We try to pay attention to all sorts of tech here at Aptera, not just the stuff we work on, and last week a few of us were keeping an eye on all the news coming out of the Games Developers’ Conference in San Francisco. As much as I was trying to turn my work brain off and just pay attention to the games, I couldn’t help but find a couple parallels between the state of web development and the newest crop of games releases.
First, a little clarification. For a lot of people, the term “video games” conjures the headshot-fests of Call of Duty or the grand theft auto of, well, Grand Theft Auto. Those games certainly still exist (and make up a huge chunk of the collective game industry’s income). These “Triple A” titles aren’t where the most interesting game development is happening, however. That work is being done by the indie developers.
There’s no easy way to talk about everything that’s happening with indie games, but the thing I really want to talk about is the democratization of game production. For a long time, game production took big bucks, game distribution was incredibly expensive, and if you wanted to get your work in front of a ton of people, it was almost a requirement to be working at a big video game company.
Now, there are more tools than ever available to game designers. This has allowed game development to spread outside of the big companies and into home offices, dorm rooms and coffee shops around the world. And with this shift, there’s been an increase in really interesting games available as a .exe download or even as a browser-based experience.
It’s a drastic shift from trend in recent years where the most interesting games were only available on $400 consoles.
The indie game revolution is making it easier than ever for players to get their hands on great content from interesting developers. And there’s a parallel between that new accessibility and the medium some of these developers are using for their games: HTML 5.
At some point, I feel like we’re all going to be gathered around a big campfire somewhere, telling our grandchildren about the time when Flash ruled the world. It’s already easy to forget how pervasive it was, how long every site seemed to take to load, and how maddening it was to run into a site that needed Flash and not only realize that Flash wasn’t installed, but you don’t have the admin password to install it.
You’ll never see that content. Ever.
The move toward doing Flash-y stuff in HTML 5 has gotten rid of many of the barriers users faced when trying to access content, similar to the ways gamers are finding more games available to them than ever before. With the emergence of responsive design and the continued development of mobile web sites, it’s getting easier for users to access the content they’re looking for regardless of the platform they’re using.
This slow standardization is great for web developers, their clients, and end users. Like the proverbial sausage factory, there’s nothing worse for a user than being forced to confront the technology. Being able to direct a potential customer to your organization’s website with the knowledge that they’ll have a great experience no matter which device they choose to use means you can be sure your ideas will get across clearly.
And whether you’re developing a text-based football place kicker simulator or working on a multimillion dollar website, there’s nothing better than knowing your message is going to reach its target.
To learn more about web development that works everywhere you need to, contact us.