Firefox Update Brings Big Improvements To HTML5 Games

Developer & Design

Share this Post

Mozilla, like Google, has been investing heavily in HTML5 development. One of the best ways to show off the latest improvements in HTML5 and WebGL development is through the creation of games. With the latest release of Firefox, the browser is finally ready to tackle the holy grail of game development - the first person-shooter.

Mozilla internally developed a game called BananaBread that aims to show off the latest technologies used in Firefox. It includes the latest updates to JavaScript and WebGL to produce a first-person shooter that's fully playable in browser with all the bells and whistles that you have come to expect from stand-alone software.

BananaBread was made possible by Mozilla's Emscripten tool. It allows developers to port code written in C++ over to HTML5 with little to no rewrites required. It's success with how smoothly BananaBread runs in Firefox 15 shows the versatility of Emscripten.

Here are all the technologies that Firefox 15 is now using to bring quality games to browsers:

  • Game focused performance improvements to JavaScript, many inspired by games and demos that we saw on the Web or that developers sent to us for testing
  • Wide range of WebGL performance improvements
  • High precision timing
  • Compressed texture support on desktop
  • Smoother JavaScript execution on large code bases
  • Hardware acceleration of 2D canvas on desktop
  • FullScreen API
  • PointerLock API
  • OrientationLock
  • The launch of BananaBread is a big victory for the Firefox team. They have shown that Firefox can run the best HTML5 applications on the Web with no trouble at all. They're now going to be shifting their focus to Android and mobile browsers for the next half of the year. They hope to have any HTML5 game be playable across any browser that supports all the necessary APIs.

    Browser game development is definitely becoming more exciting. Browser games are maturing rapidly and should soon reach the point where they can appeal to even the most jaded core gamer.