Mozilla Paladin project is developing Gladius, a 3D game engine for web browsers

With the advent of HTML5 and WebGL, the move away from Adobe Flash and instead pumping out interactive entertainment directly in the browser has begun. We’ve already got HTML5 video, multiple 2D game engines are appearing that output to HTML5 and Canvas, and 3D is also making big gains pushed forward by several engines alongside Adobe’s latest 3D push. Now Mozilla is getting in on the act, and has decided to work on its very own 3D browser engine called Gladius.

Gladius is actually just part of a wider project called Paladin, which has the aim of pushing 3D gaming on the web and in the browser. They say that doing and experimenting is the best way to learn, and that’s exactly what Mozilla has decided to do for Gladius.

The Paladin team have been working on a game called RescueFox that was originally planned out using an existing 3D engine called CubicVR.js. But that soon proved inadequate, so Mozilla created its own 3D engine called Gladius, which builds on CubicVR.

The end result is a rather basic, but still playable game. Mozilla readily admits this is a prototype that will be taken no further. The purpose it served was to prove how well Gladius was working, and now the Paladin team have gone back to the drawing board to develop Gladius further.

In RescueFox you are an astronaut floating in space who must use the surrounding asteroids to navigate to your fox before her air runs out. It’s simply a case of clicking asteroids to be beamed there, and you can play it in your browser right now.

Although basic, it’s a good start, and one that shows Firefox is highly capable of doing 3D. With a few more months of refinement I’m sure we will be seeing a prototype game with a lot more going on and looking like it was made with a commercial 3D engine.

Read more at Mozilla Labs

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