Google Shows How HTML5 Can Run Quake In The Browser

A lot of attention lately has been put on the video capabilities of HTML5 browsers, since the iPad doesn’t support Flash. It turns out not to really matter that much because most online video platforms are now drinking the HTML5 Kool-Aid. But what about other things that Flash does well, like games? Well, HTML5 might be a more powerful game engine than most peopel think.

To show off what is possible with HTML5 in the browser, some of the engineers on the Google Web Toolkit team created an HTML5 port of the classic first-person shooter game Quake II. Check it out in the video above. It is based on an open-sourced Java port of Quake called Jake2. A post on the Google Code blog explains how they did it:

We started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, then used the Google Web Toolkit (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript. You can see the results in the video above — we were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops (your mileage may vary)!

It works only on “modern browsers such as Safari and Chrome” and you can find the code here. I haven’t had a chance to try it out. If you can get it to work, tell us what you think in comments. I really hope this isn’t April Fool’s joke.