How Google (and Rovio) Ported Angry Birds to HTML5
December 28, 2011 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Joel Webber, a Google engineer who created the Google Web Toolkit and is working on the new Dart language, gave an incredibly detailed hour and a half talk about how Angry Birds was ported to HTML5 for the Chrome app store.
posted by jenkinsEar (14 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting - it looks very interesting. Is anyone else getting choppy audio?
posted by YAMWAK at 12:02 PM on December 28, 2011

I kind of wish somebody would give a 90 minute talk about the weirdness of how Angry Birds became so mega-popular, despite the premise being around since, forever.
(Also: Viral Ad alert!)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:04 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Accessible, cartoony graphics plus touchscreen controls being way more intuitive for artillery aiming plus wide-open market.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:11 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

The remaining 89 minutes of my talk will be about pie.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:14 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Dang this won't be helpful because I can't find the link but I remember a great article about how Angry Birds is different that its predecessors in a number of subtle ways that make it much more addictive.
posted by solmyjuice at 12:15 PM on December 28, 2011

(Also: Viral Ad alert!)

I'm pretty sure that a rumpled engineer droning on about spriting algorithms and HTML5 audio deficiencies isn't likely to be the first pick for most viral marketers...
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:16 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think one of the things that makes Angry birds so addictive is the physics engine, the end result of which is that doing the same thing results in something slightly different happening each time you try it. So there's an inconsistent reward, you feel like even if you didn't get it last time you might get it this time.

The other reason is just good marketing probably. I only even tried Angry birds because I'd upgraded my cellphone and I wondered what the big deal was.

The graphics and sound effects are really well done as well.

Anyway, what the hell is the point of Dart anyway? Why make a 'language' instead of implementing LLVM or something like that in the browser?
posted by delmoi at 12:17 PM on December 28, 2011

In depth: How Rovio made Angry Birds a winner (and what's next):

The Heds had developed 51 titles before Angry Birds. Some of them had sold in the millions for third parties such as Namco and EA, so they decided to create their own, original intellectual property. "We thought we would need to do ten to 15 titles until we got the right one," says 30-year-old Niklas. One afternoon in late March, in their offices overlooking a courtyard in downtown Helsinki, Jaakko Iisalo, a games designer who had been at Rovio since 2006, showed them a screenshot. He had pitched hundreds in the two months before. This one showed a cartoon flock of round birds, trudging along the ground, moving towards a pile of colourful blocks. They looked cross. "People saw this picture and it was just magical," says Niklas. Eight months and thousands of changes later, after nearly abandoning the project, Niklas watched his mother burn a Christmas turkey, distracted by playing the finished game. "She doesn't play any games. I realised: this is it."
posted by gwint at 12:31 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

The Google Chrome commercial featuring the Angry Birds devs is one of my favorite TV commercials ever. A masterpiece of deadpan timing. (And yes, ads can be awesome.)
posted by jbickers at 12:42 PM on December 28, 2011

Thanks for posting this. HTML5 gaming is gonna probably be the next thing, and so far its been herky jerky. Someone detailing how they ported a relativly action and physics oriented game to the web sounds important And spriting algorithims actually excite me.
posted by hellojed at 1:53 PM on December 28, 2011

Why make a 'language' instead of implementing LLVM or something like that in the browser?

The Dartistas have anticipated your objection.
posted by Slothrup at 2:34 PM on December 28, 2011

Is there a transcript anywhere? I'd love to read this but I'm behind an anemic internet connection at my relatives' for the holidays.
posted by Alterscape at 3:19 PM on December 28, 2011

... an interesting watch, although pretty technical. Certainly, as a frontend app dev, there are a lot of interesting tricks to be learned there.

Thanks for sharing this!
posted by ph00dz at 4:57 PM on December 28, 2011

Is there a transcript anywhere?

I believe if you register, you can download the presentation in MP3 form as well as the supporting slides- but I haven't done that myself.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:15 AM on December 29, 2011

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