Kotaku
To celebrate Wolfenstein 3D's 20th anniversary, here's a video of programmer John Carmack playing and talking his way through the 1992 first-person shooter.


Carmack, the co-founder of Id Software and one of the key programmers behind the Quake and Doom series, has a lot of interesting things to say about the old Nazi-packed shooter (which you can now play for free on your browser).


Wolfenstein 3D Director's Commentary with John Carmack [YouTube]


Kotaku
To celebrate Wolfenstein 3D's 20th anniversary, here's a video of programmer John Carmack playing and talking his way through the 1992 first-person shooter.


Carmack, the co-founder of Id Software and one of the key programmers behind the Quake and Doom series, has a lot of interesting things to say about the old Nazi-packed shooter (which you can now play for free on your browser).


Wolfenstein 3D Director's Commentary with John Carmack [YouTube]


Kotaku
Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now A lot has changed since the days when web developers relied almost exclusively on Flash for media-rich interactive content. Although the technology is still very much alive and may not see a replacement anytime soon for certain uses, more and more websites are implementing HTML5 for streaming audio and video, and we are also starting to see some applications in the gaming space.



HTML is a markup language for structuring and presenting content on the web. Its latest and still-in-development incarnation adds a variety of elements and attributes that make it easier to include and handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without having to resort to proprietary plugins.


Three elements and related APIs for media introduced by HTML5 are the <audio> element, which allows developers to add in-browser audio to a document or application, the <video> element for in-browser video without the messy <embed> and <object> tags, and the <canvas> element and API that provides a 2D drawing surface which can be used for everything from a simple animation to a complicated game.


Although there's still going to take some time until the HTML5 specification is final, it is already relatively stable and there are implementations that are close to completion. Recent versions of all major browsers support HTML5 to a large degree, and close to 80% of all videos on the web are encoded in H.264 according to the data from MeFeedia, which means they can be delivered within HTML5's <video> tag — although for business reasons (read: ads and copy protection) they aren't always delivered through HTML5 just yet.


As far as gaming is concerned, there are some really impressive examples that could easily rival some of the stuff that has been done on Flash over the past decade. We've compiled a small selection of old classics and modern titles built with HTML5 and other open web standards that will give you a taste of things to come.


Old classics ported to HTML5

Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now


Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn


The classic real time strategy game Command & Conquer was recreated entirely in HTML5, running on 69k of Javascript, by an enterprising developer named Aditya Ravi Shankar who wanted to improve his coding skills.


Shankar took three and a half weeks to put the first build together, combing through the original game's files in order to get the sprites, sounds and unit specs right. The project is far from complete and there is still some polishing up to do, but nonetheless it's a great example of HTML5's potential for games. The game works best in Chrome or Firefox and the source code is available on github.



Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now


Wolfenstein 3D

This implementation of id Software's 1992 game, Wolfenstein 3D, was made using Javascript and the Canvas element. All of the first floor is mapped out, albeit with a few modifications, but it's more of a proof-of-concept than an actual playable game. There's no AI for the guards, for example, they just stand around and wait to be shot.


Other famous first-person shooters have also been ported to HTML, including Doom — which was taken down after a cease and desist notice from Id Software — and Quake II. The latter was actually ported by Google employees to show off what is possible with HTML5 in the browser. The game is playable with full HTML5 audio and WebGL rendering at up to 60 frames per second sans plug-ins. It's not hosted online, unfortunately, but installation instructions are available at its Google Code page. There's also a video of the game in action here.



Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now


Google Pac-Man

Released as a homage on the 30th anniversary of the popular arcade game, Pac-Man, this was Google's first ever interactive, playable doodle and was so well received by users that the company decided to host it indefinitely instead of just for 48 hours as initially planned.


The game is based on HTML5 with a fall-back Flash option for browsers that don't support it yet. Much like the original Pac-Man, Google had programmed the game to glitch and end at the 256th screen, although it appears to have been cut down to a single level built around the Google logo. Still, a worthy example of HTML5 capabilities based on an icon of the 1980s popular culture.



Modern games built for HTML5

Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now


Cut the Rope


Designed to help promote Internet Explorer 9 and the Beauty of the Web campaign, a desktop HTML5 version of the hugely popular Cut the Rope game was made available online for free out of a partnership between Microsoft and developer ZeptoLab. The game is playable on any compatible HTML 5 browser, not just IE.


