Emanuele Feronato (@triqui) published this recently (August 9, 2017)
When we talk about HTML5 Vs Flash games, HTML5 technology is often seen as the “oh let’s me see that minesweeper” choice.
This is probably due to the large amount of low quality games developed with HTML5. Actually, there are way more low quality Flash games around the web, so probably the point is there isn’t a really great HTML5 game released in the wild.
This is the reason why a lot of former Flash developers skip HTML5 and start learning Unity.
Today I am showing you three HTML5 games which are better than any Flash game I can remember.
that’s the intro …
Usually I try to be somewhat fair in my comments when it is “Flash vs HTML5”,
mainly trying to debunk the B.S. against Flash, but now I “had it” as they say,
Personally I already encountered the posts from Emanuele Feronato because he wrote quite a lot about Flash games, see his section Flash, it goes back as far as 2006.
Just to say that he is not a “flash hater” who doesn’t know Flash and its potential.
Still, the post is misleading, if many Flash developers moved to other platforms like Unity and HTML5,
it is mainly in my opinion because they have been influenced by the “flash is dead” message repeated ad infinitum since 2010 or so.
And that’s fine, I have no problem with dev moving to other platforms, you can build anything with any tech, games ca nbe developed with C/C++/Java/.NET C#/…(good dozen of programmign language here)…/Flash/Unity/HTML5/etc.
But what get on my nerves is the usual tactic of shiting on Flash to make your own platform of choice, in this casse HTML5, look better than it is.
Oh so those 3 HTML5 games are much better than anything else in Flash ?
Strike Tactics – Developed with Phaser
Strike Tactics is a fast-paced RTS where you harvest, build, attack, defend and conquer your opponents with a classic RTS formula, using a huge unit roster with over 20 military units each with unique weaponry and capabilities as well as super weapons which shoot halfway across the map not to menion hover tanks, bombers, mechs and enormous flying battleships.
Ok, that’s your basic RTS game, the AI sucks, the multiplayer mode is a bit more interesting but that’s about it for the gameplay.
Now, at the tech level, oh my … it is mainly bitmap graphics, and sprite sheet animations, nothing fancy or gorgeous there, but what I find really bad quality is the use of HTML5 for the games menus, you basically have plain rectangles poorly styled with CSS, those menus are horrible … I guess you have to thank HTML tech for that.
here few screenshots
Let’s compare with an old flash game: Commando 3 on Miniclip, and let’s compare the menus
So same they use mainly bitmap graphics, sprite sheet animations etc.
but look at the menu, the custom font, the custom layout and design, so you see plain dumb rectangles anywhere ? no
Simply put because HTML5 is a real mess to customise styles and other custom shapes and custom font based on HTML and CSS and JS, well… off course it gonna limit the creativity of the game designers.
And to be honest, Commando 3 is not even the best flash game out there, I took it as an example because I vaguely remember it is a clone of Metal Slug (a game I happen to like a lot) but still I’m making this point: Flash is much more easy to manipulate to produce custom design/UI/UX and obtain very good results.
It’s not just one thing, but all those things combined together:
- the ability to design in Flash CC / Animate CC
- and reuse the design with programming
- combine bitmaps, vectors, alpha, etc.
to get that “pixel perfect” look
Then the second one
Airscape: The Fall of Gravity – Developed with Construct2
Airscape is an action platformer about an octopus lost in a strange and dangerous world. Created by a team of students from around the world, Airscape combines innovative gravity mechanics, devious obstacles, and questionable physics. Airscape is currently available below on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
OK, so you watch the video demo of the game and personally I like it, nice graphics, nice gameplay, good music, etc.
but wait a minute …
“innovative gravity mechanics” ?
are you kidding me ? gravity games are millions, they even existed in Flash long time ago
about 500+ gravity games on steam
and then you go see the guy @JustASquid on twitter
and you see that pinned at the top
so already one of the top 3 HTML5 games in 2017 is a game from 2015 in fact
that’s for sure good HTML5 games are a rarity
but wow 3,5 years in the making … that’s a loooong time to build a game
but sure the game does look good and received plenty of awards
but wait wait … it is an HTML5 games right ?
how come I can not play a demo in the browser ?
what advantage does HTML5 has when you publish your game on desktop for Windows, macOS and Linux, I mean compared to something like Adobe AIR that can basically do exactly the same ?
but let’s digg into it a bit more …
and oh look you can see a game named AirScape that date back from 2012, not available anymore but it seems it was made in Flash
and oh look [another demo of the game this time on newgrounds] (from 2016)(http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/604501) where it says
[NOTE: This game no longer works in what appears to be all modern browsers, due to browser updates that broke the game. Apologies if you wanted to play the game!]
Jump, flip, and dodge your way through 30+ mind bending levels in this gravity based action hardcore platforming game!
From a cool green forest to an epic snowy warzone, make your way through a beautiful, yet dangerous environment and find what happened to Earth’s gravity.
This is an HTML5 game, which means it will work best in Chrome and Firefox.
Yep that’s HTML5 for ya, browser updates that break the game and render it unplayable
do you see how HTML5 is feeble ?
Look at this List of browser games most made with Flash dating back as far as 2003
they still run great to this day and I do know Flash been updated like crazy now we are version 26!!
But what really astonish me is 3,5 years to develop a game …
maybe if they had used Adobe AIR it could have take less time ?
And then you see this
‘Good’ isn’t good enough - releasing an indie game in 2015
The failure of an indie platformer
wow … 150 copies sold, for 3,5 years of work… that does suck a lot
I’ve lost pretty much all confidence in the possibility of reliably making a living with indie games. I had never put a whole lot of stock in it, however at the moment I see it as a risk that’s simply not worth taking. I can’t help but make games, so I’ll keep working on them in my spare time, but without any real hope for commercial success.
I really feel sad for the guy
He did not write everything from scratch, he had a framework and tools to help him (eg. Construct2)
maybe using the super meat boy strategy like showing an online prototype
to test the water, see if gamers were interested, etc.
could have helped to “waste” only few months instead of 3+ years
My point here is that with Flash you can create and create fast, at least much faster than HTML5,
and when it come to build a prototype you don’t have to rely on tools like Construct2 to build it, you can build it from scratch to experiment things outside the main stream, and all that, kind of, force you to be extremely creative.
Now I don’t say that all flash games are extremely creative and that the game above flopped because of HTML5, but time is not a factor you can ignore wen you are a small indie dev.
In general when you compare “how long would it take to build that” in Flash vs HTML5,
usually HTML5 take much more time (I could dare to say an x2 factor, 1 month in Flash take 2 months in HTML5).
Mad World – Developed with Jandi Engine
While still under development, this cross-platform HTML5 MMORPG looks extremely promising. It’s powered by the in-house “Jandi Engine”, optimized for HTML5 MMORPGs.
This one is the insulting one, first it is not finished, and it will be released (maybe) in 2018;
and that somehow make this game better than any flash game ?
Voila, so that the greatest of HTML5 games, that was fun.
I’m not stupid, I understand the whole strategy is to hype HTML5 games to then promote and sell a book about building HTML5 games …
not convinced …