Why HTML5, and the future of exporters

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  • Actually NaCl is already fully open source, under BSD, and Google has committed to freely? helping other browser makers implement it. I didn't realize it reached 1.0 back in October 2011. Java, Python, and Go are official Google languages, so I'm sure they will release bindings for them. This video has some interesting high-level technical information and a showcase of a few games.

    Native Client Showcase

    Anyway, it is a very interesting time to be making browser games. The technologies for high end browsers games are growing fast: WebGL, Stage3D, Unity, and NaCl.

    Edit: JavaScript these days is very fast, it is not the bottleneck. That is, as long as you're running the newest version of your favourite browser and as Ashley says over and over "update your drivers!"... updating Windows would probably also help. Even though using JavaScript for the foreseeable future doesn't have me leaping for joy I am backing WebGL. I know people complain about stuff getting stolen from their games (I doubt if this has demonstrably happened), but I think the web gets more from its openness and reliance on standards than it loses.

  • t is a hassle and surely much harder than installing an EXE game on a computer

    I've argued this to death already, but I genuinely do not understand this at all! So downloading an EXE, going through security warnings and having it only work on one platform is more convenient than just visiting a URL like any other website and the game is already running? Surely not!

    Easy answer, given with a question:

    Why didn't you make C2 a web app? You see, I just might, once in a while, be offline. My tablet might have reached the limit on it's data plan. I might not have money to have 3G internet because it is still a bit pricey. I might not have a server to put my app on. My computer might not perform well. I might want to make an epic game, but online space has it's constraints.

    It's all about convenience, Ashley. I don't understand your blatant refusal and security warning talk. You have an exe tool that could be an online platform, so your critique is odd.

    Let's have a factual example:

    Do you know GDocs or Zoho or Office Live? Do you have Open Office or Microsoft Office installed? Which one do you use the most?

    Do we know the answer to that question right? And you understand a huge number of people today do the same?

  • there's this other version of construct in development, not quite as stable, but more fully featured, and exports to exe. it's called construct classic. you can learn more about it here, and download the latest version here.

    while a desktop exporter of some kind is most likely in the cards for c2, and would be supremely awesome given c2's ide stability, it would probably be premature to begin on one now, and slow down c2 development before it's even fully featured.

    at the current time construct classic has more plugins, can use pixel shaders, and can have 1000's of objects on screen with no slowdown. it uses dx9 hardware accelerated graphics, and runs natively on windows, and is fully open source, so you can add any missing features you like. you can probably download it and get your game up and running in less time than it takes to beat a dead horse.

  • HTML5 is new and a lot more hyped. It makes sense, from a financial perspective, to make a tool to occupy a less crowded market, especially if you're developing it from scratch, as is the case with C2.

    Additionally, from a developer perspective, it's a lot

    easier to

    • get funding for an HTML5 game
    • get people to buy a HTML5 middleware if you're an influencer/affiliate/partner
    • reach a wide audience

    than with a traditional exe exporter.

    Apparently, Scirra's business strategy is to empower indie developers and help them make money, unlike clickteam, for instance, which caters to hobbyists (all MMF devs who attempted to create games commercially seem to waste more time working around bugs and "newbie-friendliness" than coding actual games).

    Even the SDK is a lot easier than what you'd find in Unity, Unreal, Source and other big platforms. If there's a feature you don't have, you can either wait for Ashley or work around it with a custom plugin - that speaks a lot about the maturity of the platform. Also, with each new *big* feature (groups/families/image points/collision masks) you get less and less reliant on Ashley to do stuff for you.

    This is the reason scirra has my money.

    Besides, no one ever said an EXE exporter was out of question. If an Exporter SDK existed, people would be working on EXE exporting already. Let the product mature a bit and get all the core features. Buyers were even considered "early adopters" until a couple weeks ago!

  • ............... True, but you must recreate the whole game in both platforms if you want to target each platform.

    If there was a possibility of exporting a capx to Classic, there would be no problem and all problems would cease to exist.

  • If there was a possibility of exporting a capx to Classic, there would be no problem and all problems would cease to exist.

    If you're suggesting that this should actually be made, I hope you realize how utterly impossible that is. It'd be like being able to convert C++ code to Java -- they're too different languages, despite their similarities. You simply can't switch between them like that.

