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Hey all. I got a rather inspired after playing gaia online's zOMG and wanted to revive an old project idea I've had laying around for a few years now.

I'm looking to work with html5 (ie canvas, svg based sprites, & WebGL) to build a graphical web based MUD/MMO. Obviously, this is a new take on an old idea and after searching google I haven't really turned up many good resources. But does anyone have any tutorials or other resources to point me in the right direction?

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You'll find a lot of questions on here about HTML5 games, based on my observations, it seems the general consensus is to avoid it for now, since the compatibility across browsers is low. –  Nate Feb 17 '11 at 22:19
The guy here in the video does not seem to like the current trend with HTML5 standards, "mimimalism is often underrated" -he said something like that. Perhaps, HTML5 is still under review because the costs of too ambitious standards may backfire later. He said also JS is a young-language-for-its-age and now some ES3.1 -- things seem to be still in draft boards... –  user6365 Jun 7 '12 at 0:49
Update: Because of some comments below I'll have to clearify something; the idea is not to create WOW or something overtly graphical "rich" in the browser that would have too much overhead from both the browser and the os. The idea is to create something fun and playable. FF7, Diablo, Starcraft, Runescape, and DooM still has a fan base to this day. Plus, runescape was the first graphical MUD(multi-user-dungeon) that started the MMO craze. –  Dwight Spencer Sep 29 '12 at 12:12
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Dwight - dive in and start building. Start small, build your way up. I.e., get a nice little sprite based game working that's talking to a back-end server first, then worry about the whole WebGL thing later.

And ignore the HTML5 doubters. See links below for some nice HTML5 demos and info on what it can do. Also, go check out Google's App store. There are some pretty amazing web based apps people have built that should inspire you.

http://www.chromeexperiments.com - A collection of impressive tech demos from Google. Requires Chrome, but as far as I know is written primarily to HTML5 standards. If other browsers support the standard, they will work too.

http://www.html5rocks.com/ - More information on HTML5. Includes an interactive slideshow going over features of HTML5.

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Check out EA's Lord of Ultima game, which I believe is heavily HTML5. www.lordofultima.com –  Tim Holt Feb 26 '11 at 20:40
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No. There are not good tutorials to make MMOs for the languages and environments that MMOs have actually been written in. There are certainly not tutorials for languages and environments that barely work as is.

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-1 That's a pretty negative take on things. I hardly would classify HTML5 as a "language and environment[s] that barely work as is." –  Tim Holt Feb 26 '11 at 2:39
@TimHolt +1 to your comment. –  Dwight Spencer Sep 29 '12 at 11:59
@Joe If your thinking of souly a mmo like those designed by E3, Blizzard or Venditti then maybe I can understand where your coming from. But really, with WebGL now out and the dropped support for flash on tablet/Mobiles; there are several MMO apps out floating on the web and on android market. Plus, as I pointed out Gaia Online is one of those type of games. I'm even working on a port of DooM to webgl. So this "answer" is a -20 for not thinking beyond the console system. –  Dwight Spencer Sep 29 '12 at 12:03
@DwightSpencer: So now that it's a year and a half later, you're going to link to the tutorials, then? No, you didn't. There still aren't any. HTML5? Still kind of a big mess. But sure, port Doom. Doing so will prove WebGL is at least as capable a platform as 1993-era MS-DOS. Everyone sure loved that! –  user744 Sep 29 '12 at 13:26
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This is quite similar to this question: Browser-based MMOs (WebGL, WebSocket) which had some helpful answers imho.

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There is much room for exploration in this arena. If you're dead set on canvas+websockets, you should consider a non-RPG MMO, something like a massive puzzle game or a simple, iconographic, RTS.

Check out "comet" servers such as cometd, or something that you might build with mochiweb or nodejs. And for the client side you could look into limejs or the dojo.gfx utilities.

Thats as good a place as any to get started. The technology just isn't mature, much experimentation and waiting will be required before the browser is a good place for 'professional' games.

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