We have spent several months planning, testing and developing a new game. We have been trialing a host of Platforms (Java Applet, Desktop Via XNA, Flash etc) and Silverlight was pretty much our prefered choice.

However, the more we get into the game the more problems we face, mainly down to the communication with a server. HTTP Polling is slow and in-efficent yet the socket functionality that is now available in SL4 is only really useful for a Intranet enviroment - Unless we are missing something.

Anyone have any opinions or experiance with this and the future of SL for Online Browser based games.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What issues aare you having with Sockets in Silverlight 4 and Internet communication? \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Dec 21 '10 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nate Bross port range is blocked on most client computers. \$\endgroup\$ – LiamB Dec 21 '10 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you had actual issues with it those ports? Most clients (home and small business routers) have unrestricted outbound access by default, although many provide it through NAT. Is your target business computers behind large firewalls? \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Dec 21 '10 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nate Bros, truth be told, we have been warned away from any form of socket communication due to the port issues. Reach is a key factor with any game though and a message saying "Unblock port x" would mean nothing to a casual user. I'll start running some tests \$\endgroup\$ – LiamB Dec 21 '10 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good luck! (more chars) \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Dec 21 '10 at 16:42

Future of online browser games is HTML5 in my opinion. It offers most what is needed for simple browser games. Low latency is needed in big standalone games, so that is not our case. Of course if you need it, you can always make with flash or silverlight plugin only for communication.

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    \$\begingroup\$ OP is talking about developing a game now... and HTML5 has extremely poor support at the moment. \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Dec 21 '10 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nate Bross, correct. Deploying a commercial HTML5 game now is a little too early. Although I'm open to somone proving me wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – LiamB Dec 21 '10 at 16:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ HTML-5 renders differently in different browsers, and is not supported by some slightly older but large market-shares. The speed is not consistent across browsers as well. Flash is faster, more widespread, and the rendering is always consistent. \$\endgroup\$ – AttackingHobo Dec 21 '10 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do all my new pages in HTML5 and that is not a problem. Of course I don't use 100% HTML5 features, but topic is about future of on-line gaming. Flash is not the solution, since it got many limits, like depending on only one Flash developer, and problems with Apple toys. \$\endgroup\$ – Thinker Dec 22 '10 at 15:54

Distribution is always a roadblock with games and having a no-click, it just works experience is a big win. That makes it excellent for casual social games that are all the rage these days.

Flash is doing very well for games, but it lacks the real programming platform that silverlight has. And HTML5 with it's Javascript is just a nightmare for developing serious programs in, not to mention all the performance and compatibility problems.

According to http://riastats.com Silverlight is approaching 80% availability and growing and that's not going to go away easily.


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