For those unfamiliar, Cut the Rope features a green monster called Om Nom that you'll have to feed candy by cutting and manipulating ropes, airbags and bubbles.It's highly addictive and has been downloaded millions of times on mobile platforms. This port showcases HTML5 capabilities like canvas-rendered graphics, browser-based audio and video, CSS3 styling and WOFF fonts. Aspiring developers can check their Behind the Scenes page for inspiration.



Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now


Pirates Love Daisies


Pirates Love Daisies is a tower defense game based off 'Plants vs Zombies' created by Grant Skinner's studio, which is better known for its work in Flash, and was funded by Microsoft also as part of their Beauty of the Web initiative.


This is one of the better accomplished HTML-CSS-and-JavaScript games to date, with a really polished interface, great sound effects, and a beautiful visual style. Basically, the game requires players to defend their daisies from different type of 'creeps' (octopus, crab, rat and seagull) using the most appropriate type of pirate, each of which has a different set of skills and weapons. As players accumulate gold from destroying their enemies, they can upgrade the pirates' skills or add more pirates. It's a very enjoyable game. Runs better on IE9.



Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now


WordSquared


WordSquared is a massive multiplayer crossword game written in HTML5. It's essentially a clone of the famous puzzle game "Scrabble" on steroids, where you'll have to create as long a chain of words as possible, scoring lots of points in the process. Users simply use the mouse to drag and drop the letter tiles onto the board.


The original game was created in under 48 hours for the Node.js Knockout competition, which required contestants to create a game or application using HTML5 and the Open Web Platform in a very short period of time. It has since received several modifications, including the addition of achievements and in-game purchases. Dragging the map around you cannot help but be impressed by the size of the board and the word chains already completed.



This is just scratching the surface, there are tons of other great examples over at beautyoftheweb.com and the Chrome Web Store, including the insanely popular Angry Birds which we purposely skipped on this article because you've probably heard enough about the game already. While we won't argue that the browser is not the best platform for gaming, we're still impressed with the potential of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript as an alternative to Flash.


Have you discovered any awesome HTML5 games or apps? Any personal favorites? Share them with us in the comments.


Republished with permission from:




Jose Vilches is managing editor of TechSpot. TechSpot is a computer technology publication serving PC enthusiasts, gamers and IT pros since 1998.


Kotaku

Everybody kind of remembers Wolfenstein 3D, I personally remember it as that game I secretly played while my parents were working. This quick walkthrough will show you how to get to the secret Wolfenstein 3D room, an easter egg nestled within the very first mission of the game.


Hopefully, I won't get grounded for playing Rage.


Kotaku

Back in 1992, id Software released Wolfenstein 3D, a title that ushered in an entirely new genre and showed developers and gamers just how immersive and visceral a video game could be. Two decades later comes Rage.


For nearly 20 years the company has been improving the formula, creating more powerful technology, constantly redefining the genre it defined in the first place. In this first behind-the-scenes video for id's latest, Rage, John Carmack and friends talk about how they've instilled this new intellectual property with all they've built and learned since the Wolfenstein days to create what could be "the best thing that id's ever done."


Kotaku

New Wolfenstein Bucks 3D Trend, Goes Completely 1Did Software's groundbreaking first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D has been stripped to its core, shedding two dimensions to become playable on a "single, dazzling one-pixel line."


After three decades, the 1992 original has been remade by Wonder Tonic with a graphical underhaul that truly underwhelms. Thrill as you walk to the right, shooting blue and orange lines (Nazis!), opening cyan lines that represent doors and desperately hoping for a magenta line to appear when you're down to your last bullet.


If you truly do not care about graphics, play Wolfenstein 1D.


Wolfenstein 1-D [Wonder Tonic]


Kotaku

Auschwitz Game Creator Yanks Wolfenstein Mod Amid PressureSonderkommando Revolt, the video game mod that reimagines an Auschwitz uprising as a bloody, pixelated shooter, may never see release, according to the project's lead creator. He blames the "emotional trauma" of media attention for its demise.


Israeli mod enthusiast Maxim "Doomjedi" Genis says the attention Sonderkommando Revolt has received from those outside the Wolfenstein 3D modding community is responsible for its cancellation. In an interview with Heeb Magazine, Genis says "Despite having no anti-jewish elements or intentions in this free pixelated mod of an 18-year old game, the project is declared cancelled at this point."


"The project is cancelled because I cannot stand media exposure of any kind," a distressed Genis tells the Jewish magazine, saying that he's experienced "very deep" emotional trauma over the scrutiny of his team's game. "I have no internal emotional powers to deal with the press, the violation of my personal privacy and life," he adds.


