If you’ve been lurking around in our Discord channel. You’ve probably met up with one developer who came to support HTML5 game developers and has now found a love with Cocos Creator.
iDev has been the head of idevgames.co.uk for the past seven years. It has been helping HTML5 developers not only have a place to put their games but ways to monetize outside of conventional banner ads you see on the web. The site has almost 2 million page views and has been growing since the death of Flash.
Since July, idev has been working on improving his game Dungeon Deathmatch from 2D to 3D using Cocos Creator. Recently, he’s given out both the source code for the building blocks of the game as well as written a marvelous article about building a first-person shooter camera for developers. You can play the game here. Just recently, he also added a way to add your Cocos Creator games to the website.
We were able to sit down and talk to him about his progress and what is happening in the HTML5 world.
Cocos: Great to talk to you. When did you start to build games?
iDev: I started using an engine to develop games in 2010 but also made a PHP MMO years before. I was 17 at the time. I had about 500 members in a month before I took it down. Once moving into a game engine in 2010, I did only 3D games. I developed 3D games alone at first, but after developing a commercial game as a solo developer, I decided I wanted to switch to 2D and build smaller games. Usually, developers go from 2D to 3D and never go back. It's not the conventional way developers typically go.
C: We saw you are the creator of Play.iDevGames.co.uk. How did it get started?
i: When I started developing 2D games, my first thought was to release them on mobile. It turned out that I really didn't enjoy releasing games on mobile. It was a long and tedious process to get a game released. Although, Itch.io was, on the other hand, great for releasing games. My main issue was that donations as a web release were your only option for earning.
So I decided I'd have a go at releasing my own game on my own site and putting ads on it, but I needed to make it really simple and quick to do so. I didn't want to take all day to release a game as I did for mobile games. Especially when you develop a game super fast (I spent 2.5 hours developing Doge Clicker, for example). I also realized there's not a lot of point in building my dream platform for web games just for me. So I turned it into a web games platform for everyone.
Since then, I've tried making it the best web games platform possible.
Most times now, I'm promoting how iDev Games offers excellent ways for developers to earn from their games. Creating an easy-to-use and quick-to-release platform was key. Still, the biggest issue that got me developing the platform is making web games profitable.
C: How are you doing that?
i: So we offer our own in-game window ad network to earn from players who decide to play your game. This is great as it also allowed me to change how we view web games. Usually, most platforms plaster their sites with ads. Half the time, you don't know what the site is and what an ad is. I wanted to change that. So on our platform, the only ad you will see is before playing a game. We have promoted games, but they are all games on our platform.
The other feature is our in-game shop! This allows devs to take IAP for their games directly to their PayPal account (we don't hold your money or take a fee like other platforms). It's super simple to use with a quick API call that returns true or false, depending on if the user owns the in-game product. The in-game shop becomes a new layer above your game in the game window, all handled by the platform. Meaning no integration is needed into the game. They are also allowing the payments to be made server-side for security.
C: What got you into Cocos Creator?
i: Well, I've known about Cocos2D-x for many years but never actually tried it. I had been using the same engine for many years, so I wasn't aware of Cocos Creator. I had, however, been getting the urge to develop 3D games again, and the developers had now dropped the old engine I was using. I got to speak to one of your colleagues on Twitter and then to Cocos team members, and after hearing about Cocos Creator, I thought I'd try it.
C: What do you think is the future of HTML5?
i: I've been a believer that HTML5 games were going to be the future for a long time. Our platform has been running since 2016, which is when I began putting all my efforts towards it. Big companies are already trying to make it happen in the wrong way. Currently, game streaming has been the big thing that hasn't taken off. Why stream a game when you can play it directly from your browser.
We've just been lacking features on the web. Mobile added in-app purchases, but it hasn't really been done on the web until I have started doing it.
C: What do you enjoy about Cocos Creator?
i: Many things, too many to count. I stopped developing my commercial game because it became difficult to develop. Cocos Creator solves the issues I had with that engine. The node system is different from some previous engines that used layers in a similar way. The node system makes so much more sense to me for grouping objects within a game. Being able to duplicate/copy and paste everything (literally everything). Importing from Blender is spot on. The last update alone brought on so many great additions. It uses Typescript. It's primarily HTML5! The list goes on...
C: What has been the most challenging task of making your original game into 3D?
i: Keeping it like the original game was the most challenging task. My initial plan was to use as many assets as possible from the original game. As the game started to improve over time, I've pretty much ditched anything from the original game other than sounds (that probably should get replaced too).
Another is making the game a first-person shooter. There aren't any examples of making it in Cocos Creator, so I decided to build one myself.
You can download it from the forums and try it out yourself.
C: Why are you giving out your code for the first level of the game?
i: I want to help others learn Cocos Creator, and see what it can do like I have. I'm also looking forward to seeing if anyone tries to turn it into their own game. What's better than having a ready-built FPS game to start from rather than from scratch?
I've already shared making first-person controls and cameras on the forum. It's been a big hit, and this game is just a continuation of the project.
C: Do you have a time for when your full game will be released?
i: Not really, no. At this moment in time, I need a break as all my game development is done in my spare time. It'll go on the back burner for now. I have work to do on our platform, and I want to make other smaller projects and prototypes. When I have the urge or the interest in developing Dungeon 3D again, I'll be back to further developing it (probably sooner than I think).