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Will Pro Plan solve my Starter Plan Problem?

Hi there,

I created an HTML5 game, uploaded it to Netlify, Netlify auto-generated a site for me, and I could immediately play my game in my browser. Netlify works awesome for that.

However, my problem occurs when the game is loaded on some other computers. Often, but not always, the game would fail to load and/or crash during the game, just turning to a black screen. After hitting refresh, the game reloads from the beginning. Sometimes the crash happened once, sometimes 2-4 times during a one-two hour gameplay.

I eventually plan to sell my game, so this would be unacceptable of course.

The game seems to run properly when I test it outside of Netlify, so I wonder if it has something to do with the limitations of the Starter plan. Would Pro plan provide more stability? I don’t mind paying for an upgrade, but I don’t want to pay and experience the same problems.

I’m not technologically savvy in this regard, so definitely looking for options. I’m happy to use Netlify, but if it’s not the correct product, I’d surely appreciate a point in the right direction.

If it helps, my game is an escape room type game. It’s technically single player, there’s no simultaneous interaction between players, although two or more independent buyers could have purchased the game and be accessing the URL at the same time.

Thanks in advance,
Bill

@castorncage I can’t say for certain without investigating the specifics, but this doesn’t sound like it should be related to your choice of hosting provider at all.

A single player HTML5 game with no connectivity would be getting downloaded to the users browser and then be executing there. You should be able to host it anywhere and get much the same result (other than the initial download speed).

The free Netlify offering is basically the same as the first level paid account (Pro), so upgrading would not provided any additional “stability”.

Are you able to share a link to your game running from Netlify and also somewhere else?

Nathan, thanks for the reply. That clears things up a bit as it does make sense that the game is downloaded to the browser and executing there. When discussing this problem with another hosting provider, they claimed a VPS would be needed, but I wasn’t quite convinced.

I can definitely share a link of the game running in Netlify, but I don’t have another shareable source (it’s tested within the game builder and from my desktop). I can’t find another provider with as easy an upload interface as Netlify.

Perhaps it has to do with a player’s specific browser or computer specs? The size of the game is rather large (approx 700MB) but as you stated, I would expect that aspect to just increase the initial download time.

These “random” game crashes are the last hurdle I need to overcome in order to launch my game so I’m grateful for your time and help narrowing down the cause of this issue.

Personally, I won’t recommend downloading 700 MB of data to a client’s browser. You would be better off with a cross-platform application.

As @hrishikesh has indicated, 700MB is extremely large.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you were running into issues based on system specifications and browser capabilities. You should be looking at ways to optimise your game and aiming for a much smaller size overall.

Could it be done this way and still played in a browser? What platform would you suggest in this case. I definitely want this to play played on a personal computer as opposed to a mobile game. Also, my game mimics a real escape room and thus play-time is roughly an hour. If I used a platform like Steam, this can really be abused as Steam offers a full refund without question within 2 hours of any purchase. Thanks

The game consists of roughly 200 “pages” with an image, text, and buttons that navigate between pages. My guess is that the largest contributor to size are the images, which I’ve already compressed once. I can experiment with lowering the resolution further. I may have to include minimum specs and recommended browsers information before purchase. So close yet so far!

I’d personally use something like Electron for this so I could still use Node.js and that would work as an cross-platform application. So it might not work in a browser, but for performance reasons, I’d be inclined more towards it.

Well, how are you protecting this currently? I believe you’re not using Steam, but if not Steam then what?

Currently, I have a Wix website. The plan was to embed the game on a webpage that can only be accessed if you have a paid Member account. The alternative was to sell a digital download of the game, but I chose not to pursue that because after download, the game would be open to re-sharing and in my research license keys don’t help too much. I know that it’s impossible to fully prevent piracy, but I figured if access is only available via a Member account, it would be the best way to minimize sharing.

However, I’ve never heard of Electron, so I’m checking that out now!

@castorncage If your game is basically a single bundle, (with no outside connectivity/services), then you will find that it can still be saved and shared easily. Even if access to it is initially gated someone could just save the page, (which would save the entire bundle), then could share it.

If instead of being a single large bundle your application was split up so that pieces of it were delivered as long as an active paid session was in place, that would both reduce initial load time and provide better copy protection through complexity/obscurity.

Additionally, as much as everyone here likes to help, this ticket no longer relates directly to Netlify’s service. You might want to take further game development, copy protection and monetization questions to a game dev community as you’ll get answers from people with relevant experience! :slightly_smiling_face: