming (you
could use the mouse wheel for desktops).
Keep up the good work.
I have a slow connection (512k) and it just locked up when the little
tanks started crossing the field.
Thanks for the feedback, I think you’re right about the UI. It is quite
hard to get something that works well on both the PC (browser) and Touch
- you don’t have the same mouse overs for example and the screen space
is so limited on mobiles. A lot of this is being done just to experiment
with the various platforms so the UI is loose but hopefully the engine
itself, AI and mechanics, are fairly stable now. Might have to detect
and display two different UIs one for touch and one for desktop to get
around this. We’ll make some changes based on what you’ve said and work
on some ideas.
You can play the game in full screen, well full browser area anyway,
using the link below. It was a bit of a cop out for ads the way it is
now as we’re just playing with ideas for how to possibly make it pay.
We are thinking of releasing an Editor, for the game and the maps, and
giving users the chance to publish content that would be available
through the menus. Just as a way of extending the game, adding replay
value and bringing Mods to mobiles as it were. A lot of the UI, along
with the units, maps and factions are customisable.
Will have to look at the slow connection thing - I’ve tried it on 3g
from an iPhone and it seemed to run okay though loading times were a bit
of an issue. When we go full app all the files are embedded so it
doesn’t download anything after the install which will help with this
hopefully. The game is only about 25MB at the moment and it loads a lot
more than it needs for each level so we’ll look at trying to refine this
Okay, based on comments, proposed new UI is below which hopefully
addresses the feedback but is still both touch and desktop compatible…
That’s definitely in a step in the right direction, less the shaky hand
We have just added multiplayer support for up to four players.
Also updated to show better loading progress on Chrome and Safari and
fixed a few other bugs.
Plus it now runs, though a little slow, on the Playstation 3’s
We have just taken this into open beta on Facebook. The app now has
Facebook integration with their credits api and the ability to challenge
friends and play multiplayer in realtime. Still with everything written
which is C#/.NET). Any feedback would be much appreciated, link below.