Native Client (NaCl) enables Chrome to run high-performance apps compiled from your C and C++ code. One of the main goals of Native Client is to be architecture-independent, so that all machines can run NaCl content. Today we’re taking another step toward that goal: our Native Client SDK now supports ARM devices, from version 25 and onwards.
If your app uses Native Client and newlib, you’ll now be able to reach users on ARM devices by simply adding an ARM .nexe to your app and making a small adjustment to the Native Client manifest. Just get the newest SDK, and you’ll have all the tools you need.
Last week, the Chrome team participated in the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. We all enjoyed talking to attendees about how game developers can benefit from the latest browser technologies such as Native Client and HTML5.
For those of you who were not able to attend, we recorded videos of our talks. Check them out and let us know what you think.
During GDC, several developers presented some new and upcoming games for the Chrome Web Store. From AirMech to the highly anticipated From Dust, these games provided a sneak peek to the future of browser-based games.
Besides being able to use the latest technology the web has to offer, creating a game for Chrome means you can distribute and monetize your game successfully. This is evidenced by our 4 brand new case studies with Kabam, Hlafbrick, Game Salad, and Limex Games.
To learn how you too can develop games for Chrome, start by visiting our game developer site.
Hundreds of millions play games on the web everyday - including most of us on the Chrome team. Between building new virtual cities and slaying dragons, we’re also working on making the web a better platform for game developers. With GDC about to start, we wanted to give you a quick update on these efforts.
First, we’re collaborating with all browser vendors to give you access to exciting new HTML5 APIs such as Gamepad,Mouse Lock and Fullscreen. These can help you create more immersive experiences for your users.
Since we launched Native Client late last summer, our team has been working hard to make the technology more useful to developers. Yesterday at an event held at Google we shared the progress we’ve made towards this goal and showcased work from some of the early adopters of the technology, including Square Enix, Unity Technologies, andBungie.
One code base for all OSs
Easy porting of previous work
If you have existing code bases in C, C++, or C#, Native Client now allows you to port your existing apps to the web while maintaining just one code base. This was particularly appealing to Spacetime Studios. They ported their multiplayer online game Star Legends to the web in less than two weeks from an existing code base of more than half a million lines of code. The side benefit of being able to maintain their existing development and testing infrastructure further accelerated their delivery of a shipping title.
More choices of programming languages
The community is actively involved in Native Client, porting some of the most popular application middleware. Ports include Unity and Moai game engines, programming language environments Mono and Lua, audio middleware such as fmod and Wwise, as well as the Bullet physics engine. These Native Client ports make the web more accessible to hundreds of thousands of application developers. At the event, we showcased upcoming applications fromHeartwood, Silvertree, Exit Strategy, and Dedalord, who used those tools to bring their apps to the web with very little effort. We’ll continue to work with the community to get even more languages and middleware systems ported to Native Client.
We recognize that building a Native Client app is only the start of a successful app. That’s why we’ve enabled distribution of Native Client-based apps via the Chrome Web Store. The Chrome Web Store gives developers a simple, effective strategy to reach over 200 million active users of Google Chrome.
If all this sounds exciting, please visit our new documentation site at gonacl.com. There you’ll find a growing collection of tutorials, examples, videos, reference documentation, and much more.
Questions or suggestions? Join us in the discussion forums. We look forward to seeing some great new apps from Native Client developers.
Cross posted at the Google Code blog
This year at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Online we have organized a Developer Day on Oct. 10th full of Google information for game developers. It will feature hardcore technical information on Google products and platforms delivered by Google engineers and developer advocates. We’ll discuss the latest projects we’re working on and how our online technologies can help you better create, distribute, and monetize games that reach a larger audience than ever before. We’ll present everything from how developers can build hardware accelerated 3D games for the browser with WebGL to the game framework used to bring Angry Birds to the Web.
In addition to the Developer Day, we will also have a booth on the Expo floor on Oct. 11th-12th where we’ll have representatives from the Chrome Web Store, Native Client, WebGL, App Engine, Google+, In-App Payments, Google TV, and AdSense/AdMob demoing technologies and platforms for game developers. Come by booth 503 to try out Google products and ask questions, or hang out in our Google TV lounge.
Not able to attend GDC? Check out Google Game Developer Central to get an overview of Google products and services that are particularly relevant to game developers.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could create web apps using your existing C and C++ code? Native Client lets you do just that, and it is now enabled for Chrome Web Store apps in Google Chrome’s beta channel.
Native Client apps live on the web platform, so you don’t need to create separate versions of your app for each operating system. Rather than relying on OS-specific APIs, Native Client apps use Pepper, a set of interfaces that provide C and C++ bindings to the capabilities of HTML5. This means that once you’ve ported your code to Native Client, it will work across different operating systems, and you only need to maintain one code base.
We encourage you to start developing apps with Native Client. You can download the SDK and find tutorials, examples, API documentation, and our FAQ on the Native Client site. Once version 14 of Chrome hits stable channel, you’ll be able to upload your Native Client apps to the Chrome Web Store, where you can reach Chrome’s 160 million users.
The next milestone for Native Client is architecture independence: Portable Native Client (PNaCl) will achieve this by using LLVM bitcode as the basis for the distribution format for Native Client content, translating it to the actual target instruction set before running. Until then the Chrome Web Store will be the only distribution channel for Native Client apps. This will help us ensure that all Native Client apps are updated to PNaCl when it’s ready – and in the meantime avoid the spread of instruction set architecture dependent apps on the web. We’ll be providing updates on the progress of PNaCl on this blog.
So, what is Native Client all about? It's Google open source tech which allows native code (the kind of code which powers your favorite desktop apps) to run inside your browser. Assuming that browser is Google Chrome, of course, because no one else sports NaCl support yet. Native code in the browser should mean the arrival of Web apps that truly compete with desktop apps in terms of performance -- which could be a big boost to things like online media converters and photo editors. At the very least, you'll be able to play Quake in Chrome.
If you want to see Native Client in action, Google has a gallery of NaCl demo ports you can check out -- or at least you're meant to be able to check them out. Both Chrome dev and Canary responded with a "missing plug-in" message when i tried to load them, even though Native Client was enabled (as you can see in my screenshot).
The dev channel update was actually quite a major one, though it mostly contained bugfixes and cleaned up code. The full log of revisions is available here.
update: as reported in the comments, you need to add the --enable-nacl flag to your shortcut. I've done that, and the demos still don't load, however. The missing plug-in message did disappear at least...