My Adobe Max session: HTML5 Gaming on the Mobile Web is now live on Adobe TV

The session I gave at Adobe Max is now live on Adobe TV. The slides make a lot more sense when you can hear me giving my presentation alongside them. Please note that there is around 1 min of silence at the start of the video, but then it kicks off properly.


Posted on May 31st 2013 at 4:30 am by .
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  • May 31st 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Excellent mate, you give good presentation.

  • June 1st 2013 at 11:06 pm

    It’s refreshing to hear a realistic assessment of what HTML5 is and isn’t. Like you say, there’s WAY too much hype surrounding it.

    It’s an awful situation we find ourselves in and quite frankly, if there was any half decent alternative that worked in the mobile browser, we probably wouldn’t be using HTML5 for games. But unfortunately there isn’t, so we have to make do.

    What seems to be missing in most assessments of audience reach is that yes, mobile traffic makes up a significant amount (but still minority) of web traffic. But using HTML5 to target those devices is a trade off. There’s still a huge number of desktop users that don’t have an HTML5 enabled browser installed. You’re sacrificing a big portion of the desktop market for mobile, not reaching both in their entirety. So it’s all down to target audience and which is more important.

    Another issue that’s rarely discussed is the fact that trying to target mobile and desktop in many cases involves a serious dumbing down of game design options, due to having to cater for limited touch screen controls.

    At this point at least, I’m still very much of the opinion that if mobile isn’t the priority, then Flash is still the way to go for games, only using HTML5 when mobile devices are the primary target.

  • June 2nd 2013 at 12:13 am

    The issue with making a single game that works across desktop and mobile is (as I tried to discuss in the presentation) the incredible gulf between the two in terms of performance. For me Flash still seems like a very sensible choice, but at the end of the day it comes down to budgets really.

    In the stats I’m seeing on desktop non-html5 browsers account for around 22% of the user base, yet equally mobile use is getting close to that as well. So we’re left in a bit of a no-man’s land. In an ideal world you have the budget to build one game for desktop and a lighter version for mobile, but that isn’t what I’m actually seeing happening.

    Instead the same budget as was previously reserved for just desktop is being stretched between two, or they elect to cover the mobile side as a priority because their stats show only an increase there, where-as their non-html5 desktop stats (which is basically just IE7/8) are only going down.

    It’s a bit frustrating, but it is what it is right now – in a few years it will have levelled to the point where IE8 can be ignored and the issue at least just remains the performance difference (which although getting better can never truly be resolved).

  • June 2nd 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I totally agree.

    Those numbers pretty much mirror what I’m seeing also. So at this point you’re gaining mobile compatibility, whilst losing roughly equivalent numbers on desktop.

    Same with budgets. Unfortunately, clients still more often than not want to spend as little as possible on gaming content. Which is understandable considering it’s still relatively new to many and they’re still in the process of experimenting with games. But until they start allocating more reasonable budgets, there’s always going to be huge compromises, both within the game designs and the ability to target platforms.

    In the case of the BBC and the other clients you mentioned HTML5 is clearly right for them, as a long term content strategy (which mobile clearly plays a big part in). As well as touch screen controls on mobile devices lending themselves really well towards creating games for a predominantly younger audience.

    Conversely, almost all of the commissioned work I do is on games for marketing campaigns that are firmly rooted in the here and now and the primary goal is maximising relatively short-term exposure. Distribution/seeding is vital to get that exposure and so Flash is the only realistic choice (and I honestly doubt HTML5 will ever replace Flash for these sorts of applications). I’ve yet to have a client that, after explaining the pros and cons, wants to sacrifice overall exposure for mobile compatibility, on these sorts of projects. Mobile inevitable gets sacrificed.

    I think it’s all about realising the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and using them where they make sense.

    As I said, I think you did a really good job of pushing the “be realistic” aspect of using HTML5. There’s been so much hype and misinformation flying around, you’d think it was the second coming. And it certainly isn’t this blanket replacement for Flash (and other web based platforms) that will magically work across all devices, as many have been lead to believe. It’s refreshing to hear someone tell it like it is for once, instead of just inflating the hype even more, as seems to be the norm.

    It’ll be very interesting to see how it all pans out. At the moment we don’t even know where mobile internet usage is going long term, we can only guess at this point. Is it going to catch up desktop, or overtake it, or is it going to remain in the minority? One thing’s for sure, it will reach a saturation point one day. When that is, or what level it will reach before it plateaus, who knows. Interesting (if a little uncertain) times ahead, that’s for sure.

  • July 6th 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I find it useful for me to read your articles as this helps me to extend my
    HTML 5 skills and knowledge. Your topic is not that easy for me to understand
    and when i looked in deep i feel like i am expanding
    my knowledge. Thanks

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