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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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As HTML5 Rises, Does Flash Have a Future?

To be sure, the graphics capacities enabled by HTML5 are indeed impressive.

Flash is near-synonymous with web games, but the rise of HTML5 as a development platform with rich 3D graphics has inspired some to believe Flash is dying, and soon won’t be worth your time.

Facebook game platform developer Cory Ondrejka (formerly CTO of Linden Lab and co-creator of Second Life) recently told me he believes that HTML5 will make it possible for web games to catch up with consoles in terms of graphics by 2013. By “catch up,” he means that by 2013, web-based game graphics will be a year or two behind console-based graphics, as opposed to 10–20 years, where they are now. His reasoning is that JavaScript (which runs in web browsers) can already get to 50 percent of the speed of C code (which runs on most console games), even if there’s ultimately a threefold performance penalty. At that range, he argues, web-based game deployment is an appealing option for developers who might otherwise develop for consoles. (See Figure 10-1.)

Figure 10-1: Example of HTML5’s current graphics quality from schumann.elis.ugent.be/#

c10f001.tif
Unity is a very popular authoring tool for high-quality 3D graphics that can be deployed on the web.

With the growth of HTML5, many Flash game developers anticipate a near future when their platform will no longer be relevant. ...

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