Blog Post

Mozilla unveils holiday HTML5 game competition

In order to stoke the fires of the still-nascent world of browser gaming, Mozilla is rolling out  a holiday contest that could reward a handful of plucky developers with cash and trips to the much-revered Games Developer Conference (GDC).

The challenge, developed in partnership with HTML5 game engine Goo Technologies, has obvious roots in Mozilla’s involvement with WebGL and other game-friendly technologies. Entrants can choose from one of three categories, including an “Interactive Game Scene” amateur contest that requires no previous development experience. All participants must use the HTML5/WebGL-based Goo Engine and a visual editing add-on, Goo Create, to create original games by January 14. Then, representatives from both companies will join with judges from Angry Birds creator Rovio to pick winners to be announced by January 17.

The big prize at stake, available only to participants of the full game categories, is a trip for two to GDC San Francisco in March, 2014. GDC has, over the years, become an event du jour for developers to actually learn about developing, rather than spending every available resource to show off a game to the public like the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX).

While it’s hard to ignore some of the more Mozilla-serving aspects of the contest, including bonus points if a cross-platform design is compatible with Firefox OS, the contest has its merits. There’s a need for more contests and jams that revolve around browser gaming because of it’s low entry-level for amateur developers. The effectiveness of starting in browser gaming can probably be seen best in the career trajectory of mobile app company Vlambeer, which built on the success of its browser game Radical Fishing to create the critically acclaimed mobile success Ridiculous Fishing — the browser game can be a solid stepping stone into mobile or desktop gaming, and a smart way to build an early following. Mozilla’s contest, and others like it, have a chance of cementing a new pathway for amateur gamers to get their games seen (and, even better, played) and making browser gaming a more solid pathway to success.

It’s a cool little contest with a screaming fast deadline, and worth trying if only to peek into the world of browser gaming.

2 Responses to “Mozilla unveils holiday HTML5 game competition”

  1. Sweet, and some reasonably good games are starting to getout there now, see the article in gamasutra. HTML5 has now matured into a workable albeit new technology for games. Add the new webGL support by ie and there are some cautiously exciting things coming up.

    Of course there are always some pure native dev bigots like the one below that troll the internet and go hyperbolic with two year old quotes. Hope they are getting paid well for it. The press was initially too glowing and is now a too cynical. The rest of us can take a more balanced and positive approach.

    It’s a good time to be looking at HTML5 games as we are in a sweet spot where the technology is entering a more capable mature phase and

  2. Stephane Beladaci

    HTML5 is based on a bogus programming language that’s not even one, but an interpreted script. It takes rocket scientists to hack HTML5 and make it work, rocket scientists most companies cannot afford and most of the time cannot find even when they can afford them. #FAIL

    Facebook dumped HTML5 saying it is the “biggest mistake” in the company’s history. LinkedIn dumped HTML5 saying it was a mistake to adopt it. Google said HTML5 is a failure and JavaScript simply cannot be fixed.

    HTML5 consists in putting band-aid on a chicken dead in the egg, to make it work across browsers on life support. Forget mobile, desktop, TV. Each new destination is more hacking, discrepancies & failures. #FAIL

    HTML5 is a failure because of its nature: implementation left to the browser, with vendors free to implement it how, when & if they want. Features might work in 1 browser but not the other, or not work & look the same, or not at all. #FAIL

    That is when vendors don’t cripple it on purpose, such as Apple executives marking HTML5 bugs not to be fixed by executive order. That is Apple execs ordering Safari mobile engineers not to fix bugs that refrain HTML5 from competing with AppStore & iTunes. #FAIL

    That is why you see mind blowing facts such as iOS7 plagued with HTML5 bugs, don’t tell me Apple does not have the money & talents to avoid that. #FAIL

    HTML5 is the biggest corporate bullying scam in the entire history of the Internet & is costing enterprises hundreds of millions. Most HTML5 web “developers” are costing enterprises 2x to 5x more money than Flash/Flex/AIR experts because they spend more time, by multiple folds, to develop apps that fail at the end, versus Flash/AIR apps that work the same everywhere from 1 single code base, with 1 team instead of 2 to 4, & all based on a rock solid enterprise class object oriented programming called AS3, not to be confused with AS2 which is as bad as JavaScript.

    In 2010 I told Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook that they will fail by adopting HTML5. A few years later Zuckerberg went on the record to apologize to his shareholders & called it “the biggest mistake” in the company’s history, after spending millions in a project codename “Spartan”, an HTML5 platform with which they try to take on the AppStore, which failed miserably, failed the company’s entry to the mobile market, therefore failing their IPO. They should have read my blog more attentively instead of listening to a bunch of developer kids straight from school.

    It is because HTML5 / JS are a failure that Jobs, smarter than anyone else, pushed it as a decoy to distract the attention from the abusive ban of Flash. The mobile browser is the only 1 destination where HTML5 makes sense, not because it is good, but because it is a failure, that is how Jobs wanted it.

    Jobs wanted everyone to fail with it in the browser, left with no alternative since Apple banned not just Flash but also Silverlight & Java, every single serious app technology allowing to compete with native apps from the browser, making everyone fall back to native app & self enroll for a racketeering 30% tax. He was a genius, I give you that much & he is laughing & finger pointing at HTML5 developers & adopters from the other side all the way to Hell Bank.