Categories: Firefox

‘Epic Citadel’ Demo Shows the Power of the Web as a Platform for Gaming

At the 2013 Game Developers’ Conference, Mozilla demonstrated how it was unlocking the Web as a platform for gaming by announcing a port of Unreal Engine 3 running in Firefox — compiled from C++ source with Emscripten, running smoothly and efficiently without the need for plugins.

Today, Epic and Mozilla are making the Epic Citadel demo available, so that you can try it out for yourself. For best results, we suggest using a newer version of Firefox Nightly (Firefox 23 or better) which includes optimizations for asm.js and support for Web Audio API. The demo will also run in Firefox 20 (the current released version) because the core technologies are just standard web technologies, but there will be some performance degradation and a lack of Web Audio-dependent audio effects. The demo will also work in other browsers but it heavily depends on the quality of the WebGL implementation, memory management and JavaScript engine.

To achieve the performance that makes these advancements possible, Mozilla developed asm.js, a highly-optimized subset of JavaScript that enables Emscripten-compiled applications to reach near-native performance.  This baseline performance enables developers to create visually compelling and fast gaming experiences on the Web.  With this technology, the Web simply becomes just another target platform for developers.

If you’re a games developer and want to learn more, please visit the new Mozilla Developer’s Network Games landing page, which we’ll be expanding in the coming weeks. The Emscripten project and information about asm.js are also useful if you’d like to take a look at what it would take to port your own games or other apps.

For a quick snapshot of what you’ll see in the Epic Citadel demo, here’s a video (now in 1080p), as well as some gameplay footage from the unreleased “Sanctuary” demo.