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No more web player support in chrome and firefox

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by uk, Sep 23, 2013.

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  1. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    The "entire engine" wasn't ported for that demo, it was a tech proof of concept using "UE3 tools and technologies". It was at best a vertical slice, no physics, minimal logic. But the focus was the rendering, and that was impressive.

    I am not saying what they did wasn't cool, but the "4 days" part is largely PR. They already stated they they (and mozilla) had been working on it for several months, and it was even a couple of months after they showed it off at GDC before they actually put it up on the web. And don't forget the Citadel demo had been already been ported to flash two years before. They didn't just decide one day to start and 4 days later had a complete project. Two companies, creative developers and couple of years of work lead to them being able to compile an existing limited demo in a few days. Don't be fooled, a lot of GDC demos are vertical slice/smoke and mirrors, it is about marketing/building hype, when it ships, it is real. ;)

    The demo was cool, the new stuff is very cool, it will be interesting to see how it evolves.
     
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  2. TheDMan

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    The only people wanting browser based games are people who are bored at work and want to dick around while on the clock.

    Real gamers that will invest their cash into a game want the game on their machine. They dont want to rely on a someone elses webserver or internet connection just to play when they want to. What if they are bored and want to play but their internet is down? They cant if its a browser game, but can if they have an application on their machine. They want full control over the executable.

    As a gamer why-the-f would I want a browser to be a intermediary to a game? So it can slow it down, so it crash for some random crap error, so it can use up more memory or resources than it would if was just a simple executable. GFTO here.
     
  3. Dantus

    Dantus

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    This thread is about dropped support as far as I can see, it is not whether the webplayer is needed or not...
     
  4. TheDMan

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    The two go hand in hand. The question is whether to fight to keep it going and whether the uphill battle will work out in the end.
     
  5. NLSC-E-MS

    NLSC-E-MS

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    [I'll feed the troll, sorry]

    What about eLearning? Training Simulations? Linking to LMS? Enterprise-level distribution without having to certify excecutables?

    Or even just sharing your work with your fellow developers without needing to download applications?

    Heck, even being able to create Mobile APPS without creating an APP? Chrome on Android supports WebGL just fine.

    I'm not even touching web-gaming and I already see multiple markets / benefits of having a Web export option.

    A game engine is much... oooh so much more than just for games.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  6. L-Tyrosine

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    Based on what sources of research?
    I fail to see any hint that such scenario is real.
    There are people playing web games, and even that they are just "bored at work and want to dick around while on the clock" like you said (and I disagree) they are playing, seeing ads at portals and generating income. In other words there's a real market here.

    Also please note that among Unity users, there are indie developers, non professional game creators, working out of nothing but pure enthusiasm. The web platform offers for these a chance to achieve moderate success on some online portal or their small websites, with occasional few thousand dollars gains from ads after a year or so.
     
  7. angrypenguin

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    ...are not the point because it's a rubbish term that means nothing useful. Plenty of people play stuff in their browser, and plenty of stuff made in Unity isn't a game or isn't aimed at "gamers". So the behavior of what you consider to be a "real" gamer is irrelevant.
     
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  8. CraigMurray

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    There are some wonderful posts in this thread. elbows and zombiegorilla in particular have some really insightful things to say.

    From my perspective this is a significant and potentially game-changing problem. As a guy who's still doing web games in Flash I can tell you that Adobe and Google are having some serious issues getting this worked out. Check out this thread for some of the flavor:

    https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=309540

    The issue boils down to this: NPAPI is a wide-open protocol that allows the plugin to do pretty much whatever it wants with the OS. PPAPI adds a fat layer of overhead, redirection, and complication. As a result the Flash Player that runs against PPAPI gives incredibly bad performance. To solve the problem would require extreme effort from both Adobe and Google, as well as a great deal of collaboration, none of which seems likely to happen. Adobe has reduced their technical investment in the Flash Platform, and Google has no compelling reason to support a PPAPI plugin that's trying to use 3D hardware.

    I found this thread because I'm looking for any possible way out of what feels like a room with the walls closing in. But that said, I can't justify moving a multi-million dollar web-gaming platform over to Unity in the hopes that it will solve my cross-browser plugin problems, because from my perspective Unity is next in line for the same wrecking-ball that's clobbering Flash games right now. As one great post pointed out, that would at-best buy me some time.

    If Unity attempts to provide a PPAPI implementation, they will encounter a great deal of technical problems just like Adobe is experiencing. Getting high-performance 3D games to run well requires low-level access to the OS and 3D hardware... that's the "security problems" that Google cites when they tell us PPAPI is good for users.

    This whole situation makes me really sad. All I've ever wanted to do was harness as much of my user's hardware as possible to provide the best quality gaming experience to as wide an audience as possible. That's harder for me right now than it has been in nearly 20 years of professional game development.

