HTML5 is NOT right tool to make mobile games

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:22 pm

I for one am VERY happy with my Construct 2 game on Android (.APK) working at 56 to 60-fps at 1920x1200px (low-res scaling OFF).

My tablet is almost 1-year old, came out July 2013. The thing is that in 1-2 years time my current tablet will be the average or below average. So as game developers you need to look to the future, games like Asphalt 8 require reasonably heavy specs to run smoothly, but by being that game that everyone wants to be able to play one day, they stay at the top of the lists for years. Whenever someone upgrades their device the first thing they do is download the games they couldn't play before on their previous device.

Another thing, I grew up playing games on a Commodore Amiga 500 with only 7-Mhz and 512KB RAM.
Would it be appropriate for me to be releasing games for that system today? NO! So as game developers u need to be testing on better than average devices, becos by the time you've finished your game many months later the public has caught up and your device might be below average.

To help you choose which device to buy you need to look at benchmarks like:

And you need to take note of all the specs especially GPU chip model name and number, CPU, amount of RAM, etc... Type in any Phone into this website to see it's full specs + thousands of comments:

Finally, look at Youtube videos of people actually playing hardcore games with the device you want, and also checkout website reviews eg. google search "phone model review"

Good luck! :)
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Post » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:50 pm

sinistar99 wrote:
Alpha footage of game mechanics, lots of particles used, independent turrets, faction AI and pathfind, game runs very well on older devices, tegra 3, samsung s3 etc.

Holy crap that's awesome! I've been working on a game kind of like that called Captain Zero for a long time but it's on the back burner... Time to put it on the front burner I guess!

Thanks. Have you got a blog, I'd like to see Captain Zero! :D

As for HTML5 and mobiles, just take care and keep testing on devices as you add new features. Make sure you did not fubar the code somewhere with an endless loop or heck, checks every tic when it doesn't need it.

I have about 400 to 500 objects on my layout, asteroids with rotate behaviour, blinking stars, space dust etc, along with all the objects generated by ship trails and during fights, particles from weapon hits. All up with particles, it would be >1,000 objects. On top of ship pathfind and AI. Runs great on even older not top of line devices.

I say to new C2 users do not be discouraged, it's possible to make big games run well on older devices not to mention newer ones, even big RPGs:
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Post » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:37 am

I've read some replies, in this moment, some replies were like "My mobile hardware is better than yours" it's a bad practice because when you release your game on store after trusting the results of performance with your own device. Then, you will hear the users will say good and bad comments, their were comments like "This game is too slow :( ..." also we can have similiar comments like that and we will have no idea how to update your game, possibly take a long wait. The devices are very different than ours, I wouldn't say them to buy new device, it's an insult. I personally believe the words aren't worth to consider the fact, the acts are worth. I already explained the big games with HTML5 for mobiles is too risky in this time.

Most HTML5 games for desktop is very acceptable. Anyway, I keep reading this thread.
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Post » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:44 am

I'm not stepping into the discussion, because I do not have enough knowledge... but...

@katzin do not worry about the issue with mobile, you should be fine :) ... We have release over 20 games for windows phone which the performance is fine. The only issues we had experienced were related to the high usage of graphics (which tends to break low end phones with 512 MB or less). We also stayed away from particles, which slows down the game. We usually adapt and test on low end devices (and some high end), if the performance is not good/acceptable, then we looked into the details.

Like I said, the only issues have been related to particle systems (a lot of them), so we used sprites/static images and it worked perfectly fine.

Good luck with your game!
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Post » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:50 am

@Joannesalfa Certainly agreed, never just test your game on the top of line device only..

My own cut-off point is devices with Tegra 3, which is quite slow in JS compared to Samsung S3, these are not unrealistic targets to meet because the bulk of Android are on S3 or better devices now. For Apple, iPhone 4S is the bulk of the market with iPhone 5 replacing it fast.

The Nexus 7 is still the top of line device, since its Snapdragon S600 SoC is super fast compared to most things out there.
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Post » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:09 pm

Silverforce wrote: For Apple, iPhone 4S is the bulk of the market with iPhone 5 replacing it fast.

That's true. When you read the App Store descriptions it is clear that many developers have already dropped the iPhone 4 support and the pace is quickening.
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Post » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:20 am

newt wrote:It was for Joannesalfa.

I mean the idea of making a "big" game on a cell phone is kinda like Facebook buying out Occulus Rift.

Its not that it can't happen, it just doesn't make much sense.

@newt Funny you mention that because Facebook have just bought Occulus Rift.
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Post » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:36 pm

today I have tested my very simple platformer (CocoonJS) on Thailand OTPC (One Tablet Per Child), it is 1 core Rockchip CPU with 1 GB Ram. Anyway: even if there was only 1 object (player) and some simple background, it has max. 15-20 fps. So for sure JavaScript is too slow for mobile games, but fortunetly our C2 apps are saved by Moore's law (so nowdays there are lots of quad core CPUs and octa core CPUs)
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Post » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Joannesalfa wrote:I would like to share my experiences how I worked a lot of mobile games for my customers also it has do to with HTML5 frameworks and Construct 2 IDE, you may consider this as my personal verdict:

  • It’s slower than native code by about 70%
  • It’s slower than x86 C/C++ by about 50%
  • The most viable method for it to get faster is by using the hardware to desktop level performance. It could be viable long-term, but it’s looking like a pretty long wait.
  • Garbage collection for mobile is WORSE. Actually, it's really way worse than it is in desktop level.
  • The language itself doesn’t seem to be getting faster these days, and people who are working on it are saying that with the current language and APIs, it will never be as fast as native code.
  • Every competent mobile developer would waste a great time thinking about the memory performance of the target device.
  • asm.js may be another solution, but if they win you will be using native language or similar old language as a frontend, more than something high level like JavaScript.
  • Javascript is too slow for mobile app use in 2013. If we get new devices were built in 2014, it may be better but Javascript looks "faster as native" in 2020.

I believe we should develop the games for desktop, if you want to develop big games for mobile, please forget it and try to find another native language could work with your big game design.

you are right, but construct2 or similar software use programming by "event"...

and it is normal the low performance of the game, but depends how the person "program" de logic of the game.... the best method is to program by native script, but take a lot of time to make a simple game....

and depends what do you mean with a "big game"... 3d game? big map? a lot of object?

I think the problem is the method to export the game... we not have a perfect exporter for the mobile... but we have the third party and they also have some can make a great game with construct2, the new flappy bird or the new game of the year, but if the export doesn't work very well, you will have everytime different problems... you don't have a perfect control like construct2...
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Post » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:00 pm

@szymek - that is surely software rendering. Either the device has no GPU or the driver is blacklisted so it's not being used anyway. Either way, it's not to do with Javascript performance.
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