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ICE Total Gaming 2014 Review by Ignite’s Aviram Eisenberg

Ignite Team by Ignite Team
A magnificent 23,501 gaming industry professionals defied a 48-hour strike on the London Underground to set a new record attendance at ICE 2014. And indeed, it was the most dynamic celebration of international gaming imaginable, as everyone was struggling to fit the trends and choose the right… mobile technology. The new battles to be fought in the gaming industry are definitely mobile. Further on, the obvious technology selections of the software vendors to create mobile games were as predicted, split between HTML5, Unity 3D and Adobe Air. However, none of the three technologies is “flawless”: while HTML5 is not really cross platform and proves as a labor-intensive technology if you’re fishing for impressive results, Adobe Air is struggling with an unclear future and Unity3D faces its own problems mainly because the longer load time due to large memory needs or too slow CPUs on mobile devices. So, is there a new breaking through technology heading our way, which could overcome the technical challenges of the above mentioned technologies? Indeed it is, as one most interesting technologies, presented by mobileFX has made its way during ICE 2014. It definitely caught my attention, so let’s see why. Going back to the company’s beginnings, mobileFX was founded by Lina Kalostipi and Elias Politakis on September 2012 and it has shown a constant development since then. mobileFX presented Coconut 2D Studio at this year’s London ICE. This is an Integrated Development Environment for rapid prototyping of 2D games and Apps based on open source framework Coconut2D SDK currently supporting HTML5 Browsers, IOS and Android Devices. Although the Beta release of Coconut 2.0 was also recently announced, the platform is already in use by a leading gaming operator delivering 2D games with complex animations and sounds!

The key features of this new technology are:

  • Automatic compilation both as an HTML5 JavaScript Web GL application and as a separate native IOS and Android OpenGL ES application.
  • 100% pure native C++ compiled application, running on low-spec Android devices (note that other similar solutions such as Flash AIR and Unity packages won’t even load).
  • Modern assembly of IDE features
  • Introducing two top-level folders partitioning: Web and Native
  • Implementation of a Scene Animation Editor boasting a cross-screen-and-resolution feature (ranging from design-time, compile-time to run-time).
  • Coco Script codebases implementation, starting from JavaScript syntax.
  • Supporting of Finite State Machine Automata Semantics (FSM) (this makes Game Engine development and game control loops easier to implement and maintain).
  • Trans coding the entire game source code into pure JavaScript( this is done over Web GL for HTML5 Browsers).
  • Integrating Google V8 JavaScript VM Engine for running and debugging Coconut2D Games.
  • IDE exposure of Google V8 (this helps developers set breakpoints, evaluate expressions and trace statements).
  • The built-in Coco Player can simulate various IOS and Android screen sizes and screen resolutions, so that developers can actually see how their game would look on different devices.
  • Gaming preview and debugging on Google Chrome browser.
This new platform, certainly outtakes the technical challenges generally encountered with Adobe air and Unity3D, where the apps are so heavy that they present a big issue, especially when we think at simpler smart phones. Coconut 2D enables the running of a compiled application in cheap smart phones and opens up a broad audience to gaming operators. Aiming for a pretty huge segment on the market, this technology certainly looks promising and I bet we’ll get to see more of it in the near future. It certainly got my attention and I’m pretty curious on its market share evolution. The expectations concerning mobileFX’s platform are most certainly on the rise, so prepare for new battles on the “gaming” field! Bottom line, MobileFX is led by a bunch of enthusiastic and hungry technology gurus. They seem to hit the sweat spot for mobile gaming challenges – fast development of cross platform user friendly and interactive games that can run on even weak CPU smartphones and is reasonably priced. Will they deliver the promise and take a significant share of the mobile gaming field – this remain to be seen – but they certainly caught my attention. Our next mobile games will use mobileFX! About Aviram Eisenberg: Entrepreneur and acclaimed speaker, Aviram Eisenberg is the Founder and CEO of Ignite – a global software development company that specializes in new technologies development such as web, mobile and social in a cost effective models. Under his leadership, Ignite is recognized as an agile, lean & mean leader in Israel and Europe, introducing innovative methodologies and enhancing the R&D excellence of industry leaders such as NokiaSiemens Networks, Microsoft, VMWare and AT&T as well as high-tech companies in the online gaming and gambling sectors.