EffectGames.com launches

I recently stumbled accross EffectGames.com, which bills itself as providing “free, online tools for building, sharing and playing your own browser based games”. I managed to get in touch with Joseph Huckaby, one of it’s cofounders, for a little more about the service:

Well, it took me four years, but I believe I have finally proven that you don’t need Flash to make great web games. I have just launched a new website called “Effect Games”, which allows developers to create professional quality JavaScript games for free, and publish and share the games just like they would a YouTube video.

There are several game demos up on the site, so you can see what the engine can do. All modern browsers and platforms are supported, including IE 6+, Firefox 3+, Safari 3+, Chrome 1+, and Opera 9+.
Games are powered by the “Effect Engine”, my JavaScript / DHTML library that provides the framework for displaying and animating all the graphics, playing all the sounds & music, handling the keyboard & mouse, and sprite collision detection. It can smoothly render multiple layers of parallax scrolling tiles and sprites using pure DHTML (no Canvas or SVG, so it plays nice with all browsers).

HTML 5 Audio is used where supported (currently Safari on Mac OS X 10.5 only, 10.6 and Firefox coming soon), and 3rd party extensions used elsewhere. But developers don’t have to worry about the underlying implementation. The engine provides a single API, which is the same no matter what tech is used under the covers. Write your game code once, and it’ll run everywhere. Everything is documented online, including a side-scrolling platformer tutorial.

We have an integrated web app which allows developers to prepare and design their game online. It comes with an Asset Manager for uploading and organizing game graphics and audio, a Level Editor for laying out sprites and tiles into levels, and lots of tools for manipulating graphics in real-time using non-destructive filters (scaling, rotation, and a number of other transforms).

Users can develop their games locally on their Macs or PCs, and don’t have to upload any code until they are ready to publish. The game publisher can compile their code automatically using Google Closure, and provides them with a unique URL and embed code to share the game on their own site, blog, or anywhere they want.

The engine also has a Plugin architecture to bring in 3rd party libraries to add new features. For example, we just released a Box2D Physics Plugin, bringing realistic physics simulations into the engine.

We’re getting ready to launch a slew of new features in the coming months, including video support, achievements, leaderboards, more social network integration, and the ability to save & load games in progress.

After taking a look at some of the demos, it looks like there are a lot of cool things to be made with EffectGames – it will be interesting to see what the community creates with the service.

Wish there was more?

I'm considering writing an ebook - click here.


Luke is the primary editor of Building Browsergames, and has written a large portion of the articles that you read here. He generally has no idea what to say when asked to write about himself in the third person.


Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 site-news
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Building Browsergames is a blog about browsergames(also known as PBBG's). It's geared towards the beginner to intermediate developer who has an interest in building their own browsergame.


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