Web-Based Games For the iPad

What’s missing when you surf the web on an iPad? If you said “Flash” then you are close. Flash is missing, true enough. But instead of thinking technology, think content.
Flash content is… video, right? That seems to be what most tech journalists and bloggers think. That’s what both Apple and Adobe often suggest too. But it is not true.
And it isn’t what is missing. Sites like YouTube can easily show video using methods other than Flash. And they are doing just that for iPad users.
More importantly, if a developer like myself wanted to show video on a web site, I don’t have to rely on Flash. I can present video in a way that would work on computers and the iPad.
The content I am talking about is games. Gaming is the other thing that Flash does well. That’s why most of the games on the web use Flash. Some use Shockwave or Java, but those technologies aren’t available on the iPad either.
So when you surf the web with an iPad, you don’t get the games. Just big holes in web pages and whole sites filled with pages of games that don’t show up.
So how to fix this? Apple isn’t going to allow Flash on the iPad anytime soon. And even if they did then much of it wouldn’t work, requiring a keyboard and cursor.
My solution is to bypass Flash completely and use JavaScript.
JavaScript for games? Ugh! How can that slow browser scripting language be used for games?
Originally, it couldn’t. I tried and failed myself about 10 years ago.
But since then a revolution called Web 2.0 happened, increasing the amount of interaction on an average web page and forcing the browser wars to fight battles for faster JavaScript implementation.
So now we have very fast and capable JavaScript. And pretty cross-browser compatible as well.
In 2010 I converted Just Solitaire to JavaScript. It was Shockwave from 2003. I always meant to convert it to Flash. Glad I didn’t now. Instead I leaped over to JavaScript last year.
After that success, I decided to create my next game project in JavaScript. Earlier this year I released Games Without Limits, a site of casual games made in JavaScript. I’m thrilled with the results.
So now I have a site of web-based games. They work on computers. They work on the iPad. They even work on the iPhone.
Do I have the only one like it? Perhaps.
Now I just need to get some traffic to it and continue to add more games. The traffic part may be tough as iPad users are used to not looking for free online games. So they don’t expect to find any.
I’ve got a new JavaScript engine that allows me to build games from a basic framework. I hope to use that to add more games later this year. And then more the next. Perhaps I can recapture some of CleverMedia’s early years when it was one of the top web-based game companies in the world.

Posted on May 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm by site admin · Permalink
In: General