‘Chrome Experiments’ Lets Developers Show Off HTML5 Games

Screenshot of Tank World GameIf you haven’t seen any HTML5 games, it can be quite inspiring to look at Chrome Experiments, which appeared not long after Chrome Browser became HTML5 friendly. The site lets any developer upload their HTML5 experiment, game, etc. It currently has 413 experiments of which 78 are games, 14 are multi-player and 141 are WebGL.

One of my favorite tools on the site is Background Generator, which is wonderful for creating Photoshop-style backgrounds with textures, gradients, and multiple colors. It’s a designer’s toy that outputs both the graphics and CSS so you can use them on your website.

If you don’t think JavaScript is fast enough to play a powerful game, check out Tank World, which lets you drive a tank or helicopter around a rotating world. If you don’t like the levels, you can design your own! There are bonus power ups to repair armor, enemy tanks that will destroy you if you aren’t quick enough, and permanent and vulnerable buildings. I love the flame thrower effect, but there’s also rockets, mines and puzzles like needing a key to open a gate.

Chrome Experiments is not just fast JavaScript and Canvas. The Rational Keyboard by Fritz Obermeyer uses web workers to synthesize harmonic sounds that are then played with Audio objects.

To view the WebGL demos you need a stable, current release of Chrome or another browser mentioned here. I suggest checking out the more than 280 non-WebGL demos. While there are one or two WebGL demos on the Tank World website, the game itself doesn’t need WebGL. It just uses the HTML5 tag and JavaScript.

If you are considering WebGL development, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about it. The 1.0 specification is out and can be found on the official WebGL Wiki. There’s a cookbook and even a WebGL playground where you can experiment with your own code.

I believe there’s enough WebGL support in browsers and developers should think about learning it and using it for web games. WebGL has other uses as well, which Google’s bookcase demonstrates in both Firefox and Chrome.

Tank World has also published the source code for a multi-player server, written in JavaScript using nodejs. The source code is GPL-licensed, which means you can do what you like with it so long as you publish your source code. If you know JavaScript and want to get started with server development, it’s not a bad place to start.

Comments

  1. I really enjoy the Chrome Experiments. The i/o machine for Google i/o this year is one of my favorites. https://developers.google.com/events/io/

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