Pirates Love Daisies Game Shows Off HTML5

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Flash Player is a dominant, virtually ubiquitous force in online animation and interactive Web-based games. However, HTML5 has many similar capabilities without the proprietary Adobe part of the equation. Pirates Love Daisies is a new game developed in HTML5 which demonstrates what it is capable of...and it's fun too.

One of the highlights (or low points, perhaps, depending on your perspective) of 2010 has been the public battle between Apple and Adobe over Flash Player, and the rising battle between Flash and the emerging HTML5 standard for the soul of Web-based interactive content. That battle rages on, and may continue indefinitely, but with support from both Apple and Microsoft, HTML5 is almost guaranteed to carve out its share of the Web.

Microsoft worked with known Flash guru Grant Skinner and his team to come up with an HTML5-based game to showcase what the emerging standard is capable of--especially when run inside of Internet Explorer 9. A post on the Exploring IE blog explains, "Their Pirates Love Daisies game clearly demonstrates the potential of HTML5 and other web standards, as well as the results you can achieve through hardware-accelerated graphics and JavaScript.

Pirates Love Daisies is a classic tower defense game that demonstrates the capabilities of HTML5.
For a developer accustomed to cranking out games and animations in Flash, working in HTML5 was a new experience. In a blog post describing the experience of developing Pirates Love Daisies, Skinner says, "HTML5 is actually a collection of standards at different levels of completion, so while it's easy to refer to this as an HTML5 game, it really just leverages a few of the new features that are included under that umbrella," adding "Specifically, we used canvas for drawing the game board (terrain, units, creeps, effects, etc), local storage to save local scores, the audio element for all of the sound, and embedded fonts throughout."

While IE9--which is still in beta--is not the only browser capable of running HTML5, it is the only one that utilizes the GPU to provide hardware-accelerated graphics that greatly enhance animation. Skinner notes that ironically Android, which does support Adobe Flash, runs Pirates Love Daisies admirably, while iOS, which notoriously does not support Flash and is a champion of HTML5, was up to five times slower if it worked at all.

Skinner summed up with his opinion on Internet Explorer 9. "I never thought I'd say this, but Internet Explorer 9 actually looks to be a great browser. It has impressive performance, and seems to be very standards compliant. I would definitely recommend checking it out, you might be surprised."

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