Successful stories of porting apps to Firefox OS


Mozilla Hacks posted an entry recently about apps and games that were ported from various different platforms to Firefox OS. You can find this featured article here. One of those stories are about Captain Rogers – HTML5 game that we were using as a case study when writing article How to build games for Firefox OS platform. The game itself was lately pinned as the featured app on the main page of the Marketplace. So today we are going to see for porting apps what challenges you have to face and how to overcome it.


Challenges: There weren’t any big problems, because basically building for Firefox OS is just building for the Web itself. Firefox OS devices are the long-awaited hardware for the mobile web — it is built using JavaScript and HTML5 after all.

My main focus on making the game playable on the Firefox OS device was put on the manifest file. I had some problems with getting the orientation to work properly, but during the Firefox OS App Workshop in Warsaw I received great help from Jason Weathersby and at the end of the day the first version of the game was working very smoothly and a few days later it was accepted into the Firefox Marketplace.

For optimizing the code I recommend this handy article by Louis Stowasser and Harald Kirschner — it was very helpful for me. Also, the Web Audio API is still a big problem on mobile, but it works perfectly in Captain Rogers, launched on the Firefox OS phone.

Recommendations: The main message is simple: if you’re building HTML5 games for Firefox OS, you’re building them for the Open Web. Firefox OS is the hardware platform that the Web needs and in the long run everybody will benefit from it as the standards and APIs are battle-tested directly on the actual devices by millions of people. If you want to know more about HTML5 game development I can recommend my two creations: my Preparing for Firefox OS article and HTML5 Gamedev Starter list. You should also read this great introduction by Austin Hallock. The community is very helpful, so if you have any problems or issues, check out the HTML5GameDevs forums for help and you will definitely receive it. It’s a great time for HTML5 game development, so jump in and have fun!

As you can see porting apps (games) are very easy, so if you have any interesting games or apps created for different platforms you should definitely port it for Firefox OS.

If you have any suggestion, Tweet us @FirefoxOSGuide or post it on our Facebook wall and we will get back to you. Join us on Facebook Twitter and G+ to get the latest news, reviews and inside scoops.

Andrzej Mazur (13 Posts)

HTML5 Games Developer, blogger, founder of Enclave Games indie studio, creator of the js13kGames competition, Gamedev.js Meetups organizer and Gamedev.js Weekly newsletter curator. Follow me on Twitter and GitHub.

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