EA and Google are bragging about their 3D robot fighting game largely built by interns in HTML5, and they want you to start making games in HTML5, too, The New York Times reports. Their “Strike Fortress” is a test game, but one designed for more casual gamers—a challenge for developers to start thinking about, say, serializing narratives instead of dragging children through a fifty-hour rising action.
On Wednesday, Electronic Arts will demonstrate a sophisticated multiplayer video game, complete with three-dimensional graphics and rich illustration, written in an Internet standard called HTML5 that enables the game to be played entirely through a Web browser. That means people can play it on smartphones, tablets, personal computers without a dedicated gaming device, or they could play it on gaming machines.
“Strike Fortress” may not be on sale for a year, if at all, Mr. Hilleman said. So why is E.A. showing the game at Google I/O, Google’s annual conference for software developers? The game only works on Google’s Chrome browser, and the tablets need to be running the most recent version of Google’s Android operating system, which is called Ice Cream Sandwich.
Google is trying to get all the developers to make games” for Ice Cream Sandwich, said Jack Emmert, chief executive of Cryptic Studios, a game developer. “It makes their tablets a lot more attractive.”“HTML5 gets you into new markets, like Brazil, Turkey, Asia, and Eastern Europe,” said Mr. Emmert. “There aren’t a lot of hard core games on phones or tablets yet, and the people who play them are the ones who will spend the most.
A game like “Strike Fortress” in HTML5 is something of the holy grail for the gaming industry. Games like “Angry Birds” are developed by teams writing for phones or tablets, and sophisticated multiplayer games like “Halo” are delivered on consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox or the Sony PlayStation. Personal computer games lie in between. All those different outlets require different software tools, trained coders and design staffs conversant in their technologies. While HTML5 could sharply reduce development costs, game developers have been concerned HTML5, which is intended for better renderings of text and video, can’t handle a 60 frame-per-second interactive shooter, as a weapons-rich pastimes are called. E.A. has already shipped a couple of other games that work in HTML5, but “Strike Fortress” is far more complex, in terms of image and sound rendering, and interactive responsiveness.
A successful HTML5 game might have cheaper development costs, but may require more narrative ingenuity. That is because people use each of their devices with a different level of commitment.
[via The New York Times]