You’re Kid-ding: Bastion In Your Browser

By Alec Meer on December 9th, 2011 at 11:31 am.

OK, Google’s Chrome browser just officially became scary/magnificent. It’s been able to run a few games – like Plants vs Zombies – in a browser window for a while now, but the excellent Bastion has just been added, marking a serious step up in what’s technologically possible. The game starts playing in less than a minute of clicking the button to add it, it looks just like the standard version as far as I can tell, runs smoothly and scales to your screen/window size. Oh, and you can play a free demo then pay to unlock the full thing right away if you like.

It’s achieved via something called Native Client, which basically allows a new level of graphicsology. Yes, that’s the official explanation. The important bit is that it doesn’t require any plugins – it just works. As long as you have Chrome, anyway. In theory on any OS – including Google’s own on Chromebook.

Obviously we’re a long way short of running Battlefield 3 in a browser (Bastion is surely a far easier game to stream in chunks than a 15GB 3D manshoot), but if I was the Microsontendo guys I’d be pretty damn worried right now. Who needs bespoke, closed hardware when this is possible? On PC, traditional download services suddenly started looking rather archaic too…

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78 Comments »

  1. piderman says:

    I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to play BF3 right in a browser. We basically are already, just the rendering window is separate. If you add that to Firefox/Chrome/IE itself you’re there. Assets can be streamed if you don’t want to download anything up front.

    • Gundato says:

      Don’t confuse Battlelog with Battlefield 3.

      Think of Battlelog as your desktop or Steam, and BF3 as the thing that is booted up when you click a shortcut.

    • Syra says:

      Onlive already plays in a browser, so why wouldn’t this work given similar tech. Maybe they are hiding the gears and clanky levers in the clouds. Given the bastion floats about up there you might never even know!

    • torts says:

      OnLive is just streaming video, like youtube. The game is not actually rendering in your browser.

  2. Mungrul says:

    I think this could also, given time, be the first real, serious competitor to Steam.

  3. DigitalSignalX says:

    Google is likely not to fund Mozilla next year; we might see a pretty large migration as their market share passes it. aka: more of this.

    • Epsz says:

      If Google doesn’t found Mozilla anymore (which is really unlikely since google gets a lot fo trffic from being showcased in firefox, and traffic is the most important thing for google), the Microsoft is almost certain to fill it’s shoes with Bing. I don’t think there’ll be any migration from mozilla.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yea, I’m quite worried about Firefox/Mozilla… Chrome is pretty good, but it lacks some stuff, and Google has a very weird attitude about developing some things too.

      My prime example is Bookmark separators. Google uses menu separators in its own menus, so they clearly understand why they’re useful, but they’re not supported within your own bookmarks. They’ve even marked it as “won’t Fix” for development, claiming that only a small minority use them. These are supported by numerous bookmark syncing services, but there’s no way to add them in via plugin etc.

      The other thing, is Google likes to push their technology… like Native Client onto people with Chrome, and some other things they “insist” everyone should want (“Dart” to reinvent Javascript). They’re very much like old MS/IE, except that they’ve pre-built a lot of support for the pre-existing standards first. But for the most part, a lot of them end up like Wave. Native Client is arguably the second coming of ActiveX… something with more risks than benefits.

      Mozilla has a nice level of independence, e.g. pushing that whole “Do not track” thing, which annoys some advertisers (something Google obviously has conflicting interests over).

    • Wulf says:

      @Hoaxfish

      “[...] but there’s no way to add them in via plugin etc.”

      Yep! This is why Firefox wins. Anyone who doesn’t realise this hasn’t dipped their toes into extensions to see what extensions can do for them. You can even make Firefox look and behave exactly like any other browser because the ability to mod it goes so deep.

      The source is open, it’s an open source committee project so of course it is, but it’s open in a way in which Google’s isn’t, where you can even remake Firefox entirely in whatever way you want so long as you don’t use the branding. So not only is it an open platform, but it’s open full stop.

      I’ve come across so, so many limitations in Chrome that I just don’t have in Firefox.

      “Can I adjust this to cope with my accessibility needs, either by editing the source or creating/using an extension?”

      And the answer every time has been: “No, no I cannot.”

      Firefox wins because Firefox is what you want it to be. Chrome, by contrast, is what Google wants it to be. And Chrome is very, very unfriendly to people who have accessibility needs. Almost excessively, hatefully so.

      So I won’t touch Chrome until they either get their act together in regards to accessibility, or until they make their browser an open platform in the way that Firefox is.

