Mozilla and Unity collaborate to give Web gaming a boost

Developers will be able to export their Unity games directly to the Web without the hassle of plugins

Mozilla and Unity Technologies are collaborating to make it easier for developers to create games that will run smoothly in a browser without plugins, thanks to technologies such as WebGL.

At this week's Game Developer Conference in San Francisco Mozilla's goal is show what an attractive gaming platform the Web has become, and how it's working with partners to make it even more powerful.

Mozilla and Unity are announcing a new add-on that will allow users of Unity's cross-platform development tools to create better games for the Web. Unity's tools can be used to simultaneously create games for a multitude of different platforms, including smartphones, PCs, consoles and the Web.

Millions of Unity developers will able to export their Unity games directly to the Web without the hassle of plugins while maintaining gameplay. To demonstrate the technology in action, the two companies are showing a demo of Dead Trigger 2, running in Firefox at near-native speed, Mozilla said in a blog post on Tuesday.

The two technologies making this possible are WebGL and asm.js. WebGL is a cross-platform, royalty-free Web standard for a low-level 3D graphics API based on OpenGL ES 2.0 and exposed through the HTML5 Canvas element as Document Object Model interfaces. Asm.js a "highly-optimized version of JavaScript that allows a developer to bring C and C++ games to the Web and reach near-native speeds," according to Mozilla.

Games will work well in all modern desktop browsers that fully support WebGL, with improved performance in Firefox because of its asm.js support, Mozilla said.

Unity's WebGL add-on will be made available with the release of version 5.0 of later this year.

At GDC, Mozilla and Epic Games are demonstrating the Unreal Engine 4 for the Web. At Mozilla's booth Goo Technologies is also demonstrating its gaming platform, which consists of the Goo Engine, a 3D JavaScript gaming engine entirely built on WebGL and HTML5, and Goo Create, a visual editing tool.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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