Aditya MadanapalleOct 04, 2016 17:26:00 IST
Telegram just launched a lightweight chatbot powered gaming platform based on HTML5. The bot platform allows users to play games within the chat window itself. Telegram says that there are hundreds of games being made for the platform by developers, but at the time of the launch, there are about thirty games ready to play. Most of these games are made by Gamee, and can be accessed by chatting with @gamee. Using @gamebot within a chat window also brings up the interface for the new HTML5 games.
The three games suggested by gamebot are Lumberjack, MathBattle and Corsairs. All these games can either be played in singleplayer mode or in multiplayer mode. The games can be made quickly, Corsairs took less than 5 hours while MathBattle took less than 3 hours for developers to create. These are simple games with one tap controls. In Lumberjack, users have to hack a tree while making sure not to be under a branch while cutting. MathBattle is a race against time to guess whether an equation is wrong or right. Corsairs requires the player to dodge cannonballs on a circular track.
While the games at present may be simple, even 3D multiplayer shooters are possible on the platform. We cannot wait to try out those. As the game resources are not saved locally, starting up a game in chat takes as long as loading a graphically heavy web page. The platform has just been introduced, and we noticed a few bugs and glitches in the games. This involved missing buttons or user interface elements showing up on top of one another.
However, the games are fun to play in a multiplayer environment. Sharing in chat creates an instance of the game that tracks scores. Any time any user plays that game from that chat, the scoreboard gets updated. Users can play as many times as they want to reach the top of the local leaderboards. The feature introduces the element of asynchronous multiplayer gaming. Individual high scores are tracked across all chat windows.
The patch notes mention HTML5 based experiences, with games as an example. This means that there could be rich audio visual experiences made using the same platform. All the required content is loaded as a web page, which means that there is no additional memory footprint for the underlying application. The total file size of Telegram after the update varies by device, but it is still under fifteen MB. The games can be played on iPhone 4 or later, and Android version 4.4 or later. Telegram needs to be updated to version 3.13 or later for the chatbots to work.
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