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Why JavaScript will be king of Indie Games Development [Part 3 of 3]

etherflows Blog

Why JavaScript will be king of Indie Games Development [Part 3 of 3]


So we can see the rise of Open Source and JavaScript as a community friendly in-hostile takeover. Yet there is more. The Manufacture-centered Web-Of-Things will be surpassed by a Web-Of-Everyone and they will all speak code fluently, if not dynamically by the time they leave primary school. The UK has already begun teaching children code from the age of five and up. And child-code websites like Scratch are paving the way. This trend is almost certain to go global. Developing countries are also advancing China and India are heading for pole-position. Poor nations are seeing an influx of seed capital from Joe Soaps international reach and we all know big manufacturers are ditching wealthy countries. As the money flows there wealth will bring education and more connectivity - but the evolution point for child-code here is free open-source. And JavaScript is the natural choice.

Back in developer land Mozilla in the guise of Khronus Working Group have been hard at work this last decade absorbing OpenGL and it is paying off. WebGL2 Specification [WIP] has been given to the public and a first-look video showcased (see links below) shows its got more metal. WebGL2 (and even X3D) can sit alongside JavaScript if game designers are mindful about exposure concerns.

In overview the whole trend becomes obvious. Definitely Open-Source and strong partiality to have at least some JavaScript jammed in somewhere. We see the web programmers merging with the game design community. We see Unity, OpenGL and X3D as having workable hybrid capacity to meet and greet coders from different disciplines. We see them being high-end tools in the production of high-end web-centered delivery We see JSON porting everything towards a common middle ground. We see lightning speed JavaScript servers working 20-40 times their previous speed, AJAX shunting the net load and every home users web browser in compliance with JavaScript. We see Tomorrows Children stepping up with web design before they evolve into fluent programmers. We see the poorest of our planet creating trickle funds and perhaps millions, as they are driven by their need to carry themselves into a brighter future.


JavaScript is about to bind everyone together in a vast, creative lingo of everything, a prize for everyone that is marked FREE because it is free. In a time when other tools leave our planet tethered between the brink of annihilation and the endless promise of space, an intelligent solution comes in the form of a single lingo for the creative to transport and transform itself.

The Indie Communities of code, music, artistry, audio and sensory delivery for the impaired will be at the center of it all, The Four Workhorses of an Anti-Apocalypse - The Wizards Of WOW, the Wizards of Wisdom. And when your children's children ask what you did when they were young they will reply: WE SAVED IT - Our parents showed us how, they made games and the earthlings played them. And the child will ask WHAT ARE EARTHLINGS? And they will reply: THE STUFF WE ARE MADE OF - THEY LIVED LONG AGO ON A SPEC OF DUST. THEY ARE A THING OF LEGEND FROM A PALE BLUE DOT.

Dedicated to Carl Sagan, Tim Berners-Lee and a promising future where we dream-in-code and live in dream.


Ether: A catalytic agent present in the making of stardust.

Why JavaScript will be King Of Indie Development [Part 2 of 3]

etherflows Blog

Why JavaScript will be King Of Indie Development [Part 2 of 3]


JavaScript and its transporter AJAX are the workhorses of the internet – so much so that HTML5 files can be reduced to two tags: <!DOCTYPE> <SCRIPT>. Offline JSON is the major inter-program shunt for porting languages. The last decade added to all of this with the provision of improved markup in CSS & SVG and dynamic graphics frameworks like JQuery added real spice. On top of this interface MVC’s and Cloud CMS frameworks have come on in leaps and bounds. And in recent years we have seen the rise of JavaScript Servers that shunt gamer information at bullet train speeds. In addition a lot of localized indie Web Developers, have been pushed out of the market by build-your-own-websites, recession and clouds. Many of them seen web 2.0 as the end result for text/image presentation and you all know there are mainly three sites to get tons of video and inspirational content - is one of them. Their hearts are telling them to head to Gaming and with Unity5 the top-end choice for JavaScript its perfect now and poised for the up-and-coming paradigm shift.


