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Team Fortress 2 Running In a Web Browser Using WebGL 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the hats-off-to-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Unreal Engine now runs in Flash and Crytek is considering porting CryEngine to Flash, but perhaps the Source Engine could go a different route. A software developer who works for Motorola Mobility has managed to get the engine and a level from Team Fortress 2 running in a browser using WebGL. There are still a few features and effects missing, but he claims it achieves a solid 60fps and has a video to prove it. Hopefully this gives Valve ideas; it'd be cool if older Source games became playable in your favorite browser, or even directly in Steam."
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Team Fortress 2 Running In a Web Browser Using WebGL

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  • That's the one thing major thing missing from HTML5 + WebGL - Audio control. Add sample level audio control and we're golden.

    • by tixxit (1107127) on Friday October 07, 2011 @04:15PM (#37643154)
      I'm also pretty sure that the guy just got a TF2 level to render and didn't port Valve's Source engine to JS. So its also missing the entire Source engine.
      • by tixxit (1107127)
        Should add that I think its cool he did this, but the summary is misleading (redundant, I know).
      • I'd upvote you informative if I could.

        I was going to comment that it doesn't appear to be running 60 FPS, but he claims it does when it is running alone (presumably without the video recording software).

        • by Baloroth (2370816)
          Ah, the famous quantum claim. "It was working fine before everyone else started looking at it!" Usually preceded by a "Hey guys, check this out!"
          • Well, screen grabbing software is processing and IO intensive, I can easily see a screen grabbing app bottleneck the (already highly utilized) CPU resulting in a 50-80% preformance loss. Don't forget that in order for webGL to offload data to the GPU, browser javascript has to do a lot of computation. So yes that claim is much more plausible than saying the same thing for a (flash) binary.

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      Already exists [w3.org], and already supported by Webkit. Firefox has a similar, but proprietary, interface.

  • Why would I want to play in a web browser instead of natively?

    • by Lanteran (1883836)

      So you can play in linux, BSD, et al without wine?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      So one could play on the iPad.

    • by uncanny (954868)
      Some of us work at places with overbearing IT departments that won't let me install things on our computers, however it does have flash
    • by Jonner (189691)

      Why would I want to play in a web browser instead of natively?

      You'd want to do this for the same reason that you'd want to run any application in a web browser instead of natively. It's far more convenient to deploy and update and far easier to support multiple platforms.

    • by moozey (2437812)
      Maybe you're running Chrome OS...
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      So you can browse to and play games without worrying about driving to a store or downloading an entire game that you may get bored of in the first level and never see 90% of the content you just downloaded.

    • It makes it less likely that you need to be tied to a shitty windows machine to play games.
    • RTFA. There is no playing involved.

  • CryEngine on Flash!? I think we have a new benchmark, everyone!

    • Yeah, when I read that, my first thought was that I'm caught in a time warp and got sent back to April 1.

      The Cry engines are already pretty much the most resource-intensive things out there, though they do look great. But I can't imagine how or why anyone with a functioning brain cell would want to "port" such an engine to something so woefully underpowered and feature-limited as Flash.

      • by msobkow (48369)

        I just saw the Unreal engine demo using the new Flash 11 accelerated APIs. Guess it is possible.

        Still sounds crazy to me.

  • In flash, really ? Flash is so much ressource hungry, no? Hope you Web gamers have gamer machines...
    • Really? Do you think there is a technology out there that would let games run on machines without hardware capable of running them? I suppose there are some cloud-based options that could work for that, but ultimately the processing has to get done somewhere.
  • Pix of hats or it didn't happen.

  • I'm not sure that I want or need my games running in a browser, and I'm certainly no fan of Steam (I will never buy a DRMed game that depends on another company continuing to exist for me to continue to own it), but what in the world does or even directly in Steam even mean? I have used Steam (I bough Half-life pre-Steam and it was later "upgraded" to force me to use Steam, and I've used it for some free demos). It certainly doesn't seem likely or desirable that the little Steam tray thing would run a game

    • by Telvin_3d (855514)

      Steam includes an integrated webkit browser overlay that lets you check sites without exiting your game. I assume that it meant you could use this browser to play the game.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      That's great, but FYI valve could vanish tomorrow, and there games would still be playable. I hate to inject facts into your hate..no I don't.

      • Only those already installed and completely updated. If you bought a game (even a physical version) which needs Steam to install, it'll tell you to fuck off if it can't connect to the server.

        Backed up the game to a DVD due to lack of disk space and want to play it again? Ops. Bought a new rig and want to play your existing games there? Nope.

