Hold your own Heist:Robert Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves Now Interactive Online through IE10

If you’re into comics you’ll love the online debut of Thief of Thieves: Experience, an interactive online game based on the comic book series from Robert Kirkman (amongst other things, Robert and his team created the comic and series the Walking Dead).

With the Thief of Thieves: Experience, fans can create their own secret thief identity, practice their skills in larceny, and ultimately participate in one last job — the big heist.

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“I’m really pleased with how well the web experience captures the environment we were trying to build for Thief of Thieves.  It’s a great way for fans of the Thief of Thieves comic books to immerse themselves in Redmond’s world and really interact with the story,” said Robert Kirkman.

Under the hood, the Thief of Thieves experience, built in partnership with Skybound and creative agency Bradley and Montgomery, is firmly built on web standards.  This includes the new Pointer Eventsspecification recently accepted and published by the W3C.  This specification enables a unified way for devs to accept input from users (such as touch or mouse) while allowing the user to leverage other means of input in the future, without the site owners having to rebuild their experience.  IE10 supports this specification and it makes for a fun touch-first means of experiencing the Thief of Thieves story via the web.

The Thief of Thieves web site also makes heavy use of scalable vector graphics (SVG), which provides rich graphics regardless of a user’s zoom level or screen size.  Animating these rich graphics enhances the story telling but in the past has caused issues with performance, which could impact a user’s overall experience.  To optimize for this heavy load, the Thief of Thieves site uses new performance and animation standards like requestAnimationFrameto ensure that paint requests are being synchronized with the refresh rate of the hardware, ensuring the performance remains fast.

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In addition, the IE team used:

· CCS3 animationsfor some of the larger scene transitions on the site;

· MSGestureAPI for handling more advanced pointer interactions like the safe cracking exercise;

· pageVisibilityAPI to detect when an open page isn’t being actively used so we can control audio appropriately; and

· setImmediateAPI to improve performance and power consumption on tablet devices. setImmediate like setInterval and setTimeout is a timing API and requests the CPU to process the instruction as soon as it’s possible to.

You can read more about the technology behind the scenes including code snippet and an example of the game mechanics used like the A* pathing algorithm in JavaScript here.

While you’re at it, why not download IE10 to check it out, and let us know what you think. Happy heisting!

Published by Sara Allison

Sara is the editor of Ubelly - when not heads down scouring Ubelly articles for typos (and not always catching them), she's scouting for new writing talent. Give her a shout @SaraAllison if you've got something to say about development/design and want to be heard.

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