Tag Archives: webgl

Mozilla and Unity working together to rule Web Gameplay

Mozilla and Unity recently announced they have joined forces to bring Unity’s popular game engine to the web using WebGL standard and Mozilla’s asm.js.

Backed by a strong base of developers, Unity started in 2005 as a game development tool for the OS X and then grew to a multi-platform game engine that currently supports iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry 10, OS X, Linux, Flash, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Windows Phone 8, and Wii U. Until now, this engine was only available in the browser through a plugin, but soon this reality will change.

Last month, at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, Mozilla and Unity showcased a version of the 3D shooter Dead Trigger 2 running inside the Firefox browser, without the need of additional plugins while maintaining a smoothly gaming experience.

This is the culmination of the efforts made by Unity and Mozilla for the past 2 years and was possible because of two technologies supported by Mozilla. The first one, WebGL, is a JavaScript API based on OpenGL ES 2.0 and exposed through the HTML5 Canvas for rendering 3D graphics without the need of additional plugins. The second one, asm.js, is a strict subset and optimized version of JavaScript that allows a browser-based application to be written in other languages than JavaScript, such as C or C++, which according to Mozilla can help boost the performance of these applications to reach near-native speeds.

Mozilla said in their blog, that browser based games will work well in all modern desktop browsers that fully support WebGL, with improved performance in Firefox because of its asm.js support. The export to WebGL is expected to happen in the end of this year with the upcoming version 5.0 of Unity that will allow the creation of richer experience in web gaming using the popular game-engine.

This announcement follows a previous one where Mozilla and Epic previewed Unreal Engine 4 running in Firefox, and clearly shows Mozilla’s commitment of pushing technologies that can help users have a web experience with nothing more than a browser and near native-speed.

Unity5 game development engine to make 3D games more realistic

Unity Technologies is unveiling Unity 5, the next version of its game development engine, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The updated version packs a lot of new features that #developers can use to make more advanced #multiplatform games that run across the web, mobile, and social platforms. It’s a big deal because Unity has grown so big — with more than 2.5 million developers using the game engine — that any innovations it embraces mean that thousands of games coming in the near future will be more advanced as well.

Unity 5 is available for preorder from the Unity Store and it includes access to Unity 4 and all of its upcoming updates. Unity 5 is a “massive update” to the existing Unity Engine, with features such as Enlighten. That is a real-time lighting system that makes game scenes look much more realistic with accurate lighting and shadows that move as the scene shifts or characters move. If a developer places a sun in a scene, the shadows will move accordingly as the light source changes positions.

The engine also has physically-based shaders that provide the “power to render stunning high-quality characters, environments, lighting, and effects.” The engine is also more efficient when it comes to enabling game creators to create effects with a unified shader architecture, in-editor real-time lightmap previews, and better asset bundling. The game engine also has an overhauled audio system with a new audio mixer for creating dynamic soundscapes.

Unity 5 will also feature the Unity Cloud ad-sharing network, which will enable easier cross-promotion of mobile games. In collaboration with Mozilla, Unity will also support WebGL, a web format that makes it easier to create 3D images on web pages. Developers can get early access to Unity’s WebGL add-on to create interactive experiences for games that don’t require plug-ins when used with WebGL-compliant browsers. Madfinger Game’s Dead Trigger 2 game, pictured at top, runs on WebGL, and Unity will demonstrate it at its booth at the GDC in San Francisco this week.

David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies, said in an interview with GamesBeat that Unity has about 160 engineers now, and roughly half of the team worked on Unity 5 or things related to it. The whole effort took about 18 months.

The real-time lightmap previews will tap Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR Ray Tracing technology, which will also result in better realism. The Unity engine also supports 64-bit processing, Nvidia PhysX 3.3, and other special effects. The lighting system comes from partner Geomerics, wihch is owned by ARM.

“We’ve got the most complex lighting in the industry now,” Helgason said.

Unity competes with rivals such as Crytek and Epic Games. Helgason said that Unity’s 3D graphics are more functional than Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, and new features will approach the quality of Unreal Engine 4.

“We think we can get to the point where we beat everything else out there,” Helgason said.

Helgason said Unity 5 would be available in a couple of months or so, and the final purchase price has not been set yet.

Reblogged from: venturebeat.com

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Mozilla Gladius Game Engine Reaches V0.1

If JavaScript is going to be used to implement online games it needs more than just WebGL’s 3D graphics to build on – it needs a game engine. So, Mozilla is hard at work creating Gladius.

Modern browsers, with the exception of Internet Explorer, have a 3D graphics system – WebGL. In principle you could use this to create any game you care to think up, but it would be hard work. WebGL is a thin JavaScript wrapper around OpenGL. In other words, it is fairly low level. What you need to create a game is a game engine which uses the low level 3D system to display the elements of the game and which lets you define the objects that make up the game in a more abstract way.

Mozilla started work on just such a game engine some time ago and it has just reached version 0.1. It is still at the early prototype stage, but it is usable – as long as you are prepared to find out how it works by reading the code. There is an introductory tutorial, but it isn’t well explained and it runs out very quickly.

The new release includes an entity/component style framework for game resources and the rendering is performed by the CubicVR library. The good news is that the Mozilla team isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel – it is reusing existing code to get the engine up and running quickly.

At the moment there is no 3D physic engine, but box2D is incorporated for 2D physics. There is also a new standalone math library.

As a sanity check a demo 3D game is being developed at the same time as the engine based on the No Comply WebGL demo.

If you want to get involved in trying out Gladius, your main task will be to find your way though the undocumented code. As with many an open source project, the documentation lags behind the code. In this case there isn’t currently even a listing of objects included in the API. Fortunately the code is written in an excellent style and this makes it easier to read, but even a fragment of documentation might create some enthusiasm in prospective users. My advice is to look at the CubicVR documentation for clues as to how Gladius works.

Gladius on github

Cube 2 Sauerbraten ported to WebGL with Mandreel

A demo of the Cube 2 Sauerbraten game engine has been ported to WebGL / JavaScript from C++ / almost 60 FPS on a couple year old macbook. Give it a little bit of time to load however.

Free and Open Source 3D Game 'Cube 2: Sauerbraten' Ported to WebGL

More and more games are being implemented in WebGL making it possible to play full 3D games in our browsers, without having need of a third party plugin.

Though at the moment most of them are experimental implementations and demos, their performance is increasing. I am already impressed with WebGL port of free and open source 3D game Trigger Rally. Check out the game yourself from here. It runs magically in my Chromium browser with full 60fps (ATI HD 4650, FGLRX drivers).

A demo of another open source game Cube 2: Sauerbraten is also playable in browser. The game has been ported by the baktery to WebGL using Mandreel. Though it was ported few months back, it seems to have got an update bringing in fullscreen and mouselock API support.

You can play the game from here.

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