Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Game Conference Day 2

The sequel to my Day 1 report from the New Game, HTML5 Games, conference:

The quality per session has been really great, and the good news is that Videos are on the way, so if you weren't there, don't fear. Also, here are most of the slides.

Zynga kicked today off. They're dedicated to HTML5 games, reaching lots of people, and moving the web forward. Paul Bakaus pointed out that classic games devs get people to upgrade hardware; new web games need to get users to update to modern browsers, "Please help me upgrade the web".

Zynga has also open sourced some rather handy sounding tools: https://github.com/zynga including audio fixes/hacks for ios, viewport control, custom viewport scrolling assist libraries.

Grant Skinner has put out tools too: Easle.js, flash like api primarily to draw to Canvas 2D, though he demoed swapping out rendering engines to e.g. DOM & flash too. He also demoed exporting content from Flash.

Spil had a good talk about developing for and publishing in Asia; primarily challenges in hosting, distribution, and localization (beyond just text).

Opera's Erik Möller showed off WebGL support in Opera, including a demo off a TV set top box hardware kit.

Mozilla has a cool project taking a spin on their old question of "Are We Fast Yet?" and changing it to "Are We Fun Yet?" Their Palidin effort is designed to improve that answer. They're building an open source web tech game engine and implementing platform features such as Mouse Lock and Game Pad. Similar in ways to the Chrome Games effort I'm part of.

Rachel Blum of Chrome (ex Blizzard) did a great rundown of Chrome as a platform for games, now and in the future.

Overall, there was a lot of energy, excitement, and potential shown off. Several presenters demonstrated that they are monetizing now using some of this tech. Others that we still have lots of potential in tech that's not quite ready for everyone.

I'm psyched about fixing what needs fixing to make the web platform awesome for games. And tomorrow there's the W3C Games Community Group Summit which I'm hoping will be a great forum for prioritizing that work.