December 11, 2013

HTML5 Games and Mobility Take Center Stage at DevCon5

When it comes to the user experience, many of  the discussions around DevCon5 are focused on the reuse of code and making HTML5 ubiquitous on all platforms.  Margret Schmidt of TiVo (News Alert), made it clear that we should expect the end user to use all their screen experiences from TV, desktop and the smartphone.  However, replicating the exact controls is a mistake.  No one wants a remote-like experience on their smartphone.  They want a smartphone app that does remote control.  Understanding the features that customers are trying to access, is the key to success in designing applications.

Nate Altschul of Nickelodeon, along with their community, accomplished their goal of building 100 HTML5 games this year.   The effort led to the use of Haxe  / Flambe, which is a development engine that is very easy for flash developers to pick-up.   The more amazing aspect of this effort is the tested ubiquity of the platforms which is supported on iOS, Android (NewsAlert), Win8 and Tizen.  

Kent Altstad of Radware (News Alert) spoke to us at DevCon5, about performance issues on the web and the fact that no matter where the customers accesses the systems, the performance experience is the key to lead people’s perception of your site and your brand.  He pointed out that in studies where the same site was used to test people’s experience with delay deliberately added, the perception was that the slow site was broken and poorly designed, while the fast site was clean and well organized.  Unfortunately, the issues of performance can be beyond the company’s site and associated with the network.

In addition to these discussions, Corey Hudson of AOL (News Alert) and Jon Percival of Amazon, spoke about the work done by Internet Advertising Board and the effort to provide best practices to minimize the delay of advertising in games and apps.  The great majority of apps and games are advertising -based and the trend is not reversing.  In a later session, Nate Altschul joined them to provide a user form of Q&A as to what trends were to be followed by the industry.

Doris Chen of Microsoft, Ralph Whitbeck of Appendto, Terry Ryan of Adobe, Sumit Amar of Electronic Arts and Matt Spencer of ARM (News Alert), all gave amazing presentations that showed code and the way to make complex requirements perform well while also delighting the user.

Joey Janisheck shared his experience in managing customer requirements and the way to solve the problem using as much common code as possible as well as the pitfalls of developing strictly for native.

On the video side, Pablo Schlowsky of JW Player, explained and explored the ways to develop video players that reduced and eliminated the need for Flash. In addition, Peter Dunkley of Crocodile, showed the use of websockets and demoed WebRTC applications that required no plug-ins.  

The momentum of HTML5 and the impact of JavaScript on browser to server interfaces were a constant part of the discussion and it’s clear, as Nate Altschule pointed out, HTML5 is viable and growing into the platform of choice for application and games in the future.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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