        • There are already tools out there to crack it all if you're that worried. Personally I think the benefits of Steam vastly outweigh any of those worries. I don't want to go back to the days of installing everything manually and typing in product keys.

          I doubt Steam is going down without plenty of warning any more than Amazon would just disappear overnight.

          • Nobody said you shouldn't use Steam, just that it depends on Valve's activation servers to work properly, and it does.

            As for cracks, one could say the same about having to type product keys. And they don't exist for every game.
            Besides, paying for games that depend on illegal stuff to work properly is just giving the wrong feedback to companies and hurting ourselves. I rather go without playing it than supporting such behavior.

            I doubt Steam is going down without plenty of warning any more than Amazon would just disappear overnight.

            Well, I guess it depends on the people. Considering I still play 10+ year old game

            • Well, the only cracks I used to download were NoCD cracks. Steam meant that I no longer had to do that, so it was a bonus for me. I was just pointing out that if it did go down for good, tools would be made available - whether officially or unofficially - for playing your games offline*. I certainly don't think that the illegal route is positive in any way, and I also generally abhor the concept and basically the necessity** for DRM. But I wish that more companies would introduce Steam like DRM which actual

      • by afabbro (33948)

        That's great, but FYI valve could vanish tomorrow, and there games would still be playable.

        Even after I get a new computer and can't contact their activation servers?

  • I've done some stuff with WebGL and there is some great potential here. As was mentioned above, sound is one issue that needs some serious attention in the browser environment. The other is input.
  • by Narishma (822073) on Friday October 07, 2011 @04:48PM (#37643490)

    The guy didn't port the TF2 engine to WebGL since he doesn't have the source code. What he did is make a map loader that can partially load a TF2 level and display it with WebGL, but you can't actually play in it.

  • by BrandonJones (1581809) on Friday October 07, 2011 @04:53PM (#37643540) Homepage
    As the developer of the demo in question, can I request a change in the article title? I did NOT port the Source Engine to a browser, not even close. I've simply loaded some of the visual resources and demonstrated that they can be displayed at game-appropriate speeds. It's a long way to go from here to "Team Fortress In a Browser".
    • by Anonymous Coward

      No way. It wouldn't be /. if the articles weren't inaccurate and sensationalist.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        ...and it wouldn't be html5 if it wasn't a non-working example of something that might, one day, be useful, if you're prepared to use a different browser for each web game that you choose to play.

    • by discord5 (798235)

      I did NOT port the Source Engine to a browser, not even close.

      I expected as much, but thanks for setting the faulty slashdot record straight.

      FYI, I'm not too big a fan of the tendency to try and do as much as possible in the browser, but you've definitely earned your geek badge with this. Kudos sir, my hat's off to you.

  • the video looked more like it was going around 19fps, not 60.

    • by greatica (1586137)

      the video looked more like it was going around 19fps, not 60.

      He also mentions that the video recorder on his machine is slowing it down, and it gets anywhere from 60 to 120 fps without it.

      • He also mentions that the video recorder on his machine is slowing it down, and it gets anywhere from 60 to 120 fps without it.

        Except they claim the video is proof that it runs at 60fps when it is no such thing.

    • WTFV. He says in it that the recorder was only doing 23 frames but if you run it yourself in a browser it's 60.

      • WTFV. He says in it that the recorder was only doing 23 frames but if you run it yourself in a browser it's 60.

        Except the summary says that the video is PROOF of it running at 60fps. The video doesn't prove it if it doesn't show it.

  • So really what this guy did was take a level from Team Fortress 2 and render the basic geometry + some lightmapping.

    I'm not really sure what the big deal is. Based on what the title and summary suggested, I expected a hell of a lot more than a map loader. He did not get TF2 running in a browser, not anything from the Source Engine. All he did was load and render a TF2 map. If this sort of thing wasn't possible in WebGL to begin with there would be no point in WebGL at all, so the fact that he's gotten this

  • Please don't let them put anything else "in Flash". It isn't necessary (WebGL). It isn't secure (ever). It isn't needed (full stop).

    It's been hard enough to play video streams "through" flash on Linux, don't push the next gaming craze down the same toilet.
  • That really didn't look like 60 fps to me. I don't know if it was just the way it was recorded, or the guy's mouse but that didn't really look like it was achieved 'a solid 60 fps'.

    • Ok, nevermind. I'm an idiot. I should've looked at the Youtube comments (that's probably the first and last time I'm every going to say that). Turns out it was just his recording program locking it at 20, rather than 60.

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