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Mozilla Labs To Promote Open Web Gaming 127

Posted by timothy
from the good-idea-oh-lord dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla Labs has started an initiative to promote and develop gaming based on Open Web technologies. They write, 'We are excited to present to you the latest initiative from Mozilla Labs: Gaming. Mozilla Labs Gaming is all about games built, delivered and played on the Open Web and the browser. We want to explore the wider set of technologies which make immersive gaming on the Open Web possible. We invite the wider community to play with cool, new tech and aim to help establish the Open Web as the platform for gaming across all your Internet connected devices.' To that end Mozilla Labs will launch Game On 2010, a game development competition, at the end of September."
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Mozilla Labs To Promote Open Web Gaming

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  • Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wampus (1932) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @11:11PM (#33505102)

    Maybe they should focus less on evangelization and more on making a browser that people want to use. Chrome is eating their lunch and they are content to push agendas instead of pushing code.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by odies (1869886) * on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @11:14PM (#33505110)

    Exactly. The battle against H.264 will end up costing them even more market share too.

    But what always seems weird to me in discussions about web games in here is the dissing of Facebook games. People complain how they are apparently timewasters, stupid and how people should be playing real games instead. Why? They are entertainment just as any other "real" game and people think they're fun to play. They might be more tailored towards casual people, but in fact in the 1990's and 2000's I remember reading discussions about how to get more non-hardcore players and especially girls to play games. It seems web games, especially social ones like on Facebook is an answer to that. Why do so many people have an axe to grind if someone plays and enjoys Facebook games?

    Also, web games really aren't there to completely replace "real" games, there's place for both. Especially with the current technology and the sizes that "real" games require when installed. Internet and computer usage is completely different now than in 1995 and there's room for both type of games.

    However where Mozilla probably fails here is that they want to strictly promote games using open technologies.

    There are three problems to that; First of all, any of those technologies don't support games as good as Flash, and don't have a universal way for websites to embed them. Usually you also end up having to give out your full code, which just isn't going to work for companies and some people.

    Secondly, Flash has awesome authoring tools for coders and artists. There's none such for the mentioned technologies - you usually just write it in JavaScript.

    Thirdly but not least, the state of open source games is not good. Lack of artists, only copying of commercially successful games like Civilization and SimCity and similar just makes things worse. Projects also usually die quickly, just like those projects you worked with as a teenager. You had great interest in them at first, but then it just died and you moved on to something else. Commercial games overcome that problem by paying their developers, but that is not possible in open source world.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @11:26PM (#33505162) Homepage Journal

    and don't have a universal way for websites to embed them.

    There was iframe before there was iPod.

    Usually you also end up having to give out your full code

    To a greater extent than you end up giving your code to anyone with an SWF decompiler?

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BZ (40346) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @11:29PM (#33505178)

    1) Mozilla's goal is an open web, not "making a browser". Making a browser is a means to an end.

    2) I'm curious about your use of "instead" instead of "in addition to".

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @11:32PM (#33505186)

    Chrome agenda is both. They are trying to "advance the web" by pushing "to open the web."

    There is a reason that they almost exclusively chose open protocols and standards for their products and browsers.

    They are large supporters of HTML 5, they pushed an open codec to give a viable alternative to h.264, they support imap and pop for gmail even though it allows you to bypass their adds, and they use jabber for their IM protocol instead of coming up with something new and closed like Mypsace, MS, Yahoo, Facebook, and Skype did.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zixaphir (845917) <.Jinira. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @11:50PM (#33505268) Homepage
    I can not for the life of me understand how anyone thinks that Firefox is a substandard browser. It does everything I want it to do and more, while allowing me to tweak anything in almost any way I please.
  • by DamienRBlack (1165691) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @12:07AM (#33505334)
    I don't think it matters if you game is open source, just the tools you are using. I think using flash goes against their goal. There are plenty of flash games, they are trying to show games that use open platforms.
  • Re:Maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:07AM (#33505508)
    Yeah, Firefox is still my browser of choice, but I'm no longer as evangelical as I used to be. Ever since the Awesomebar debacle... they've seemed to have an agenda that was distinct from simply making a good, open, browser. They've gotten all 'marketing' on us, trying to move us in certain directions, rather than helping us go where we want.
  • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @02:23AM (#33505778) Journal

    Mozilla ain't got shit to worry about. sure some geeks may go play with chrome for awhile, but Mozilla has an ace in the hole I haven't seen any of the other touch yet...their kick ass extension framework, which appeals to what I call the "non geek" factor. My GF barely knows more than "clicky clicky" on a PC, my mom and dad are even more clueless, yet they all have custom browsers. Did I do that? Nope, Firefox extensions. Once they learned of Firefox extensions they were customizing like crazy, and frankly I have yet to see any of the other browsers give me the kind of fine grained control over the web like Adblock Plus and Noscript give me.

