In the early days of PlayCanvas, we published a game called TANX, an online multiplayer tank battle game.
To us, it was the perfect illustration of why the web makes such a great platform for gaming.
- Bite-sized fun with drop-in/drop-out gameplay.
- Nothing to download - just follow a hyperlink to stream the game in a couple of seconds.
- True device independence - play on your phone, tablet or desktop.
- Easy social sharing - get your friends into matches by posting your personal game URL to Twitter in real-time!
So we decided to keep developing the game. The first iteration above just had primitive tanks driving around an empty environment. v2.0 brought upgraded tank models, a new UI and a proper level:
And the game’s popularity continued to grow. It even hit #1 on Hacker News one lazy Friday afternoon!
By now, the PlayCanvas engine was rapidly evolving and had recently gained support for physically based rendering (PBR). We were desperate to upgrade the game to show off these new capabilities. So not long afterwards, we developed v3.0:
The game also leveraged PlayCanvas’ run-time lightmapper to generate the level’s shadows.
Not long after the upgrade, we decided to focus all of our resources on developing the core PlayCanvas engine. In the end, we didn’t have enough time to maintain the game and so, with heavy hearts, we took it offline.
We’re really excited to announce that TANX is back! You can play it at:
Keep your eyes peeled for a follow up article outlining how we rebuilt and deployed the game’s back-end!