Web Game Development

Can web developers make games?

Yes, web developers can make games using many available game development frameworks and game engines that use web technologies.

In today’s insight, we are going to look at how web developers can make games.

Game development is a huge industry, it is a field that requires a specific set of skills to make great games. The efforts of developing a game are undertaken by a developer, ranging from a single person to an international team dispersed across the globe.

Big game studios can take anywhere from months to years to develop a game. Indie developers helped by the growth of game development software can take less time to develop a game.

The most common approach to game development is using platforms like Unity and Unreal Engine. Unity uses C# while Unreal use C++. You can learn more about game development in our article on How to make a Mobile Game.

While a majority of game developers use C# and C++ for game development, Web Developers are mostly familiar with Web Development technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT.

The good news is that you can use the web development technologies that you already know to make games. These games may run in the browser or on independent platforms like Android and IOS.

Using the power of WebGL, the are many Game development platforms that web developers use to develop games using HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

WebGL is a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 2D and 3D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins.

WebGL is fully integrated with other web standards, allowing GPU-accelerated usage of physics and image processing and effects as part of the web page canvas.

WHAT FRAMEWORKS DO WEB DEVELOPERS USE TO MAKE GAMES?

The are many frameworks that use web technologies to build games for browsers, Desktops, and mobile devices. Here are some of the common ones.

GAMEMAKER STUDIO (JAVASCRIPT)

GameMaker Studio is an easy-to-use game engine for making 2D games and offers limited use of 3D graphics. It has a drag-and-drop feature that makes game development easy. You can also use programming languages like Javascript, C++, and Game maker language for advanced features.

GameMaker Studio has also a marketplace that has a lot of resources ranging from animations to sounds, backgrounds, fonts, objects, paths, sprites, scripts, shaders, and more. Some of them are free while others can be paid for.

Some of the popular games made with GameMaker Studio include Undertale, Forager, Hyper Light Drifter, Samurai Gunn 2, Webbed, The Tarnishing of Juxtia, Destructivator 2, Fields of Mistria, Flynn: Son of Crimson, Katana Zero, Battleships Forever, Tower of Heaven, and many others.

GameMaker Studio supports many platforms, once you are done developing your games, you can deploy to different platforms such as Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Tizen, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, WebGL, Amazon Fire TV, etc.

PHASER

Phaser.js is a Desktop and Mobile HTML5 game framework. It is a fast, free and fun open-source framework for Canvas and WebGL-powered browser games.

What gives Phaser the ability to have fast rendering across desktop and mobile devices is the ability to use both a Canvas and WebGL renderer internally and the ability to swap between them depending on browser support.

Some of the games made with Phaser include Deadswitch 3, Citadels, Amazing Word Twist, Microsoft Mahjong, 8-Ball Billiards, Solitaire Cardpool, Aqua Blitz 2, Idle Zoo, Body Guard, Amazing Dominoes, and many others.

You can use Phaser to create Facebook instant Games. All these with just Web technologies.

PIXIJS

PixiJS is a rendering library that will help you to create rich, interactive graphics, cross-platform applications, and games.

Pixi does this without having to dive into the WebGL API or deal with browser and device compatibility. it has full WebGL support and seamlessly falls back to HTML5’s canvas if needed.

Some of the games made with Pixi include Stickman Hook, Yohoho.io, Semantrix, Sido.fr (Portfolio), Surviv.io, Pockey.io, etc.

MELONJS

MelonJS is a lightweight yet powerful HTML5 framework designed from the ground up to provide a true plugin-free ‘write-once, run everywhere’ gaming platform.

It is an open-source HTML5 game engine that empowers developers and designers to focus on content.

Games such as Player Killers’ Exchange, Roly-Polo, Nerd Fight, SlayZ, Melon Jump, Sushi Sekai are made with MelonJS.

There are many other platforms available for web developers to develop games. These include Cocos2D, Matter-js, Stage.js, Kiwi.js, Crafty, Babylon.js, Panda Engine, Whs.js, Three.js, Goo.js.

It can be seen that there are a lot of resources and tools available for web developers to make games. However, it must be noted that these are not the set of technologies that are used to make games on the Level of Pokemon Go or Ori and the Blind Forest.

For highly advanced games on the level of such games as Fortnite, you will need highly advanced game engines like Unreal Engine or Unity or other specialized Game Engines used by game studios.

Web developers can make video games, but the web technology tools that web developers can employ are limited in one way or the other. This however does not mean you cannot make games that can capture the attention of the world

A great example of a game made solely with Web technologies is Wordle, which went viral and was acquired by the New York Times for more than a million US Dollars. Wordle was entirely made with Web Technologies and it still sold in the millions.

In conclusion, Web developers can make video games using web technologies, these games can work in the browser, on the desktop, and on mobile devices. But the best approach to making video games is using advanced game engines like Unreal and Unity.

Game Engines are specifically engineered to build games, this makes them far much better, rich, and more performant than using web technologies for games. You can learn more about Game Development in the article How to make a Mobile game.