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Trendy Entertainment reveals a browser game that runs in 3D using Unreal without plugins

Monster Madness from developer Trendy in action.

Above: Monster Madness from developer Trendy in action.

Image Credit: Trendy Entertainment

The common browser that you use to check your email and the weather is secretly maturing into a viable gaming platform.

Developer Trendy Entertainment revealed its Monster Madness action-combat game today. It’s a fully 3D experience that runs in any modern browser without the need to download extra plugins like Flash or Unity. The title uses Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 graphics tools — the same thing that powers a huge number of titles on PC and consoles — and a superpowered version of Javascript pioneered by Mozilla called Emscripten+asm.js (or just Emscripten for short).

“We think the web is a tremendous potential audience,” Trendy chief technology officer Jeremy Stieglitz told GamesBeat. “Our issue was that 3D web games always had the downside of requiring the user to install some kind of plugin.”

Previously, to get 3D working on the web, developers had to build their games using 3D graphics engine Unity or embed their games in Flash. These methods both have their issues. Unity is not a popular plugin, and a huge number of potential players will stop pursuing a game the moment their browser asks them to install something they’re unfamiliar with. Adobe’s Flash, on the other hand, can cause 3D games to have poor performance.

Trendy considered both of those options before it found Mozilla and Epic Games’ Emscripten solution.

“At the Game Developer Conference, we were talking to Epic Games, and they told us, ‘You have to talk to Mozilla. They have something that is really cool,'” said Stieglitz. “We hooked up with them, and within about a day, we got [a basic version of] our game running.”

A week later, Trendy had the full game running with all of its multiplayer features and controller support. This was exactly what Trendy was looking for to get its game working on the web. Not only was development simple, but performance was off the chart.

“The important thing for me is that it passes the mom test,” said Stieglitz.

The developer gave his mom the URL for the game without telling her what to do. Stieglitz said she figured it out, and the game ran at 60 frames per second on her 2.5-year-old MacBook Air.

For Trendy, this is everything it needs to let it focus on making a game that appeals to web users. Emcripten is simple, it’s powerful, and it is accessible. Gamers can try Monster Madness right now. It’s live on the Playverse website, and it works in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

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