A trio of Google engineers have ported id Software's gib-filled first-person shooter Quake II to browsers— you know, for kicks—as a way to show just what HTML5 compatible web browsers are capable of.

Unlike other browser based games, like Quake Live, no plug-in is required to play this version of Quake. Of course, you'll need a "bleeding edge browser" that supports the HTML5 spec, like Google's own Chrome, but we'll all get there someday. (Check out Gizmodo's helpful "Giz Explains" feature on HTML5 for more.)

Here's how Google engineers did this in their spare time.

We started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, then used the Google Web Toolkit (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript. You can see the results in the video above — we were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops (your mileage may vary)!

That's kind of a big deal, especially to those of you who may be picking up an HTML5 supporting iPad this weekend. (No, don't expect to play Quake II in the iPad version of Safari just yet. But someday?)

Look ma, no plugin! [Google Web Toolkit Blog]


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