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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Explore endless roads in this beautiful driving game that runs in your browser

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Having an absolutely tricked out PC with the latest and greatest tech is the dream for many a PC gamer. That pull is especially strong at the moment with the release of new premium hardware options like Nvidia’s RTX 4090 Founders Edition GPUs, AMD’s new Zen 4 Ryzen 9 7950X, and Intel Core i9 13900k CPUs. PC gamers around the world are dreaming of their next build.

But if we are honest with ourselves, that dream might be a bit further off than we’d like. Between bills, the economy, global shortages, and whatever’s next, it’s a bit of a lofty goal. A new PC that can do it all, probably isn’t in my near future. That’s why I’m so thankful that people are making incredible stuff, like this zen driving game, that runs in a browser window.

Slow Roads is an endless procedurally generated driving game that’s free to play in your browser. Its developer goes by Anslo, who recently posted a video of their game running to Twitter, announcing that the project was ready to share. The video shows off the game running with different environments, and times of day, and it’s immediately very clear that this is quite an impressive effort that really pushes browser based gaming.

“Slow Roads exists primarily as an exploration of procedural scenery generation, but also as an experiment testing the boundaries of 3D application development within JavaScript. As a game, this project is a nostalgic love letter to the rolling hills of the Peak District, and to the arcade rally games I would play for hours on end as a child. As a technical demo, I aim to set a high bar and redress the negative idea of what can be accomplished in the browser” Anslo explains on the Slow Roads website.

Loading up Slow Roads in the browser is a little bit mind blowing. There’s no login required or any hoops to jump through, and the game simply runs. Perfect for when you need to just take a few minutes away from work and get your head out onto the open road. Or to marvel at some impressive creation a developer came up with that doesn’t care what GPU you have. 

After 16 months of work I’m ready to share https://t.co/8FtBldzYAe, my project to procedurally generate scenic landscapes, packaged as a chill driving game. Built with @threejs to run in your browser – no logins, no installs, just roads…#threejs #procedural #webgl pic.twitter.com/ri9XsypjmfOctober 22, 2022

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Once in the game you can pick a few different options for your road trip. Staying on earth will let you explore the hilly roads in all sorts of climates or you can pop out to the Moon, Mars, or Venus for your driving pleasure. Times of the day can be freely set, and you can pick between a car, bike, or bus for your adventures.

Anslo specifically wants to keep the game free, but is accepting donations which will help to bring forth potential future updates to the game. This includes support for controllers and racing wheels, which would be super welcome. Slow Roads is a lovely little escape, and getting away from the keyboard would definitely improve that.

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Other proposed features include adding more locations, vehicles, and making improvements to weather effects and lighting. If there’s enough interest, competitive modes and leaderboards are also on the menu. There’s also the plan to keep optimising Slow Roads for lower-end machines, bringing the endless driving to even more browsers around the world.

For those curious as to how Anslo managed this, they’re planning a series of blogposts to help explain the process, and have an FAQ on the Slow Roads site. Pick up and play games like Slow Roads are perfect for a quick browser based escape, and the accessible nature is a clear win. Here’s hoping this trend continues. I can’t wait to see what other ideas turned browser based adventures will be added to my favourites folder.

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