      Whatever you want to do with Firefox, you can do.

      So long as that remains true for Firefox and for no other browsers, then my primary choice for top browser is always crystal clear.

      “Google likes to push their technology [...]”

      This is true. In a lot of ways Google are the new Microsoft. And remember the anti-standards and anti-competitive crap they were trying to pull with HTML5 embedded video?

      Not cool, Google. Not cool. Really, MS is becoming so much more well behaved whilst Google is just turning bad. It’s confusing.

    • BitLooter says:

      You know Chrome is a Google-branded version of Chromium, which is BSD-licensed, right? I’m not sure how you get more open than that.

  4. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Native client is a massively ambitious technology and could be a very real threat to just about everything including the OS we use when Google can knock out a chromebook geared for openGL gaming and we play everything this way.

    • jezcentral says:

      I’m hoping that Valve will knock out a SteamOS (although it will just be a browser). This is the only permissable reason for such a delay in releasing Half Life 3, which will be used to get you to download and install it on your PC.

      ‘Cos let’s face it: it worked rather well for Steam/Half Life 2, didn’t it?

    • Crimsoneer says:

      I’m really hoping that’s sarcasm? HL2 completely killed Steam…I remember being the most excited high school kid in the world, and having to wait 2 days before I could play the damn game I’d received in the post before the Steam servers responded again.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @crimsoneer – yet it forced people to install it. Even if it was VERY clunky at this time.
      So people had to use it. Though to be honest, I think that it’s mostly CS, CSS which pushed people to use Steam, more than HL2.

    • Smashbox says:

      “Oh No! Bastion has stopped working. This game requires an OpenGL-compatible graphics card.”

      Er… I most definitely have one of those.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ve been saying that Linux would end up being the gamer’s OS for a while, now. Because of Android and a lot of other things, and because of how much Microsoft loves their licensing. If a paradigm shift occurred that moved people away from DirectX to OpenGL occurred (and it could, since all OpenGL actually lacks is the user-friendly tools of DirectX, but in every other respect it’s superior, and that’s a fact that Carmack agrees with so nyeh!). Once that shift occurs, the rest of it can happen easily.

      I’m not saying that it would make Windows irrelevant, but I’m saying that for dedicated gaming computers it will actually give us better solutions. We could have OSes which are very light compared to the crap-filled OSes we have today, which drink memory and CPU cycles like they were cheap wine. So the benefits of a light OS designed purely for gaming, browsing, and communication, like… oh… say a SteamOS… well, the benefits of that would be obvious.

      I remember when LionsPhil mocked me for this, but we’ll see who’s laughing a decade or so down the road.

      I therefore pre-emptively reserve my right to say: They called me mad. Mad. The fools! The simple-minded fools! And now look, it was all as I prophesied. All of it! Now who’s mad? Aaaahahahahahaha! Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So yeah, hey, you mad bro?

    • Mo says:

      @Wulf:

      If a paradigm shift occurred that moved people away from DirectX to OpenGL occurred (and it could, since all OpenGL actually lacks is the user-friendly tools of DirectX, but in every other respect it’s superior, and that’s a fact that Carmack agrees with so nyeh!). Once that shift occurs, the rest of it can happen easily.

      Carmack doesn’t agree, actually. Yes, he has mostly been pro-OpenGL in the past, but recently he’s stated that they’re actually very similar. If anything DirectX is superior because it doesn’t have a standards board to slow down adoption of new technologies (which is what Carmack said at QuakeCon two years ago).

      What OpenGL *really* has going for it, is that it’s cross platform. For indies especially, if we want to target multiple platforms (like iOS, Windows, Mac, and a console) OpenGL is the best way to go. Personally, I love the API and performance. But for mainstream games, as long as the Xbox exists, developers will continue to write OpenGL/DirectX engines, so DirectX will continue to be supported.

      I’m not saying that it would make Windows irrelevant, but I’m saying that for dedicated gaming computers it will actually give us better solutions.

      I don’t buy this argument. A “dedicated gaming computer” is just a console with keyboard+mouse. PC gaming is going to support whichever platform has the most profitable market. That happens to be Windows (and even Mac) because of software support and usability. The “desktop Linux will go mainstream next year” claims are getting tiresome.

      We could have OSes which are very light compared to the crap-filled OSes we have today, which drink memory and CPU cycles like they were cheap wine.

      This may have been relevant a decade ago. Given the cheap price of RAM and the stability of both Windows 7 and MacOS, I’m not sure any significant percentage of gamers are having RAM issues.

