Google ports Quake II to HTML 5

Geeks at Google have managed to get Quake II engine running in an HTML5 browser.

In New Googlespeak, that means the port will run on its Chrome and Apple's Safari browsers. Not that one from Microsoft. Whatever it's called.

The port does not require a plug-in. It uses WebGL, the Canvas API and other bits of the HTML5 specification, which Google is pushing. And which Apple hopes will see the death of Flash.

Google's programmes engineer Chris Ramsdale blogged of the achievement on Thursday, claiming the port to be the product of Google's 20 per cent time policy, by which Google engineers can spend up to a fifth of their time fiddling about with stuff they like the look of.

Ramsdale said the project started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, "then used the Google Web Toolkit (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript."

He said the engineers were "a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops"

"It's still early days for WebGL," he writes, "so you won't be able to run it without a bleeding edge browser."

Indeed.