What happens when you try to open a video, news article, urgent email, or social profile in Chrome browser and suddenly lose internet access? We all know the answer: you’re presented with a page displaying ‘No internet’ and a pixelated image of T-Rex.
The dinosaur starts running when you hit space (on laptop) or touch the image (on smartphone). It’s runner game introduced by Google in September 2014 (as a new Easter egg) to kill time while you’re offline.
On the occasion of its 4th birthday, we are presenting some of the most interesting facts of Chrome’s offline Dino game that you might not know. So prepare yourself to get amazed.
Who Discovered This Game?
Edward Jung, Alan Bettes, and Sebastien Gabriel, Chrome UX engineers at Google, are men behind this hidden game. ‘Getting kicked offline is absolutely no fun unless you’ve friendly dinosaur by your side’, Jung says.
How Did They Come Up With This Idea?
The thought of adding an ‘endless runner game’ to ‘offline page’ struck in 2014. The dinosaur actually represents the fact that the browser could not reach the internet, as if Chrome has the short arms the T-Rex is famed for. The play takes you to the ancient age when people had no internet.
The desert and cacti were part of the game’s first iteration (Project Bolan). They wanted to keep the motion rigid just like the 90’s video game. Although they did consider adding small kicks and roaring effects, in the end, they settled for basics only: run, jump, and duck.
Roaring Dino | Credit: Google
Source: Google Blog
When Edward Jung wrote the code, he had dozens of things to take care of, such as detecting collisions, physics involved in a jump, and compatibility across different platforms. The first version didn’t perform well on devices running on older Android versions, so he had to rewrite the complete code. However, after 3 months of launch, the offline Dino had rolled out to all platforms.
What’s the Total Gameplay Time?
Have you ever thought of finishing this game? Well, it’s impossible to beat because the game is designed to max out at nearly 17 million years. Interestingly, this is equivalent to the time T-Rex roamed the Earth.
As of September 2018, about 270 million games are played on a monthly basis, both on smartphones and laptops. A large percentage of users come from developing countries where mobile data is expensive and unreliable, like India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil.
In fact, it reached a level where Google developers had to provide business admins an option to deactivate the game because employees and students really got into it.
Courtesy of Google
According to the company, the game has become an internal mascot for the Chrome team. They’ve even shared a part of the Dino swag.
The Dino got multiple upgrades since its inception, such as night mode and pterodactyls. The most recent upgrade was introduced on the 10th birthday of Chrome. They added some balloons, a fancy hat, and birthday cake. In case if you’re wondering, it’s a classic vanilla cake.
Play It Offline
You don’t have to disconnect your WiFi to play this game. Just type chrome://dino in the address bar and it will take you to the offline page. You can play it in a full-window, arcade mode for best results.