On 07th February 2018, Forge of Empires rolled out its transition from Flash Player to HTML5 on beta. Currently it is optional for the players and is available only to those on the beta server.
The primary reasons for doing this are:
- Adobe has announced that it will stop supporting Adobe Flash from 2020. To ensure the game continues to remain playable, it was necessary to shift from Flash Player to another suitable technology.
- To currently play the game, the player requires an external plugin which was felt by the development team to be an unnecessary dependency. With the advent of HTML5, which will be built into the game, they will be getting rid of this dependency.
As of now, the new version is currently only available to those on using Google Chrome and Opera browsers (on the beta server). It will be gradually rolled out to other browsers as well once the developers are happy with their performance.
The feature is expected to remain in beta testing for a while now, and its polished version will be rolled out on the live servers certainly before 2020.
An extract of the original announcement which can be found here:
While Flash has made the internet a better and more friendly place, it is a very old technology, and the original authors of the Flash Player have decided to stop working on it by the end of 2020. This means that in order to make Forge of Empires playable beyond that point, we need to move away from Flash.
To achieve that, we have promised to create a Flash-free version of the game, using the HTML5 technology.
It is time that we start fulfilling that promise. Today, we would like to proudly present the first Beta version of Forge of Empires running fully under HTML5, without any Flash content :).
While this is Beta, so there are still many things to improve, we believe that the quality is now good enough to share it with you and ask for your comments. We need to iron out any bugs and polish the HTML5 version to be at least as good and smooth as the current Flash client.
The whole process of converting the game to HTML5 while continuously developing it is obviously not easy :). We did not want to stop delivering new content and features (which would have been way easier, of course) while working on the conversion. That was an ambitious plan, but so far we are succeeding, as there was no negative impact on our plans and schedules.
So what is the difference between Flash and HTML5? The main and most important one, is that Flash Player is a plugin that is required for you to run the game. If it is not installed and enabled in your browser, the game simply won't launch. For us - from the perspective of the development team - it is an external dependency that we have to maintain.
By moving to HTML5, we are taking care of both these issues: the game will run natively in your browser, without any plugin requirements.
So what now?
Now it is time that we ask you to provide first comments and point out problems that you notice :).
First of all, we need to mention that the first Beta version is really only playable under Chrome and Opera. Why is that though? The reason is that HTML5 is basically handled differently from browser to browser. So don't worry if your favorite browser is neither of the two :). We decided to make sure it works well on at least two well-known browsers, and then go from there, covering also other remaining major browsers over the coming period.
So, as of now, every Beta player can switch the game to the HTML5 version by going to Settings and enabling it manually:
The game will be then reloaded and from that point on you will be using the Flash-free client. This will be represented by a little HTML5-badge in the corner of your screen:
This is of course only temporary, until the full release.
Naturally, we are not forcing anything on you - you can switch back to Flash any time you wish during the Beta phase.
Also, we would like to assure you that we will not rush it. We have a lot of time and we want to use it well. We will keep improving the HTML5 version of Forge of Empires for as long as necessary before releasing it on live servers. So we would like to ask you to keep providing us with bug reports, feedback and any other comments that you find useful.
We are convinced that with your help, we will make Forge of Empires playable for years to come!
For any general comments, please head to our feedback thread.
If you have any bug reports (which we of course expect) please feel free to report them! :)
But before you do so, we would like to ask you to have a brief look at the list of known issues. These are already recognized and there is no need to report them again.
If you encounter any problems that are not listed above (we plan to fix them, of course), please feel free to submit the reports in the bug report section, or contact our support team.
It would also be incredibly helpful if you could provide screenshots when you encounter a problem (it's easy in Chrome and Opera: just right click and choose "Save image as") :).
Thank you so much for your help!
Yours,The Forge of Empires Beta & Development Teams