Thoughts on PBBGs

Thoughts on PBBGs
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A Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG) is a game that:

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking about PBBGs, as both a player and a developer. In my teenage years they were my introduction into online gaming, and some of the best gaming moments of my life have been in PBBGs. I fondly remember a grueling time in Imperial Conflict when I spent 19 days leading a war against a much larger alliance that had decided to stomp us. This was a different level of gaming than any Nintendo title or board game I’d ever played. It didn’t even feel like a game anymore, it felt like a shared duty for our alliance to defend our territory, our name, and each other. We had to fight smarter, do more with less, and if we couldn’t win in the end we were going to make our assailants remember us for future encounters.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.pbbg.com/thoughts-on-pbbgs/
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Like I said on chat, I really like that you took care to set relevant file names on uploaded photos. This may be a small detail that only a few people will notice, but it definitely adds that “easter egg” flavor to the post - and since it is a post about games, this is double the flavor :slight_smile:

(And yes, you are right, I also commented to test how that blog-forum integration works :laughing: ).

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Taking into account responsive web design is really important to ensure a pleasant experience on more cramped mobile devices, but in my opinion it’s only one part of the problem. A major factor is accessibility, having to open a browser and navigate to your favorites on a mobile device is downright terrible and to make matters worse the browser takes up a good portion of the screen real estate. To address this, the web app manifest was created to help turn web sites into progressive web applications, or PWAs for short.

More information on PWAs here https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/web-app-manifest but sufficed to say, you can simply add a single text file to your website that allows individuals to add your site to their home screen with a fancy icon and all. The app looks and behaves like a native application and eliminates all that unpleasant browser bloat.

The only downside right now is that people have to go to your site first and then go to options and add the site to home screen. That issue can be addressed by using something like https://github.com/jiahaog/nativefier which essentially has a built in web browser as a stand-alone application that can be used to bring up your site and more importantly uploaded to the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or even Steam. Using the web manifest is a really quick way to make the game more accessible, even before you start looking at responsive web design issues.

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I absolutely love the PWA technology, and I appreciate others wanting to use it as a way around the limited browser interactivity of mobile devices.

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PBBGs had their start on the browser and the shift to the mobile market exploded the genre (minus the “Browser Based” aspect). Sadly that shift also tainted them with more P2W systems and IAP popups every time you load the games. I strongly believe the shift to well built mobile games starts at the browser level and will shift up to mobile when the time is right. A number of good mobile games got their start

Viva la revolution!

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