    I'm sure that in time these things will work themselves out, one way or another. But now, and for the foreseeable future, it seems like a bit of a dark-age for broad-audience game development. Titles are likely to become more platform-specific, where only the really successful ones can afford to make themselves available on all platforms. More fragmentation, more porting and re-implementation, bigger teams, bigger budgets, and less indie development that results in financial success.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  9. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

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    @CraigMurray - I am far more optimistic that you are. I know the walls look like they are closing in, but best case, shortly, some dynamite might take those walls down for you.
     
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  10. jonmalave

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    Graham are you far more optimistic than Craig because you know something that we don't, and will hopefully find out in a few days? ;)
     
  11. bigzer

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    I like dynamite.
     
  12. jonmalave

    jonmalave

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  13. drawcode

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    Boom goes the dynamite.

    I am hoping what happens here is Unity really focuses alot of web resources on WebGL and replaces the Unity Player export with that in full force. The forced hand by Chrome wasn't nice but progress to WebGL maybe was needed, I do worry about browser support and them getting along and performance across browsers. Chrome's moves are a little reminiscent of IE power plays back in the day with ActiveX, plugins have always been slightly jungle like, the platform owners while we are mere sharecroppers.

    Plugins really allowed any innovation not to be withheld but if we can get to an asm.js/webgl/emscripten supported pipeline then web games might even be on mobile someday for real. But right now it is a plugin-pocalypse.

    I like the angle of focusing on WebGL export, allowing download for browsers that might not support it fully or on mobile. Also hoping the WebGL add-on is actually part of core Pro license and replaces Webplayer or it is one export that supports Webplayer, WebGL and NaCL for all current use cases or drops NaCL when Chrome situation is more known. Or maybe you get to pick your web export, whatever the case something easy like web export is going to get more difficult/fragmented for a bit. We'll probably miss the plugin days on some late nights.
     
  14. angrypenguin

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    They serve different purposes, though. For starters it's already been stated that the WebGL player will not perform as well as the native one. So there's essentially a choice between portability and performance and, depending in the requirements of your project and the target audience you might still want to opt for the native Web Player. Or if you want to achieve maximum compatibility, likely you'll have to deploy to both.
     
  15. drawcode

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    Agreed, the primary focus should be on WebGL though but yes it will take lots of time before it is stable.

    Unity Web Player will be broken at the end of this year unless Chrome is nice and allows more time. So it looks like for the time being for web it will be Unity Web Player, then next year Unity Web Player for all but Chrome and use NaCL export there. Then when WebGL export is ready, and for most games made with Unity the performance hit may be passable very soon, they should swap out.

    Also further found out that the WebGL export will be another pay add-on. So if they want widespread usage and to make Unity the 3D WebGL engine of choice they'll want to eventually swap out that as the base web export in core.
     
  16. Dom3D

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    It's bad that they do it now and not 1 year later. FB says they have 90 mio MAU with Unity installed - thats 7%. Biggest market penetration of good 3D tech ever so far. WebGl still needs more time. Unity community should be big enough by now to be able to have an impact.
     
  17. BonyYousuf

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    Flash is using PPAPI which is why it will not get blocked by Chrome in the future. Why isn't unity converting their their web player to PPAPI from currently used NPAPI? That should solve all the problem
     
  18. mindsting

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    Is there an update on this situation? Just curious.
     
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  19. Izitmee

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    Yes, Unity is releasing a WebGL player with Unity 5 (though I suppose it will take a while to truly work as well as the old webPlayer).
     
  20. Aurore

    Aurore

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  21. weven-k

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    So 2 weeks from the big day... is there any other option than Unity 5 / WebGL (which clearly isn't ready for prime time yet)?
     
  22. jonmalave

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  23. rxmarccall

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    I just barely found out about this issue today..... I'm in some serious cow pie. I have 3 contract projects in the works right now that the clients are expecting to use via browser. We really are out of options on this?! 2 weeks left?
     
  24. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

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    Not really sure what the 2 weeks thing is. Google and Firefox have said they'll shut down the NPAPI route Unity uses to embed itself in the browser. I've no idea where those guys have actually got to. Meanwhile our WebGL solution is coming together.
     
  25. jonmalave

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    Do you mean there will be a PPAPI Unity Client built into Chrome? Or you just mean in general that this is what Google wants everyone to do... rebuild their NPAPI Plugin using their PPAPI (Pepper Plugin API)?

    I guess the PPAPI could have been a good option but only if Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer all adopted the same Plugin Technology, but last I read Firefox is not interested in PPAPI. So I guess the only option their will be is HTML5, WebGL.
     
