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Epic Citadel Benchmark Arrives in HTML5 Format

By - Source: Epic Games | B 14 comments

Epic Games has ported Unreal Engine 3 over to HTML5, and it's... epic.

Epic Games announced on Thursday the launch of a version of Epic Citadel built with HTML5. This is good news for gamers, as it means Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) can be run inside a Web browser without the need for plugins, added components or a local installation on the hard drive. The only thing you'll need to experience this demo at an optimal performance is a nightly build of Mozilla's Firefox version 23 or above.

According to Epic Games, the Firefox Nightly version 23 and above includes optimizations for asm.jsa highly-optimizable subset of JavaScript pioneered by Mozilla, whose performance can rival native code. The company said it ported UE3 to the Web in just four days using the combination of asm.js and Emscripten, which enables developers to compile C++ code into JavaScript.

"With Mozilla’s latest innovations in JavaScript, game developers and publishers can now take advantage of fast performance that rivals native while leveraging scale of the Web, without the additional costs associated with third-party plugins," Mozilla said in a recent blog. "This allows them to distribute visually stunning and performance intensive games to billions of people more easily and cost effectively than before."

The Epic Citadel demo does require a JavaScript compile and an additional download, and Firefox will ask the user to confirm that it's permitted to download data over 50 MB. However once launched, visitors to the virtual medieval world can explore by merely clicking on a destination, or my holding the left mouse down to view all around and using the WASD buttons to move. There's no jump, so don't expect to take a flying leap off the bridge and into the running stream of water below. The arrow keys allow you to look up, down, left and right.

Epic Citadel also arrives with two options: a guided tour which is essentially a non-interactive demo moving the camera through various spots throughout the kingdom, and a benchmark to test the HTML5-based engine's performance on your hardware. The FAQ linked below the demo states that the framerate can be unlocked in the Firefox Nightly build by going into about:config.

Don't want to install Firefox Nightly? The FAQ also lists a few alternatives including Release Firefox which will be slower, Chrome although it crashes, and both Opera and Safari which must have WebGL activated but are currently not compatible. Internet Explorer does not support WebGL in current versions, Epic Games states.

For more information about Epic Citadel, head here. The benchmark demo can also be downloaded for iOS and Android, and experienced on the web via Flash here.

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  • -1 Hide
    HikariWS , May 3, 2013 10:59 AM
    Wow is that really HTML5 + CSS3 + standard JavaScript?? At this rate M$ will lose the lead in gaming platform and FireFox over Lixux will work better! lol
  • 1 Hide
    NeeKo , May 3, 2013 11:00 AM
    Its simply AMAZING!
  • 1 Hide
    blader15sk8 , May 3, 2013 11:32 AM
    Very cool. At first I was a little disappointed in the performance on my i5 with radeon HD 6870, but after opening catalyst control center I noticed it wasn't using my GPU (showed 0% activity).. so even more impressed that was done on about ~35% CPU usage. (it was also only really using one core).
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    blader15sk8 , May 3, 2013 11:37 AM
    Ah, didn't have "Hardware Acceleration" enabled in my Firefox settings, after checking that box and restarting Firefox, I went from 15fps to 60fps (seems to cap there).
  • 1 Hide
    tim1935 , May 3, 2013 11:48 AM
    Chrome version please
  • 1 Hide
    fleeb , May 3, 2013 11:48 AM
    Wow is that really HTML5 + CSS3 + standard JavaScript?? At this rate M$ will lose the lead in gaming platform and FireFox over Lixux will work better! lol

    They always say that.
  • 1 Hide
    tntom , May 3, 2013 12:06 PM
    Hard to believe they ported it in only 4 days. I bet it was weeks of planning before hand and weeks of testing afterwards. Can anyone comment on this, please?
    I am really excited about this and it's open cross platform potential. I am afraid someone will figure out a way to fork this and close it up though.
  • 0 Hide
    chicofehr , May 3, 2013 1:42 PM
    Its better then what I see in any web games. I guess this means any games made in unreal engine can be pushed to web. I wonder if it can do tessellation. The engine supports DX11 so I thought... Still a big leap from those dress up games you usually find online :-P
  • 0 Hide
    chicofehr , May 3, 2013 1:54 PM
    The benchmark screwed me!!!! It said I got 59.8FPS at 1920x1200 but it was running at 2560x1600 on my 30". I guess they didn't add that resolution to the benchmark score screen.
  • 1 Hide
    koga73 , May 3, 2013 4:28 PM
    lets be clear this isnt html5 or css3 its webgl. as cool as the demo is, its too bad javascript is such a shitty horrible language. sorry but im a developer and for as much as everyone raves about html5 and css3 as a replacement for flash it just isnt. javascript is a horrible scripting language that we need to abandon as soon as possible. plus even if webgl were to start gaining traction it would only be a matter of time before crapple says that webgl kills the battery life of ipads and macs and decides to not support it just as they did flash.
  • 0 Hide
    none12345 , May 4, 2013 10:52 AM
    "Hard to believe they ported it in only 4 days."
    Did you read the 2nd part of that sentence? Since they were able to use a program to translate the c++ into javascript, they didn't need to write much. Without that, it wouldn't have bee practical to rewrite the engine thing from c++ to javascript.
    But ya i agree they likely spent more time then that to research the possibility, and then to test afterwards!
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , May 4, 2013 2:29 PM
    Tried 3 different builds, all I get for like 10 minutes is "Preparing JavaScript"... No game..
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , May 6, 2013 1:49 AM
    Thats how facebook games should look like...
  • 0 Hide
    Alagu Sundar , September 24, 2013 11:14 PM
    nice collections. Thanks for Posting.