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Ajax: The Definitive Guide by Anthony T. Holdener III

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Chapter 21. Internet Games Without Plug-ins

Games have long been a part of the Internet, from the first Flash and Shockwave games to the online games of today. Of course, not all of these games run directly within a web browser; in fact, these games have always required plug-ins to operate. The biggest problem with this approach is that a fair number of people may not have the required plug-in installed, or they do not download ActiveX or Java controls from companies or individuals they do not know.

The good news is that Ajax has leveraged technologies to offer a new approach to web-based game play that requires no plug-ins or third-party software. Users can forget Flash, Shockwave, Silverlight, and anything else, and can feel comfortable knowing that nothing “extra” is running on their computers.

Sure, there are downsides to using Ajax to program a web-based game. For instance, there may be limitations in the graphics, difficulties in implementing complicated algorithms (that would be simplified using plug-ins), and possibly a more arcane feel to the game. However, because the programmer can decide who his intended audience is, he can determine how complex the game’s design needs to be, and therefore, can control the impact these limitations have on the game as a whole.

Gaming on the Web

Games come in different shapes and sizes, so to speak, depending on genre and platform. Some games work well on the Web, whereas others do not. Here is a list of the different web game genres:

  • First-person ...

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