  • Why didn't you make C2 a web app?

    For a different reason: the editor is considerably more complex than the runtime - maybe 10-20x as much code and complexity. The games already are pushing the technology to the limit, so it's much more doubtful that a full blown editor on the web would work at all. Also, our prior experience is with C++/Windows, and to give our startup the best chance of surviving we stuck to what we know so we can work far more quickly than if we changed platform for the editor (you've seen our weekly updates, would probably be monthly on any other platform). The editor *would* be better and more convenient if it ran in HTML5 as well, but for now we can make the games better and more convenient by making them run in HTML5.

    ou see, I just might, once in a while, be offline.

    HTML5 games work offline too, we support that. Even if you're online, the offline cache means it only downloads once ever and never downloads again until you update it, making it exactly the same size download as if it were a traditional game - possibly less if parts of the game are streamed as you play, but we don't support that yet. There's lots of side benefits to that as well like auto-updating all your players at once, eliminating the chance anyone is stuck with an out of date downloaded copy.

    t's all about convenience, Ashley.

    I still doubt that. You're just one bookmark away on any platform. Browsers like Chrome make it even easier by having icons for Chrome Web Store apps which you can launch right from the new tab page. Windows are making HTML5 integrated in to Windows itself, and Mozilla are working on web apps for all platforms. I think the real issue is a social one. People aren't used to playing games on the web via a browser, or think of the web as little casual games. I don't think that's to do with convenience though, nor is it to do with the technology. It's a shift in perception to taking the web more seriously as a gaming platform. I think that shift probably has already started, given the fact games like Bastion are now running in a browser. Then there's more on the way like the Gamepad API so you can use XBox controllers and others to control games in a browser. It's 100% going to be a solid gaming platform in the future, it's just people don't think of it that way yet, and I think how people think about EXE games is the real argument behind us making an EXE exporter... it's just we don't have the resources, and I think people's perceptions will change with time too.

    Hopefully in future Mozilla or someone will make a good EXE wrapper for HTML5 anyway, then everyone will be happy in the end :)

  • there's this other version of construct in development, not quite as stable, but more fully featured, and exports to exe. it's called construct classic. --- you can probably download it and get your game up and running in less time than it takes to beat a dead horse.

    no offense intended to anyone in this thread but...

    this sir...made me laugh.

  • Trevor10 Yeah NaCL is a wonderfull piece of technology. I have great hopes for it. Imagine being able to run everything inside it, substituting JS runtime entirely. Of course it won't happen anytime soon. But Google is planning to get it running everywhere.

    With the trio WebGL , NaCL, and Flash3D there'll be no need for anything else.

    About making C2 editor as an web app that would be a huge undertaking if not impossible. Unfortunatelly it's still very very hard to make a complex desktop-like fast and good looking web app with HTML5 and CSS3. Flash and Silverlight don't count they failed it appears.

  • Why is it so important to have an Exe? The trend is going the other way with "web apps"

  • No, it is not. It's a fad and we ae years until this is feasible/viable.

    This cloud storm will pass.

  • Because browser games still miss that "desktop feeling". Don't ask me to explain what the feeling would be. And second: Browser games tend to have less immersion than desktop games, you get distracted too easily. This can be mitigated when browsers get full support for fullscreen games. I personally want to see only the game and nothing more. (The exception being Social Games, but i hate hate hate social games so...) It's more a matter of presentation. Web Apps still lack the feeling of desktop apps. There's still a way to go. Not only that but like a said it's still very hard to make a really decent web app with html5/css3

  • eyeliner I wouldn't call it a fad but yeah it's not ready yet. Far from that. It's a time of transition and revolution so of course everything is a terrible mess. *Things will never be how they were, and surely won't be how they are now* So people that follow the current carefully will win , those that don't will fade and die. Simple.

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  • I have to agree with Ashley at some point in time in the future somebody will have an HTML 5 to exe program.

    Personally, that job is too hard to do for a 2 man team.

  • mammoth That's why when the time is right Ashley should focus on making the EDK so that we can help him reach all platforms. If by then WebGL get's universally accepted and with great performance we'll have much less work.

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