Last week marked 20 years since Wolfenstein 3D was released. As the first true 3D First-Person Shooter (FPS), it set the template for FPSs and has been the inspiration for thousands of games that followed since its original release. This game was truly revolutionary, considering what was available on the PC at the time, a time when web pages were just plain text and only few people even knew they existed. 20 years ago, far more people would have known about this game than knew of the existence of web pages.
So why a post about a 20 year old game?! Well, it has now been released again, for free, and this time it is based on the latest internet technology that is HTML5.
HTML5 is being used more frequently and for more and more multimedia applications that will work on any device that has a web browser – quite a difference experience from playing it on a dedicated PC sitting at your desk and that’s after driving to a shop to buy the game on disk. Now you only have to visit a web address from the comfort of your armchair on your phone, tablet or laptop and you’ll be playing it in an instant, without waiting or costs, shooting with your fingertips.
What makes HTML5 special is that it’s totally free, requires no plug-ins and is platform independent so it’s also future proofed for when the next big device comes along for accessing the internet. In this instance, your HTML5 apps in most cases will still work with no waiting or hoping that a plug-in comes out for that device or a patch to keep the device (is even) up to date. In theory, if you have an older iPhone you could still run a HTML5 app long after the app store has moved on.
So, is now the time to start thinking outside the app store and to start thinking of HTML5 for your app needs? Well, if it’s a simple app then the answer is yes. An extract from Ian Hardy’s BBC News article (linked below):
“…a lot of brand names don’t like being part of someone else’s ecosystem because they lose control of pricing and subscribers. The Financial Times recently announced it will shut off its iPad app completely following the success of its HTML5 web page.
This is a trend that is likely to snowball within months.”
Play the game in HTML 5 here: wolfenstein.bethsoft.com
Read this interesting BBC article on HTML5 here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17931814
(Opinion: Rob Barfield – Senior Programmer)