  26. wccrawford

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  27. jonmalave

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    I'm very curious about how a big player like Kongregate and Facebook in the Browser Gaming Market is going to handle the sudden drop of Unity (NPAPI) Webplayer on Chrome Browser. If i'm not mistaken I think Chrome Browser makes up the majority of users for Browser Games. As even from my own Browser Game Analytics, I see anywhere from 70%-90% of my traffic comes from Chrome Browser.

    I wonder how much of a Revenue hit they are going to take when Chrome Drops Unity (NPAPI) Webplayer or what they have planned to prevent a lose in Revenue from Unity Games. Any thoughts on this?
     
  28. wccrawford

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    Last I checked, most of their games weren't Unity-based. Though I'll admit I haven't paid attention to Kongregate in quite a while now. Coincidentally, I went there over the weekend for 2 different Unity-based games, and neither worked... Just got a while screen, IIRC. The non-Unity games worked fine, though.

    I suspect they'll handle the transition by telling their customers to use other browsers if they want to play Unity-based games, since there are still some that have support for it. Initially, I'm guessing they'll see a small drop in usage, and over time it'll get worse and worse.
     
  29. jonmalave

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    I guess maybe a better question would be, how are the Developers going to handle this? Especially those who have already successfully published a game using Unity Webplayer and have good traffic to their game. I can name a number of Successful Browser-based Unity Games, I just have no clue where to find the info about how they plan to address this issue.

    I happen to be building a Browser-based Unity Game myself http://heroesofrune.com but I probably won't be ready to release an Open Beta until another 2-3 Months from now. I could always switch to Desktop Platform as an alternative, but hopefully WebGL will be Working Great by Next Year If I have to wait until then to Publish on the Browser.

    Although I just wonder how everyone else who has an established following and Player Base on the Unity Webplayer is going to maintain. I guess just convert to Desktop Clients, and tell users to use Firefox in the meantime? Sucks... I'm sure they will take a huge hit in lose of Revenue from Google Adsense, and also a lose in Micro-Transaction Revenue due to the Lose of Players when they are being told to Switch Browsers. No one wants to open another Browser to play a game, if it's not easily accessible in their favorite browser chances are there will be a lose of Traffic, Player Base, and Revenue for all Developers overall regardless...

    Sucks, Sucks, Sucks.... -_-
     
  30. Ryiah

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    I've mostly been trying out graphical demos, but the one game I have tried so far has worked identically across Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 11.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  31. jonmalave

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    Well yes of-coarse eventually that would be the way to go, but i'm just referring to the immediate future as in few months from now when Chrome officially drops NPAPI. I doubt WebGL will be fully ready by then as Unity is still working on getting it's WebGL Builds to perform much better than it is right now. Unless some of the major developers already have access to Unity 5 and WebGL and doing some serious Optimization work to be prepared to flip the switch to WebGL in a few months.
     
  32. Ryiah

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    Ah got it. You mean Unity's support specifically and not in general support of WebGL. I have been getting the feeling that everyone else is beating Unity to it.
     
  33. zombiegorilla

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    Just to clarify, Chrome will removing NPAPI support at the end of the year(ish). It is still in Firefox as a click to play, and they haven't said they would remove it (yet).

    Chrome's announcement was over a year ago, and Unity announced that WebGL will replace the plugin need back in March, also stating that an preview build of WebGL will be in 5 slated for the end of the year. Which mean no specific date for a final build.

    What that boils down to is that anyone who has an existing Unity game, has had over a year to start migrating users to Firefox. That is quite a bit of time.

    Anyone creating a web game now knows the state of things already, they can deploy, but only to Firefox starting in 2015, or they can migrate to WebGL. Which means if they want to use Unity, there is no specific date for that to be ready. They can start with Firefox, and do a WebGL at some point. Or they could use another framework/engine, as WebGL has been available for a while.

    There has been plenty of time to prepare, anyone just now trying to figure out what to do has blown a lot of valuable time. Those I know that had Unity web based games, or have started since the announcement was made, have generally gone the route of educating user to switch to Firefox. Small announcements early on, getting more visible as time winds down. They then just plan to migrate to WebGL builds when it is ready and stable.

    It's really no different from how it has always been. Browser upgrades, security changes, Flash updates, IE suckyness, etc... There are have always been cases where you need to migrate users for one reason or another. I think there are some advantages to this situation though. For one, I would guess that users of a Unity webgame now are likely more informed users. They had to have installed it in the first place, and probably a more core gamer so technically savvy. (I hope). Switching browsers (if they need to), shouldn't be a problem. The other upshot is that if you are building in Unity, you don't have to recreate your game for WebGL support when it comes.

