How To Create a Better and Successful Web-Based Game

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Web-based games are more popular nowadays than regular console-based games. Popular social media networks like Facebook have played a major role in popularizing these games. Browser-based games have several differences when compared with regular console-based games. Creating a successful web-based game is not an easy task as it requires careful planning of several important factors. Today we're going to discuss some of the key characteristics and features that must be included in every browser-based game. Inclusion of these features will ensure the gamers get the best playing experience. Some of these features are applicable on console-based games as well but are vital for the success of a web-based game. We're not going to touch the design and programmatic aspect of the game designing but will talk of key characteristics at the macro level that can make any web-based game a huge success.

Browser-based Game

Ensure Cross-Browser Compatibility

Gamers across the world use different web browsers as per their choice and convenience. While creating your web-based game you must test it vigorously in all modern browsers. Proper rendering of game elements in every popular web browser is vital for the success of the game. You must check this compatibility in old versions (up to 2 or 3 years old) as well because some users do not update their browsers. There are several browser emulators that can be used to quickly test your game modules reliably and efficiently.

Reduce Reliance on Unidentified and Externally Hosted APIs

Sometimes we're tempted to use helpful 3rd party APIs from unidentified and unverified sources. You should avoid this at all costs and should strive to use standard and popular development stacks and tools for better stability and security. Usage of 3rd party APIs that are hosted on external servers can break your game without any notice and you'll not be able to provide a solution to the gamers on urgent basis. This can result in mass abandonment from users across the world. You must ensure that you're hosting all software stack and APIs on your own server to give a stable and secure gaming experience to the users.

Use Hardware Acceleration, Wherever Possible

Nowadays almost all modern web browsers support hardware acceleration to facilitate smooth browsing experience. A smart game developer must program his browser-based game in such a way that wherever hardware acceleration support is detected, the game must utilize it to provide optimum playing experience to the users. This approach pumps new life in immerse 3-d games without introducing any delays. But this should be done very carefully as slight wrong detection and initiation of hardware acceleration support can freeze user's system in no time.

Optimize For Minimal Resource Consumption

Sometimes, a new web-based game is embraced by large number of users on its launch but is gradually abandoned due to very high system resource consumption. This is one of the most critical factors that determine the success of any game. During the testing phase, you must check for memory usage, processor consumption and disk activity. Sometimes memory usage and processor consumption are very optimal but the game freezes the browser due to very high disk activity. You must weed out all these anomalies that may put it in the category of a resource hogger.

Use OAuth Authentication System

Instead of developing a custom authentication system, going with OAuth log in system is going to benefit you as well as the users in the long run. It not only provides standard and secure authentication system but also widens the scope of users that can use and register for playing the game. Implementing OAuth system is very easy and it also builds trust and credibility among the gamers who register for your game. Profile information collection through OAuth system also ensures that sensitive information is transferred in a secure manner.

Use Reliable Dedicated Hosting

No web-based game can enjoy a large user-base unless it is hosted on a powerful and reliable dedicated server. As the user-base grows, so does the number of HTTP requests. Slight delay in game data transfer can degrade the entire gaming experience resulting in user dissatisfaction. A dedicated server with premium bandwidth ensures smooth rendering of game elements as well as removal of any kind of latency during the entire playing session. You can also start with a VPS server and can later scale up as the user-base grows with passage of time.

Gracefully Handle Different Screen Resolutions

Users across the world have different screen resolutions that present a challenging task for web designers to make a responsive design that adjusts well in different screen sizes. Handling screen resolution changes becomes more important for web-based games as it may hide key visual elements that can hinder the entire game-play. It's not just the screen resolution, but the explicit browser resizing by user must also be handled gracefully to keep the active part in focus to avoid scrolling during the gaming session.

Include Helper Modules and Functions, Wherever Required

You must design and integrate an interactive helper module that automatically gives a guided tour to the new player. It should be further supplemented by helpful popups and guiding prompts to make the entire game extremely user-friendly. If possible, use different interactive characters or objects to provide these help tips so that gamers do not consider these help prompts as external elements. Remember, you must balance the inclusion of helper modules. Excessive prompting of help messages can backfire resulting in user abandonment.

Keep Things Obvious For Better User Anticipation

Now, this is applicable to almost every game whether it is a console-based game or a web-based game. The goal should be to make things so simple that a new player never needs to scan the help guide to understand that basic functioning of the game. Every key element, buttons should be designed in such a way that every user can grab its functioning easily without putting much stress on his mind. Now making things obvious is an art and no programming class can teach you that. It comes by experience and you must strive to learn it as quickly as possible to deliver the best gaming experience to the users.

Include a Feedback System

Almost every good software collection is continuously improved through regular user feedback. Same thing applies to web-based games that are more prone to dislike of users. You must include a user-friendly feedback system to know how well your game is performing and what's the perception about it in users' mind. This feedback module can be implemented in different ways. You can either include regular feedback forms or can include rating systems for each key element. Make sure you do not make it mandatory else users may get annoyed. You can also use a 3rd party feedback system and can make changes to it such that it completely gels with your game's theme. This way you can reduce your game designing burden to a great extent.

Include Support for Saving Game & Player State

Interactive multi-player games on web that includes roles and characters are getting quite popular nowadays. But these games have huge requirement that not only requires smart programming and design but also require ample database space for preserving crucial user data. If you're designing such type of game, you must include core routines that securely and reliably save the current game and user state on the servers. This ensures that every user can continue the new session from exactly the same place where he left the last time. Data structures for game state preserving should be designed very carefully. They should only capture and carry the necessary information to reduce bandwidth consumption.

Integrate Social Sharing of Scores

Gamers love to brag about their scores and command over a game with their friends and peers. Since we're living in a world where social media has a great impact both on online and offline world, integration of social sharing of relevant game data is a must for creating a social media friendly game. This lets users share their gaming performances and scores with their friends' network. This also helps in pulling more users towards the game as the social sharing of scores indirectly works as free marketing and promotion by the gamers.


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