HTML5 and JavaScript/ECMA development is as much about games as open-sourcing the video player. The Canvas element is dynamic and full-screen capability is there. CSS3 takes the styling and positioning to a 2D gaming level though physics-like effects need to be rendered as images, client-side JavaScript can animate and run one player games. Client-side JavaScript Servers are popping up and they work at bullet-train speeds - meaning less servers need buying and/or leasing. WebGL 1.x seen the arrival of a new Web 3D standard. It is based on the OpenGL language and will be the bridge for OpenGL coders to web-based gaming. JavaScript Web designers are sucked in to keep the servers open as well. The current generation of OpenGL 1.x lacks some bells and whistles but it is just about to jump to the next league.

Etherflows [PART 3 TO FOLLOW]

Why JavaScript will be king of Indie Development [Part 1 of 3]

etherflows Blog


Unrealistic, you may think but only if you don't look beneath at road we are driving down. College lecturers mock students who consider turning in programming End-Of-Year projects in JavaScript. JavaScript will have the last Ha Ha on that!


The 3D web had already being been marked-up [VRML/X3D] before WWW rolled out in Ireland (1995). It could be inserted directly into HTML via . JavaScript was born the same year and asynchronous was still considered a dirty word. Nevertheless, hacks could cross-wires to get JavaScript to commune with servers. VRML has fresh to the public and the online 3d worlds communities grew. Yet something was rotten in the state of VR. Foresight had not considered the high-speed future of the internet so the VR engine/plugin was minimalist in file size = cripplingly small. It may have been that rendering speed was compromised to satisfy the international average download speed. Despite that the influx of pedestrians rose. Later it was re-released as X3D but many designers who wanted more were already jumping ship. Programs like Blender3D were becoming big globally and developers who wanted something next-gen looked to offline terrain.


My first VRML. The REAL me is on the right.

MODS: Big arguments for allowing in an MMO

etherflows Blog

This article was written in reply to a developers comment on IndieDB :


You said you might drop the notion of modding because it is an MMO game:

Moddability actually is out of question, since it's an MMO I need all the clients to be Vanilla.

I would like to present a number of arguments to the contrary, just remember that the above choice could still be the right choice.

There are two starting reasons for being able to Mod a system:

1) An Offline prerequisite for development: Modding is a way to switch assets in and out the game at a whim. Imagine that Chinatown is south city in your game and you are in Little Italy: Suddenly you think to yourself, what if the Hispanics controlled the Boulevard between - Hit the mod key, type a command and presto they have driven a wedge between the two factions - and you are still in play mode with a re-code, re-build slowing you down.

You can remove your Mod Interpreter from the User Download Files and keep it purely for development purposes.

2) For the Players, the Players and to your advantage.

a) A person who is there to Mod is there to stay - a resident, a community advocate and WOW maker.

b) You control what to Mod: The interior of Player homes - or an block controlled by a Guild/Faction might be dressed to their tastes. This will not affect gameplay but provides WOW. Imagine the city of London, the house of Parliament remain unchanged maybe some burnt out double-deckers on a bad day. Or New Ork whose skyscraper are still etched into the night.

c) Trickle funds: Its hard to get cash to keep Servers running. A little asset store promoted by the Modders themselves keeps your ball rolling.

d) As above, plus FREE TO PLAY and or FREE TO WIN

e) A City to Themselves: Keep your Vanilla servers but provide a place for people to Showcase and you to source talent.

f) Longevity: Who knows the Modded Sever may be the only Server left standing when your success winds down.

Modders of the World, I salute you,


every.thing: A file naming case study

etherflows Blog

Lets presume a model of a house is built in 3d and then stored on a computer or server. Will you remember where it is? Might a copy of it be lost. Where is the backup? Who has the notes on it?

Filed: : built/homes/Villa_Novus_V0001.fbx;

Backup : vault/built/ i.e Dec15 or 2015_12_21

Image Of :

So on and so forth - Notes, Video, Pimps, ToDos, Tiles all share the common Lingo. In addition a search algorithm can find all the related assets at once. Nice if you have a server or want to load mixed assets into your game code with a single command. If any team member asks what a file they are looking for is called, the answer will roll of your tongue or at the very least the folder or zip file it is in.

The simplicity of Every.Thing becomes obvious.

Every.Thing: A way to name, share, reference and code

etherflows Blog

Apart from chipping away at our dev, I have being designing a methodology for managing resource, assets and code in a unilateral way. With well over a million files to manage, one of the horrors of being a designer and a programmer in multiple disciplines, it is something I have been failing at for years.

