Agar.io takes over as semester ends

Artwork+by+Emily+Lei

Artwork by Emily Lei

HTML tutorial

Artwork </a><figcaption id=Artwork by Emily Lei

This past month, the multiplayer browser game Agar.io has gained popularity among students. Every player is essentially a cell that can only grow by engulfing smaller cells. At the same time, every player must try to escape from the bigger cells. The ultimate objective is to make one’s way up the leaderboard by growing bigger.

Rather than swallowing other cells, players can press the spacebar and divide their cells to either defend themselves from incoming threats or to capture a fleeing cell. Players also have the option of customizing their cell’s appearance by inputting certain names before starting gameplay.

Junior John Mullane, who introduced Agar.io to many students at Townsend Harris, stated, “It’s genius really, the fact that someone can make such a game is so enjoyable.  The first time my friend showed it to me, there were only a few hundred people playing.”

Science teacher Mr. Porzio commented, “It doesn’t take much to learn how to play, and one can get lost in the unending game of cat and mouse, where sometimes you are the cat but most of the times are the mouse.”

With its rising popularity, developers of Aar.io have expanded the multiplayer region across the globe. Many such as sophomore Mitchell Mu appreciate this aspect of Agar.io, as it is an opportunity for players to “interact with other people around the world.”

Despite the game’s seemingly simple controls, there are a number of tricks and mechanics that players can employ to outsmart opponents. For example, players can expel masses of cells by pressing the “w” key towards their opponents, releasing virus cells.  When done successfully, this causes opponents to split into smaller masses and allows others to prey upon them.

Agar.io’s back end, the system that interacts indirectly with the front end in the server, is programmed with C++. C++ is an object oriented programming language that deals with computer data; it is also one of the most widely used computer languages used to develop applications. Its influence on other modern programming languages is apparent in the syntaxes of Java and JavaScript.

In game development, people tend to use lower level languages like C++ because it enables games to run efficiently. On the other hand, C++ is restrictive in that it only allows games to run on the platform in which it is coded. However, Java permits games to run on multiple platforms like Windows and UNIX, but it is unfavored because the games would run much slower due to the fact that Java is an interpreted language.

The front end of the game, which is a system that controls the communication between the user and the back end, is arranged with HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and JavaScript. Programmers use HTML as the common markup language for web pages. Both HTML and web pages rely on JavaScript as the universal programming language.

With all the popularity surrounding Agar.io, players have asked developers to create a mobile app version. Currently, there are numerous unofficial versions including “Agar io Pro” and “Agar-agar.” The reviews for these apps state that the mobile versions are lacking and have many bugs, errors, and control issues.

Agar.io can also be played on a mobile browser. This involves the player tapping his or her screen in the direction that he or she wishes to go. The disadvantage to this method is that it increases lag and reduces control. It is also difficult to convert the actual game to mobile mode because the computer version is composed of C++ back end coding, which directly determines the speed at which the game runs.

“[The mobile browser versions] are difficult to control and are not globally connected,” commented Mitchell.

Sophomore Arvinder Singh added, “It is not as smooth as the desktop version, which makes it very difficult to play. The app works and and looks different from the original. The concept is the same, but it’s a bad version of the game.”

Steam, a popular videogame storing software, recently approved plans to include Agar.io in its array of gaming selections. The software stores any game that one purchases and also allows users to access their games in cloud storage while offline. With this upgrade, Agar.io fans will be able to play even without Internet access.

John remarked, “I think the simplicity of the game is really appealing. I stopped liking video games a while ago since a lot of games are so complicated, and there are so many aspects of them, but Agar.io is different.”

 

close