The war between browser and console or PC games has become a game of inches. That's essentially what Kixeye SVP of Engineering Danielle Deibler essentially claims. The Adobe veteran now with the War Commander creator recently sat down with us to chat about the future of game creation tools like Flash as far Kixeye is concerned and their broader effects on games.
The hardcore social game studio is focused heavily on using the latest in Flash and even Unity technology to deliver gaming experiences in 2013 that come close to rivaling that which is available on consoles and PCs with the accessibility of Facebook. Deibler tells us that all of the developer's 2013 games will use Flash features like Stage 3D heavily, taking more advantage of the video cards within players' computers. But what about the players that are without fancy gaming machines?
"What we have found is our particular target market tends to overlap more with the audience that has downloaded Unity Player or Steam, in terms of our graphics card support. So, we feel like we actually contributed to that niche, that hardcore market. We feel like we have a better shot at our users having the correct graphics cards to be able to take advantage of that hardware acceleration."
Basically, if you're not rocking a dedicated graphics card, or you don't even know what that means, then you're probably not in Kixeye's crosshairs. Then again, this is Flash, after all, which supports a larger variety of computers than any game creation tool or platform out there. (Chances are you won't miss this wave.) However, it's tough to get hyped for the newest version of Flash when, at face value for the player, all it does it pump the visuals up. But that could mean more than simply prettier games.
"A lot of it is better graphics," Deibler admits. "More actual--not just better graphics, but more--graphics that are on the screen at one time. Being able to have lots and lots of characters that have avatars in a world. Being able to navigate in a world that is multiplayer and have that be a varied performance thing."
Plus, Deibler adds, browser games have the unique advantage of being, well, in the browser. In most cases, they're just another tab next to your email or whatever blog you're reading. This engineering lead thinks that a near console-like game with the option to look up something regarding said game or engage in discussions elsewhere just another tab over is novel. (At the very least, this editor can definitely see the appeal in that.)
Fans of Kixeye's strategy games can expect to see more of the same in 2013, but more than likely with more advanced visuals. The studio is also still hard at work on that much-teased 3D RPG, we're told, as well as the mobile version of Backyard Monsters, the strategy game that put the company on the map. It's known on iOS as Backyard Monsters Unleashed, and it's currently enjoying a "very limited release." As for browsers on the whole in 2013 and beyond, Deibler seems more than bullish.
"You'll basically be able to get the fidelity you're getting on a console in the browser and potentially beyond that," Deibler predicts. "I'm sure we'll get to the point where the browser's delivering comparable performance, and comparable graphic fidelity, to what a PC download game would be able to do. It will never be at the cutting edge-- beautiful, cinematic, triple A--but it will basically be able to edge in and get much, much closer."
What do you think of Kixeye's games these days? What about browser games versus consoles in 2013 and beyond? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.