Browser-Based Games are Making a Comeback...Againby@grivetti
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Browser-Based Games are Making a Comeback...Again

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Web Assembly, or wasm, is a low-level language that runs inside the browser transforming it into a virtual machine. Its intentions are portability through the browser and running any application natively. C/C++ and C# the most used languages in the games industry already have compatibility with wasm. The future of browser-based games still seems a bit uncertain, but only time (whatever that may be) will tell, it is still a bet for the future and only time will tell.

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The History of Game Portability

It is not news that game developers yearn for easier and more accessible ways to distribute their creations, in fact, this dates back to the era of Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1 games when most companies exchanged assembly for C /C++ for greater portability.

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The Flash and MMORPGs Games Era

With the birth of the internet, it was no different, who doesn't remember the golden age of Flash games or the famous MMORPGs? They both marked entire generations with games that inspire game developers to this day, but not everything is a bed of roses, with the end of support for Adobe Flash Player in 2020, more precisely on December 31st, and, with the fall of MMORPGs and favor of more dynamic styles like MOBA, that seemed the end of a history of game portability via the web.

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With the rise of WebAssembly, the idea of ​​game portability saw a new light. WebAssembly, or wasm, is a low-level language that runs inside the browser transforming it into a virtual machine, its intentions are portability through the browser and running any application natively and, in my opinion, the best part, it's a language-independent implementation, that is, you can use any and all languages ​​you want for the browser, as long as the compiler supports it, most of which already support it.

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Possibilities of Game Development in WASM

C/C++ and C# are the most used languages ​​in the games industry, both of which are already compatible with wasm. With C/C++ with the Emscripten compiler and C# with the Unity game engine, there is a tendency, or rather, a possibility of the emergence of a new era of browser-based games, where instead of the player needing to download a launcher, he can simply enter a website and log in to his account.

Some Unity Games

Some Unity Games

How About JS?

Just remembering that wasm was not made as a replacement for Javascript, but rather an alternative, so much so that, despite wasm not having access to the DOM, it can “talk” to Javascript, which helps with integration for a simple website or a login system by users.

The End?

Although, nowadays, there are many technologies covering wasm, the future of browser games still seems a bit uncertain, between the flash games era and today, there was the rise of online mobile games, so much so that many games of this kind since migrated to smartphones such as, for example, the game Ragnarok.

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Image Credits to: Yash Rana; Unity, Nintendo Blast, Talk Android;

Trailer by Tecent.

Gabriel Rivetti HackerNoon profile picture
by Gabriel Rivetti @grivetti.Hi, I have experience with creating games with tools such as Game Maker Studio 2 and Godot, I like coding and pixel art.
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