HTML5 Games All “Wrapped Up”


HTML5 is used for developing games that will run in a web browser (so you can play on your desktop or on your phone or tablet), but this platform has its limitations. Certain functionality isn’t viable when running a game within a browser. For example, monetization of the game is difficult from within the browser.


However, it is possible to create HTML5 games that run independently of the browser by “wrapping” them so they work as native apps. Wrapped games can incorporate typical functionality found in native versions. They can also take advantage of the distribution systems serving mobile devices—e.g., app stores. This provides an opportunity to deliver a richer experience to players while adding monetization options.


More Like the Natives


Richer Experiences

Gameplay can be enhanced with the use of the mobile device’s actual hard-baked features, like the camera and the accelerometer.


The game can now have a social community with the addition of a high score leaderboard through Game Center or Google Play and ways to share with friends.


Paying to Play

Many attempts have been made to monetize HTML5 content on the Web; unfortunately, a successful business model has yet to emerge. It is simpler to “wrap” games and use existing marketing channels for native apps, such as in-app purchases.


It’s Complicated


Longer Timelines

HTML5 coding of the above features typically requires more time than native coding. Since they’re not native to HMTL5, the code for the game needs to communicate with the native code that manages these features. It typically takes more time to test and make fixes when adding a wrapper to an HMTL5 game than if the game were originally developed as a native app.


And like all development modifications, this process in HTML5 is almost never straightforward—there are always unknowns that crop up and have to be worked through.


So, how can this be done more efficiently and effectively?


Start With A Plan


If one anticipates wrapping an HTML5 game in the future, the game can be designed to accommodate this possibility. There are certain steps that can be taken that will save a lot of coding time in the long run.


These steps will vary depending on the game, but a critical one is ensuring the UI and layout will fill any screen and works at any resolution and aspect ratio. For example, a game with a fixed ratio for resolution won’t work very well as a wrapped native app, because it won’t always fill the screen of a mobile device and therefore won’t look and feel like a native app.


After All is Said and Done


HTML5 offers fantastic flexibility when it comes to delivering a single game across different devices under a browser. That’s why it’s often the platform of choice!


And, in our experience, a wrapped HTML5 game will perform similarly to an unwrapped version.


Games developed in HTML5—even wrapped versions—are going to have the same limitations on mobile devices as the original unwrapped version. Developers must choose gameplay and graphics that are appropriate for the platform. HTML5 games still can’t offer the kind of complex game play and performance found in some native apps.




The bottom line is, any of the additional features listed above will cost more to develop in HTML5 than in a native app. However, using an existing HTML5 game can save time and money on the game development portion of a project.


Therefore, it’s very important to evaluate the reasons for choosing the HTML5 platform for development if a more robust native-like experience is required.

07 Jul, 2015