All posts tagged ‘Games’

File Under: HTML5, JavaScript

Emulator Brings the Bygone Era of Amiga to the Web

Amiga pinball wizard.

Miss your Amiga? Now you can play Prince of Persia, Pinball Dreams and other Amiga hits right in your web browser thanks to the Scripted Amiga Emulator, an Amiga emulator written entirely in JavaScript and HTML5.

To view the emulator, which was written by developer Rupert Hausberger, you’ll need a browser with support for WebGL and WebAudio, as well as a few other HTML5 APIs. I tested the emulator in the latest version of both Chrome and Firefox and it worked just fine.

If you’d like to see the code behind the Scripted Amiga Emulator, head on over to GitHub.

Happy Friday afternoon time wasting.

File Under: HTML5

Multiplayer Asteroids, Sans Asteroids

MMOAsteroids: every triangle for itself

Webmonkey, along with the rest of Wired, ignores April Fool’s Day pranks. Which is to say I don’t post about them, not even the good ones. But occasionally an April Fool’s prank is good enough that it makes the leap from joke to real thing — like MMOAsteroids.

It started with a post on Seb Lee-Delisle’s blog where he claimed to have built a Node.js-based real-time multiplayer version of the classic Asteroids videogame (albeit without the asteroids). That turned out to be an April Fool’s prank, but the idea was compelling enough that now there really is a real-time, multiplayer Asteroids game on the web. It’s based on Doug McInnes’ HTML5 Asteroids and uses the as-yet-unreleased Firebase API.

I’m not sure about the “massive” part of MMOAsteroid (it appears, based on posts at Hacker News, that the game randomly assigns players to different boards to avoid overwhelming the screen and making it unplayable), but otherwise it’s pretty awesome. And highly addictive.

File Under: Programming

Got a Profitable Flash-Based Videogame? Adobe Wants a Cut

Adobe has released Flash Player 11.2 and has decided it’s high time the once-ubiquitous browser plug-in started earning the company a bit of money.

Starting Aug. 1, 2012, Adobe will begin taking a 9 percent cut of game developers’ net revenue over $50,000.

For most Flash developers that means the new revenue sharing plan will not have any effect, but for the very successful companies building Flash-based games using the new domain memory in combination with the Stage 3D hardware acceleration, the change may affect the bottom line.

Users of Flash Player 11 don’t need to pay anything.

There are two exceptions to Adobe’s new revenue-sharing model. The first way to avoid it is to crank out your app now, before that Aug. 1 deadline arrives. The second option is to switch over the developing for AIR, in which case there is no revenue sharing. That means that the new rules don’t apply to any AIR apps compiled to standalone apps for iOS or Android.

So what are you getting for your 9 percent fee? Access to what Adobe is calling Flash’s “premium” features category. The premium features all revolve around the hardware-accelerated Stage 3D graphics in Flash Player 11. The Stage 3D rendering in Flash 11 consists of a low level API that offers hardware-accelerated 2-D and 3-D graphics. Adobe claims that Stage 3D can deliver “console-quality games” in the browser.

Adobe says the new premium-tier features and the accompanying fees are aimed at “game developers interested in creating the most advanced, graphically sophisticated, next-generation games for the web.”

Of course developers may also note that Adobe’s announcement comes on the heels of an impressive HTML5 gaming demo from Mozilla, which might offer some game developers another possible way to avoid Adobe’s revenue sharing plan.

BrowserQuest Is Pure HTML5 Gaming Goodness

NyanCat is one of several Easter eggs in BrowserQuest

Mozilla has partnered with developers at Little Workshop to launch BrowserQuest, a Zelda-inspired multiplayer roleplaying game built entirely on the open web stack — HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.

While BrowserQuest is a fun game to play, it was written as much to prove a point as to be a game — namely, that web developers no longer need to rely on Flash to create sophisticated online games. Using today’s web standards, game developers can build impressively complex games that work across devices.

To give BrowserQuest a try, just head on over to the site and pick a username. BrowserQuest will work in most modern web browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera (provided you enable WebSockets), Mobile Safari and Firefox for Android.

In an effort to help game developers looking to build more serious HTML5-based games, the code behind BrowserQuest has been released on GitHub.

BrowserQuest’s backend, which handles the real-time multiplayer aspect of the game, is written in JavaScript and runs on Node.js. As you would expect BrowserQuest uses the HTML5 Canvas element to actually render its 16-bit-style world and hooks into the HTML5 audio APIs for sound effects.

BrowserQuest is responsive as well, using @media queries to adapt to the size of your screen.

WebSockets — which are back, after being rewritten to fix some early flaws — handle the chat feature, which allows players to communicate within BrowserQuest. The final element in BrowserQuest’s HTML5 puzzle is localStorage, which saves your progress as you move through the game.

Although designed as much to showcase the power of WebSockets as to be an actual videogame, BrowserQuest is addictive and can easily suck you into its world for an entire morning if you’re not careful. (Not that we’d know.) There are also quite a few Easter eggs hidden away in its depths.

For more info on BrowserQuest either dive into the game, dig through the code or watch the screencast from developer Guillaume Lecollinet:

File Under: Browsers, HTML5, JavaScript

Building a GameBoy Emulator in HTML5 and JavaScript

Like Flash before it, HTML5 is where programmers are turning to experiment, and nothing seems to make developers experiment quite like the desire to recreate the classic video games.

We’ve already seen Pac-Man, Astroids and Conway’s Game of Life come to the browser in standards-friendly forms, and now Nintendo’s classic GameBoy platform is getting similar treatment.

The Mozilla Labs gaming blog has a guest post by developer and gamer Imran Nazar, who is hard at work building a GameBoy emulator using JavaScript. As Nazar points out, “HTML5 now offers the Canvas element for easily controlling a two-dimensional graphical display.” Couple that with the improved JavaScript speeds in modern browsers and you have the perfect platform for an emulator.

Nintendo’s GameBoy was the first portable gaming system most of us ever encountered, so the nostalgia factor is high. But the real point of this experiment is to help your understand the processes behind the scenes — how emulators work and how JavaScript can be used to build them.

The emulator isn’t quite finished yet, but Nazar has a great series of posts on his blog covering the various aspects of what he’s done. Not only is it a fascinating look at how emulators work, it also gives some great insight into what JavaScript is capable of doing. You can see the latest version of the emulator on Nazar’s latest post.

If you’re not interested in how it works and just want to get your nostalgia fix by playing some GameBoy games, check out this earlier emulator from programmer Pedro Ladaria.

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