    • dahauns says:

      @Wulf:
      “If a paradigm shift occurred that moved people away from DirectX to OpenGL occurred”

      Problem is, the exact opposite paradigm shift happened years ago, because OpenGL couldn’t keep up with D3D.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      “Carmack doesn’t agree, actually.”

      Carmack has become an asshole recently. I wouldn’t confuse him with that cool guy Carmack that used to be cool.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      @Wulf As much as I like Free software and Linux, I doubt GNU+Linux+Gnome/KDE/Unity in general will ever become a big gaming platform. The reason being the astounding number of distros and the ease of customizing your system, down to easily rebuilding everything from source with your own build flags with ones like Gentoo. Game devs these days think it’s hard supporting Windows users compared to consoles which have a fixed hardware and software. I don’t think they ever tried supporting Linux users! (Some of them are complaining right now in the Dungeons of Dredmor forums following the recent Linux release… I feel sorry for the devs.)

      So, we might see a specific distro (maybe Ubuntu?) become a popular platform for gaming. Personally, I’d rather put my bet on a computer/console hybrid, perhaps created by Valve. The hardware and core gaming software (3d drivers, etc) would be impossible to modify and would auto-update Steam-style, letting game devs work on games instead of tech support. It might use Linux as its kernel, but that won’t make it a victory for open-source gaming. After all, Mac OS X is based on BSD.

  5. Driadan says:

    I already bought it, and already played through it once, but if I could use my license bought in another platform there, I’d most likely replay it.
    But it’s not going to happen, so…

  6. Zelius says:

    So does this mean gaming might actually possible on Chromebooks?

    If they could combine this with a kind of streaming technology like OnLive, I could see this being a serious competitor to just about anything.

  7. GibletHead2000 says:

    I can’t get it to load on my Linux box.

    I see no reason why it shouldn’t work… Chromebooks run on Linux after all. But for now it’s not working for me. I’ll check it out on Windows later.

    • DerRidda says:

      Don’t know what your problem is. It works great for me on Ubuntu 11.10 with Google Chrome 16.0.912.63 beta. Maybe NativeClient not yet in the stable channel or you have other issues that prevent it from running.

    • baby snot says:

      Just in case you’re running Chromium (not Chrome) try this; type about:flags in your address bar and enable Native Client then relaunch your browser (button at bottom).

    • GibletHead2000 says:

      Thanks @baby snot. Nailed it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Interesting; I thought Ubuntu omitted NaCl support from binaries they shipped due to licensing concerns.

      Edit: Nope, misread the changelog.

  8. Eclipse says:

    you still have to download it, so launching it inside chrome instead of steam makes no sense at all, it’s not a step foward, maybe it’s backward

    • Alec Meer says:

      It downloads and starts in less than a minute, grumpypants.

    • Moni says:

      I think you’ve misunderstood its purpose. As a developer I can just target Chrome, instead of Windows, or Mac, or Linux. If I know my application can run on one platform, I know it will run on any platform with Chrome installed.

    • sneetch says:

      At the risk of also being a grumpypants, the less than a minute is dependant on your net connection surely? The game will have to download the base engine before it can start playing then it’s just a matter of dividing the level data, graphics and so on into teeny chunks and start downloading them as you need them (or rather in order of appearance) Guild Wars and WoW have similar start-while-the-game-is-still-downloading technology, it’s pretty good, there’s no reason why other developers shouldn’t use it.

      Edit: ahhh, that’s different, I also misunderstood the purpose, I though it was the delivery method rather than the fact that it’s a new platform that was the important bit here. I’d be quite happy to ditch windows and switch to a new, streamlined gaming and web OS without the technical baggage Windows brings. If/when that becomes viable that is.

    • Zetetic says:

      Moni brings up a more interesting point than Alec, and I’d think that Native Client would build upon the (already not bad) possibility afforded by other cross-platform frameworks (well, sort of, in the case of NaCl) such as Java and Mono. Ultimately though, this has very little reflection on either consoles (vs. PCs at least, except as a way of removing various positive aspects of the PC experience that make it special) or existing download services.

  9. widget2 says:

    Why would you want to play a game inside your browser when you can play it natively on your computer?

    Also, software mouse is annoying.

    • Zeewolf says:

      I wouldn’t.

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      steam is a browser

    • Pie21 says:

      Which is exactly why no one plays games in Steam. Steam is merely an interface from which to launch natively installed games.

