Run Quake II in your Browser with HTML5

Three engineers at Google have created a port of Quake II to HTML5. Frag to your heart's content from inside your browser

Google encourages its engineers to spend 20 percent of their time working on projects that aren't necessarily in their job descriptions. The corporate philosophy that spawned Google products like including Gmail and Google News has perhaps had its greatest achievement yet: an HTML5 port of Quake II.

This first person shooter has been around for over 12 years and has been ported onto a wide swath of hardware platforms, but it's latest incarnation shows off much of the potential for HTML5.

While we've seen HTML5 in action rendering video, it can crunch through some relatively sophisticated graphics. And gameplay is reportedly no slouch, either -- developer Ray Cromwell reports getting up to 60 fps on Linux. Ready to get Quake II running for yourself? It helps to have a bit of experience mucking about with the command line.

To start, you'll need the Chromium browser to run Quake II and Mercurial to check out the code from Google. If you're on Windows, you'll need a Linux-like environment such as Cygwin, and on a Mac you'll need MacPorts. To do the actual installation, follow these directions, which have been tweaked from the Google Code project site for Quake II.

1.     Install ogg vorbis and lame by running in the command line sudo apt-get install vorbis-tools and sudo apt-get install lame on Linux. On a Mac, run sudo port install vorbis-tools and sudo port install lame. The tools are needed to convert the Quake II resources for the Web.

2.     Check out the code and change into the project directory by typing the following into the command line: cd quake2-gwt-port

3.     ./build-dedicated-server (will build the tools and the client and server code).

4.     ./install-resources (will download, unpack, and convert the original Quake II demo resources). Due to a bug, you currently also need cp -r maven-build/server/target/gwtquake/war/gwtquake war. The developers claim to be fixing this.

5.     ./run-dedicated-server [port] (will run the local Quake II server). The install worked fine without my specifying a particular port.

6.     Navigate your browser to: http://localhost:8080/GwtQuake.html (or whatever port you specified in step 5). What does this mean for the future of HTML5? Beyond opening the doors to all sorts of web apps that take full advantage of the HTML5 spec, Cromwell hopes that HTML5 will change how people collaborate while gaming. "All you need to do to invite someone to your game, to share it, is to send a link. You could Tweet a link directly to your game, which when clicked, would make someone join the game in progress. No installs necessary." Developer Joel Webber said that one point of the Quake porting project was to prove that HTML5 could be used "to build a 'real' game, including complex game logic, collision detection, and so forth". Google Code via Daring Fireball]

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Alessondra Springmann

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?