News Article

HTML5 Impact Engine Developer Talks Up The Value of the Nintendo Web Framework

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"The NWF can provide a lot of features that a typical Web Browser can't"

Details recently emerged for XType Plus, an arcade shooter with origins as a HTML5 browser game, which is on the way to the Wii U eShop. The original version of this title is technically playable for free via the Wii U web browser, yet performance can be choppy and underwhelming. This new entry will, like other HTML5-based games on the way, utilise the Nintendo Web Framework to avoid these limitations and deliver better experiences, while the developers can use tools simpler than those outside of the Framework.

XType Plus developer Dominic Szablewski is also the man behind PhobosLab, and is the creator of the Impact HTML5 Canvas and JavaScript engine, a tool that makes game creation in those codes easier. In an interview to be published later today Szablewski explains how the Nintendo Web Framework and his engine operates, and was keen to emphasize the benefits that it offers to those most familiar with web game design.

The NWF can provide a lot of features that a typical Web Browser can't. For instance, proper support for all kinds of controllers and other features unique to the Wii U.

You don't have to care that much about download size either. eShop games are only downloaded once, but a game played in the browser has to be downloaded each time again. This allows you to pack more stuff in your game.

Another important point is that NWF makes it easy to sell your game. The eShop provides a lot of exposure and buying a game there is painless for the customer.

Szablewski goes on to praise Nintendo's encouragement of this area of the development community, and was critical of the lack of equivalents on Sony and Microsoft's current systems.

If Sony or Microsoft have any ongoing efforts to support HTML5 games in some manner they're very good at hiding it.

I'm actually somewhat dumbfounded that they're not opening up more to indie developers. The indie gaming scene is huge and continuing to grow even more, yet it's still quite hard to get onto these platforms. Microsoft even made it much more difficult to start development for the XBox One than it was with the XBox 360. I have no idea why they're doing this.

We're seeing more Nintendo Web Framework projects emerge on a weekly basis at the moment, and it seems to be an aspect of the market that will bring a great deal of content in the year to come.

Be sure to check back later for the full interview, in which we learn more about XType Plus, the Impact engine and some remaining challenges and areas for improvement in Nintendo's download development infrastructure.

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User Comments (20)

Santaman64

#1

Santaman64 said:

Nintendo is setting up the biggest "gotcha" in history, by dumping old school, 3 party, and inviting indie scene with open arms. ;-)

Josaku

#4

Josaku said:

I like the Idea of changing 3rd party support and how well it seems, but can't get around of thinking about how hoorribly this could go wrong but I hope it dosen't ^^

MadAdam81

#6

MadAdam81 said:

Basically it seems to me like this guy is saying if you want to make a HTML5 game, don't bother with PC browser and just make it for Wii U.

BertoFlyingFox

#7

BertoFlyingFox said:

Daaaaamn, that looks good. I will pick this up as soon as it's available on WiiU. I look forward to developers using NWF on a regular basis and releasing awesome games like this one.

Spoony_Tech

#10

Spoony_Tech said:

Always good to hear some good news. This is one area that Nintendo nailed down. Too bad not enough people would consider this being a system seller though. Still need some 3rd parties to keep afloat! 5 good ones to go down with the ship and be there when Nintendo shines again!

rjejr

#11

rjejr said:

Think I'll go try Play Boxie today. I forgot last time. Free is free.

TenEighty

#12

TenEighty said:

"I'm actually somewhat dumbfounded that they're not opening up more to indie developers."

Neither is Nintendo. As a developer who had to return their hardware, Nintendo is not supporting experience programmers. NWF is great for those who enjoy creating limited HTML5 games but sad that some of us experienced programmers that got kicked to the curb.

The people at Nintendo are really nice and I hope some good games can come from these HTML5 developed games. I just hope Nintendo's next system offers support for indie developers who can actually write and compile code for OpenGL and so forth.

unrandomsam

#13

unrandomsam said:

@TenEighty So is this it basically ? you can use Unity (In a limited way - Not in the way that e.g Obsidian is using it) or HTML5 or you can use the full dev kit with the same terms as always).

unrandomsam

#14

unrandomsam said:

I doubt it can provide many features IE11 cannot (Running under Windows 8.1). The same thing is used for the browser and the metro apps.

unrandomsam

#16

unrandomsam said:

@BertoFlyingFox I have played loads of indie stuff in this genre and the only two good ones are Jamestown and Ether Vaper Remaster. There is nothing technically wrong with Velocity Ultra or the Gun Bullet Children games I just didn't like them that much.

On the other hand e.g Syder Arcade looks great but it it doesn't play right. (Looks even more impressive than this video). There is probably another 50 I have played that are even more broken than that.

Coincidently the dojin Japanese indie ones are nearly always really good but Nintendo is not bothered about them either.

TenEighty

#17

TenEighty said:

@unrandomsam Only Unity and NWF (Windows 7/8 64bit only, no XP, Linux or OS X) are supported for indie developers. I didn't look much into Unity as I don't use "game maker" apps myself. I prefer to write code because if there is a bug, I can fix it quickly. If there's a bug in a "game maker" app, you have to wait for that developer to fix it. Sometimes they never get fixed and then there's nothing that the game designer/developer can do.

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