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About grelf

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  1. As some have already pointed out in this forum there is a problem with scenes stretching ahead with a sudden cut-off at a horizon. Objects just beyond the horizon suddenly pop completely into view on the slightest forward movement. I have addressed this in my program The Forest ( ) by making the scene hazy (or foggy) towards the horizon, if the user switches this effect on via a check box on the page. A couple of example scenes are attached here. I have written a detailed description of how I programmed it ( ). My code is plain HTML5/JavaScript using no framework and only the standard 2D graphics context because I want my program to run on as many platforms as possible. So my documentation explains how to process images in that environment and indeed how to copy an object of type Image complete with its pixel data, which is not entirely obvious or straightforward. I hope this may be useful to others.
  2. grelf

    New free game: The Forest

    New free game: The Forest See and documentation at This is a redevelopment in HTML5/JavaScript combining two much earlier programs, "The Forest" and "Explorer", which I wrote and had published in the 1980s for the TRS-80, Sinclair Spectrum and BBC Micro. It is partly a simulation of the sport of orienteering and an aid to interpreting contour maps but there are several diversions for non-orienteers, including a challenging treasure hunt. It is set in a vast forest, effectively infinite. This rewrite demonstrates how powerful the HTML5/JavaScript platform can be. Detailed maps and complicated scenes are displayed in fractions of a second. The program should run on any device that has a browser, from desktop PC to smartphone; it works on my cheap Android phone even in battery-saver mode. A friend tells me it works on her Kindle tablet. Older devices may not be fast enough though. Despite the huge extent of the terrain, the game downloads and runs in seconds because the program is only about 120 kilobytes (yes, kilo!). And there is nothing to install. I do not use any third party libraries. I deliberately use only the basic 2D graphics context because others, such as WebGL, are not available on all devices. Please feed back to me (gr at grelf dot net) details of any device that you find it doesn't work on. Tell me make and model, and particularly the operating system and browser (with version), and what doesn't work. The program and its source are freely available, uncompressed, because I want to encourage others to program creatively on the HTML5/JavaScript platform. I am writing on my personal web site about how it works. Lots of background information can be found at and other pages linked from there, including my free JavaScript course. I think HTML5/JavaScript is a good combination for rewriting retro games and making them available to all, rather than emulating the cumbersome old machines in software or physically reproducing them, as some are doing. Reprogramming is more work of course but it can be very satisfying (and JavaScript is much easier to write than assembler). The technology now makes it possible to write what I really had in mind back in the 80s.