Three years ago, while Goldfire Studios was working on Casino RPG, they found the web audio options available to them at the time to be sorely lacking. What did they do? They took the initiative and created an audio API that allowed them to easily support audio on multiple web browsers. Howler.js was born.
While developing its latest HTML5 game, Casino RPG, Goldfire Studios ran up against a severe weakness in the current technology, specifically regarding audio output. Frankly, HTML5 audio sucks when it comes to doing much of anything aside from embedding sound clips on a web page. This is a common complaint from HTML5 game developers. With that in mind, it is great to see that one game developer is looking to solve the problem, hopefully once and for all.
Enter Howler.js. Goldfire has put together a great all in one package for handling audio for cross platform playback. The library allows the game developer to assign several sound files to a single audio object and the library plays back the file that the user’s browser supports. Additionally, it has all the features you need for great game audio such as looping, mute, fade in/out, etc.
It also contains support for what are known as sound sprites. With this, you can put all your audio into a single file and play back only certain sections of the file for different sounds. This reduces the strain on bandwidth for most games as they would require numerous sounds and multiple download streams to play without this feature.
It is great to see something like this coming from a studio in Oklahoma. This certainly shows the talent this state has to offer. If you want to learn more about Howler.js, head on over to the project description. Additionally, Goldfire has open-sourced the library and has it available for download over at Github.
Finally, if you want to support Goldfire for its efforts in creating this much needed and great sound library, then head over to their Kickstarter project, Casino RPG, and pledge them a few bucks. After all, it is this game that spawned this library.