Wednesday, December 5, 2012

onGameStart US, March 2013

Since world is just too big for only one HTML5 gaming conference, onGameStart comes to North America on March 15 next year. Together with Collin Hover, WebGL Wizard and creator of kaiopua game engine and outstanding BlackMoonDesign, (yes, they are doing also 3D stuff, not only pixelart!) we launched the site last week. Control the astronaut, meet the speakers and explore onGameStart planet & stars. Don't forget about our Call for Paper - show us your games, engines, tools or game related services and present them on oGS in New York!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Report from the battlefield - onGameStart 2012

onGameStart 2012, the second version of the first HTML5 gaming conference ever, is over now. Since last year I completely changed its formula, and even if I was frightened as hell just before the event, it turned out to be wonderful (or most of the attendees were perfect liars who didn't want to hurt my feelings, but I'm quite OK with this:) ).
First of all - I limited number of the attendees to 250 (instead of almost 350 last year). Why? HTML5 Gaming is quite a new movement. Even if it's growing fast, it's still not as popular as, for example, jQuery or Node.js communities. And inviting less attendees definitely helps in meeting interesting people - onGameStart is not a mass event - it's more like a meeting of our elite HTMl5 Gaming caste. Connecting them together (also with sponsors & publishers, not only other developers & designers) is one of the main onGameStart's tasks. Also - according to Malte Ubl, organizer of JSConfEU:
more people requires executing everything with great precision which is super unlikely for amateurs like us (Professionals can’t do this either, but they don’t care because lots of attendees means lots of money).

Also - onGameStart this year has additional, third, day at the beginning, just for the workshops. During the three tracks, groups up to 15 people learned how to make 2d platformer game, 3D game using your jQuery skills, or multiplayer pong game in SVG with your Flash resources. I had fantastic feedback from both, attendees and trainers, so I'll probably organize workshops again during next editions.
During this year's Front Trends Paweł Czerski, one of the organizers, adviced me to shorten speech slot from 45 to 30 minutes. It's enough to inspire the audience with something new. And if the speaker is not good enough to do it, additional 15 minutes won't probably change it. For sure, I will use the same pattern again.
The main keynote this year was prepared by Jordan Mechner, creator of 'Karateka', 'Prince of Persia' or 'The Last Express'. He is not HTML5 game developer. Actually, he has nothing in common with browser games or development at all - his last game was published more than 15 years ago. But he is an icon in the gamedev world, and has indisputable influence on video games. The story Jordan presented was great summary of a journey of a game developer (as he called it - 'From Bedroom to Attic'), and definitely it was best closing talk of a gaming conference I could imagine. I'll do my best to invite other gamedev stars for next editions.

During my opening talk I appealed to the HTML5 gaming community to stop doing tech demos and try to prove that it's mature enough to create real games. We need games, not demos, so stop doing it and focus on real games. The second big thing I announced was American edition of onGameStart - onGameStartUS. It will take place in New York early next year (probably 22nd of March). PreRegister here for the news. And track the event on Lanyrd. After the announcement I read a lot of tweets or personal questions about European onGameStart. So to dispel all the doubts - there will be more than one onGameStart next year - one in NY, main edition in Warsaw, and probably one more, but I will announce it later. As I said during my talk - world is too big for just one HTML5 gaming conf (actually I wrote and said that it's 'too small', but It's mostly because I didn't really sleep for about a week). So see you next year in NY, WAW, or any other place I'll bring onGameStart to. Thanks!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

.getUserMedia puzzle game

During my last talks about Blysk I presented couple of new HTML5 features that are quite new, and were implemented only in Flash before. Access to the webcam was one of the most interesting.
VideoPuzzle on WebRebels:
Michal Budzynski at Web Rebels And since learning by playing is always fun, I made a simple puzzle game that uses webcam to display realtime video on the puzzles. To run it you need Chrome Canary with Media Stream enabled.
I was asked to publish it somewhere so you can find the source code on Github:

.getUserMedia() VideoPuzzle game
or try it now here

Why doesn't it work in Opera with .getUserMedia() support?
I was superlazy writing the code (it took me less than hour, it was just techdemo, not the regular, production code). And the easiest way to determine if the pieces was dropped in the right place was to check if the previously added 'data-order' values of the DOM elements (canvas - piece & div - place in which you put the piece) are equal. I took the second element from argument of mouseup event, and since dragged piece has 'pointer-events' set to 'none'. It should allow the event to go through the piece. Not in Opera. I don't know if it's Opera's or all the other vendors, there's nothing in spec about that.

