Mozilla and Epic Games Port Unreal Engine 3 to the Web

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DR_JDUBZ

unreal engine is a piece of shit, port a better engine or dont port at all, pc doesnt need that shit

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Granite

I have an Android benchmark program that contains a part of that Unreal 3 demo. It runs at an average 47 fps on my Asus tablet...and it looks great. If the browser version can run that fast, it would be useful to me, but if it's half that speed, I don't think I'd play such games.

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dgrmouse

The more important question to be asked is, "Why?" Why do we need the ability to run native code, why do we need the ability to host native code in a browser hosted VM, and why do we need the ability to play Unreal Engine games from within the browser? I'd bet a paycheck that incorporating each of these technologies introduces at least one more security hole in what are already the most highly targeted software systems. An ideal web browser would be one that does away with the need for complex plugins, not one that is slaved to Adobe/Java/Epic/etc and their inherent security issues.

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AFDozerman

There are a few good reasons and a few not so good (malicious, if you will) reasons for this. The first is cross platform compatibility. As a linux and blackberry user, this one hits home for me. If the game is written with pre existing standards, it should be playable in my browser as opposed to having to try and get it to work through an emulator (BB10 android) or a compatibility layer (WINE). Even if I switched back to the software black hole that is BSD, all I would have to do is fire up GCC and recompile chromium or firefox and BAM, problem solved. That being said, on the flip side, it also gives the companies that produce the games/software way more control over the product, giving them a reason to switch to browser based gaming. Between these two reasons as well as others, the momentum is there for companies to move to browser based software as opposed to native code.

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Obsidian

This allows developers to target devices that aren't able to play complicated games. Cell phones, tablets, Roku, Apple TV, ultra books and anything that can qualify for today's definition of a thin-client would be capable of playing the latest MMO, or FPS. It could turn your streaming set-top-box into a gaming rig.

It opens up a whole can of worms in the gaming industry and expands the sales base for a whole slew of not just games, but applications.

Why? Because millions of people have smart phones, iPods, laptops, tablets; but can't play World Of Warcraft, Crysis, Far Cry, or Grand Theft Auto on them, or run a full version of Photoshop. With this technology you can turn those devices into real sales numbers for software.

It's like the OnLive box was supposed to be, without the proprietary hardware.

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Peanut Fox

OnLive doesn't have proprietary hardware. You can run the software application on pretty much anything.

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dgrmouse

Obsidian said, "This allows developers to target devices that aren't able to play complicated games." No it doesn't. It is clearly stated, in fact, that applications running within the VM perform at less than half the speed that they would run if compiled to native code. If your device doesn't have the power to run the application natively, it definitely won't have the power to run it inside a browser window.

Obsidian said, "millions of people have smart phones, iPods, laptops, tablets"

Even if performance isn't an issue, it's ridiculous to shoehorn a gaming subsystem into a web browser. Every single one of the platforms you've named has a well-developed system in place for running stand-alone applications. Stuffing them into an emulator that's been super-glued into a web browser and forced upon us is asinine.

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vrmlbasic

I agree. Firefox is already too bloated for my liking. Especially on Android where I can't compensate for its bloat by throwing 8 cores, 16 GB of RAM & a SSD at it.

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Obsidian

Your statements really lack vision.

The 1/2 speed is a HUGE improvement over previous VM browser emulation code, and it will only get faster with further development. Hate all you want, progress will happen without your opinion. I think those addicted to Candy Crush and other FB games are ridiculous, but it doesn't change the fact that hundreds of thousands now consider that gaming.

We have many things glued into web browsers these days, and a self-contained VM is hardly a bad thing to add to the mix. Flash, Silverlight, PDF readers are just a few web technologies that are already widely adopted. Raging against the system will only leave you in the technology wastelands.

Detaching the devices from their deployment platforms and often overly controlled stores can only help the types of software development possible. It adds a browser dependency, sure, but it eliminates working with iTunes, Play Store, XBox Live, Android Market ... alternatives are good.

This all seems partially similar to the claims WildTangent wanted to bring to the table and they haven't done so well.

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yorchata

I think the reason to do this would be the same reason that (some) developers like Java. Write code once, run it everywhere. No need to recompile for multitudes of platforms.

In this scenario, the browser is really just the virtual machine.

Yes there is a performance hit, much like with Java, but depending on your use case the benefits can often outweigh the cons.

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dgrmouse

yorchata wrote, "I think the reason to do this would be the same reason that (some) developers like Java. Write code once, run it everywhere. No need to recompile for multitudes of platforms."

That's all well and good, but again I ask: why does this need to be built into a web browser? There are plenty of multiplatform game libraries out there, do we really need to build any or all of them into our web browsers? I think not. I'd guess it's just a stupid ploy to gain brainshare in the browser wars.

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Gezzer

"I ask: why does this need to be built into a web browser?"
It makes it easier to deploy all those sucky freemium games. How many casual gamers are willing to wait for a download and then install a game? Well that's just way too hard! But if it's in a browser (even though it is downloading the code) it doesn't seem like a download & install game. This new implementation will simply bring the freemium games closer to the look and feel of, if not AAA titles, then a high end indie title.
After all it's always about the bennies.

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