Recently I’m pondering about the instant accessibility of our HTML games vs wrapping them to sell them as an auto-executable or app.
For example, recent, episodical Porpentine an co.'s Visual Novel:
(Warning: Adult content inside)
The first chapter is completely free and playable online, while chapters 2 and 3 are downloadable from itchio.
Ok, I can play straight through chapter 1, but the wrapped chapter 2 just don’t work on my PC (My graphics adapter died some time ago).
Another example. Twine games wrapped as an APK for distributing at Google Play, just can’t play the voice over. That is, wrappers disallow voice over tech to work properly.
Of course, some people want to seel their games, and they deserve it. But, usually that is tied to wrapping their twines around, but accessibility is something important to consider, and nothing beats an HTML file.
Also, if people are selling the games at itchio, Why not give the html file for download? Instead of a troubled EXE file.
Of course, it would help that itchio allowed to gate online HTML content behind a paywall, so we have not to shuffle with wrappers and nonsense. Actually, Itchio does not support this, but you can actively beg for this. Check this text in the documentation:
Currently all HTML5 games on itch.io are set up to only take payments as donations. However, it’s possible to sell access to your game by setting its “Kind of Game” to “Downloadable”. If you’d like itch.io to support purchasable HTML5 games then you should get in touch.
And that is, I just wanted to share this meditation.
Anyway, I can think of any other motives to wrap games, you know, so people don’t download the HTML and import it toTwine… but that is not one of my concerns, and I think that the loss in accessibility is far more important.