So as you are all probably aware by now, Google Chrome is ending support for the old Unity webplayer in the next few days. It is also rumoured that other browsers are likely to follow suit in the next few years, potentially leaving DF unplayable.
In response to this the obvious choice was to convert Dead Frontier to use Unity's new WebGL technology, which would of allowed us to continue running DF in the browser. However after spending a lot of time on the process I soon came to realize that WebGL really isn't viable in the short term. Support for various features across browsers is heavily fragmented and the performance was quite simply horrible.
Had I of forged ahead with WebGL I'd probably be presenting Chrome users today with a massively dumbed down version of the game, lacking key features such as multiplayer. It would probably be full of bugs and run hideously slowly on even fast PCs. It would also mean that Dead Frontier would still be totally at the mercy of the browser developers, who could at any moment decide to drop support for certain features and subsequently cause us tons of headaches.
Therefore I've decided to simply make the Dead Frontier client available as a downloadable. The benefits of this are:
- Way better performance than even the existing webplayer version
- Far more stable, you'll encounter far less random crashes
- Easily change screen resolution and controls to your liking
- Wastes less bandwidth as the game is stored on your PC at all times
- Regardless of what browser developers do, DF will keep working
There are no plans to scrap the existing webplayer for those of you who still prefer to play in the browser. However you will need to use a non-chrome browser for the time being. At some point I will convert Dead Frontier to use WebGL as well, but I'm guessing this will need to be a couple of years down the road when the technology has matured enough to run DF properly.
Those of you downloading the standalone client may find that your anti-virus or other security programs may block the download as it's such a new file. I can 100% assure you that the downloadable is safe and totally virus/malware free.
Try it out by logging into Dead Frontier, visiting the Inner City and following the on-screen instructions to download the new client. Enjoy :)