Doom in Your Browser

If you want to make your modern, Web 2.0-capable computer run like it’s 1994, then check out this really cool demo with the classic game Doom running in the browser.

The project, part of Mozilla’s Demo showcase, was built using Web standardsby a user by the name of azakai. It uses the HTML 5 Canvas for the graphics, Mozilla’s Audio API, and JavaScript.

Doom running in a browser

The game is fairly playable this way, though there was a significant delay on the audio. At first I thought the audio just wasn’t implemented, but when I’d actually started the game on my way to blast some demons with the BFG, the audio from the selection screen was playing.

Since this demo is hosted on Mozilla’s Web site it’ll probably work best with Firefox. Aside from the audio glitch I mentioned earlier, the gameplay is fairly smooth, at least as smooth as experimental Web technology allows. This demo shows still shows off some of the potential of Web 2.0 and open Web technologies, HTML5 in particular.

This could possibly break the stranglehold that Flash has in Internet multimedia. Flash has become the de-facto standard for media on the Web, but Adobe seems to refer to optimize it for Windows. It’s a prime consumer of battery life on non-Windows systems and makes my Mac and Linux fans run like jet engines. I’m amazed that they haven’t actually tried to lift off my desk. Plus, it’s propreitary. If you pay any attention to history at all, you know that betting on exclusive proprietary technologies is a losing proposition. Either the developers go complacent, as with Windows and Flash, or just decide that the technology just isn’t worth supporting and discontinue it. Any fan of old classic games is familiar with this. Open standards will make the Web, games included, much for flexible and sustainable.

For another modern take on retro games, see Re-Rendered Video Games. Angry Birds, a massively popular modern game, is also now available in your browser.