      I can see huge potential for NaCl for increasing reach, but I can’t see it superseding native gaming for quite some time. It would be excellent for high performance web apps, casual online games, serious game demos and some kind of online game renting, but it’s got a few too many unknowns for my liking when it comes to purchasing/ownership.

  10. Crimsoneer says:

    That is so many shades of awesome. Launched in less than 2 minutes, and runs beautifully. Kind of want to send the link to my dad.

  11. Unaco says:

    Can I mod the game? Where are the files stored? On my Hard drive, or are they downloaded/streamed as needed? What if I have no connection, can I use an offline mode? What if my connection craps out while playing? Who am I directing these questions at? Is this more of the games as a service, rather than a product, or do I actually download/keep the game, and then, instead of it running as an exe, it gets ran in my browser? What about more 3D intensive applications? Is there any performance hit? Any lag or delay introduced? Your Coca-Cola doesn’t taste the same as it used to! Remember when a bowl of soup was a nickel?

    • Blackcompany says:

      Good points all. This is good news for bringing games to a wider audience. But lets not all get too excited about moving our games to the cloud. Losing control of your saves, config files and ini files, save games and modding isn’t really a prospective future I want to face on PC. If I wanted all that I would just game on consoles.
      .
      And no, this is not intended to insult console players. The truth is the pure defense and the truth is that as PC gamers we have more control over our gaming experience. I for one would like to keep it that way.
      .
      I applaud the effort to bring games to wider audiences. I understand targeting only one “platform” (browser) for your game from a development standpoint, and the way it reduces overhead and dev time. I get that. And that’s ok as an alternative method for widening your prospective player base.
      .
      But lets shy away from making it the standard on PC, huh?

  12. kael13 says:

    This is nine lengths of win! Though I wish there was a discount for us who have bought the game already.

  13. mondomau says:

    Holy. Shit. This is awesome.

    Also, this took 2-3 minutes to install and get running on my work office’s abysmal 1.5mb/s connection. So have that, doubting thomas.

    EDIT: Plays beautifully. I am really blown away by this. Shame I’d have to buy it again to get past the demo, but then I have shit to do today anyway….

  14. Cinnamon says:

    Does this have an offline mode and does it save games locally?

  15. Vexing Vision says:

    Very impressive, and neatly sidesteps many of the problems I have with OnLive.

    Of course, this just DOES make Google a bit more scary.

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      yeah, it sidesteps being a videostream. by downloading the game and running it on your computer.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      That’s… that’s very much not how Native Client works.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “That’s… that’s very much not how Native Client works.”

      Sorry but you are incorrect here (unless its somehow a hybrid of the two types of system), Onlive works by doing the processing there side and simply giving you a video stream. Native client works by you running it on your machine, you might not see a full “download” as such, but it has to download the files to cache them while you play the game (texture files etc). The code just runs on your machine within the browser context and sandbox.

      Don’t really see the fuss (probably because i’m a jaded IT person) about this, I just see it as a sandboxed active X or maybe a Java install that only works on one browser (and is maybe secure but no-one really knows yet), a big VM that has access to hardware. Just adds to teh erquired system resources cause theres the overhead of the browser now

    • colinmarc says:

      When you open a dynamic webpage (like this one) it’s downloading javascript and running it, and streaming the images and stuff. NaCL is like that, but with C++. Which is very different from a VM.

      Yes, there is less efficiency once it’s installed, but streaming the assets from the cloud is pretty beneficial. And you can get it to the point (like browsers are with javascript) where there’s no reason to hit the disk at all. Which is pretty nifty.

    • jamesgecko says:

      @colinmarc: I think you mean, “there is less efficiency before it’s installed“? Because things are way more efficient when they’re running locally.

      Anyway, the comparison isn’t apt because Javascript applications don’t require hundreds of megabytes of textures and 3D models*. Javascript games don’t touch disk because they’re never more than a few mb large. Using NaCl for a large game without caching a lot of stuff on disk isn’t feasible.

      *That experimental WebGL project on GitHub you’re about to mention doesn’t count.

  16. Zetetic says:

    The important bit is that it doesn’t require any plugins – it just works. As long as you have Chrome, anyway.

    I think that important bit is that you need Chrome to run it.

    Anyway, Native Client is interesting as a way of decreasing clicks between the browser and ‘native’ code, but

    Who needs bespoke, closed hardware when this is possible?

    The same people as before – those who don’t have powerful PCs and don’t want the (perceived or otherwise) headaches in maintaining them. If anything, Native Client introduces another issue of maintenance and performance (albeit minor). While I appreciate that by removing a minor barrier to users, this does help matters, it’s not tackling the central issue.

