Getting the Most out of HTML5

Stephen Calendar, game engineer for Filament Games, posted a brief article about their history and practice of using HTML5 for game development. The article is interesting on its own, describing a revival of interest and use of HTML5 in game development, mostly to solve the run anywhere problem. But this article also has relevance for those getting into game design as novices at this moment in history.

HTML and Javascript are also being looked at again by developers of novice game platforms. ARIS is extensible through these languages, as are Twine and the about-to-launch reboot of RPG Maker, RPG Maker MV. I think we are on the edge of an interesting time for novices, for several reasons.

  • It’s nice that the tools and codes used by professionals are also those that we lowly people can and are able to learn to use. It brings us out of the ghetto to some extent.
  • Ideas you pick up when first starting will be relevant as you progress further.
  • HTML5 and javascript are used widely outside game development.
    • There are many resources for those just starting out.
    • Many common problems have been solved and can be copy-pasted.
    • You may be able to mix and match tools to hack your way to greatness (e.g. use Hype to make an animation which you then insert into ARIS).
  • Tools like ARIS and Twine, where no code is necessary but you can do more with code than without, can be accessible to novices but powerful enough for more intense uses, and might actually get used by advanced teams since they can use what they know.

This all reminds me of the heyday of MySpace, where the hackable front page encouraged young people who would never have come within a stone’s throw from a CS course to start expressing themselves creatively through code.

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