Is it possible to create a complex browser game and how

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by jokeaccount, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. jokeaccount

    jokeaccount New Member

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    I've recently had an idea for an story driven 2D game. I don't exactly know what format it will be in (point and click, top-down rpgish, left-to-right etc.) but I know that it will need to have different scenes, keep track of stats, choices, maybe even inventory (not sure about that).

    The goal here is that the game will require JUST your every day browser and nothing else from the user. He should be able to click on the game from the webpage, and after waiting some time start playing. Maybe creating an account for tracking progress and saving player data (can also use local storage but many people delete their web data consistently).

    I've searched around for discussions on games and the tools used but all of them are for some puzzle or action type games where you have a linear map and just avoid procedurally generated enemies or w/e. That is not what I'm looking for.

    The game needs to save player decisions, progress, customization options etc. It needs to load different charset sprites, maps, collision maps, text, AI scripts and others. A general guideline would be something along the lines of Zelda: A Link to the Past (in gameplay requirements).

    So, in that end I did some general research on the tools available for developing web games.

    • The most basic way is to use HTML5 DOM and CSS. However pure JavaScript lacks OOP capabilities and those seem imperative to game making. I know of some libraries that make JS object-oriented (I use ExtJS in my day job for example) and there is even a framework called enchant.js that is supposedly made for making games. I checked it out but it seems to be in the early stages of development and I'd like to avoid using something and find out later that it lacks something basic. I don't know of any other JS tools that help with game design so any suggestions are appreciated. Also a problem I have with pure JS is that it requires designing from scratch (i.e no engine support) and I have never done that. I've only done some game design using stuff like RPGMaker, GameMaker, Unity3D etc. Although this shouldn't be a problem in the long run it is still better to have the ability to place sprites and effects via point and click rather than having to hard code them down.
    • The other popular way is using Unity3D. Especially now with the new version 5 that officially implements 2D tools it seems like a good choice. I've used Unity in the past and am comfortable with it but I'm not sure if it isn't a little overkill. Also in order to run a browser Unity game you need the Unity plugin which some users might be averted from installing. I know Unity is now supporting WebGL but I think you still need the plugin for now.
    • Finally there is Java through an Applet or Java Web Start. Java is mature and tested and a big portion of computers already have the JRE installed so this shouldn't be a problem (as it is with Unity plugin). Also there is LWJGL as well as some other libraries that help with game design. The problem with Java is that not only it is not widely used for game design and has the designing from scratch problem of the HTML5 approach.

    Any suggestions, comments and questions are welcome.
     
  2. infocyde

    infocyde New Member

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    [Deleted....Unity 3D is a good way to go.]
     
  3. arzi

    Metacritic 75+ Indie Author

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    Unity has had 2D support since 4.3, but the WebGL support will arrive with the upcoming version 5. I'd also go with Unity, since it also keeps other platforms viable. Honestly, with a game along the lines of Zelda, you should at least consider standalone versions, or even consoles.

    Neither Java nor JavaScript require you to start from scratch though, there are plenty of engines for both.
     
  4. jokeaccount

    jokeaccount New Member

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    I'm not trying to build Zelda but something that will have similar functionalities like some form of combat, a small inventory, dialogue and choices that will affect the story somewhat. After thinking about it for some time I also thought of going with Unity. I already know the basics of it and there is a big enough community to support it. Also it seems to be doing well financially which probably guarantees its existence for the foreseeable future. And you're probably right about having the ability to export to platforms other than the web. You never know what can happen :p.
     

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