Game On London 2010

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending the Open Web Gaming event #gameon10 hosted by Mozilla Labs and Six to Start. The evening involved five short main talks and numerous lightning talks by various attendees.

Mozilla Labs Open Gaming special event
Christian Heilmann getting ready for his talk at #gameon10.

There were an interesting mix of speakers, from the big name companies like Google and Mozilla, down to start-ups and independents:

  • Christian Heilmann: Very interesting talk on why developers should be developing using new open web technologies. He had some very interesting ideas for Angry Birds too (see below).
  • Ernesto Jimenez: A hands on talk on the “Do’s and Don’ts when developing with the HTML5 canvas element. Mainly about things he’d learnt the hard way.
  • Rob Hawkes: Rawkets is a simple shooter game Rob developed for a University project that’s really taken off. It uses various open technologies including node.js and Web Sockets on the server side.
  • Rik Lomas: Is the line between TV and computer entertainment bluring? With the help of Picklive it certainly is. A fantasy football game played in real time, built on Javascript, jQuery, Strophe and XMPP.
  • Paul Truong: Paul’s talk didn’t quite go to plan with a couple of teething problems with the demonstrations, but it was still very informative. I had no idea MacBook Pro’s had a built in accelerometer, and using it for gaming is a stroke of genius (although I can’t see many people tipping their MacBook Pro, it’s a tad heavy for a controller). With the iPad you’re on to a winner.
Paul Truong at #gameon10
Paul Truong talking about Processing.js.

I particularly liked Christian Heilmann’s talk as he had some great ideas for Angry Birds if it was built on open web technology. You could very easily allow people to build their own levels, add multi-player support, add a frustration rating for levels and user comments. Adding the social level building aspect to the game takes a bulk of the development time off the game developers; this is exactly what Media Molecule have done with Little Big Planet and they now have 1 million+ levels! As an extra you could setup level building competitions and bring out a version of the Angry Birds based purely on the best custom built levels. Everyone’s a winner!

The evening was great fun and all the speakers were brilliant. My only criticism would be that the talks seemed very rushed. Making the talks fifteen minutes instead of ten would have allowed for a slightly slower pace with a few more demos. Big thank you to Mozilla Labs, Six to Start and all the speakers.