Archive for category WebGL

Work Starts on my WebGL Game!

Caught up in all the excitement of WebGL becoming more mainstream, I’m building another javascript game. My first offering to the browser based game community was Manic Spaceman, a straight platform game based on ManicMiner which was a little rough around the edges, but boshed out on the quick for the 8weekgame competition.

This time round I intend to go full 3d, taking advantage of WebGL, and make a desert strike style game. I considered starting from scratch, as I did with Manic Spaceman, and writing my own engine to power it all, however given that I’ve next to no 3d experience I thought I would reduce the scope a little and use an engine that’s already out there. After about a week of research I’ve settled for Three.js – I say “settled”, but it’s actually shaping up to be a pretty awesome engine. There’s are a few decent engines out there, all obviously in their infancy, but having reviewed the feature set and looked at the demo’s and read around other developers experiences,  Three feels like the best choice. The other’s I considered were;

The Short List

Other contenders

I only considered open source offerings and looked for engines which

  • were still being actively developed (!)
  • seemed performant with high poly counts
  • handle shadows/ reflections
  • exposed access to GLSL
  • UV Mapping support
  • be relatively stable.

It was surprising how many engines had broken demo’s on their site, which never bodes well, but on the whole, they are all good offerings with almost all of them fulfilling my requirements.

While building my game, I shall be working through some OpenGL tutorials I found- a port of the well known NeHe OpenGL tutorial set, on LearningWebGL.com, which should put me in good stead to build my next game totally from scratch.

I shall post updates as I have something to show.  So far I’ve written a HeightMap generator which works from a greyscale bitmap to build terrains, and I’m currently working on getting the model to follow the landscape; I’ve a long road ahead!

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Finally, proper browser support for WebGL thanks to Google Chrome!

Google released Google Chrome v9 a few days ago with native WebGL support- no more having to hack around hidden browser settings, WebGL will now work, out of the box, on one of the “main stream” browsers.

In light of this I’m doing a round up a bunch of WebGL 3d engines available at the moment (which I shall put up here when I’m done) to help me select which engine to use as the base for my next 8weekgame competition entry. I think I shall stick with the re-make of Desert Strike, but will be moving away from the original XNA I started out with, to make it totally web based (No flash plugins!) like my previous submission, Manic Spaceman

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