7 Questions for HTML5 Game Designers

7 Questions with 2 HTML5 Game Designers

Here are 7 questions with two HTML5 game designers, Sean Lim & William Tan of GameYawp. Their most recent HTML5 game, Zombie Typomaniac is fantastic! This game is better than any Flash typing game I have ever played. Try it out and see for yourself.

Here they are: At GameYawp, we’ve recently launched our latest HTML5 game: Zombie Typomaniac. It’s a humorous typing shooter where the player types words to shoot a variety of zombies, surviving through different levels of zombies and unique zombie bosses. The game also features powerups that can freeze, slow down zombies etc. 

The YouTube trailer of the game is at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAqWTWH20Gk

The game itself is accessible here: http://apps.facebook.com/ZombieTypomaniac

What software, libraries, game engines, frameworks, etc… did you use to create Zombie Typomaniac? Why did you choose it/them?

Basically, we built the engine from scratch (there are not a lot of HTML5 engines out there today, so maybe we might release our engine in the future too!). Zombie Typomaniac was aimed at the broadest audience possible, so we had to sacrifice on some of the HTML5 features in order to achieve the broadest compatibility.

One of the biggest problems HTML5 game developers have had is working with audio. Your HTML5 game has wonderful sound effects. How did you do it?

HTML5 audio not that great performance-wise, and I think this is a challenge for many HTML5 developers. In Zombie Typomaniac, the game first detects whether Flash is available, then uses it for audio. If Flash is not available, then the game will fallback to HTML5 audio. Ideally we want to be able to just use HTML5 audio, so we’re still looking for technology that can help improve audio performance.

Why did you choose to launch your game on Facebook?

Launching on Facebook was a decision we made due to the popularity of the platform, the built-in profile management system (Facebook graph), and the potential user sharing to promote our game. However, the sheer number of games out there on Facebook, as well as the many established game developers, makes it a tough market. The silver lining for an indie developer is that technology factors (web browser computing power, network bandwidth etc) limit the use of multi-million dollar video and audio effects, so in some way, it’s a small but noticeable equalizer for this playing field.

What was the process of monetizing your game with Facebook credits?

Facebook credits being the standard mode of transactions for virtual goods is a good thing in my opinion. Not many people actually spend money on Facebook, regardless of the price of the virtual good. Having to enter credit card info is a huge barrier. Facebook credits lowers that barrier – ideally, as long as someone has purchased Facebook credits earlier, they should be more open to buying more Facebook credits, or using leftover credits to buy other virtual items.

What is your favorite thing about HTML5?

HTML5 builds on technologies already familiar to most web developers (HTML, JavaScript, DOM etc), and at least attempts to provide much better compatibilities across different browsers, potentially reaching across multiple platforms with minimal changes to the code base. With iOS, Android and PC platforms today, and more to come in the future, HTML5 is a great way to design once and apply on many platforms. What’s harder in HTML5 is the distribution channel. If you build an iOS game, you have access to Apple’s iTunes app store. For native PC games, there is Steam and others. There’s no clear winner for pure HTML5 apps yet. Google’s Chrome Store has potential, but needs more users. I’ve read about projects like Facebook’s project Spartan which actually sounds very exciting, so there definitely is huge potential for this technology.

What advice would you give a new HTML5 game developer?

For each small task, develop/optimize/test the solution to make sure it’s stable and works well across browsers. Then stick to these solutions to address even larger tasks. HTML5 is leading edge technology, and with that comes some technical challenges, but these can be overcome with a systematic approach to testing and moving forward. At the end of the day, HTML5 is a great means to get your idea from concept to reality, but don’t lose sight of the “fun factor” in your game. Utilize HTML5 to bring out the best in your game, so you can accomplish what’s not possible in 99% of the other browser games!

One Response to “7 Questions for HTML5 Game Designers”

  1. Nick Johnson December 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm Permalink

    The last question expalining the advice to new developers is very important. It will boost the spirit of freshers and will provide them a path to follow…..

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