A few weeks ago, Spacetime Studios said that its upcoming MMOG Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles for the PC would be the first Native Client (NaCl) game released on Google's Chrome Web Store. According to the developer, NaCL allows native C++ code to run inside a sandboxed environment within the Chrome browser. NaCl supports 3D graphics, stereo audio and local file access.
On Tuesday Google officially launched the new version of its Chrome Web Store. It now sports a more organized interface that seemingly borrows some of its style from the revamped Android Market installed on Android devices. The site is broken into two sections including a directory on the left leading users to specialized categories including Education, Entertainment, Shopping, Utilities and more. On the right side is a bottomless wall of app teaser images laid out in a window pane-like design.
Tuesday the Chrome Web Store launch also served as a launching pad for Spacetime's sci-fi themed MMOG. According to the company, this is the first title to bridge numerous desktop and mobile platforms together simultaneously: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux and Android. Now players can jump into the virtual world and play with their friends whether they're on a Windows 7 desktop, the Xperia PLAY smartphone, the iPad 2 tablet or a Macbook Air. Ubuntu users can even load up the game thanks to the Google Chrome browser.
Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles is a sci-fi mobile MMO set in a far corner of our galaxy during the 41st century. In this initial Star Legends installment, human privateers travel to the UCS Blackstar, a massive colony ship, to answer the call of fame and fortune. Space-age humans battle against the alien threat known as the Vular, malfunctioning killer bots, and the greed of powerful corporations for resources, power and inter-galactic dominance.
Because the Chrome client is currently in beta, users may have difficulties getting the game up and running. On one machine, the Chrome "app" installed and loaded within the browser (v16.0.912.4 dev-m) but "froze" at the character selection screen without completely locking up the browser itself. One Ubuntu 11.10 box using Chrome 15.0.874.102 beta stalled at 41-percent while loading the game.
The Spacetime game engine was originally used with the hit mobile MMOG Pocket Legends, a fantasy-based title featuring animal characters rather than the typical human and elf variety. The game initially launched on Apple's iOS platform but migrated over to Android months later, creating the "world's first" mobile 3D MMOG. For Star Legends, Spacetime made Android the launch platform followed by iOS and now Google's Chrome browser.
"This is a significant landmark in the fulfillment of our mission to create a social gaming ecosystem where people play together regardless of device or location," says Anthony Sommers, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Spacetime Studios. "We’re thrilled that Star Legends will be the first Native Client game released on the Chrome Web Store."
Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles is free to download and play from the Chrome Web Store. The MMOG relies on the microtransaction system where players can buy enhanced weapons, armor and other items by purchasing in-game currency with real-world cash. But as indicated, the team will likely need to work out a few bugs before the game is up and running for everyone.
Update December 9, 2011
Since this article went live, Spacetime has released the fantasy-based Pocket Legends on Google's Chrome platform as well. The company also said in December that both games are now played on a global server, meaning that "it is now possible for someone in the U.S. to play on their iPhone with someone in Germany on their Android tablet and someone in South Korea on their computer."