Quake II In HTML5? Yes, Thanks to Google Engineers

By HTMLGoodies Staff

With the Flash vs. HTML5 debate raging on, Google this week announced the existence of an HTML5 port of id Software's Quake II. The software giant is hoping to prove that HTML5 web applications are capable of handling computationally demanding graphics and the challenges of game programming.

Google Developer programs' engineer Chris Ramsdale mentioned in a blog post on Thursday that Google's 20% time policy, which allows Google employees to use 1/5th of their work hours on projects outside the scope of their normal tasks, was responsible for the Quake II port, which runs in a web brower.

The Quake II applications is supported by Google Chrome and Apple's Safari browser, and does not require a plug-in. It uses WebGL, the Canvas API, HTML5's audio elements, the local storage API and WebSockets, which are all part of the emerging HTML5 specification.

Ramsdale stated that "We started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, then used the Google Web Toolkit (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript. We were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops."

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