December 09, 2013

Mozilla Looks to Spur HTML5 Game Development with New Holiday Contest

We’ve all read about (and perhaps have already seen) the versatility HTML5 can bring to Web development. Of course, the Web isn’t all about commercial exploits ­– it’s also about having fun.  Indeed, the community of HTML5 game developers has been steadily growing over the past few months. In conjunction with technologies like WebGL, Emscripten, asm.js and Web Audio API, the next-gen markup language removes significant barriers to entry, making it both a promising and a highly-inclusive game development tool.

In an effort to demonstrate exactly what HTML5 is capable of in the realm of browser gaming, Mozilla (NewsAlert) has announced a new holiday game development competition, challenging would-be developers and players alike to showcase their creative juices using the Goo platform, a 3D JavaScript gaming engine entirely built on WebGL/HTML5, along with Goo Create, an visual editing tool that runs on top of the engine.

Participants can win prizes in one of three categories: Best Amateur Interactive Game Scene, Best Desktop Game, and Best Mobile Game – each one with its own development objectives and prizes.

The first is aimed at creative technologists and artists. Using only built-in Goo Create objective primitives, contestants will be judged on lighting, landscape creation, and character originality. The remaining two are more specifically geared toward coders, with awards going to those who best use Goo Create and the Goo Engine JavaScript API to develop an immersive and visually impressive desktop browser or mobile Web game (with extra points for cross-platform/browser games – especially for Firefox OS).

Prizes for winners, which will be announced January 17th, range from $1,000 in cash and five-year access to Goo Create Pro to a guest post on the Mozilla Apps blog and a trip for two to the GDC Conference in San Francisco.

Given Mozilla’s recent release of Firefox OS this past summer, it only makes sense for the company to encourage this type of cross-platform/cross-browser development. A mobile platform is only as successful as the apps that are available on it, and some of the most alluring and in-demand ones out there are games.  App marketplaces can thus make or break a platform in the end.

Mozilla Labs Senior Manager Bill Walker will be discussing this exact topic at an upcoming DevCon5 session this Wednesday, December 11, at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City in Universal City, California.  His talk, titled “Firefox Marketplace: Breaking the Stranglehold of App Stores,” will examine the new Firefox OS apps ecosystem, including its new direct carrier payment mechanism, its cross-platform capabilities, and the Firefox Marketplace for discovering and purchasing Apps.

Those interested in learning more about this and other issues concerning HTML5 development can still register to attend.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson


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