In retrospect Macromedia made a stroke of genius with Flash in bundling design & animation tools, sound editors and a code editor into the same IDE.
All of this combined in an easy-to-pirate package along with the thousands of tutorials and code samples available online made game development almost shockingly easy.
Myself and a more artistic friend could literally sit in his bedroom and crank out a complete game over a weekend by taking turns at the computer and drinking heavily.
No thinking about "engines", writing asset import code , muddling through JS patterns/frameworks or being stumped by cross browser quirks.
Deployment and getting instant feedback was as simple as uploading the .swf to deviantart.com and spamming the link to all of our contacts via MSN messenger.
All of the .js game dev stuff by comparison looks like hard work.
You could put a programmer or an artist down in front of it and it was intuitive enough and gave an "integrated" feel which was also probably part of what made Visual Basic popular.
Basically the interface felt "empowering" to the newbie in a way that something like vim doesn't.
For example, you could create an animated sprite and with a couple of clicks transform it into something that you could manipulate directly in the code as an object. No importing third party libraries or creating "sprite sheets" was required.
I'm not sure if the bar for games has become significantly higher apart from in the AAA area, plenty of successful indie titles still look like SNES games.
A games/multimedia specific JS IDE that dealt with as much of the crap surrounding the JS ecosystem as possible could certainly have a chance of being popular. Though I think something built around http://love2d.org/ with easy browser publishing might be better in some ways.
Do you think that's in the right direction?
Do you support an easy way to add custom JS code for logic that the in built tools cannot handle elegantly?
Also interested in how this works, do you generate JS code or do you have a JS engine which reads settings from other files?
Re: Jiggy2011 - All game dev is hard-work; JS is easier in some ways, harder in others. We've had good 2D IDE's for 20 years now to make 2D games; Making the runtime HTML5 isn't new (especially with the ability to export SWF to JS with easel.js)
Re: CodeCube5 - We'll be covering perf on rendering, input, sound and overall entity processing
Re: muyuu - NaCl is awesome! Html5 is awesome! Web game development is a win either way; NaCl is great for devs who have an existing codebase, HTML5 generally works for most others.
Curious to hear about other game engines as well.
It takes care of most of the heavy lifting when developing games for HTML5, but it still has a very open and powerful scripting language (unlike something like gamesalad which is more like using pre-built blocks).
Edit - Ha, beaten by 1 minute.
Great for making 2d games.
If you're a beginner or know a beginner who is interested in HTML 5 game development, you need to check out http://codehs.com
We teach you how to program from the ground up and get you as quickly as possible to creating awesome games in the browser.
The whole time, you get personal help from tutors who answer your questions and give you feedback on all of your programs.
You can make some really fun games really quickly. Here are some demos:
I've been working on a little html5 game engine myself. It lets you use sprites in a retained mode like API, while still giving you an immediate mode interface to manage the game logic. It's still pretty early, need to do more work on some samples and documentation, but there are some docs there in the wiki :)
Such projects are possible only due to HTML5/WebGL, and the innovations on top of it. In a couple of years, we'd be seeing mainstream studios shipping AAA Games as Web-based applications.
The UI for a specific class, the unlabeled boxes above the videos to display progress, is horrible though. The list to the right side of the video was far clearer. Each unit of a course is accessed via a drop down now, as opposed to the collapsible list that used to be to the right of the videos.
Also, they seem to have lost all their orange.