BrowserQuest: An HTML5 MMO From Mozilla

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Mozilla is one of the strongest proponents of Open Web standards including HTML5. There have already been demos created that show the power of HTML5, but Mozilla and Little Workshop have outdone themselves this time.

The Mozilla Hacks page today announced BrowserQuest, an MMO powered solely by HTML5, WebSockets and Canvas. Make no mistake here folks, this is a real MMO that's completely playable right now in your HTML5-enabled browser.

The game itself is pretty simple. It's controlled solely by clicking to move, attack and pick up items. The gameplay itself is all about fighting monsters and finding treasure. It doesn't need anything too flashy at this moment to prove that this is quite the accomplishment. Little Workshop has already proven themselves at this point to be masters at HTML5, this just cements that fact.

There have been browser-based MMOs in existence for quite some time now. The thing is, most of them are built with flash or JavaScript and use complicated networking code to enable the online play. BrowserQuest is simplistic not only in it's HTML5 nature, but it also uses WebSockets for its online play. This enables "bi-directional communication between a browser and a server on the Web." What all that means is that WebSockets can change in-browser games to something more akin to the servers used in retail MMOs.

For the specifics of the tools used to build the game, the team used HTML5 Canvas, Web workers, localStorage, CSS3 Media Queries and HTML5 audio. These tools are all features of Open Web standards allowing anybody with the knowhow to create a game like this.

The coolest part about all of this, however, is that the game and server code are both open source. This will allow developers to gain insights into how the team used Open Web tools to create both the game's world and the servers that it runs on. You can grab both the game and server source code over on Mozilla's Github profile.

You can start playing the game in your browser right now. It's also available on iPhone, iPad or Android devices running Firefox. It's pretty fun and a great example of how the Web is transforming everything we do from simple tech demos to full fledged gaming experiences. Oh, before you ask, the game does have achievements. Go get 'em, adventurer.

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