HTML5 is NOT right tool to make mobile games

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  • I would like to share my experiences how I worked a lot of mobile games for my customers also it has do to with HTML5 frameworks and Construct 2 IDE, you may consider this as my personal verdict:

    • It’s slower than native code by about 70%
    • It’s slower than x86 C/C++ by about 50%
    • The most viable method for it to get faster is by using the hardware to desktop level performance. It could be viable long-term, but it’s looking like a pretty long wait.
    • Garbage collection for mobile is WORSE. Actually, it's really way worse than it is in desktop level.
    • The language itself doesn’t seem to be getting faster these days, and people who are working on it are saying that with the current language and APIs, it will never be as fast as native code.
    • Every competent mobile developer would waste a great time thinking about the memory performance of the target device.
    • asm.js may be another solution, but if they win you will be using native language or similar old language as a frontend, more than something high level like JavaScript.
    • Javascript is too slow for mobile app use in 2013. If we get new devices were built in 2014, it may be better but Javascript looks "faster as native" in 2020.

    I believe we should develop the games for desktop, if you want to develop big games for mobile, please forget it and try to find another native language could work with your big game design.

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  • I love Construct 2 for what it can do in regards to prototyping and basic design, but as a noob, it's definitely been a bit of a nightmare trying to understand moving things over to mobile.

  • Saying its slower by 50% is fine and good, but at some point, enough performance is enough, no? I mean if you have enough performance to make a game run 60 fps with a lot of animated sprites, collision checks, particles, that there is enough to make a great game of almost any genre.

    Is it good to make huge games with massive assets? Heck no. It's limited by the worse memory management for that.

    Is it good to make games with many thousands of onscreen sprites and particles? Heck no. It's limited by its slower performance.

    But you can do a lot, if you limit yourself to a reasonable number of objects, say 1,000 objects onscreen, it will run even on older devices fast.

    I was recently testing some stuff on the chrome browser on a Nexus 7, that thing eats JS and spits it out like nothing. The hardware is getting so powerful these days. If anything, its the lack of features, ie. AdMob, Google Play Social plugins etc that is the letdown rather than raw performance.

  • Well I've started a devlog for my slow burn larger mobile game. I've made claims offer opinions time to dance on stage

    My devlog can reached from my sig image Derelict On-Line Project.

  • deviever Same here, Construct 2 has best visual scripting ever but I hate how it's only for HTML5

    Yes, you make reasonable facts, gameplay is more important than graphics but without a lot of graphics as content doesn't offer higher replay value, you're talking about simple games that no one would like to replay... until it's totally innovative (No, it's not like flappy bird.)

  • Would somebody please define what a mobile game is?

    I mean I must be missing something, because I thought they were games that worked on mobile devices.

  • newt

    1- Google it

    2- Heavy games with HTML5 technology don't guarantee to work on mobile devices unless simple games would be enough.

  • Guys, you know what... if we all could just design good games FOR mobile. It is not the best platform for big, "robust" games!

    To give an example, I bought Oceanhorn the day it was released. It is "robust", super pretty and runs 60fps even on iPhone 4S. The thing is, they really should've released it on consoles. I played it for an hour, then just quit and never looked back. I do not want to play big games on my phone.

    Then, look at Threes! Brilliant, polished, tiny, definitely NOT "robust" and designed to be played in small bursts... a perfect game for mobile devices.

    The perfomance is not always the problem.

  • Speaking of Google, have you done any research as to what types of games are the best performers monetarily?

  • Did you ask me or OP? Threes! is in the US top 10 at the moment...

  • I think hit the nail on the head here.

    The greatest mobile games haven't needed to be huge, it just isn't platform appropriate.

  • It was for Joannesalfa.

    I mean the idea of making a "big" game on a cell phone is kinda like Facebook buying out Occulus Rift.

    Its not that it can't happen, it just doesn't make much sense.

  • Yeah, ok! I somehow managed to look right past the word "Google" on your post, haha. I think I need a new cup of coffee.

  • I've saw great game on the NES, on the Megadrive, on the Master system

    I'm pretty sure those can be done in Mobile HTML5

    (you'd say it can be done with time and caution? how do you think they were made before?)

    "Every competent mobile developer would waste a great time thinking about the memory performance of the target device."

    In native too I think, mobile are like PC's, they are a huge collection of different hardware and software, heck, I think it can be even worse than PC.

    Maybe It is because I am talking about mobile HTML5 in a browser, doing multiplatform is always a pain, I think it is the only thing C2 doesn't make as transparent, where other engine makes it invisible (although C2 does a great job at that)

    At the end, people can use their compatible browser, go to my game, play it, without worrying about installing things, and if the game is optimised well, there aren't too much problems (some might say that some phones cannot run HTML5 properly, I have one like that, even the home screen sometimes have slowdown, so I do not worry a lot, for now, I didn't had a lot of issues at all, the only one was the non support of the audio API)

    At the end, mobile HTML5 is doable on mobile, is it worth it? Well, why go HTML5 if you just want to do a game to place it on mobile stores only (I know, because C2 is great and it's a shame it doesn't do everything the way some people think it should, because it is the best but export is cr*p because HTML5 is not good etc etc)

    At the end, I see that people want to C2, but don't want to HTML5 (I might be the only one who didn't care at al for mobile at first)

    PS: I am not talking at all about cocoonJS, I will never use it anyway, because I'd lost the benefit of HTML5, yet still would have to support it as a new platform, which would not be great since it's memory management

    EDIT:Didn't meant to sound rude, just tired of all of those

  • I made game using C2 for a mobile device (iOS). It works super!!!

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