Genis told Kotaku earlier this month that Sonderkommando Revolt was not designed as political or social commentary, but simply as a game meant to be enjoyed by a tight-knit group of Wolf3D mod enthusiasts. He later said he regretted using the word "fun" to describe the game.


Sonderkommando Revolt was originally planned to be released on January 1, 2011. Right now, it looks like that may not happen.


Auschwitz Video Game Cancelled, ADL Overjoyed [Heeb]


Kotaku

Concentration Camp Game Was Meant To Be 'Fun'The developers of Sonderkommando Revolt, the video game set amidst a violent prisoner uprising in a Nazi concentration camp, reads like exploitative revenge fantasy. But its creator says the team behind the first-person shooter makes no political statement and has no agenda. It's "blast the Nazis fun," its maker says.


Sonderkommando Revolt project lead Maxim "Doomjedi" Genis says his team of artists, coders and writers is simply trying to make an action game only for the challenge, for the fun, to entertain a singularly focused community of homebrew game creators—even if others think its content should never be in a video game.


Genis and the rest of Team Raycast are "Wolf3D" modders, changing the graphics and scenarios of first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D into an experience that's sometimes wholly different. Sonderkommando Revolt flips the real-world event its based upon, turning a Jewish prisoner into an unstoppable SS-killing machine.


"We didn't discuss among the team any other subjects and never brought our personal views into this mod," Genis tells Kotaku. "There was no need for it, as the mod was a plain 'blast the Nazis' fun, like so many other commercial games and mods. We all just made 'another [Wolfenstein 3D] mod', nothing more."


Concentration Camp Game Was Meant To Be 'Fun'


Genis says setting the game in the concentration camp Auschwitz was "an interesting creative challenge to partly recreate a world that was very different than our everyday life, [different] than anything we know." As "Doomjedi," he has been involved in other Wolfenstein 3D mods, including the more tame Femstein, the story of Russian secret agent Max Titov and his battle against an army of Amazonian women who take over the earth.


"[The] modding community in general has no political or other agendas, and those who know modding community well as I do, know that we make those mods first for the fun and creativity of making it," Genis says. "All the respectful modders I know would make mods even if no one would ever see or play them, as modding is a philosophy, is a way of life — life of creation, challenge, imagination."


Genis himself is a Ukrainian-born Jew living in Israel. He stresses that the rest of Team Raycast is comprised of "different people from different countries, ages and traditions whose only common ground is the love for Wolf3D modding."


"Team member's political, religious and other views, views of Holocaust," Genis says was "never discussed or leaked into the mod itself. We just didn't care about it, it's not part of Wolf3D modding."


The sensitive nature of Sonderkommando Revolt's setting has resulted in mixed reaction outside of Wolfenstein modding circles. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a museum focusing on the Holocaust, worries that games like Sonderkommando Revolt can be harmful to people's understanding of history.


"What happens if this is the only thing a young person gets to know about the holocaust or a concentration camp?" he told Kotaku.


"When you speak to survivors of the Holocaust, you quickly learn they have difficulty transmitting the horrors that they went through," Rabbi Cooper said when asked for comment about the game. "I don't think even the best combination of game developers would ever be successful [at doing so]. This is not an issue that should be reduced to a game."



Genis believes reception to the game was "totally blown out of proportion" and that Sonderkommando Revolt was—despite —never designed to "teach anyone [anything] regarding the real camp or the real events."


"We have many other resources to do that," he says.


"The mod, though based on some real events as an inspiration, has a plot of its own and shouldn't be linked to any particular real set of events or particular persons," Genis believes, in spite of Sonderkommando Revolt's clear ties to history. "I have nothing in this mod to show disrespect to my people and their suffering at the time. I didn't want to offend anyone in this mod. I'm not only a Jew myself, [and] not only believe I was a Jew in the Holocaust, but I'm also a spiritual person."


Genis wrote via e-mail that he was partly inspired to create Sonderkommando Revolt based on his spiritual convictions. The game maker believes that, in a previous incarnation of his life, he was imprisoned as a Jew by the Nazis, served as a Sonderkommando in a concentration camp and died before the events of 1944 that prompted the creation of the mod.


The project leader stresses that his personal religious beliefs are not shared by his team. He writes that he doesn't want the mod to be "provocative in that area either."


Genis says his only intention was to create a fun Wolfenstein 3D mod, to "change the outcome to [a] more optimistic one to the character I was there, not to court controversy.


"I'm going to give the person who made it the best intentions," Rabbi Cooper added, after learning of Genis' goals. "Let's respect what he's saying and what his motivations are, but I believe it's simply a topic that doesn't really belong in a game."