    So if any Mozilla developers are reading this? Listen to your old pal Hairyfeet: Embed a video on your first run site that shows a simple tutorial on how easy extensions are to install and use, and I would add something like "Have you tried extensions to make the web YOUR way? want us to show you how with an easy video?" on the screen they see after an update. Extensions are THE "killer app" you have over everyone else, and the lock in potential is off the chart, as everyone I know who have tried extensions, including myself, simply won't go back to using the web without it.

    Hell even my 67 year old clueless dad will call me if he has to use a relative's PC that doesn't have Firefox complaining that "Their web is busted, all they have is that lousy blue E thing!" and I have to walk him through getting Firefox so he can have IMGZoom and Adblock Plus. So push extensions Mozilla, push them hard.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @03:52AM (#33506148)

    Of course Mozilla supports open standards. My point was that they are SLOW to implement them. There is still no WebM support in stable releases of Firefox. I understand that they have limited resources but the point is that they seem to have a strange set of priorities (such as constantly fidgeting with Firefox's UI) when they do not yet completely support stuff that is YEARS old. Things like WebM are already a day late and dollar short when it comes to market penetration. The last thing we need is for projects such as Firefox dragging their feet supporting open standards--especially ones that are going to be of vital importance like which video codec is going to be strewn all over the web in the next 5-10 years.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @04:12AM (#33506262)

    Because the church will pay for it.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @04:59AM (#33506480)
    Because of stupid ass stunts like foisting the 'Awesome Bar' on us with no option to completely revert back to the old behaviour (no, setting maxRichResults to 0 DOES NOT WORK before someone chimes up with it - it gimps the AB somewhat but it does not revert it to pre-AB behaviour).

    Because of stupid ass stunts like turning on silent automatic updates by default when we bitched and shouted at Microsoft for doing exactly the same thing.

    Because of the way activity in one tab can still block the entire browser, such as showing an authentication prompt (no way to switch to another tab while that there box is showing).
  • Re:Maybe... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:20AM (#33506724) Journal

    Well just because you have a family member that does the classic "ur doin it wrong" doesn't make what I said any less true. Working PC repair I get to see many "Joe Normal" Firefox installs, and I'd say the average is 3-6 extensions, with 4 usually being the sweet spot. Rarely do I see any like mine where they have nearly a dozen, and those are usually what would be called a "power user", since it really doesn't take much to change you web experience completely. Take my dad for example, he is color blind and wears thick glasses, so the pictures on many websites would be just a gray blob. Thanks to IMGZoom he can simply hold the right mouse button and make any pic as big or as small as he needs, which makes it a "must have" for him.

    The other "killer app" Mozilla has is Personas. We geeks laughed at it but the Joe Normals seem to really love them. I've seen everything from monster trucks to boy bands starting Firefox lately everyone seems to be changing the look. Hell even in my own family everyone has changed personas without me even pointing that feature out. My mom has flowers (they just make everything cheerful) my oldest has a gothic looking one, the youngest anime, and last I looked dad had a classic car.

    Everyone likes to be different, everyone has different tastes and different wants. The nice thing about Mozilla Firefox is it doesn't take any real PC knowledge to have a completely custom browser. If Mozilla is smart they will heavily push extensions and personas, as those really set it apart from the pack IMHO.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by whitehaint (1883260) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:31AM (#33507008)
    RE: Facebook games. It's because of Zynga, the company that keeps pushing you to blow your money on stupid crap, is a cause of much wasted space on peoples wall and in general are slightly unethical wankers.
  • Re:Maybe... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:17PM (#33513782)

    Because of stupid ass stunts like foisting the 'Awesome Bar' on us with no option to completely revert back to the old behaviour (no, setting maxRichResults to 0 DOES NOT WORK before someone chimes up with it - it gimps the AB somewhat but it does not revert it to pre-AB behaviour).

    The Awesome Bar works well. It's striking how poorly the URL suggestion systems work in the location bars of other browsers. Do you have any specific examples of how the Awesome Bar is a "stupid ass stunt"?

    Because of stupid ass stunts like turning on silent automatic updates by default when we bitched and shouted at Microsoft for doing exactly the same thing.

    Turn it off in the options. Saying "it should be off by default" is pretty silly when it's so trivial to change the behaviour.

    Because of the way activity in one tab can still block the entire browser, such as showing an authentication prompt (no way to switch to another tab while that there box is showing).

    Firefox 4 is moving to a tab modal model. Your nerd rage seems to be a bit misdirected. Maybe it would be more productive to participate in the Firefox project rather than complaining about it on Slashdot.

  • Re:Maybe... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zixaphir (845917) <.Jinira. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:04PM (#33516656) Homepage
    I am sorry, having to opt into updates is a security hazard in and of itself.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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