Tag Archives: browser

The Original Diablo Is Now Playable In Your Browser

Screenshot: Diablo (GOG )

The sanctity of this place has been fouled!

Released back in 1996, the original Diablo has never gotten as much attention as its successors. That’s one of the reasons a group of programmers took it upon themselves to reverse engineer the game’s source code to make it possible for others to port it to web browsers.

The effort to reconstruct Diablo’s source code began last year, spearheaded by a programmer who goes by GalaXyHaXz, as part of a Diablo fan project called Devilution. “In order to ensure that everything is preserved, Devilution keeps everything as it was originally designed,” writes the Devilution team on Github. “This goes as far as bugs and badly written code in the original game. With that it serves as a base for developers to work with, making it much easier than before to update, fix, and port the game to other platforms.”

That then made it possible for a mod group called Rivsoft to make the game playable for anyone with a web browser over at diablo.rivsoft.net. It provides a link for you to download the Devilution group’s source code, which you can then drag and drop onto the screen in order to start playing the shareware version of the game. Called Diablo Spawn, it was the part of the game you could play without having the CD inserted and includes the first two parts of the dungeon as the warrior class.

If you have an actual copy of Diablo (it’s $10 on GOG, for example), you can drag and drop the DIABDAT.MPQ file from the game’s installed folder to begin playing that version of the game in the browser instead. The original Diablo is a bit archaic-looking over two decades later, but there’s still a satisfying rhythm to it, especially every time you send a skeleton’s bones thundering apart by clicking it with your sword.

Having Diablo playable in a web browser also makes it perfect for brief breaks at work or school. Just don’t forget to have Alt +F4 ready.

Source: Kotaku.com

Proxx Is a Perfect Minesweeper Clone

I’ve never been good at Minesweeper, and I think I must have been at least half my age the last time I played the game. It’s hard to make the click-you’re fine, click-you’re dead gameplay sexy, but Google has done an admirable job with its open-source iteration, Proxx.

The fun part of Proxx isn’t that it’s an updated version of the game with gorgeous graphics and animations (as far as Minesweeper goes). That’s not why Google invested time resurrecting this Windows 3.1-era classic. The genius of the web-based game is that it works on basically everything: from your smartphone to your old T9 feature phone that’s collecting dust in a drawer somewhere. Also, the game is only 100KB big in total, requires a mere 18KB download before you’re able to interact with it, and it renders at a consistent 60 frames per second.

“Smart feature phones such as KaiOS phones are rapidly gaining popularity. These are very resource constrained devices, but our approach of using web workers whenever we can allowed us to make the experience highly responsive on these phones as well. Since feature phones come with different input interface (d-pad and number keys, no touchscreen), we also implemented key-based interface,” writes Google’s Mariko Kosaka, one of the project’s developers.

To get started, simply hit up the Proxx website and pick your difficulty. You can also manually adjust size of your mine-filled field and set how many “black holes” you want, if you’re feeling adventurous. (Black holes are the “mines” that you don’t want to click on.)

Screenshot: David Murphy

If you’ve been living in a cave for the past 30+ years and you don’t know how to ‘sweep, here’s a quick primer. Click on a square. If it’s a mine, you lose. Game over. If it’s not a mine, the square clears. Neighboring squares also clear if there are no mines surrounding them. Eventually, you’ll see squares with numbers in them. That’s how many mines are surrounding said square—either in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal direction.

If you think you’ve figured out where a mine is, you can switch the setting from “clear” to “flag” at the bottom and mark the potential problem on your grid. (You can also right-click to flag mines, if you’re playing in your browser). Flagging a mine means you won’t accidentally click on it when you switch back to “clear,” and it’ll help you keep track of what is and isn’t (likely) a mine. Keep clearing and flagging until you blow up or find all the free spaces. Enjoy the eternal frustration that is Minesweeper.

To learn a bit more about how (and why) Google built Proxx, check out these two talks from this year’s Google I/O developer conference:

Source: Kotaku.com