Rumble Entertainment is currently working with Brazilian developer Aquiris Game Studio to bring a console-quality first-person shooter — Ballistic — to web browsers, the publisher announced.
Rumble's Brett Bates recently demoed a pre-beta version of Ballistic to Polygon, a game he describes as a "console-quality experience" running on the Facebook platform. According to Bates, Rumble is trying to bring accessible, free-to-play, high quality experiences to standard computers, so whether someone is on a high-end PC or an off-the-shelf laptop or Macbook Air, they can still have an experience that one might expect to find on current-generation consoles.
"It's that weird position where it's not a Facebook game; it's a game on Facebook," Bates said. "There's zero friction. There's no download because the game is made in Unity. It's right through Facebook so you just get in and start playing, and people can make up their mind immediately because the whole game is meant to be fast, immediate, session-based play."
"... We were like, 'Oh, by the way, this is running in a Facebook window right now,' and that just blew everyone away."
According to Bates, the development team isn't concerned about the stigma of free-to-play browser-based games because it is confident in the experience it is delivering.
"When we were showing the game last week at GDC [in San Francisco], we had all the computers set up in full-screen and we had people play it for a little bit," Bates said. "After one or two matches, we were like, 'Oh, by the way, this is running in a Facebook window right now,' and that just blew everyone away."
In the demo Polygon was shown, the team-based FPS had traditional game modes like Capture Points, Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill. The maps were set in real-world locations like malls, museums and corporate parks and players could customize their weapon load-outs and specialize their weapon builds.
According to Bates, the development team has been working hard to push the game's technology to allow it to run smoothly on a standard laptop, because the focus of Rumble Entertainment's games is accessibility. Bates said many traditional first-person shooters require players to own a copy of the game, have a console or a powerful PC, a television and be able to commit the time to sit in front of their television to play. In comparison, Ballistic is a fast and immediate experience that can be played when a person has a few spare minutes.
"I think there's definitely an audience of people who want this, and there's a massive audience of people who are really good at shooters," he said. "I think if they have the ability to play a quality shooter wherever they are, they're gonna take that opportunity."
Ballistic will be in beta this Spring.