Please note: The official forum post on the HTML5 Beta Launch goes live by end of day January 14th.
I’m here to talk to you about HTML5 - in particular what we’re doing and how it impacts you.
I’m sure many of you are well familiar with the slow removal of the Flash technology from browsers, and its final end of support on December 31st, 2020, from its creator - Adobe. Battle Pirates is as important to us as it is to you. Consequently, we’ve invested heavily in our ability to continue supporting it beyond that date.
Where We’ve Been
Over the last year, we’ve been working hard to port the game from ActionScript 3 to HTML5, via the intermediary technology HAXE and OpenFL. This has been no mean feat as Battle Pirates is an almost 9-year-old game with a significant number of features and systems (roughly 2800 files and 380,000 lines of code), as well as being one of the most rendering-heavy browser-based games out there, with thousands of moving images in battle.
This port initially involved mass migration of our entire client-side code base, then significant time fixing bugs from the automated porting system. After we had a semi-stable version up and running, our QA extensively tested the game from top to bottom to ensure all our systems were running smoothly. We also spent a significant amount of effort optimizing the performance of our rendering and loading systems, working with the creators of OpenFL to ensure the performance met our standards. All the while numerous code changes made to the ActionScript 3 code needed to be manually ported over to ensure they were not lost.
Where We Are
I’m proud to say after this monumental effort we now believe we’re finally in a position to open this up to players. As this is a significant technological change and we’re endeavouring to have as smooth a rollout as possible, initially we will be allowing players to opt-in to the HTML5 version by the use of a button above the game when they load in. Clicking this will reload the page to use the HTML5 client instead of the Flash client, though it still communicates with the same servers and loads your same account.
Where We’re Going
As the saying goes, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
It’s difficult for us to predict all the possible permutations of player hardware, operating system, browser, and Internet connections, so we anticipate edge cases will be found once this version enters the wild. If you encounter any issues we’d love to know so we can fix them ASAP, and if you encounter significant problems you can always return to the Flash version of the game using the same button you used to access the HTML5 version.
Once the dust has settled and we’re confident no major issues remain, we will swap the game over to load the HTML5 version by default, to ensure the majority of players are given the opportunity to experience the new version of the game with the safety of falling back to the flash version if necessary. After a period of time, we will disable the old Flash version entirely and Battle Pirates will continue long into the future safely in HTML5.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have, and I will do my best to answer them.