The Power of HTML5 & WebGL: Quake II in a Web Browser!

There has been much discussion about HTML5 versus Flash recently, so it was very interesting to see this:

Some engineers at Google have taken some of their ‘play time’ and tried to see how well a non-plug-in based video game would play in native HTML5 with WebGL support.

They chose Quake II, the groundbreaking 1996 first-person shooter, which is now open source and already has a Java port. As noted on the Google Web Toolkit Blog:

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)!


Having recently grabbed this game again on Steam as part of their ‘mid-week madness sale’, I have it running on both my netbook and Alienware m11x. It runs great on both, but scales to the more powerful Alienware very nicely. The screenshot above is from the Alienware running with settings maximized, and the web browser version looks every bit as nice!

As noted in the blog article, it is possible to download a test version of Chromium and recompile the Quake 2 code to try it for yourself by heading here.

The video shows that even for a 13+ year old game the graphics hold up nicely today, and the performance in a web browser is nothing short of stunning. Perhaps they could have had someone a little better at shooters handling the keyboard & mouse, however …

Source: Google Web Toolkit Blog

Categories: Gaming


2 replies

  1. #Google managed to run #Quake 2 in #Chrome with #HTML5 (no plugins):


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