    Sure, it is a bit annoying. But in the last nearly 2 decades of developing for the web, not a single year has gone by without something annoying out of my control. ;)
     
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  34. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Plus IE and Safari, as far as I know. (And I guess Opera, if anyone's still using that.)

    --Eric
     
  35. jonmalave

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    I was just checking out RuneScape one of the oldest most successful browser-based MMOs build in Java, they seem to be offering a desktop client now, but I guess they're probably ready to migrate users over to Firefox or IE if needed. Only interesting thing is when I search their Forums I don't see any mention about Chrome and NPAPI. So that's why I'm even asking how are big players like these handling the Chrome issue as I don't see any such related news on their Forums. I've also Searched on City of Steam (Unity Game) Forums also, and I found no announcements related to Chrome at all...
     
  36. zombiegorilla

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    Oh yea, good point. I always mentally lump safari and chrome together because they pretty much the same from a rendering point of view, but they aren't dropping support. And I usually ignore IE because if a user chooses IE, its their own fault. ;)

    Yea, so just chrome users.
     
  37. zombiegorilla

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    Very interesting. Indeed they don't seem to be preparing. Maybe their users that use chrome are very small. Or it may simply be that they don't see it as a problem. If you have dedicated players like those games, and have spent quite a while building up your character, its a safe be that a user will simply switch browsers if needed.

    Interestingly, City of Steam's micro-client is a customized version of Chrome. Maybe they will just leverage that when the time comes.
     
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  38. EwanRGR

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    So I was thinking of completing my game (Project Gliese) and offering it as a web-based game so that instead of charging folks I could just take a bit of ad revenue. Had only found Kongregate and Wooglie saying they hosted such games, each of which has an API to be added to get the ads in for them. Then I ran into this thread. Should I wait for Unity 5 (I presume there will still be a free version)? Should I just forget building a web playable version?
     
  39. jonmalave

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    EwanRGR its hard to say... at this point it seems like the Browser Gaming Market for Unity will become Fragmented in the short-term just like how we have multiple Mobile Platforms to Publish to like iPad, iOS, Android etc...

    Since I am developing a Browser-based Game myself, I will probably still Publish a Normal NPAPI Webplayer Version so those who use IE, and Firefox can at least play my game with no issues for starters. Next step will be to work on Porting the Game over to WebGL as soon as Unity 5 is released, or later versions. In my case I need PUN - Photon Unity Networking to support Unity's WebGL, which means I may need to wait even longer as my game is multiplayer and uses PUN. Exit Games (creator of PUN) stated that they will definitely support Unity WebGL Platform, but I don't know when.

    If you have a single player game, no networking involved then I'd say you should probably be OK porting the game to WebGL hopefully as long as the Unity 5 release it is stable enough to support your game.
     
  40. Meltdown

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    I guess you haven't heard of Farmville.
     
  41. Ryiah

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    Or Runescape.
     
  42. Myhijim

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    drawcode and Ryiah like this.
  43. GarBenjamin

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    These browser companies may just find that users end up staying with the older versions of web browsers or switching to something else that will work. If there are truly the millions of people playing games on Facebook and such that I imagine there to be... implementing such a change would be complete disaster for these browser companies. It would be a great way for some lesser known browsers to suddenly gain massive market share. If they play their cards right. If I had my own browser that worked with Flash and Unity games and such I would be working on a massive advertising campaign right now and then once the big companies pull the plug... roll out the campaign... "Internet Explorer Broken? Play all of your favorite web browser games with Whatever-Browser. Free download!"
     
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  44. jonmalave

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    Yep, who knows maybe a new Browser will emerge for Gamers, but the only small problem... this sort of defeats the purpose of a Game being a Browser Game at all because one of the selling points of a Browser Game is that you can play the game on your Favorite Web Browser or Any Web Browser, Anytime, Anywhere... Downloading a New Browser for Gaming may not make sense in the Long Term as Game Developers might as well all Switch Platforms and just Publish to Desktop Platform through Steam or something... but hey who knows... anything could happen.
     
  45. chrisso

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    An HTML5 and WebGL version (beta) of RuneScape has been available to Chrome users since the middle of last year.
     
  46. jonmalave

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    Really? weird i could not find an announcement about it on their forum...
     
  47. Myhijim

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  48. jonmalave

    jonmalave

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  49. Ryiah

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    Unless you're Oracle. Those visuals in the HTML5 screenshot are superior to the Java screenshot. :p
     
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  50. Mitralone

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    So what is the latest news on this? With Chrome 39 on Mac being 64 bit, Unity web player no longer works. I am building a game for facebook and all of a sudden, I am stuck. What is the roadmap from here? Somebody please answer with a timeline please? If this is going to take more than 3-4 months, I need to find a different solution for web.

    Thanks
     
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