html5 drawbacks

fireside 141 Mar 31, 2013 at 21:20

Started playing with a little html5 engine. I’ve found out that my code is exposed and really can’t be hidden. I’m wondering how many people writing games are going to feel about that. I’ve also noticed the majority of games on Kongregate are still in Flash. There are only a few html5/javascript games. It doesn’t bother me at all having exposed code, I just can’t see it taking off.

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Stainless 151 Apr 01, 2013 at 08:54

HTML 5 doesn’t really work very well yet. Support for it is not universal and varies between browsers

It’s like going back to the bad old days when html would display correctly in your favorite browser, but would look completely different on every other browser.

The open source nature of the source code is an issue as well

TheNut 179 Apr 01, 2013 at 12:15

Code exposure is a valid concern, but there are solutions. For one, any production level code you release is going to be compacted. While the code can still be reverse engineered, it’s not in a state that would make development easier. If you were truely concerned, you could go a step further and obfuscate the code, but I haven’t seen any good obfuscators for JavaScript yet.

Most games are in Flash for a lot of reasons. Kongregate is an old site and houses a lot of old games, which at that time Flash was the popular format. When people see this, they feel confident in the Flash platform as being viable choice for developing games. Adobe also offers tools for non-programmers (typically designers) to make interactive Flash apps. HTML5 is still fairly new and not a lot people yet understand how to use it. For them, HTML5 is still about DOM and CSS3 manipulation. These sort of projects are not taking full advantage of the platform and as any web developer knows, writing portable HTML and CSS code is a nightmare. The power of HTML5 comes from writing pure JavaScript code that interfaces with the canvas object. Portability issues are no longer a concern, but the number of game development frameworks that provide this and a custom UI API is nonexistant from what I’ve seen. So people are sort of on standby right now until someone can help fill that gap.

On the flipside, the JavaScript LLVM compiler is making headlines. Recently the Unreal engine was ported over to the browser in a span of 4 or so days using this technology. So that may more or less fill in the gap I spoke about. Developers can use existing native engines in order to write pure JavaScript based games.

fireside 141 Apr 01, 2013 at 14:23

That is pretty exciting about Unreal. It will be interesting to see if there are many games made from it.