Beta 2


This is the first real update to the game in 2 years (!). Most of the changes are internal and done to support Abode's current Shockwave Player (, released last month), along with:

  • Support for OS X, mouselook now works properly for Intel-based Macs
  • DirectX 9 support under Windows, visually looks the same (Shockwave's renderer does not support programmable shaders yet), but performance should be much better than DirectX 7, and fixes several rendering glitches under Vista
  • Load and build clean up, inititialization should be quicker for most machines

Unfortunately, this isn't the update most of you have been waiting for. The re-vamped multiplayer is not complete, nor is the new physics (and the new weapons, which are dependent on that component). And still no new maps, can't forget that. But I am actively working on it again.

I started this project almost 5 years ago, when there wasn't much in terms of the "browser-based first-person shooter" genre. Shockwave3D was the only 3D plugin with a significant installed based, and even then, the core renderer was already several years old. Now Shockwave's new owner Adobe is working to bring it up to current standards (fingers crossed). We also have the excellent Unity plugin, several promising Flash-based software rasterizers, along with commercial games like InstantAction and Quake Live. I would have thought a fully-developed Quake-3-in-a-web-browser would have stomped on all imitators, but clearly that is not the case based on traffic patterns. Instead, the entry of the 800-lb gorilla has generated even more interest in the genre as far as I can tell.

So, despite languishing in perpetual beta, and ignored for months at a time by it's sole developer, Phosphor is more popular than ever. I still think it's broken on several fronts, but I guess I got something right in the mix. Maybe it's time for a change of personnel, a couple more developers and designers might finally get a 1.0 out the door. Anyhow, those are things I'm considering, along with ways for me to free up time just to focus on coding the stuff outlined below. Stay tuned.

Thanks for sticking around, playing the game, and sending in your comments. Now back to answering a whole pile backlogged email.



Beta 1


First off, my apologies for letting this project lapse for so long. And apologies to anyone who has emailed me and not received a reply. The tremendous amount of spam to this mailbox should be under control now. It will take a while to filter through the backlog of messages, but I will try to reply to future inquiries in due time.

On to some real news, the project is (believe it or not) not dead! As of this month, I am working on Phosphor again, and there will be some real updates in the near future. Here are the goals for the next couple of months:

  1. Game physics will be using Ageia PhysX, so collisions, environment clipping should be much better, and we'll be able to have dynamic world objects (tumbling boulders, moving platforms, etc). The current Lingo-scripted physics slows down dramatically when there are many projectiles active, hopefully Ageia will solve this problem too.
  2. Also the network code is getting a total re-write. The current peer to peer-host arrangement isn't turning out to be a very good architecture for a web game (problems setting up a multiplayer game is probably the most common question asked), so I'll be a moving to a centralized server that everyone can access (without messing with port forwarding and firewalls). I am currently looking at SmartFox and ElectroServer as potential backend solutions. This means using Flash's text sockets instead of Shockwave's built-in network component (which supports binary data and UDP connections). Initial tests surprisingly show better performance with the Flash path, so this looks promising.
  3. Create several more levels. The first will be probably mockups to test the new physics.
  4. And before I forget, make a website.

Anyhow, that's all for now. Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. And much thanks to everyone who plays this game regularly. You've managed to keep a very old Shockwave demo alive, so I hope to do my part, and finish it (or at least get it out of the perpetual "beta 1" state).