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Dinomike

Online games: in-browser vs. client download

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I'm hoping to make an online game step by step that will eventually become an MMORPG. Since I'm using DirectX 9.0, I assume that the game will need a client download. All of the games I've seen so far that are in-browser have been Flash (ie AdventureQuest) or Java (ie Runescape). I understand that games with a client download can have more features and faster gameplay. However, it looks like having an in-browser game with no download is a huge advantage since people will be more likely to start playing, since they don't have to commit anything. So, I was wondering what things I can do in order to mitigate the disadvantages of having a client download. So far I am thinking: screenshots, video of gameplay, and possibly a short demo (like one level) that doesn't need a client download. Of course, the shorter the download the better. Are there any other considerations to think about with regards to this topic?

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I don't think downloading a game and trying it out once is a "commitment", but that might just be me.

I mean, I really just don't think people mind. Most people will look at your game, stare at screenshots, glance at features and start playing. Some will only glance at screenshots and decide to download it.

Games that are played in a browser don't often have a good reputation. Why not just include a video of gameplay on the site?

You should be fine.

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Quote:
Original post by Dinomike
I'm hoping to make an online game step by step that will eventually become an MMORPG. Since I'm using DirectX 9.0, I assume that the game will need a client download. All of the games I've seen so far that are in-browser have been Flash (ie AdventureQuest) or Java (ie Runescape).

I understand that games with a client download can have more features and faster gameplay. However, it looks like having an in-browser game with no download is a huge advantage since people will be more likely to start playing, since they don't have to commit anything.

So, I was wondering what things I can do in order to mitigate the disadvantages of having a client download. So far I am thinking: screenshots, video of gameplay, and possibly a short demo (like one level) that doesn't need a client download. Of course, the shorter the download the better.

Are there any other considerations to think about with regards to this topic?


You can use Unity3D if you want access to higher end graphics, but remain a browser game.

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Original post by Viral_Fury
I don't think downloading a game and trying it out once is a "commitment", but that might just be me.


Youtube vs. downloadable trailer. Which wins?

Quote:
Games that are played in a browser don't often have a good reputation. Why not just include a video of gameplay on the site?


They currently lack fidelity for what counts as AAA products. But unless one is actually developing such product, in-browser presents a very low barrier to entry.

There's more than just download. Browser games can be played on any computer with browser, often even on locked down computers. Depending on target demographic, they might be quite a reasonable choice. There's also platform dependency to consider.

And think of viral marketing. People like your game, they click on a link and e-mail to their friends. When those open the e-mail, the game is running inside the mail itself already.

Quote:
will eventually become an MMORPG. Since I'm using DirectX 9.0


Unless you have a million $ budget, a 3D MMO is out of question, simply due to sheer cost of asset creation. 2D however is perfectly managable, and 2D works without a problem in browser.

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Original post by Viral_Fury
I don't think downloading a game and trying it out once is a "commitment", but that might just be me.


Well, on a slower connection it can have a time cost, and you pay for a large download with a significant chunk of your bandwidth on a line with a download quota.

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the most MMORPGs are client-based and that not causeless:


Pro Browser:

You must not download any software (out of java or Flash)

Contra Browser

Much more traffic for the server.
No high-defintion grafics.
Not so high game speed (the user must download all the grafics)

-------------------

Ok - the user must not download any software but you have MUCH MORE Hardware requirements and a fibre channel is the minimum connection (and that costs MUCH Money every Month). Your game speed will be very slow - because everybody must wait for the grafic-data from the server - and more than a laaging diablo 2 grafic you wouldn't get (10 FPS are maximum i think)

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Thanks for the replies. The game I'm thinking of making has 2D graphics (ie ID3DXSprite) and it's not going to be AAA or anything like that.

So it looks like people's opinions on in-browser vs client download vary.

Is creating single player demo with just one stage, probably without ambient music, the best way of increasing virality for a client based game? I'm guessing such a download would probably be about 5 megabytes or so, not counting possible downloads of the DirectX Runtime.

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Personally, I find it very helpful to have some video on-site. I would recommend that you upload a video of said game demo and post it on some video site and embedded in the page. If it is not all that great for a demo, you do not want to hinder visiting demo-tryers.

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Quote:
Original post by Dinomike
Is creating single player demo with just one stage, probably without ambient music, the best way of increasing virality for a client based game? I'm guessing such a download would probably be about 5 megabytes or so, not counting possible downloads of the DirectX Runtime.


I dunno. A download is a download. If I had the choice of downloading a demo or watching a video, I would watch the video then download the full game.

A download is a download. The client size is a factor, but remember that the person will still have to go through the hassle of installing or extracting and then running a limited version of the program. A video is much more convenient.

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Well, I would say that the major advantage of a web-based game is portability; people can play at work (guilty), on a terminal, on a cell-phone, or anything else that can access the web. People can play at multiple sites as well, they can go from home to work to grandmas without having to download, install, ect.

Also, there are likely to be a lot less firewall/router issues with a web-based game.

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