Thankfully that has improved immensely since I began to see it as a serious issue and even though its been two years of trial and error, I have greatly simplified things to a fine point. WinOS still heaves searching for some items plus I will never get around to renaming old stuff yet.

I call my new system Every.Thing and everything I need to get at these days is filed using it and everything I code is coded using it.

My mind is more at peace these days - although moving into game design has equally as much to do with that. Must have something to do with my Visual Cortex.

A reply to a query about Card Games [poker & YuGiOh styled]

etherflows Blog

Poker is generally played on a very simple table and easy to use games engines such as GameMaker are more than adequate. You can get GMS for PC free and pay once for Android, IOS, HTML5 exporters when your game is finished.

I haven't used Unity in 2D mode so I can't tell you much there except it has a lot more flashiness and this will be great for YuGiOh style.

However a card game of this style can really take off in 3d. Imagine you overlook a table as if you are sitting at it with your cards near you (bottom of screen) and the opponent opposite you (top of screen). Your hand reaches for an un-turned card. Throwing it it explodes mid air and your beasts land mid-table in a miniature custom arena. This gives it a greater feeling of the card-trading games toons people grew up with.

Unity5 has both 2d/3d included in free version. A Card game and table are as easy as programming gets, even with a mini arena in the middle. Ironically in 3d a bare-bones FPS with a single room and table ought to suffice.

The real question is can you design GREAT artwork and a GREAT competitive card game. Finding an Artist to work with you should be an immediate priority and designing that system of play. You should have 50 cards with stats in a list or table before inviting others to the project. Make your card game different from - dont copy - invent special powers. Use a thesaurus to find alternative words (Artha is a free download or use one online) . Greek, Indian and Oriental Mythology are an open-source list of ideas for creatures, deities, etc.



If you have a minimum of 50 cards with a professional artwork (your own or your teams) give us a shout. I am busy on another two projects so I will only take time if you have done the work on your side - finding an Artist to work with you should be an immediate priority.


Missed Targets Yet Fun Collecting Arrows

etherflows Blog

I recently booked time in the countryside so I could concentrate on game design - away from home and free from internet distraction. But the generator there broke down and limited laptop time. Of course this freed up some time with the home owner. A resourceful person who built his own wind turbine and is wrangling with a whole lot of mad science,electronics, mechanical and socially/environmentally aware designs.

Later I freehanded a critter in Blender for the first time - perhaps indirect inspiration can fuel you too.

Open To Engaging With Others

etherflows Blog

I would like to say I am available to help in anyway I can: advice, mentoring, management, promotion, press, beta tests, publishing materials, story writing. I have a full range of programming/graphics skills although my 3d and video skills are not up to scratch.

If you need a follow/greenlight/plus1 on Twitter, Steam or JoinIndies just ask.

Need a tester: In my first 14 days here, I tested : Armoured Battles, Caeludum, Crater Alpha, Dapenter, DarkFlame, .Age, Fanalet, Hypnogogia, Masslo, Phils Adv.,Pioneer, Sim Hero, Straitlon, Frontier, Tribe Of Pok, Cast Of Seven Godsends, Unending Galaxy,Fragfest & Void Raiders

What Did I Just Sign Myself Up For ?????

etherflows Blog

There are two, and maybe more, answers to that question. A minimum of two, I mean three.

I realize after all my meandering exploration into Game Design, that its great to explore, learn and develop. However this has brought me to a crux, one that wants to avoid crud. To make a product I would be happy with, I need to get together with like minded people. So my considerations are

A) To see if others will bring me into their production team.

B) Promote my own designs.

C) Meme.

I'm not great at meme, too individual. Booking My Face Place and WYSInotWYG tweet diatribes are not my thing. Promoting friends and creative types I could go along with.

So... To B or not to A. That is my congestion.

I am going to give other designers a chance first, without a team nobody goes anywhere anyway and I'm long overdue some public service given everything that the Net has given me for free. So my gateway is open, if you want to whack antlers and see if I fit with your ilk. S'pose I should do something creative while I'm waiting.

BTW good luck to you all. He who dies with the most Devs wins.

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