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Greetings! enchant.js evangelist Eric here.

Just returned to the comforts of Holiday Inn after day two of New Game Conference. The day saw the handing out of the last of our swag, the shuffling feet of programmers hung over from last night’s blue cocktails, and quite possibly the weirdest cupcakes I’ve ever beheld.

In case you can’t tell from the photo, they’re glittering. Yeah. I’m not sure how many edible substances *glitter.* Perhaps we’d best save that discussion for another day.

In any event, vampire cupcakes or not, the day was a good one! It got started with a keynote from Paul Bakaus, CTO of Zynga Germany.

Paul took us through his own experiences attempting to develop an HTML5 game engine, beginning at a time when no such thing existed. The lack of competition made his work that much more difficult. Vast strides have been made in Canvas, WebGL, and more, but there’s still considerable room for improvement. Paul discussed how web developers rarely make good game developers (and vice versa) and speculated on some of the reasons why HTML5 has not been more widely adopted (his theories: Devs don’t want to learn it, and companies don’t want to ditch versions of IE below 9). HTML5 wasn’t created with games in mind, and as a result the HTML5 game developer’s situation is an exciting, fun, but painful one.  In elaborating on the challenges ahead, he touched on the example of 3D, showing how overdeveloping is not always good. Consider this realistic take on a certain Sesame Street character:

Later, we checked out “The State of HTML5 Games in Asia” by Robbert Van Os and Chen Qi of spilgames.

The pair discussed their experiences marketing games internationally and the pitfalls involved in localizing. They boasted the first HTML5 game portal in China, a hugely difficult task given that Facebook is banned outright, the “Great Firewall” makes local hosting a necessity, and fragmented nature of the market. Still, the huge user base…one that is rapidly adopting smartphones…makes the challenge worth it. HTML5 has the potential for hugely expanded opportunities in the future, the pair said.

Finally, we sat in on “Paladin: 3D Gaming on the Open Web” by Alan Kligman and Bobby Richter.

The pair shared their own HTML5 game development journey, which all began with a JavaScript demo animation entitled “Flight of the Navigator.” Demos often pushed forward web innovation, they said, but games push it even further. With that in mind, they are actively pursuing Paladin, a project with Mozilla to weaponize the web platform for 3D gaming. At the moment it’s in pre-alpha, but by the end of the year it should be developed enough to make an actual game with it. Alan and Bobby gave us a glimpse of things to come with their minigame “RescueFox.”

Besides all that, it was a day of chatting, listening, and evangelising like a fanatic!

For those of you in Boston, be sure to come listen when we speak at this month’s Boston HTML5 Game Development Meetup! Until then, beware of sparkling cupcakes.