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I'm not here to ask about the merits of HTML 5, CSS 3, Javascript, etc. as game development tools. Lord knows how many people have asked about that already. No, what I'm curious about is what kind of browsers different types of gamers tend to have. I'm starting a game development studio, and I want to use some HTML 5 and CSS 3 features on my website. I know where to look for browser compatibility, but I'd like to know how old a browser I should cater to. My target audience is primarily teenagers through young adults. Is there any risk of alienating potential players with fancy HTML 5 features, or is it safe to assume their browsers are reasonably up to date?

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closed as not constructive by Patrick Hughes, Sean Middleditch, Nicol Bolas, Byte56, Anko Jun 13 '13 at 10:54

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caniuse.com for all your web compatibility needs. –  joltmode Jun 9 '13 at 19:45
    
Graceful degradation is the key. –  Sean Middleditch Jun 9 '13 at 19:58
    
Sure, caniuse lists general browser usage, but I'm more concerned about people who play games. –  JesseTG Jun 9 '13 at 21:22

3 Answers 3

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Yes. There is always a large risk in what you can support and what you can't on the web. The best web developers will develop fallbacks for older web browsers that can't parse the new tags. However, if you're looking into just using things like canvas you'll probably be fine. Examining the list of browsers people are using indicates that this element is particularly widespread. Markets will vary but for the consumer web it's a pretty safe bet these days. In the corporate world, it's a whole other ballgame and some companies are still trying to slug past IE6...

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But a quality HTML5 game needs so much more than just canvas support - not to mention performance in canvas rendering... –  rodrigo-silveira Jun 9 '13 at 18:34
    
Disclaimer: I work as a HTML5 Game Developer In general, a site targeted towards GAMERs will be people with some technologically savvy background. This is subjective and not fact, however, in practice it holds up very well by experience. –  Vaughan Hilts Jun 9 '13 at 18:36

If you already have a website you should look at your analytic s and see the browser distribution of your users. The news website that I work for averages 1.8 million visits a day, of which about 65% is from browsers that wouldn't support many HTML5 APIs that I'd use in a quality game. See what your users use, then make a decision based on that. Obviously we'd losing way too many users if we ignored those with unsupported browsers in our case. However, this may or may not be the case for you. Only you (and your logs) can answer your question with any sort of confidence and reliability.

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I'm curious as to what you deem as "quality HTML5" APIs. –  Vaughan Hilts Jun 9 '13 at 18:34
    
I didn't say quality APIs, but rather APIs to be used in a quality game. For example, its hard to build a quality game that performs well without using offline caching, web audio, web storage, gamepad support, web sockets, etc. –  rodrigo-silveira Jun 9 '13 at 18:38
    
I would disagree that all of those are needed for a quality game. Google around for an HTML5 game portal and you'll see tons that don't use gamepads, sockets, offline caching, or even web storage in many cases (many games have no use for persistence - and if they do, they can use a server backend if it's unsupported.) Audio is also heavily supported in IE9+ html5test.com/compare/feature/audio-element.html –  Vaughan Hilts Jun 9 '13 at 18:41

I would just go for it and use all the HTML 5 that I can. I think that if the website is designed as a gaming site, people that come to the site with a browser that doesn't run your games would have no problem coming back with a compatible browser if they have to.

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