End of WebGL Support

New registrations have been disabled temporarily, as the game server are currently down.

First, let me give you the numbers. Only around 10% of all created accounts are created through the website, with 7% of them being linked to Steam accounts. This means that only 3% of all players ever played the game in the browser, without ever using the Steam version.

While the WebGL playerbase was constantly going down since Steam release in early 2019, we kept supporting it for those without Steam. However, with update 0.1.9, things changed. The game is server-based now and depends on fast position updates from the server, sent using UDP - a fast and unreliable network protocol. And that's where we are running into a big problem: WebGL's lack of support for native UDP.

The server is sending up to 15 position updates for every visible tank per second, which is no problem for a fast, unreliable protocol like UDP. WebGL is based on websockets however, which are reliable and extremely slow in comparison. To counter that problem a bit, the position update rate is decreased on WebGL clients already, but it's still not good enough and not considered playable by us anymore.

Besides that, the browser version requires much more memory for a noticeably worse game performance, as the game code gets converted from C++ into JavaScript in order to run in the browser. The native Steam version is much faster in comparison, and needs a lot less memory to run. (In some cases just around 300mb, compared to 600mb for the browser version)

We basically had three options now: drop support for WebGL, add more interpolation to the browser version, making the gameplay feel more delayed but smoother at least, or add another network protocol with WebRTC in the background, making everything much more complicated for us to maintain.

Considering all the things above, there only was one logical decision: the end of support for WebGL, beginning from version 0.2.0 now.

In fact, this decision even has some advantages:

  • The Steam version is easier to maintain for us
  • We need less development time, as we don't have to implement specific features (like auto-login, payments or network protocols) for multiple versions anymore
  • The game experience is better for beginners, as they don't have to deal with all the problems of the browser version
  • We can add more advanced features without the need to keep browser limitations in mind

Of course we are sorry for the few players using the browser version. But we hope that you see the advantages of this decision as well, and that you give the Steam version a try.

If you are still using the browser version, please download the Steam version if you want to keep playing after 0.2.0 release. Your progress won't be lost, as the accounts are shared and don't need any special linking procedure. Simply use your current account details to login in the Steam version of the game.

If you have any more questions or concerns, please create a support ticket and let us know! You may also discuss this topic in the comments below the article, or on Discord.

Comments 3

  • i cant play the game in Steam need the 64 bits i use the 32 bits :(

  • The WebGL version has been taken offline today, and the play now button now links to Steam.

    While this step was initially planned for Update 0.2.0, it no longer made sense to maintain the websocket backend on the server after a small maintenance update today, so it's gone now. RIP :(