onGameStart 2012


The autumn conference season started with onGameStart, where game developers interested in HTML5 meet like-minded people. It was an enjoyable experience.


First time in Warsaw, and I was pleasantly surprised - it’s definitively a city worth a weekend break. The Old Town is rather pretty, and recently restored. Among all those Communist boulevards and imposing buildings there a lot of nice little spots.

The conference was in a ..err… conference centre near the center.

Day 1: Let’s learn how to make a 3D game!

A workshop by Jerome Etienne on using tQuery, the library modelled on JQuery he built on top of Three.js. Jerome is a manic, knowledgeable Frenchman who has has infectious enthusiasm for what he does. That was the highlight of the conference for me.

Day 2: BonsaiJS, building multiplayer browser games

[ slides ]
Nikolai Onken talked about pixelplant, a service for converting .swf files to HTML 5. The graphic library behind it is bonsai, and its API is inspired by Flash. Execution is split between renderers and runners - so far they only have a production ready SVG runner, but they have plans for Canvas and WebGL.

Making games for kids on the mobile web

Jon Howard is the Game Development Team Leader at BBC Children’s, and he was basically there recruiting. His presentation was entertaining, and he showed a deep knowledge of HTML 5 platform.

Beauty in the browser

Seb Lee-Delisle gave a presentation of his work, nothing new to anyone who follows creative JS, but he’s a showman who knows how to get a crowd going, and his pixel pounding Canvas live coding was very entertaining.

Canvas: we must go deeper!

[ slides ]
A good complement to Seb’s, this was information filled presentation by Szymon Pilkowski.

Making A Multiplayer 3D Shooter in the Browser

Will Eastcott presented playcanvas, an in-browser authoring tool and hosting platform for WebGL games. There are some impressive demos in there.

Day 3: Rendering Voxel Worlds using WebGL

[ slides ]
Jonas Wagner with an information packed talk on building games with Voxels.

enchant.js: The 2D/3D HTML5 Game Engine

Ubiquitous Entertainment Inc is a division of a big Japanese telco, they created enchant.js, a platform which allows everybody to code small little games. I liked their Maeda Block demonstration. Oh, and they are hiring, so if you are keen on moving to Japan…

Making Games For Gamers in HTML5

Henric Suuronen moved to Singapore because he was fed up with making granny games at Wooga and he didn’t want to pay taxes. Good on him. He does like Travian though.

Tracy: A minimalistic, CSS-Powered 3D Rendering Framework

[ slides ]
Andrés Pagella has created a 3D rendring engine in pure CSS which (a) crazy and (b) really quite cool.

Cross-Platform and Cross-Browser Games with JavaScript, HTML5, WebGL and native OpenGL

[ slides ]
Christoph Martens is another crazy geek :-) who is bypassing browsers altogether and building Lychees, his gaming library directly on V8, allowing developers to use Javascript to talk directly to OpenGL, for example. Impressive stuff.

The DOM is on fire!

Emeric Florence demoed Sprite3D.js, another 3D library which renders with CSS, as well as lots of small things he wrote. Another very entertaining talk.

Physics engine anatomy

Missed this talk by Kamil Trebunia as I had to catch the plane home, but here’s the code.

onGameStart was good

I enjoyed the conference, learned a lot of stuff, and was inspired by seeing so many knowledgeable people coming up with crazy and wonderful stuff.