Google gets Quake II running with HTML 5, WebGL


— 9:33 AM on April 5, 2010

Khronos' WebGL working group has now been around for a little over a year, and we're getting to see the fruits of their labor. To be specific, Google staffers have updated the official Google Web Toolkit Blog with news of an HTML 5- and WebGL-enabled port of id Software's Quake II that runs right in your browser. Check it out:

Google's Chris Ramsdale provides a little bit of background information in the blog post:

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. You can see the results in the video above -- we were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops (your mileage may vary)!

This isn't the first Quake game to run in a browser, of course—id's own Quake Live has been publicly accessible since February 2009. However, that game relies on a custom browser plug-in that only ran on Windows at first, perhaps because it contained some pre-compiled game code. Google's browser port of Quake II, meanwhile, uses open libraries and already runs in the latest Chrome development builds for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Too bad Google doesn't provide a link to the pre-compiled version of the port. The blog post only points to instructions for developers to build the source code themselves.

   
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