When I first started creating these HTML5 arcade games I confess I had nothing to test them on. So I created my games and just tested them in a desktop web browser. Normally Chrome.
It soon became apparent that the best way to reach out to people and monetise my work was to adapt the games to run within a mobile browser.
I soon became bored of pestering friends to test my games so I scraped together some cash and bought an HTC Desire HD. A wonderful smartphone in every respect but perhaps not the best handset to choose for testing.
You see the handset is so capable it can run CANVAS based games at lightning speed. I was really no better off than when I was using the desktop.
My wife has an iPod Touch first generation. I tested my games with this for a while and assumed that the games would work first time on all iOS devices.
How wrong could I be ?
iPhone 4 is a dog. I soon realised that the CANVAS performance on iPhone 4 was considerably less than desirable. There are probably several reasons for this and generally they’re not without their fair share of conspiracy theories.
Whether it was true or not I was left with a huge hole in my portfolio. I had these cool looking games that really only worked on anything that wasn’t an iPhone 4. Trouble is of course that iPhone 4 is one of the most popular handsets in the world. My market was a fraction of the size it could be.
To make things worse I’m really not a hacker. I guess I hold this daft old fashioned view that I shouldn’t have to hack. I’d rather the vendors sort their devices out than me hack around trying to scrape some FPS together. I’m really just terrible at that kind of thing.
To my amazement the performance exceeded my expectations. My “slower” games; Dragons and Danger Ranger are whizzing along. All games now perform beautifully in the mobile Safari browser.
iOS5 changes everything.
I decided to put together some tests to compare raw CANVAS performance against old school DIVs and IMGs.
If you have a mobile phone point it to the two following links.
Take a look at the FPS count in the top corner. If you like comment your findings below. I’d be interested to see your thoughts and experiences.