Karl Schmidt - Fractional CTO

Web Game Engine Size Review 2023 - Preview

Here is a preview of an article series I am writing about evaluating web game engines. I was looking for an engine that supported 2D rendering, ran in a web browser, worked on mobile, and had a minimum runtime payload size of less than 500kb.

Why this size? On the web, size costs time (time to download), and for folks on cellular data plans, it takes a part of their monthly budget. Plus, serving data from your website to people technically costs money (these are called “egress” costs). While it seems almost free in small amounts, if you have a lot of traffic, it can add up.

Based on this criteria, I surveyed a number of game engines and created a chart of their minimum code runtime sizes. These are the engine code outputs with minimal or no actual “game code”. They are “transfer sizes”, so I measured the gzipped size (except for Unity, which was Brotli). I left out Unreal Engine because 1) they stopped supporting it after 4.22 (it uses wasm, by the way) and 2) it was much larger and made the rest of the graph hard to read.

I also created a chart for how long it took for me to find their approximate minimum code runtime sizes. In some cases it was very quick thanks to posted samples, in others it took time to install the tools, configure for smallest/production, and create an empty project build.

#development #engine #game development #javascript #programming #tech #technology #unity #html5

Get my updates by email: