I’ve been exploring WebGL for game development. So far, there are many things that I like. I love the fact that you don’t have to compile anything. Edit your source code, open it on a browser, and click refresh! You can even debug your code directly on the browser (I <3 Chrome)!
If you know Away3D, you might going to like Three.js. Three.js to WebGL is just like Away3D to Stage3D: easy to use, readable example codes, and has some high level functions for animations, particles, and models loading.
Everything sounds perfect, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to mobile and tablet support, WebGL is a big disappointment.
There is NO support for WebGL on mobile browser and tablet. If you check on caniuse.com, there is no WebGL on Android Browser, Chrome for Android, Firefox for mobile, nor the iOS Safari. Not even for the latest versions
I’ve tried FireFox Beta & Dolphin Beta for Android, both claim to have WebGL support. Firefox displayed nothing while Dolphin only managed to show rotating globe with less than 1 frame per seconds. FYI, I tested this using my demo on my Galaxy S with Android 2.3.
Same problem with HTML5 Canvas. Although it is has better support than WebGL, the performance suffers a lot on mobile/tablet devices. I played some HTML5 games and sometimes the framerate drops to 5 fps. It could be the hardware or browser problem since the games run smoothly on iPhone4S/iPad3, or maybe it’s just the common problem of HTML5 games?
Sometimes I wonder, what’s the point of having your game in WebGL if it’s only available for desktop browser. You could’ve done it using Stage3D. Even better, with the help of Adobe AIR, you can compile the same source code and have your game running on mobile and tablet, either it’s Android or iOS.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate HTML5. I do believe HTML5 and WebGL could be the future of web gaming. It’s just that it’s too much hyped but not ready for the present.