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Beginning Android Games. HTML5 games?

Igor Mechnikov
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Joined: Feb 13, 2011
Posts: 100

Hello,

I really like Android, yet watching Google IO this week I was really impressed with all the momentum taking place in the web app, games included, area.
What do you think the future holds for standalone client apps versus web apps on mobile devices?

Regards,
Igor


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Mario Zechner
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Joined: May 06, 2011
Posts: 47
At the moment i would not suggest writting an games more complex than say pong as a web app. While javascript is pretty fast on Android, and while even sensors are exposed to some degree, it's still not comparable in terms of performance, feature richness and look & feel to "native" applications, be they written in Java or C++. You also have to come up with your own monetization scheme if you provide your apps/games via a website instead of putting it on the Android market.

For the future i definitely hope that in-browser gaming becomes relevant on Android devices. A good step in this direction would be supporting WebGL in the Android browser, which would open up a lot of oportunities. Not all games are of course suiteable, javascript can only be so fast.


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Stas Nikso
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Joined: Sep 15, 2008
Posts: 13
What about the Angry birds implementation in Chrome, which uses WebGL extensions?

Looks fast enough for me, so taking into account 3d experiments on Chrome, the web application distribution vector should be definitely considered in my opinion.
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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 5

in future about the mobile application, Game application and various application supporting firm, It could be displaying as bright of an Android applications. The system has been assigned to the clarity of the work shorting and given more feasibility of it.


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Igor Mechnikov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 13, 2011
Posts: 100

Mario Zechner wrote:At the moment i would not suggest writting an games more complex than say pong as a web app. While javascript is pretty fast on Android, and while even sensors are exposed to some degree, it's still not comparable in terms of performance, feature richness and look & feel to "native" applications, be they written in Java or C++. You also have to come up with your own monetization scheme if you provide your apps/games via a website instead of putting it on the Android market.

For the future i definitely hope that in-browser gaming becomes relevant on Android devices. A good step in this direction would be supporting WebGL in the Android browser, which would open up a lot of oportunities. Not all games are of course suiteable, javascript can only be so fast.


Excellent points. I imagine there will be some sort of integration between native and web apps in the near future and much of the tool kit developed in one area will be applicable in the other.
I am running the latest beta Linux Chrome build and even so many WebGL examples from http://www.chromeexperiments.com/ do not seem to work.

What do you think is the time frame to have WebGL integrated into Android devices? Is hardware acceleration a big issue?

Thank you again,

Igor
Igor Mechnikov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 13, 2011
Posts: 100

Stas Oskin wrote:What about the Angry birds implementation in Chrome, which uses WebGL extensions?

Looks fast enough for me, so taking into account 3d experiments on Chrome, the web application distribution vector should be definitely considered in my opinion.


Chrome AB is really a great showcase for HTML5. On my hardware it does not play in HD, just SD (standard), but it looks very sharp.
Mario Zechner
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Joined: May 06, 2011
Posts: 47
WebGL in Chrome/Firefox has come a long way. The problem is that WebGL is basically OpenGL ES 2.0 (give or take a couple of minor features and extensions). The state of OpenGL drivers on Windows is a bit of a problem: vendors like ATI seem to not have any incentive to get their act together (all hail Nvidia for providing super awesome OpenGL and OpenCL drivers, even for Linux). Google actually made a WebGL implementation called Angle that is actually translating OpenGL calls to DirectX to circumnavigate the driver issue.

WebGL on mobile devices is still in its infancy. The Android Browser (which is not Chrome btw.) does not support WebGL at this point. I don't know of any plans for that either. What's available at the moment is the HTML5 Canvas which offers sufficient performance for many tasks. It's 2D only though. We'll see what the future holds, i hope to see some development over the next year. Maybe we can see that feature at Google I/O 2012
Igor Mechnikov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 13, 2011
Posts: 100

Mario Zechner wrote:WebGL in Chrome/Firefox has come a long way. The problem is that WebGL is basically OpenGL ES 2.0 (give or take a couple of minor features and extensions). The state of OpenGL drivers on Windows is a bit of a problem: vendors like ATI seem to not have any incentive to get their act together (all hail Nvidia for providing super awesome OpenGL and OpenCL drivers, even for Linux). Google actually made a WebGL implementation called Angle that is actually translating OpenGL calls to DirectX to circumnavigate the driver issue.

WebGL on mobile devices is still in its infancy. The Android Browser (which is not Chrome btw.) does not support WebGL at this point. I don't know of any plans for that either. What's available at the moment is the HTML5 Canvas which offers sufficient performance for many tasks. It's 2D only though. We'll see what the future holds, i hope to see some development over the next year. Maybe we can see that feature at Google I/O 2012


You must be right about Google I/O. A lot of speakers this week touched on how far things have come since I/O 2010.
Speaking of Chrome HTML5-Android integration, I found it curious how the subject of Chrome touch screen tablets was sidestepped amid the Chromebook announcements.
A game like Angry Birds does beg for a touch screen.
 
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