With the new release (1.4) from Ludei, the first version of our WebGL implementation is made available for both iOS and Android. This is a historic moment: the first time developers can deploy native applications to multiple markets using WebGL to develop their games. But let’s clarify this so there are no confusions:
- A lot of developers know that Android has WebGL support in the newest available browsers (like Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, etc). This is true, and actually it is great news for the HTML5 and WebGL community. But there is no default browser, and more importantly no Android WebView (the stock component to develop native apps using web content), that supports WebGL and thus, there is no way to deploy an app to the markets that supports WebGL. Moreover, even if there was a way, it would be only available for the latest update of the operating system and as we all know, Android is hugely fragmented. This is what Ludei is providing: a cross-platform WebGL implementation that allows native application development from Android 2.3 and above and iOS 4.3 and above.
- Tons of developers think that WebGL is for 3D only, but we think that in truth, WebGL is a very convenient way of accessing low level graphic capabilities from web technologies. In this sense, WebGL could be used for both 2D and 3D game and app development offering a much more powerful approach both performance-wise and features-wise. Thanks to shaders, amazing new effects can be developed in WebGL now that were both impossible or really slow to do using the 2D context of the HTML5 canvas.
- WebGL support is going cross-platform: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the last major browser vendor that was missing WebGL support but recently, they have announced they are adding support in the next releases.
New platforms like FirefoxOS and Tizen have the best WebGL implementations we have seen so far on mobile. This shows that WebGL is strong among the web development communities and that it will have means to grow stronger. The more platforms that support it, the more content that will be available using it. We really hope Ludei can help on this with the release of our technology.
- Rendering is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, plenty of 2D based games engines out there seamlessly support both 2D canvas and WebGL (some of them even have CSS fallback!). So the main thing to make a game or an app successful is not how many polygons you are able to render or how fast you can do it. Of course it is important, but Ludei offers this out of the box for both Canvas and WebGL. What it makes a game successful is both the gameplay and the features surrounding it like social network integration, notification systems to get users engaged, not very intrusive but smart monetization systems, multiplayer support, etc. All these features are also available in the Ludei platform, making it easier for developers to focus on designing and deploying their creations to different markets using a single code base.
This is why we think WebGL could take a big part on the way we approach game development for the web.
Happy WebGL testing everyone. We really hope you enjoy our platform and services!