My expectations were low when first hearing about InstantAction.com, an online browser based gaming site. Why? Because the current list of sites offering online games are full of cheap looking 3d graphics and less than impressive gameplay. So, with this in mid, I sat down with Josh Williams of GarageGames as he logged into the Alpha version of InstantAction.com.
Williams started by showing me some of the features on site, such as the Inbox, Party List, Personalized Profile, and Friends List, where you can invite friends to play with you in game. Williams then began to demonstrate a game that will be available on Instant Action, “Marble Blast Ultra”, arguably one of the most advanced games on Xbox Live Arcade, and it played in the web browser like it was being played on the Xbox 360. Well, at that point he might as well have turned around and slapped me right in the face, because every negative thought I had was proven wrong. I was wrong. Yes — I know, weird!
GarageGames’ goal is to create a new platform for games. The idea is to take core games (action, FPS, and multiplayer) and make them more accessible to everyone.
“You won’t have to buy a box off the shelf, and you won’t have to buy a console,” Said Williams
Unlike Steam, with Instant Action you won’t have to download a fairly large client. A simple plug-in, about a couple hundred KBs in size, in you are ready to go. The company is not just re-disturbing retail or other online games, the fact of the matter is they are encouraging new developers and new ideas by making it easier for them to find funding and service, as well as distributing their games on InstantAction.com.
GarageGames began making games easier and less expensive to develop games with the use of their Torque engine (which runs about $100 to $200) and now with the launch of Instant Action, they are making it easier to bring those games to the public.
“The point is we want the best games. This isn’t a cheesy way to sell more Torque engines. [We support] whatever technology is availed to enable them to distribute games this way,” says Williams
Just when I thought the show was over, Josh gave me a sneak peak at a top secret 32 person FPS multiplayer game they are hard at work developing. No title as of yet, in fact I really can’t say much more about it right now. Stay tuned though, the future of online browser based gaming just got a lot brighter.
According to Williams InstantAction.com is scheduled to go live in earlier 2008, with several games lined up and ready to go upon launch.