HTML5, the relatively new web standard markup language, is great not only because it makes the Internet as a whole a lot more faster and attractive, but also because it completely revolutionized the universe of browser games. The time of Flash content was already coming to an end as it is, but the rise of HTML5 was the final hit for the dying standard. In terms of browser games, HTML5 can do everything Flash could, but better, faster, and using less resources.
The Dawn of Flash
The rise of smart phones meant the death of Flash, as it was resource-heavy, and not exactly multi-platform-friendly, which is just a nicer way of saying that most smartphones couldn’t run Flash AT ALL. Since a lot of smartphone users were already used to getting a consistent experience when browsing the Internet on a PC or on a mobile device, they started having the same expectations in terms of browser games – an expectation Flash couldn’t live up to. This lead to the need of a new standard.
HTML5 Takes the Lead
When HTML5 hit the market, casual gamers saw an increase in the number of available games, better graphics and an improved overall experience. However, it is the developers that got the bigger pack of goodies, as HTML5 brought a lot of new things into play.
For starters, HTML5 supports the use of APIs, which is a great way of expanding its functionality even further. Right from its launch, HTML5 came with some impressive APIs that gave game developers a nice set of tools to work with. Canvas is the first example, being an API that allowed for easy drawing of elements. In games, Canvas can be successfully used in creating simple 2D games.
However, WebGL is what makes HTML5 awesome. WebGL is an API used for 3D content, and its best aspect is that it gives game developers access to the device’s hardware. Before HTML5, browser games have had limited access to the hardware, but HTML5 removes this limitation, essentially allowing games to become a lot more complex.
Main Advantages of HTML5 in Game Development
Aside from the aspects above, which can also qualify as advantages of HTML5, there are several other aspects that make HTML5 a great platform to work with then it comes to gaming.
Cross-platform Compatibility:This is one of the most notable advantages of HTML5 over Flash. HTML5-based games can run in any browser that supports HTML5, regardless of the platform. Since most modern mobile browsers support HTML5 nowadays, most HTML5 games should have no problem running on smartphones and tablets.
Advanced Features: Having access to hardware acceleration is not the only aspect that makes HTML5 a great gaming platform – there are also a lot of features to work with. WebSockets and Node.js allow for the development of multiplayer-enabled games – something that Flash games couldn’t even dream of.
Wide Selection of Development Tools:There are a lot of available frameworks available for HTML5 game development, such as Construct 2, Isongenic Engine, Impact, CutJS and many others. These frameworks bring together all the tools game developers need to get going and create awesome games.
HTML5 – Looking Forward
Having already gained a lot of momentum, the future of HTML5 seems very bright. A lot of merit goes to smartphones, which became more powerful by the day, thus opening the path to more complex HTML5 games. The fact that some of big names in the field of game development, such as the popular game engine Unity, are starting to embrace HTML5 is a clear sign that the future of the technology is nothing but bright.
This is the guest post by Fredrick Cameron and Parking Games 365!