To be honest I wasn’t planning on going to the OGS conference this year, but after winning a ticket for it in a contest organized by Adam Mazur (@end3r) I’ve decided to go all-in and even took part in the workshops organized the day before the big event, and I must tell you - it was worth every single cent!
Day 0: The workshops
The workshop in which I’ve decided to take part was titled: Making game graphics & animations for the “ungifted” and it was hosted by Robert Podgórski (@blackmoondev) - the author of the original “Captain Rogers” game series. Robert took us on a journey on which we created a simple character drawing, a skeletal animation for it, exported it to json and sprites and made it move in the browser with the help of Mat Grove’s (@Doormat23) pixi.js rendering engine.
The workshop was a great opportunity to meet the polish html5 game scene and opened my eyes to how mature the platform is. The workflows I’ve seen and the multitude of high-level libraries for game development convinced me that html5 gaming isn’t coming to us - it’s already here!
Day 1: Slow start, but a great finish
After the initial workshop hype, the first day of the conference started slow, with mainly sponsored or product talks, which weren’t very interesting. When I thought that the day was lost, Piotr Gawle catched my attention with his talk about HTML5 Business and the top 10 mistakes his company made while starting-up. After that the tech talks started and you could see that more and more people were waking up.
The high-point of day one was reached when Mat Groves took the stage. He briefly described what pixi.js is, how it works and then took off to the juicy tech details of canvas 2d and webgl context inner workings and how he managed to create a common rendering engine for two completely different context’s. I’ve learned about texture memory management, texture packing, sprite optimizations and many, many more interesting browser-related rendering behaviours of which I haven’t had a slightest clue about before.
Day 1 / Day 2: The party
When the day one talks were over I took a quick nap and got ready for the Spilgames Party which was meant to create a friendly-networking atmosphere for every attendee - and it delivered. The people from the gaming industry are awesome! Alcohol aside, we really enjoyed our tech, problem solving challenges and business talks. I even got the chance to talk with Ivan Popelyshev (@ivanpopelyshev) - the creator of the massive multiplayer web-browser game BomberMine (http://bombermine.clay.io/), and I must say: this guy is brilliant!
To sum up: the party was great and it left me really excited for the second day of talks.
Day 2: Tech, tech and more tech!
After the initial breakfast coffee and cake the second day kicked-off. And I must say - it really kicked-off - this day was almost strictly technical and started with a great talk from Ippa Lix about using jaws.js for canvas terrain generation (and destruction!). Before I had time to process all the details, Jan Krutisch blasted me off with a great web audio API demonstration and native tone (and music!) generation methods - without using any pre-recorded sound samples!
After that Jasmine Kent took the stage with her in-depth analysis of openGL terrain generation history and webGL implementations of the subject. Good we had a brief break at this point - it let my mind process all the new pieces of information. After the break Ivan climbed onto the stage. He launched a browser and pointed it to a live bombermine instance, started hacking his own game from the browser and messing with real-live players! I must admit it was the funniest (and still technically exciting!) talk of the whole conference.
JS13K contest results
In the middle of day two Adam Mazur announced the winner of the js13k game contest (http://js13kgames.com/) - I didn’t think that you could do such awesome game engines in just under 13kb - congrats to all the winners!
All things come to an end
After 3 more speakers the conference was done and I think it left me wanting more. Currently when I have some spare time I try to dig in into character creation with skeletal animation and I’m planning on creating my own first game.
There is still so much to learn about browser rendering performance, vanillaJS and micro-optimizations - but the people at OGS 2013 showed me that it pays off - thank you guys (& gals!) for that.
Thanks to Michał Budzyński (@michalbe) for organizing such a great event!