If you are hungry for browser games, Turbulenz Limited, a company based in Guilford, UK has a big surprise for you. They have recently launched the first unified online game platform capable of delivering console quality games across all devices with an Internet connection. And they chose to host the product on Ga.ME, one of the most sought-after .ME domains!
The Turbulenz Engine enables developers to publish and monetize games without having to sacrifice visual quality and performance or spend long hours to make them compatible with the multiple browsers and native platforms. Of course, there are other advantages of being an extremely developer-friendly platform like more engaging titles for millions of fans across the world. The long list of games featured at Ga.ME includes Polycraft, Word Quest, Monster Force 5, Save the Day and mind melting Score Rush, just to name a few. Unless you have a highly addictive personality feel free to test them, but not before you check out the exclusive interview with the Turbulenz team.
.ME: The casual, social and browser-based game market is pretty crowded these days. What sets you apart?
Turbulenz: The Turbulenz platform and ga.me domain is the Internet’s first software game platform. This means that instead of developers exclusively targeting a device or operating system, they can now create a single game with the Turbulenz Engine that works across all suitable Internet connected devices. Likewise, game players can connect to ga.me on all their devices to enjoy the content and engage with the other players. The Turbulenz Engine allows developers to defer their platform decision. Why target one when you can instantly deploy and iterate your game across the never ending range of devices.
.ME Why did you decide to open-source the engine?
Turbulenz: Ever since the beginning we always planned to open source the engine and tools. By releasing the engine as open source under the MIT license we hoped to ease the adoption costs and ensure that developers didn’t feel in any way restricted by adopting the engine. We almost exclusively use open source technology inside Turbulenz and this is our contribution to building and enabling the web application platform for games. For many developers having liberal access to the source code is essential and we wanted to enable them.
.ME: What browsers is the Turbulenz engine compatible with?
Turbulenz: The Turbulenz Engine will run in any browser that supports the required HTML5 features. The default 2D and 3D renderers require WebGL to access the device’s high performance graphics hardware, and the engine as a whole is optimized to use TypedArrays. However, as the engine is ultimately a collection of libraries the developer has full control to pick which features they depend upon. The browser developers are adding features and performance improvements rapidly, so make sure you play with the latest version for the best experience!
.ME: How hard is it, once the game is complete, to convert it to mobile and tablet apps?
Turbulenz: Assuming the game is designed to support a scalable display resolution, touch input and takes into account the performance gap between desktops and mobile devices, then the game will work with no alterations. The whole point of the Turbulenz Engine is to handle all of the platform differences for the developer. It’s actually extremely refreshing and empowering for developers to have their game deployed online and across the mobile app stores, then make a tweak to the game via the developer hub, then see it instantly playable by every player across all devices. This is at its heart the power of an Internet generation game engine.
.ME: How does it compare to your competition?
Turbulenz: There are plenty of other companies working to enable HTML5 game development, from platform owners to engine developers, but none that offer a comparable and complete end-to-end solution for developers. We genuinely believe that Turbulenz is the most feature rich and high performance game engine and platform for game developers and players today.
.ME: What developers are you working with on ga.me? Can anyone publish on ga.me?
Turbulenz: The Turbulenz Hub developer service (at https://hub.turbulenz.com/) currently has close to 10,000 developer accounts. This has been steadily growing as developers have been adopting and experimenting with HTML5 as a technology to create commercial games. This also doesn’t include the HTML5 enthusiasts who work with the open source version of the engine directly from Github (at http://github.com/turbulenz/ turbulenz_engine). Any developer can publish content on ga.me. There is actually a lot more content on there than a new player can see. The service supports a rich preview and prototyping workflow where developers can publish content early and gradually invite players to test and give feedback. We’re finding that this is an essential tool for developers to rapidly iterate and create the most successful content.
.ME: How many new games scheduled to appear on ga.me are currently in production?
Turbulenz: We have a few existing projects in development internally that are already online and continue to evolve. Our aim is to keep redefining what players expect from HTML5 content, because it’s still seen by some as a technology for low quality games – which is fundamentally out-dated. Sadly we cannot talk about what our external development partners have in the pipelines. We wish we could.
.ME: What is your favorite game? If you can pick one game that you wish was available on ga.me, what would it be?
Turbulenz: Well that’s not easy to answer as there are so many different games that have defined the playing histories of everyone working at Turbulenz. But in recent years the team has universally loved Minecraft, especially the way it has redefined how people share and discover new content. Arguably Minecraft has done more for the wider games playing community than any other game. What other game has multiple Lego sets? It’s a genuine inspiration.
.ME: Tell us more about social features of ga.me. What kind of experience, other than games, you offer to gamers?
Turbulenz: Turbulenz is the first Internet generation 2D and 3D game engine, meaning it was engineered exclusively to enable content created, distributed and played online. There are a wide range of features built into the engine and associated web services to enable a genuinely social and connected gaming experience. These range from the obvious leaderboards and badges, to services for rapidly enabling a range of real time and asynchronous multiplayer games. We’ve also taken the step to try and get players and developers interacting in a single environment around the game. Developers love to have this level of direct contact with their players.
.ME: When compared to the competition, your library leans a bit less towards casual, and more towards hardcore. Is that the course you wish to pursue in the future?
Turbulenz: It’s really based on the ambitions of the developers and who they want to target. As ga.me can be accessed from any Internet connected device, including browsers, desktops, tablets and mobiles, there is really no limit to the consumer they can attract and satisfy. But in the end, it’s the old cliche that we want to build games that we also want to play. So most of the content from Turbulenz will be the type of stuff that we enjoy, and we generally want something with some substance.
.ME: With indies, casual titles, mobile games, free-to-play games and AAA titles all out there, and more platforms than ever to develop for, what challenges does gaming face in the following years? Where do you see its future?
Turbulenz: From a consumer’s perspective there is now more choice than ever across all of their devices. From a developer’s perspective this translates into insane competition. Gone are the days of competing with the other games on your platform, you’re now competing against all games across all platforms. A genuinely scary thought when you consider how much content is out there. Ultimately we want to make sure that there is continued demand and hence the business to create and deliver rich experiences. With Turbulenz and ga.me our aim is the help developers bridge all the different devices and platforms. With HTML5 and Turbulenz you can create a single high quality game that can be deployed and discovered across all platforms. Then maybe, if the game is good enough, you’ll make enough money to do it all over again. Hopefully we’ll have a few hits and some fun along the way.