Twiggy

Hybrid Apps for non casual games

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Hello Everyone,

 

Ive been at a standstill for longer then I care to admit as for the direction I want to go. Ive been wanting to create my own games since highschool but have always been stuck as to the best way for me to do it. I know of the many different ways to create video games, ive researched all the different engines and multiple languages and frameworks that make it far easier to create your own game then it was back when I was in highschool and was put off by needing year and years of study in a complicated language to do so. However thats not really needed anymore, helpful to be sure but now a brain dead  like me can actually do it. My only real roadblock is my own self doubt due to a particular subject. I have someone who is actually pretty intelligent, something I also prefer to not admit most of the time due to him being an older sibling and yea......anyways. Ive been told by him that html5 games are the future and the technology is growing faster and stronger, although I do agree with him on that even though that html5 webgame boom appears to have ended. Those that wanted to get into it to make some quick money have moved on to other things and those special lucky few have been able to start making a decent sized living. Anyways, my main focus right now is 2D games mostly focusing on story / puzzle solving and a small love of tower defense style games and rpgs like LTTP and similar style games. I know I wont be able to create my own LTTP the game in a weekend.....a couple years probably by myself maybe less if I gain enough skills to be part of a team.....

 

My issue right now is that although I do agree that HTML5 games have a place in the future of gaming, I dont just want to make casual style games which is basically all you see from the html5, match3, sliding puzzles find it games and similar which isnt a bad thing mind you due to them being easier to create. I want to know though, for non casual games is it still practical to use a JSFramework like Phaser or even PlayCanvas to create larger games that you intend to wrap as a hybrid app for Desktop and Mobile device, or use something like GameMaker Studio which can do all those things? I dont mind learning the JS/Phaser and even had a frustratingly fun time doing the LessMilk Flappy Birds tutorial for Phaser. Its just I dont want to go through the process of learning the technology if I am not able to use it to create the style of games I want to be able to in the near future given the proper time and resources. I know I can use GMS2 to actually create those styles of games I wanted, but I wouldnt really be learning a real language and just logic, and I dont really want to keep spending money on exports and updated engine in 3 or 4 years (I really dont care for unity and am sorta sick of people saying "Just do Unity man").

 

I know Elliots Quest was done in Impact.js and it was a pretty fun game, the ROBO Game on the Playstore is also kinda fun and done in Phaser.js I thing, so it does give me some hope for larger games. 

 

Anyways, I didnt really have much structure to this post and it turned out to be more of a semirandom collection of works and turning into one of those " Can I create this type of game" posts which I am sure everyone is sick of. So....

 

TL:DR have Hybrid WebApp Games reached the point where they can compete in terms of speed and power of native apps for non casual games? 

 

Thanks for everyone that read this post and I hope most of you guys didnt claw your eyes out from reading it.

 

-Twiggy

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2 hours ago, Twiggy said:

TL:DR have Hybrid WebApp Games reached the point where they can compete in terms of speed and power of native apps for non casual games? 

No, and they likely never will, native apps have a number of key advantages over the web as it currently stands.

But this isn't your problem.

The question should be: "Can I create {non casual games} using {web technology} on {mobile devices}?"

The reason I added web tech in there is because thats what it sounds like you'd prefer to learn.

If you currently do not know a language and want to make a game then just use something like GameMaker, I believe there to be plenty of coding involved also. If you just want to get a game out, why not use Swift or Java and target the platform you want?

If you're dead-set on web tech then just choose a library or framework and get to work. Just get stuck in. Dive right in there. 

Sounds like you're over-thinking things, just get in there and get building, JS is great for this as its so permissive.

Hybrid JS solutions get more and more powerful, they're still really quite severely hamstrung compared to native experiences, but its getting better all the time. Will it be a good fit for every type of application? Probably not. Will it be a good fit for your project? Well, thats the question.

A good developer uses the right tool for the job, it doesn't matter if that tool is old and gnarly or new and hyped, the right tool for the job.

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You are definitely correct when you said I over think things, working on that but not having much success. I have gotten a few games out with GMS and even sold one with the html5 export which is part of the reason I would rather use Javascript and because I find it a more useful language then GML which although is coding it teaches you logic and not much of actual coding. Ive done a few courses with Javascript on Code Academy and CodeAvengers coding combat was kinda fun.  Unfortunately I dont think I will find the mythical jack of all trades engine, one way or another though I do intend to learn Html5 for atleast basic web development, figured why not try and learn it in a game dev context. 

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1 hour ago, Twiggy said:

Unfortunately I dont think I will find the mythical jack of all trades engine

I agree, frameworks tend to be fairly inflexible. Frameworks tend to want to own the application and allow small windows in to them for your stuff, this blanket can be time-saving and comforting, but, can also be restrictive. Libraries/modules tend to be the opposite, in that they can be used and composed together to do what you need, although you may have to do more boilerplate and glueing together.

1 hour ago, Twiggy said:

though I do intend to learn Html5 for atleast basic web development, figured why not try and learn it in a game dev context. 

It's not a bad ploy, however, games have fairly different primary concerns than your average web site/application.

Take React, for example. React wants to re-render views from data on every change, for your average web app changes are fairly infrequent and tend to be as a result of a user interaction or some sort of data loading. Games tend to change extremely frequently, often every tick so re-creating the entire scene is potentially a performance killer. This, of course, isn't a clear divide, I'd just be careful of using games as a way to get in to more general web development as they have problems to overcome that often do not exist in an average application.

Having said that, writing games often instills more passion than learning through creating a to-do app or tinder clone, so, I'd probably say, go for it.

Start small, create a pong clone, or a 2d scroller, or a top-down game, keep the scope really tight and focus on getting it finished, or, at least, to a state where you've learned plenty of lessons. As you've already made (and sold! thats amazing!) game with GM2, you shouldn't have too many issues pumping out a couple of quick games in vanilla JS, or using a framework like Phaser, or using a library like Pixi.

A more complex game is often just an extension of a simpler mechanic.

It sounds like you've done a lot of reading/researching, and whilst everyone learns differently, its almost universally true that you'll learn more by doing than by reading, so get stuck in there! Look forward to seeing what you churn out! If you need some inspiration I'd love to play a nice, simple, little top-down procedurally generated RPG :) not the easiest thing to get going with though!

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13 hours ago, mattstyles said:

As you've already made (and sold! thats amazing!) game with GM2, 

GM1.4 actually, but yea total fluke thing that happened. 

 

Thank you very much for your response  Matt, it is appreciated. Im going to stick with GMS since it can export to mobile and web, but still going to practice with Phaser cause I like it. Plus knowing JS will probably help in the creation of extensions and stuff for GMS web specific games. 

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16 hours ago, Twiggy said:

Plus knowing JS will probably help in the creation of extensions and stuff for GMS web specific games. 

Nope, it won't help. Not if you're coding with Pahser JS at least. Because you're coding with Phaser API that internally handles canvas and DOM API for you, in a different way that GMS web exports handles internally canvas and DOM API, so you're not really learning the same thing.

If what you want to do is game development, then develop games. JS or GML, the difference should be small, at least smaller than the difference between the framework you're using (GMS !== Phaser !== Unity). Now the question is what kind of games you do want to develop, and what support is best suited for them? Because we don't play browser based games like we play games from our Steam (or anything-alike) library or games we downloaded on our mobile. This is not the same sessions duration or number here, and we probably don't expect the same thing from them (at least I do).

If what you want to do is make a living out of coding, then it's another story...

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