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VIDEO: Team Fortress 2 Running in Web Browser

By - Source: Geek.com | B 15 comments

A developer from Motorola Mobility has ported the 2Fort map from Team Fortress 2 over to WebGL.

Motorola Mobility software developer Brandon Jones has ported the 2Fort map from Team Fortress 2 over to WebGL, which runs without plug-ins in a compatible browser.

In the video demonstration posted below, Jones clearly points out that the conversion isn't perfect: it's missing normal mapping on brush surfaces, water, accurate lighting, surface displacement, and a 3D skybox. It's also not playable, but at this point, he's just happy to successfully port Valve's Source Engine over to WebGL.

According to Jones, the map is running a smooth 60fps in most cases, and even jumps up into 100fps -- it just may not look like 60fps in the video due to his capture software. Still, don't expect to play Team Fortress 2 via WebGL anytime soon, as this map alone uses 200 MB of assets that must be downloaded to the browser. No web server will want to host something of that size to be downloaded thousands of times a day, especially since it's just a test and not something profitable (yet).

Of course, because the content is owned by Valve Software, Jones will not be making a live demo of the map even if he did have the allotted bandwidth. As it stands now, he's providing the code on GitHub. That said, perhaps if an entire team could be put together to get Valve's Source completely up and running in WebGL, the studio might green light porting Team Fortress 2 over to the browser. What better why to reach out to a wider audience with your free-to-play shooter?

WebGL Team Fortress 2

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  • 0 Hide
    the_krasno , October 8, 2011 10:38 AM
    Very impressive demo, let's see how far things go from here.
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , October 8, 2011 10:39 AM
    Well.. it's cool but that's pretty much all it has going for it right now.
  • 2 Hide
    billybobser , October 8, 2011 10:47 AM
    60 fps with no players or effects.

    GG
  • 2 Hide
    Mark Heath , October 8, 2011 10:47 AM
    I don't think they'd do a simple port of it, that wouldn't synergise well with steam. As it stands, TF2 is a great way to bring more customers to their platform, so if they instead put the whole thing into a browser based format, it would be counter productive.
  • 0 Hide
    bennaye , October 8, 2011 1:40 PM
    Why bring a game into a browser? Rather than get frustrated with the lack of compatibility and bugs which are concomitant with A PORT TO A *WEB* *BROWSER*, I'd rather double click on the little picture with the TF2 logo, wait 15 seconds, then start playing with no issues, no lag, no FPS issues, and definitely no graphics issues.

    I don't want a web browser that is a "jack of all trades, master of none". I don't care if I have to run more than 1 program. That's what RAM is for. I'll open a window for gaming, and I'll use my web browser for browsing. Period. Just concentrate on giving us the best web browsing experience, and your market share will rise.

    A web browser is just that: a web browser. Don't do this. TF2 deserves better.
  • 3 Hide
    DSpider , October 8, 2011 3:47 PM
    bennaye, bennaye, bennaye... Try double clicking on the "little picture with the TF2 logo" ON LINUX. Or on iOS, Android. Just because you use Windows now (like the rest ~90% or so) doesn't mean that in 5 years+ everyone will run Windows 8 on quad-core tablets, smartphones. It's actually not a bad idea to have a standard for games that is entirely cross-platform. Developers could create ONE version instead of having to port it over to other systems (especially since there's a big risk that the port will get less attention and that it could SUCK big time).
  • 4 Hide
    tmk221 , October 8, 2011 6:57 PM
    Are you kidding me? That's a real game in a browser, f-in cool. Keep it up!
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , October 8, 2011 10:13 PM
    I think it's neat to see how far we can push gaming within a browser.
    I don't think TF2 itself should be made into one, I would much prefer if a spinoff Team Fortress was made uniquely for it. I believe this would bring the best experience to the players in the end.
  • 1 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , October 9, 2011 9:48 AM
    dspiderbennaye, bennaye, bennaye... Try double clicking on the "little picture with the TF2 logo" ON LINUX. Or on iOS, Android. Just because you use Windows now (like the rest ~90% or so) doesn't mean that in 5 years+ everyone will run Windows 8 on quad-core tablets, smartphones. It's actually not a bad idea to have a standard for games that is entirely cross-platform. Developers could create ONE version instead of having to port it over to other systems (especially since there's a big risk that the port will get less attention and that it could SUCK big time).


    Yeah, it's called Java. We see how well that worked out.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 9, 2011 1:35 PM
    3 stories about popular and relatively powerful games running in a web browser all in the last few days. How is this going to turn out?

    I can see Steam sitting back and letting this happen right up to the point they buy up the tech and move Steam into a browser-based system, with its back catalogue and loyal fanbase they will dominate the new medium and destroy OnLive at the same time.

    Just a prediction of course, but when you are as big as Steam you really don't make many mistakes.
  • 0 Hide
    Humans think , October 10, 2011 12:02 AM
    @dspider

    Everything works better as a native application, sometimes I even download youtube videos to play them to a better media player (upscaling). I am just not comfortable to install things inside my browser, maybe sandboxing of chrome can help on that.

    You are right that there is a market for this thing and developers will prefer it due to the mentioned reduced development cost and ability to control everything in one place (subscriptions). It sure is the right way to go for portable devices (apple will find a way to block it somehow, anyways). For your reasons and some more I think that this model will prevail especially in mini games, but not in my PC.

    I am looking forward to VT-d adoption by virtualization software, that way I will be able to play games in my linux box, and I prefer this than playing on a browser...
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 10, 2011 11:19 PM
    I can't understand the appeal of playing these types of games on the browser. Sure, farmville or Sims or whatever may be nice but TF2 is best done by itself.
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , October 11, 2011 1:59 AM
    I can remember when it was only a couple years back Google was demonstrating running Quake II ported to WebGL. That's quite a leap we've taken, some 10 years.

    While a well-optimized native application will always run better, the problem is that as of late, most PC games have not been optimized to run natively; they're instead hastily ported over from the Xbox 360 and PS3, and as a result don't run well in the first place. Perhaps with an emphasis on browser-basis we might actually see better optimization, to the point where things POTENTIALLY might run BETTER.

    That, and this is a boon to anyone that doesn't have Windows 7, as a cross-platform standard like this would let people have the same functionality in Windows XP, Linux, or what have you.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2011 3:12 PM
    This is HUGE news for the gaming industry if it takes off. A truly cross-platform rendering standard (as opposed to the current DirectX/OpenGL split) coupled with the ability to stream games to the browser (reducing the gaming industry's fears about piracy, and thus removing their need to introduce crippling, platform-dependent DRM) is a really, really big deal. It's a game changer, if it takes off.