Monday, May 14, 2012

onGameStart 2012

The most important thing in the life adventure is to remember when and how did it start. First impressions, inspirations and simple steps shape the future.
My gaming experience started in mid '90 on my XT with Hercules graphic card and amber screen. I was too young (and I lived on the other side of the iron curtain) to remember Apple II or Commodore computers before. One of the first games I remember from my early childhood was 'Prince of Persia' made by Jordan Mechner. I played it for almost 12 years before I was able to finish it without cheating (I can still remember 'prince megahit' password that enables cheat mode). I'm sure that a lot of you had similar experience.

What does this have to do with onGameStart?

Earlier this year I tweeted that HTML5 gamedevs are the new generation of game makers, and like every other 'new generation' we reinvent the same patterns or techniques our older friends implemented 30 years ago. There is no better way to learn, than listen to the real experts. That's why Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia, will share his experience during this year's Main onGameStart Keynote.

During two days of the conference it will be also possible to listen to presentations of the biggest, most talented and most respected HTML5 game developers from all over the world. And differently from last year, we will focus on real HTML5 games, tools that could help you write your own game, and wide variety of services for distribution, payments, statistics, and everything you will need to create great game. No more tech demos or examples - we all know that HTML5 has become mature enough, and players don't care about the technology - they want games. And we need those players and those games to prove that Open Web Technologies can compete with any other technology used in game development.

First part of confirmed speakers list for this year's edition of the first HTML5 game conference:
Seb Lee-Delisle, trainer on CreativeJS workshops
Jerome Etienne, creator of and tQuery
Jon Howard, responsible for games for kids in BBC
Andres Pagella, creator of Tracy and author of "Making Isometric Social Real-Time Games with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript"
Szymon Pilkowski, former senior JS developer in Crytek & Bigpoint
Robert Podgorski, boss of Black Moon Dev, one of the best pixel artists ever
Jonas Wagner, author of great WebGL demos
And of course last but not least,
Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia

So about 30 seconds ago we have launched our site, And because it's all about gaming, we've simply created a game with outstanding graphics by Robert. Control little astronaut with arrow keys, use space to talk to the speakers (close the window with 'z'), avoid lasers and spikes, and use keycards to open the door. If you don't want to explore our oGS spaceship, you can simply click on the head of the speaker in the top menu, and you will be teleported to the given speaker - you can still talk with him using space. game was created using Dominic's ImpactJS so it should work in most of the browsers. If you happen to find a bug, typo etc, feel free to tweet me about that (@michalbe). Enjoy, and stay tuned (Lanyrd, Facebook & Twitter)! We will announce more speakers and surprises soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MeetJS Summit

Last weekend, during MeetJS Summit in Poznań, I gave my first talk this year. It was just another great frontend event organized by Godfather of Polish web conferences, Damian Wielgosik, together with Polish GTUG.
Since ICT Conference in Kathmandu in November, where I spoke for the last time in 2011 (with simple .ppt slides), something really big happened in a web conferences world. Because of impress.js, stunning CSS 3D based presentation framework by Bartek Szopka, it became inappropriate to use prehistoric tools like PowerPoint for creating your own slides (It has 600 Github watchers more in two weeks than CoffeeScript in more than 2 years, SIC!). And since I had just couple of days before the event, I used mine & Jakub Siemiątkowski's port of Jordan Mechner's Prince of Persia as a base of my presentation. I'm quite satisfied with the result, you can check it HERE or just click on the iframe below. It is optimized for my presentation remote so you can change the slides only using PgDown & PgUp. Sometimes it needs to be refreshed, and sometimes it craches, but it's more like a prove of concept, not real life product.