Quake II Gets Ported to Your HTML5 Web Browser

There's been a recent surge in HTML5 development thanks in large part to Apple not supporting Flash for its iPad.

A group working at Google decided to devote their 20 percent time to making a version of Quake II that's playable through an HTML5-compatible browser without the need for a plugin.

Google's Chris Ramsdale wrote in a blog post:

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's still early days for WebGL, so you won't be able to run it without a bleeding edge browser, but if you'd like to check out the code and give it a whirl yourself, you can find it here. Enjoy!

While we've seen more impressive efforts from a browser through id Software's Quake Live, it requires a special custom plugin. This work from Google showing off HTML5 bypasses the need for custom software and plays it through right into Safari or Chrome. Sadly, Firefox doesn't support the necessary HTML5 required for this tech demo.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • chicagotechjunkie
    Between Google's push, and Apple's rejection of Flash on their mobile devices, it seems HTML 5 adoption will spread much more quickly than many (even on this site) have anticipated
  • rick2689
    More sites need to push away crappy flash and adopt HTML 5. It's obviously more efficient and been around longer.
  • industrial_zman
    wow and I thought QuakeLive was good as a plugin... now I don't need a plugin to frag my office pals.... hell, I could hide this on the intranet somewhere and noone would be the wiser; they would think we were working on spreadsheets. *note to self, write a boss button hack for Quake2*
  • deputc26
    Is there anywhere this game has not been ported? ( my Droid runs it).
  • zerapio
    Nothing short of awesome!
  • gorgerax
    So...how do I get it? (nooBie)
  • tpi2007
    This certainly looks very good. It looks like a good publicity for HTML5, but I'm not sure it's ultimately good for us, consumers.

    Plainly put, Mozilla still hasn't clarified if they will incorporate HTML5 H.264 video now that the licensing fees have been postponed until, at least, 2015. It's a double-edged sword, because if the companies that have the patent decide otherwise when 2015 arrives, then Mozilla either finds a way to make it financially viable to buy the license, or they will effectively have to "downgrade" the browser in the next version.

    It's a tough call, but what ultimately come out of this could also say a lot about the future of open-source software, especially because Firefox is the most recognized piece of open source software in the world.

    And Opera still hasn't said a word either. And all other minor browsers will be left in the dark too. If this happens it will be a battle between IE, Safari and Chrome... not a good prospect...

  • thedreadfather
    gorgeraxSo...how do I get it? (nooBie)http://code.google.com/p/quake2-gwt-port/

    Or you could go to the provided blog link in the story and get the link there. ;)
  • pirateboy
    html 5 ftw :)
    I hope they port capture the flag for quake2 as well.
  • Niva
    Frankly I think the adoption of HTML 5 has very little to do with Apple's inability to get Flash running on the iPad. But this is journalism I guess so preach on.