4kg: Prototype is an HTML5 platformer game released to the Chrome Web Store — a marketplace where any amateur game developer can release games right next to moguls such as Angry Birds. The author, Andrew Rabon, answered some questions about its development.
H5G: Where did the idea for the project come from?
Andrew Rabon: It was actually supposed to be a game for Android. I was very excited about that platform and wanted to make a game for it, being influenced a lot by Google’s own Replica Island. The setting was sort of piecemealed together after sitting on the project for various months. After my artist dropped out and I decided to take on spriting duties as well as the coding, I switched to HTML5, as that was not only another platform I was excited for, but I saw that it wasn’t even being close to saturated with games like the mobile platforms are.
H5G: Have you built games before?
AR: I’ve experimented with game development before but have never made a full game. 4kg will be my first.
H5G: What tools do you use? Did you build a level editor?
AR: It was pretty just Akihabara, which includes a pretty good level editor called AkibaKa. However, it’s not perfect and I’ll be submitting a few patches to it on GitHub by the time development wraps on 4kg.
H5G: What made you choose Akihabara over other frameworks, like ImpactJS or GameJS?
AR: At the time, I hadn’t heard of GameJS and ImpactJS wasn’t even released. I remember I was following the project very closely, but I was already knee-deep in Akihabara by the time it was released. It looks great though; it seems like it has excellent tools and documentation to go with it. Unfortunately, documentation in Akihabara is pretty lacking, but it’s open source and gives me warm fuzzies.
H5G: The scanlines effect is nice. How did you implement it?
AR: It’s actually an option given to all Akihabara games, I liked it so much I decided to make it the default for 4kg. It’s kind of funny that a visual-defining feature came so late and was unplanned, I think.
H5G: What’s next?
AR: I’m in the middle of designing my next two projects right now. The next one is pretty different from 4kg and I’m really excited by the possibilities. Even counting all of videogames — console, mobile, web, PC — it’s not a type of game that’s been done all that much before.
The one after that… it’s kind of like 4kg. But I can’t say anything else without giving too much away. It’s an extremely ambitious project that will require a dedicated sprite artist and maybe even another coder in addition to myself.
Both will be HTML5 games and will be available on the Chrome Web Store. I haven’t decided yet if they’ll be “exclusive” to the Web Store, but they’ll definitely be optimized in every possible way.
Finally, although this something I do in my spare time (of which I do have a lot), I would really like to work on these games as a career. However it’s quite hard to get any sort of funding (either investments or donations) if you make games for the web, as compared to mobile. If it’s possible at all, then that’s what I’ll be doing.
Ian Langworth has been making web sites since before HTML had tables and Photoshop had layers. He wanted a single place to go for news and information related specifically to HTML5 and game development, but one didn't exist, so he started the HTML5 Grind.