    On PC, traditional download services suddenly started looking rather archaic too…

    Perhaps in South Korea, but if we’re taking that point of view OnLive already made this point and in a more extreme manner. In many places the issue of streaming – be it code and assets or video and audio – is still limited by bandwidth. As a fellow denizen of the UK, I’d have thought you’d appreciate that, what with fiber rollouts massively stalled in the very places that were meant to test their feasibility.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Who needs bespoke, closed hardware when this is possible?”

      I think people asking this are confusing native code with onlive type tech.

      Native code is a way to use the hardware resorces that normally browsers don’t have access to (i.e. GFX cards), if you don’t have a decent enough gfx card it doesn;t matter that the code is native via chrome or via your OS, you still can’t play it

      Unless this is on about a different type of hardware am i’m missing hte point completely :p

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yep, my cruddy old ex-office PC refused to run this as “it needs an OpenGL graphics card” (old intel on-board chipset which doesn’t). So there’s definitely hardware dependencies.

  17. oceanclub says:

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but this can’t be compared to OnLive surely because this method _still_ requires your computer to have enough horsepower to play the game, so to speak? With OnLive, the rendering is done in the cloud; with this method, the rendering is still done on your PC, correct?

    P.

    • Zetetic says:

      All true, but there’s a significant point of comparison in that both involve streaming resources from elsewhere. This imposes an ongoing bandwidth requirement and various limitations (including quite a few that many would so constitute a ‘consolisation’ of the PC experience), but does enabled relatively rapid play and saves on hard storage (and OnLive notably saves on other resources.)

      So, looking at from that perspective, the impact of this on ‘traditional download services’ is nearly nil, because it essentially targets only those with either:
      1) Storage restrictions that are truly incredible.
      2) Enough bandwidth to stream the data required for game X, but not enough to download game X in a reasonable amount of time. (Obviously, this varies with respect to game X and consumer as regards ‘reasonable’; Bastion may be a uniquely good candidate.)

      If there is a challenge here, it’s ostensibly in that going from seeing Bastion on the website to playing it currently requires a click that opens Steam while in this case the click opens a new tab in the browser.

    • colinmarc says:

      by that logic, why move email applications to the cloud? Why do anything in the cloud?

      -If the developer wants to make a change to their application, they can just do so, without you having to download and update.
      -The browser is an abstracted, standardized platform, so you can develop for one target
      -Once bandwidth increases, developing this way allows us to store more and more on the cloud, which means eventually we don’t have to hit the disk at all
      -Once that is true, playing the game requires a whole lot less user investment – you just click on the link.

    • Zetetic says:

      The logic is really quite different. The point of web-based email, and storing email on servers that are accessible on the internet, (which I suppose counts as ‘in the cloud’) is that your data is easily accessible from a variety of locations. Steam, for example, does this with your data. (Having a browser-based game, in itself, of course doesn’t demand that you store the user’s data in the cloud, but it’d be bloody inconvenient if you didn’t as it happens.)

  18. Chris D says:

    One of those days, huh? Have some more tea.

  19. zeroskill says:

    Can’t say i’m a big fan of anything that restricts access over your game files. That would include anything being streamed. I can’t see how you would even access a console that allows you to alter game files in such a system. What about altering .ini’s. This seems to totally remove any creative use of game files whatsoever, as in, no modding possible. Not a fan.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Fair point Zero.
      .
      As I said in reply to another post I am a huge fan of this move as an alternative, or additional, method to widen a player base. Once a game is published, if you want to expand your audience in this manner go for it. I can get behind that.
      .
      But championing this as the future of gaming? Please, no. I like manipulating my ini files, save games and modding games, thanks. Moving everything to the Microchrometendo-controlled cloud makes it hard to do those things.

    • Jhoosier says:

      When I think of modding, I think of games like Oblivion, Fallout3, etc. In fact, when I bought Oblivion on the Steam sale recently, the first thing I did was check out what mods to add. Games like Bastion (only played the demo a while back) don’t give me that urge. Yeah, .ini files would be nice to audit, but if things can be controlled in-game, that should be a bit less of a contentious point.

      Also, this would be great as an extension of PC gaming instead of a replacement, where I could play on a PC anywhere. I could play a bit at home, then pick up where I left off at Grandma’s house or wherever.

  20. Blackcompany says:

    I just snorted coffee all over the keyboard of my Microsontendo. This was hilarious, thanks for the laugh this morning.

