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At next year's FSOSS, Seneca should make and sell 'F-Sauce' BBQ Sauce in order to raise money for a better WiFi network.
In all seriousness, I had a really good time at FSOSS 2010 on Friday. I met a few people I haven't seen in a long time as well as met a few new people, learned a lot of interesting things, saw a couple of cool talks and kicked some ass at Super Puzzle Fighter in the refreshment room on the arcade cabinet. Here is my short report on the talks I saw at Seneca during FSOSS:
Matt Postil gave a talk on his pet project: Scene Creator. Scene Creator is used to create interactive 3D scenes. It is powered by HTML, JS, C3DL, Pjs, jQuery. Matt is extending the scene creation tool offered by a company called Scene Caster, which to me seems like a Second Life-like service where people can meet in a virtual world and... stand around I guess. He added unique features such as the ability to layer a video as a texture on to a 3D model, and to add live Twitter and Flickr streams on to different 3D objects in the scene. When I was watching the demo I could not help but think that this tool would be great to create a level for a 3D game without a lot of work. I'm sure that this technology could somehow be adapted to become a level editor. It may be something to look into; either way it was an interesting talk.
Mickael Medel is working on a way to render 3D objects through point cloud data rather than polygons. To me it seems like its main use is to scan fragile artifacts so they can be examines virtually to prevent damage to them. The level of detail from these models was very high; it's hard to believe that when looked at very closely this 3D model is just made from a bunch of points. I am not sure what else it could be used for though. Also, it seemed to take a long time to load the actual model. I believe Mickael is working on a way to optimize the rendering system though so that could change in the future.
David Humphrey showed what could be done with the new Audio API being shipped with the next Firefox. This was definitely the coolest presentation I saw Friday. The most interesting feature was the ability to generate and play audio on-the-fly. He demonstrated this by demoing a simple Space Invaders clone, which generated all the sounds through the API. Personally, this will be something I will be looking into for my own web-based games. Another interesting feature was how easy it was to manipulate already existing audio (ex. filters). The benefits of this would be trying out many different variations on the same sound without actually altering the source file. When you find the right sound you want to use, just apply those settings and if you ever want to change it, you don't need to open some audio sequencing or editing program to undo the filters and to re-apply new ones. One concern I have is how much processing power many audio tracks playing at once would take, especially when drawing to the canvas at the same time. The mind-blowing demo shown at the end was a little ticky so I think we're still at least a year (or more) off before a full-fledged 3D game would be able to run nicely in a browser. Until then I'll be playing around with the API and seeing what can be done with it.
Level Up! Game Jam Results
There were not that many entries shown but the ones I saw were pretty cool for something done in a short amount of time. I was a little surprised to see my half-assed entry shown as 'bouncing game' since it wasn't much of a game. Hopefully next year I have something more substantial to show. Once Pjs hits 1.0 I'll be taking a closer look at what can be done with it. I'm not quite ready to dive into 3D yet so it may take me a little longer to get around to C3DL.
This presentation by Scott Downe showed what could be done when combining the video tag with Popcorn.js. All I really got from the presentation was that you could add subtitles to your videos. That's pretty much it. I would have liked to see what else could be done with Popcorn.js as well as Candy.js but I guess I'll have to look into that myself.
I was going to attend the Drumbeat session but I heard it was cancelled so I just left after that. That pretty much wraps up my FSOSS report. I heard it was smaller this year than previous ones which is sad. Also, having five talks each hour made it very difficult to chose which one to see when there were multiple talks going on at once. I heard in previous years the talks were spread over two days and I think they should have that format next year. I would have liked to have seen the Vanilla Forums talk, and some of the Linux-based ones, but alas, there were only one of me, and many presentations (a 1-to-many relationship :( )
Either way, fun times!