Regardless of the online reaction to Sonderkommando Revolt, the game will be released on January 1, 2011, according to its creators.


Kotaku

The Concentration Camp Video GameAn Israeli modder has turned a 1992 first-person shooter into a bloody tale of revenge set in a Nazi concentration camp with Sonderkommando Revolt, putting players in the role of an Auschwitz death camp prisoner on a killing rampage.


Sonderkommando Revolt is based on the real-world uprising at Auschwitz in October 1944—with some obvious Nazi exploitation as entertainment—and built on the foundation of classic shooter Wolfenstein 3D. The actual event in Auschwitz resulted in the deaths of just three German Schutzstaffel soldiers and the murder of 451 Sonderkommandos, a "special unit" of primarily Jewish concentration camp workers who aided in the killing process during the Holocaust.


In the video game version of the Sonderkommando Revolt, the tables are clearly turned, with protagonist and actual Auschwitz prisoner Zalmen Gradowski tearing through Nazi soldiers.


"Graphically it'll feature many themes," write its creators, "including Crematoriums, Block 11, Gas Chambers, execution, interrogation and torture areas...most of which are ripped/based off real pic from the real site."



Video game modder "Doomjedi" has been working on Sonderkommando Revolt with the group Team Raycast since 2007. The developer describes the Nazi revenge tale as "very realistic, moody, challenging and detailed." The game is part one of a planned trilogy, with Sonder 2 - Warsaw Uprising and Sonder 3 - Mission: Treblinka currently in the works.


The makers of Sonderkommando Revolt say they will release their mod for Wolf4SDL, a Wolfenstein 3D port, on January 1, 2011.


Kotaku has reached out to the Anti-Defamation League seeking reaction to the game.


Sonderkommando Revolt [MODDB - thanks to Jukio for the tip]


Kotaku

The Ghost Of id Software's Past John Romero haunts game developer id Software. Yes, he co-founded the studio and thus more than earned his place in id history. But Romero only worked there between the years of 1991 and 1996.


Yet, there Romero remains, like a ketchup stain on the carpet. When you think of id, you think of Romero. Whether it be coining the term "death match" or opening up his games to modders, Romero's impact on the company (and ultimately on gaming) is too great to cast aside.


"Romero was the game industry's first rock star," David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom, tells Kotaku. That, Kushner says, helped put not only Romero, but id's games on the map. "No one had played games that were as loud and fast and funny and violent as Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake — and Romero's passion for these games was off the charts." According to Kushner, Romero defined the gamer personality that we now take for granted.


The Ghost Of id Software's Past Id Software did come into its own with 1992's Wolfenstein 3D, the game that spawned the modern first-person shooter. As detailed in Kushner's book, Romero hit the big time. Money, women, sports cars, you name it. And so did id.


Wolfenstein 3D was followed up by Doom and that was followed by Doom II, a game that featured Romero's severed head. Id Software was on a roll, turning out hit after hit. 1996 saw Quake, and the next year brought its sequel and Romero getting fired from the company.


The Ghost Of id Software's Past Romero went off to found game developer Ion Storm and become mired in Daikatana, which never lived up to its marketing hype. (Hype that stated John Romero was going to make you "his bitch" — something he later apologized for). "Like I describe in Masters of Doom," Kushner says, "Ion Storm had absurdly huge ambitions which I don't think anyone could ever fulfill." During the period that followed, Romero seemed to go off into the wilderness, working on mobile games and at Midway for at stint before settling at Slipgate Ironworks at Gazillion Entertainment, which is rolling out Marvel and LEGO massively multiplayer online games.


The Ghost Of id Software's Past "Romero's greatest legacy is his passion for games," says Kushner. "And that's something that's easy to overlook." Kushner's right — it is. With the Daikatana disaster and Romero's long flowing locks, it is easy to forget that, as Kushner points out, Romero was always a gamer first and id's biggest fan. "Some people saw that as pure ego, but Romero's enthusiasm for stuff like mods and deathmatching helped shooters become what they are today." That's not all Romero has given to gaming, though. According to Kushner, "He's hugely committed to being a kind of archivist/historian of gaming — which, in the long run, could be one of his biggest contributions to the industry."


Id worked steadily on Doom and Quake sequels. The company's upcoming game Rage is id Software's first major IP since Quake. (Id, however, has been working on stuff like fantasy game Orcs & Elves). But Rage is more than a brand new series, it's a clean break from Romero and the start of a new chapter in id's gaming history. The Ghost Of id Software's Past


[Pic, Pic]


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