  21. Juan Carlo says:

    Not really all that amazing given how crap Bastion’s animations were. It kind of looked like a browser game all along, anyway, so I’m not sure why this is such a great feat. I have seen flash games that were better animated.

    • Gnoupi says:

      There are flash games which are beautiful, without a doubt. So maybe let’s stop using “flash game” as an example of ugly and cheap?

      Moreover that Flash, before being used for games, is mostly an animation tool. Making smooth transitions between animation states is built-in.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Well there are pretty flash games. I don’t deny that. However, my point was that–pretty or not–Bastion looked like a browser game all along. And thus, given that it looks like a browser game, it’s not such a magnificent feat that it’s able to be played in a browser.

      If Crysis 2 were able to be played in a browser (without any cloud trickery) that would be amazing. Bastion, however, not so much.

      I actually do think that Bastion’s animations are pretty choppy, though. That’s the first thing I noticed when playing the game. I could list a bunch of games made for the same budget (and sold for more or less the same price) that had better animations.

  22. tapoxi says:

    NaCl is a pretty cool technology, and I hope it allows people to replace specialize plugins with it (Quake Live, Unity Web Player, etc)

    Also I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned NaClbox yet, it’s a port of DOSBox to Native Client, letting you play Jazz Jackrabbit (among others) in Chrome – http://www.naclbox.com/

    You need to go into About:Flags and enable native client though, it otherwise blocks it for non chrome web store pages.

    • jrodman says:

      Native client doesn’t really replace unity.

      Unity is designed to support running your game on different architectures. Native Client is designed to support x86 code.

      They can both be used to target pc / mac in a browser though.

  23. Jibb Smart says:

    I understand people’s fears about having no access to a game’s files on their own computer (for a plethora of reasons), but that’s not intrinsic to NaCl. You can run java apps through your browser, but you can also play them from your machine.

    As a developer, I’d love to make a game targeted at NaCl and still let players download the whole game. Suddenly my game works on (Windows) PC, Mac and Linux, and I didn’t have to compile a Windows version, Mac version, and Linux version for people to play with — but it’ll still run (apparently) closer to compiled C++ speeds than Java speeds.

    Also, NaCl is open source — yeah, it’s only supported by Chrome as of yet, but that’s because no one else has bothered to add support to their browser. I’d love to let people try my game online, buy and download the full version to play however they want, regardless of OS or browser.

    • DerRidda says:

      Had the same thoughts, what if you targeted NaCl as your main platform and instead of going through the Chrome Web Store (exclusively) you just took a stripped down and customized version of Chromium with NaCl just to run your game to distribute it with. Of course you would still have to provide per platform versions then but that’s already been taken care of by the Chromium devs for you.
      This could make cross-platform development relatively easy.

  24. The Dark One says:

    Not to mention free DLC in the form of some new modes and a new Dream arena, coming December 14th!

  25. Agrona says:

    Unfortunately, it runs like a dog on my middlingly-powerful work machine:

    Xeon E5507 (QuadCore) @ 2.3Ghz
    3GB RAM
    NVIDIA Quadro NVS 295 (256MB)

    Surprising, really, for what is essentially a 2D sprite game.

  26. bill says:

    Gah! I just went back to firefox….

  27. jrodman says:

    Hey, it’s almost like a website can just run a native executable on your system without your really deciding that’s what you wanted!

    Mark my words, native client is a huge security problem waiting to happen. Sure Google in all their hubris is developing fancy sandboxing technology. But it’s so much easier to attack, than to defend.

  28. vexis58 says:

    I’ve been playing it quite a bit since this article (I never got around to playing the game when it first came out) and it runs very well. I only have two problems:

    1. I have no control over when I save my game. It says it saves when “this icon” is on the screen, but most of the time I don’t notice if it’s on the screen or not. It’s usually there on loading screens, so if I’m sitting in my home base and want to stop playing for the night, I usually have to go enter another stage in order to save before I can quit. Kinda annoying. I wish they would at least give me a “save and quit” option.

    2. So far I have had two or three crashes, where the game would just spontaneously stop working and I’d have to reload the page to be able to play again. The reason this is a huge problem is that it crashes every time right when I’m leaving a zone. And obviously, right before the game saves on the loading screen.

    So I’m not allowed to save, and it always crashes at the worst possible time to make me wish I could have saved more often, so that I wouldn’t have to play through the entire zone I just finished over again. Most of the time this causes me to just quit in disgust and start up again the next day.

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