On Web First

Published by Jonas Tageman, Director of Technology at Hiber

You merely adopted Web First. We were born in it, molded by it.

Pop cultural paraphrasing aside, Hiber’s vision from the start has been that 3D augmented sites will be the predominant way of experiencing the Web in the near future. Back in 2017, when Hiber was founded, the options for creating good-enough experiences were few and underwhelming. This led to the decision to craft our own engine, Hiber3D, in order to, if not insouciantly remove all obstacles, at least be in control of every facet and stride on the technological forefront.

The 3D Engine for the Web

Why

There are tons and tons of reasons why Web-First should be the go-to strategy. Let’s take a look at a few.

Vendor lock-in

Unless you’ve happily lived under a rock, you should be aware of the back and forth battles between developers and various app stores, ranging from Apple’s behemoth to smaller but equally autocratic ones. What might start out as an amazing opportunity for up-and-coming games and apps can eventually lead to an abyss of despair. Even the touted upside for users, such as curated content, tested selection, and ease of use, are debatable, with users often used as pawns in the fight over market cap.

Forced revenue-share on everything, with the only plus point being that there is no other choice, since you can’t sidestep either store or payment methods, feels a tad outdated in modern times.

By going Web-First, you have the ability to put all of that aside and be solely in charge of your own destiny and eschew draconian policies. Build what you want, put it where you want it, and reap the rewards any way you want to.

Emerging markets

There is a huge untapped user base in Eastern Europe and Asia. These markets are characterized not only by a growing middle class and significant investments in Internet infrastructure but also by the fact that mobile devices are the primary gaming platform. Unlike consoles or spec’d-out gaming rigs, it is the (in all fairness, overpowered for most use cases) little device that we all carry with us most of the time, that is the go-to for gaming. Whether you have a little time to kill or an urge to play for hours and hours, it’s the handiest tool for gaming.

For context, according to research firm Mordor Intelligence, the mobile gaming market in Asia is projected to reach approximately $77.86 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.16% from 2024 to 2027. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe’s mobile gaming market is expected to generate around $1.01 billion in 2024, with a projected CAGR of 6.79% from 2024 to 2027. 

Truly Cross-Platform

By leveraging web technology and adhering to standards, we can target all somewhat modern devices capable of browsing the web. This translates to billions of targetable users, and as the capabilities for high-end devices rise, the games that we can deliver go from standard mobile games to triple-A experiences.

How

As previously stated, Web-First should be the obvious strategy for all games and 3D experiences. Even so, that’s not the case. The primary reason for this is the lackluster tech and tooling available. Sure, several engines can target the web; however, it’s always an afterthought, a hygienic mark in the list of capabilities.

The users are ready. Applications and games running in the browser can be truly outstanding, both gameplay-wise and in terms of graphical capabilities.

But at Hiber, we believe that it’s not enough to just make a gorgeous game accessible and smooth-running. It also needs to make use of every single aspect of being Web-First and not settle for mediocrity. Let’s look at some things we believe are fundamental to achieve this

Rapid Development

Aside from it’s industry-leading runtime performance in the browser, Hiber3D is designed with a focus on developer productivity. Creating games and iterating on ideas should be fun and nimble. The days of getting stuck in boiler plating or getting side-tracked by chores are legends of the past.

From the get-go you are equipped with a fully fledged dev environment, filled to the brim with possibilities, and within the blink of an eye you will have a working game published and accessible to anyone.

Build once, deliver anywhere.

Well yeah, this should be a given. But it cannot be overstated how huge this is. From a pure mobile perspective, just going from two platforms to one is a godsend. And add to that the myriad permutations you end up with if you venture into the desktop and console landscapes.

Embrace the Web

The browser is more than just an app, it’s the Swiss army knife giving you the power of desktop through clear and concise APIs. Modern web development is also focused on making sure to only load the resources you need for the time being, keeping payload and bandwidth usage low. Hiber3D is remarkable in its efficiency at prioritizing assets to load, resulting in not only a small bundle size but also an astonishingly low load times, sending the player into the game immediately.

Add to that all the other conveniences of the web, including file format standard, easy-to-use streaming media, an unparalleled delivery network and so on.

What’s next

Hope this article has intrigued you! This was just a small glimpse of the possibilities of Web-First game development. Even though the move to Web-First is obvious to me I would love to hear your thoughts or concerns. We’ll dig deeper into these topics in upcoming posts, but for now you can check out our post Streamline Development with Hiber3D

And when you are ready for the change, rest assured that we are there for you with expertise and a state of the art platform. Whether you’re an independent developer or part of a game studio, Hiber3D offers the tools and support you need to bring your vision to life. Get in touch or Book a demo today.

Oh, and while we have you why not check out our engine in action with some of the recent HiberLabs games. Jump right in:

Built with the Hiber3D Engine, published on HiberWorld