When starting out to build a gaming website, there are a lot of considerations that have to be made. As a programmer, you have to make tough decisions about the tools that you will use, the programming language to use for coding, aspects of the design work that will be incorporated in the games and much more. However, the most important choice that you will have to make will boil down to the choice between HTML5 and Flash. Here are some comparisons between the two that we hope, will help you.
Age and Experience
In terms of age, Flash has been around ever since the infancy of the internet. Ever since there were moving graphics on the browsers, Flash has been ruling the field of rendering of the images, videos and other graphics. Due to the fact that it enjoyed extensive use over the better part of the decade, it has a very large pool of resources that are readily available for use in a flash gaming site.
On the other hand, HTML5 just came out the other day. It is fairly new - and most web designers who used Flash before are yet to grasp the full capabilities of the technology. However, it is relatively simple to use - hence it has a great potential for use in gaming sites.
How They Work?
The manner in which Flash works is very different compared to that of HTML5. Flash uses some tools called "containers" to store interactive content that will be essential for the game-playing experience. Once the content is loaded in the containers, they can be played on numerous platforms, from the PC to mobile devices.
HTML5 works differently. It uses pure code to render the interactive content of the game in the browser. This means that the elements of the game are not pre-made, as the case is in Flash. The characteristics of the elements are pre-coded - and are rendered as the page loads.
For this reason, games whose interactive media are rendered using HTML5 have to be made in different formats, to be compatible with the different platforms - from the desktop computers to the mobile devices.
Otherwise, the page will behave and look differently when viewed using different devices. For someone who wants to make their gaming website have the same look and feel across the diverse devices, this feature of HTML5 will be a real pain.
DeploymentDeploying Flash content is a walk in the park. It is simply a matter of uploading containers onto the server - and voila. The job is done. However, there is a catch for this simplicity - and it is beyond the reach of the designer of the gaming site. The user of the flash content will have to download a Flash Plug in so as to access the interactive tool.
This is due to the fact that all browsers (excluding Chrome) do not come with Flash Players installed by default, hence the user has to download it from the manufacturer's site. Some users will simply be too impatient for this, which means that your site will lose a fraction of playing members.
Deploying HTML5 is quite as easy. You first upload of the interactive files (for the games) onto the server, then do the coding afterwards. Thereafter, the browsers will execute the codes by themselves, without the need of a player to perform the rendering of the gaming files.
Therefore, HTML5 is a winner in terms of deployment, even though it may need some more work to ensure that it runs in different platforms. Another issue concerning this recently launched technology is that there are older browsers (the earlier versions of Internet Explorer, and others), which do not render HTML5 correctly. Therefore, your gaming site may have to include an instruction for the players to install a new browser, or a later version of the current one.
Comparing PerformancesThe most obvious fact about new technologies is that they are created to replace older technologies - since they have better features, which make them more efficient, as compared to their older counterparts. HTML5 is no exception; as it already gives flash a run for its money. For example, the amount of processing power that is necessary to run HTML5 content is a tiny fraction of that needed to render the same content in Flash.
This makes HTML5 the best choice for sites which are designed to be accessed through Smartphone - no one wants to play games which drain their batteries. Worse still, flash content takes a lot of processing power, making the devices significantly slower.
Perhaps the best feature of HTML5 is that it has "lighter", stripped-down versions for mobile devices, which enables them to go easy on the resources. Flash will never catch up on this, and gaming sites which use HTML5 will always have the upper hand.
CostHTML5 is free. You may write your entire code anywhere, then use additional software (like Photoshop, Gimp and the rest) to make images, gifs or videos. The cost of HTML5 coding is negligible.
As a contrast, Flash has to be purchased. This is because Flash has a dedicated environment for development. You may have to purchase an entire suite from Adobe, so as to design and run your flash gaming website. The upside to this is that you will have an unrestricted access to awesome tools such as Photoshop and others, hence creating the interactive graphics may prove to be cheaper.