So, the first of some designer notes.
When I heard about Chrome's native client, my first thought was to take the game we had been working on with Richard Garfield and port it to the new "platform" ourselves, self-funded, and see what would happen. Nobody was as excited about that idea as I was - and for good reason, I suppose, since native client isn't a new platform per se. Chrome Web Store is the platform - and it's too late to be a launch title for that platform. In a way, it's a repeat of what we did with Schizoid, the first XNA game studio game for XBLA. The platform was already crowded, and using new tech made for a nice PR story which did drive a lot of attention to the game but the XBLA gold rush was over by the time we'd shipped.
But, to me, there's a huge difference: because, with Chrome and native client, you can do things in the browser that you couldn't do before (which was not the case with XNA Game Studio and XBLA - although XNAGS made things easier, it didn't necessarily enable new or better games) it's an ecological niche waiting for the right game to evolve there.
So I thought to myself, what is that game?
- It can't be a "big game", a Halo or Unreal, because nobody will want to sit through the load times. Even a "medium-sized game" is iffy.
- Mouselock wasn't available yet, so first-person and Shadowgrounds sorts of control systems wouldn't work.
- I had to be able to do it in a short time with little-to-no help.
So an arcadey shooter started to look like the obvious choice. I was a little leery about mouse+keyboard: most browser games seem to avoid that, probably because it alienates the casual. I believe that's 'casual games conventional wisdom sacred cow #1': only use the mouse. (Looking around on Kongregate, WASD + mouse shooters are pretty rare.) But Realm of the Mad God demonstrated that you could get a decent sized fan base with a WASD shooter, so I went for it.
Why, what sort of game do you think is perfect for native client?