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BrowserQuest: Mozilla Launches Massively Multiplayer HTML5 Game Experiment to Showcase Modern Web Technologies

Mozilla, in cooperation with French developer Little Workshop, launched a new MMORPG called BrowserQuest today to demonstrate what developers can do with HTML5, WebSocket, Canvas and other advanced web technologies, including Node.js. The game, which is actually quite fun in its own right, should work with virtually every modern desktop browser (except for Internet Explorer), as well as Safari on iOS and Firefox on Android. The mobile version is, in Mozilla’s words, “more experimental,” but should be seen as “an early glimpse of what kind of games will be coming to the mobile Web in the future.”

The one technology Mozilla really wants to showcase here – besides the multiplatform nature of using web technologies over native apps – is WebSocket. With this, developers can set up a system to communicate back and forth between the browser and the server. In the case of BrowserQuest, this means that the server can keep your actions and those by your fellow players in sync without much effort.

Here is the total list of web technologies BrowserQuest uses:

  • HTML5 Canvas, which powers the 2D tile-based graphics engine.
  • Web workers, allowing to initialize the large world map without slowing down the homepage UI.
  • localStorage, in which the progress of your character is continually saved.
  • CSS3 Media Queries, so that the game can resize itself and adapt to many devices.
  • HTML5 audio, so you can hear that rat or skeleton die!

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