Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Game Conference Day 1


New Game's first HTML5 Game Conference kicked off today. It's an intimate and comfy affair with just a few hundred devs all packed in one large room. It's easy to mingle in breaks, and we had lunch all together on the lawn at Yerba Buena park.

Rich Hilleman, EA, kicked things off with a great keynote discussion of what it takes to build out a game platform and how things are quite different doing so with open standards tech. It was inspiring, but also underscores the challenge of building a 'platform' when no one controls it. Who will champion a killer app? Who will define the capabilities and expectations for developers and customers, and do quality assurance? Who will make certain we can monetize and distribute? Well, no one, and everyone.

The other business heavy presentation was from Justin Quimby of Moblyng. They've already been at this a few years, with the goal of using web tech to reach a huge number of devices, primarily mobile. His main message was that of the many challenges that await after you've build a compelling game. His recommendation was primarily technical conservatism and diversification of services (e.g. payment solutions, metrics, and distribution).

But the majority of the presentations were technical. The biggest points and themes:

  • Garbage Collection a major performance issue! Several techniques to avoid this, including careful JS coding, all memory out of array buffers.
  • Sound! Much love for Web Audio API, but needs support in all browsers.
  • Many developers using high level frameworks and languages and cross compiling to HTML/JS. E.g. PlayN in Java, Mandreel in C++.
  • WebGL standard update coming, major focus on security and robustness.
  • 2/3rds of attendees from Web Dev background: http://goo.gl/PSTrU
Lots of good coverage on twitter #NGC11

Slides for many presentations are already posted if you dig around, but I saw cameras so I suspect we'll see a post conference set of links to videos.

[day 2 post]